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An Interview with Catherine Snodgrass

Conducted by Dr Bob Rich
December, 2002

FF: Catherine, you are the author of several books, in a variety of genres. Tell us about the FIRST one. How did you manage to get it published? How did you feel at the time?

Catherine: My first published book was FEATHER ON THE WIND, a time travel. A friend of mine introduced me to a representative of an e-publishing company. That rep asked me to submit. Within two months the book was accepted. I was in shock. By that time I had just about given up on being published. It felt a little surreal. I simply couldn’t believe it had happened. I was afraid I’d be a “one-hit wonder” and never sell again. Since then things have snowballed for me. It’s really wonderful.

FF: Of all your books, do you have a favorite? I hate it when people ask me this question, but why shouldn’t you suffer too? 🙂

Catherine: I can’t say that I have a favorite. I love all my stories. It’s a pleasure to write them, but an even greater joy to know people are reading them and really enjoying the stories. When pressed to tell someone which is my favorite, I normally smile and say, “The one I’ve just finished writing,” because that’s the one that’s freshest in my mind, the one I’ve just “lived.”

FF: Catherine, that’s exactly what I say to people who ask me that stupid question. I am impressed by your list of awards won. It is clear that the quality of your writing is appreciated and valued. Again, I’ll be different, and would like to hear about your reaction to the FIRST important award or contest win you’d achieved.

Catherine: I treasure each award and they are all hanging on my walls at home. The first award I won was Third Place in the Silver Heart Contest for SILK DREAMS AND SATIN LIES when it was unpublished. It was validation that I was actually an author. I cried. I cried again months later when FEATHER ON THE WIND finaled in the unpublished portion of the Orange Rose Contest. This year has been particularly wonderful for me and I feel very blessed since I started receiving recognition as a published author. The first major recognition was learning I was a double finalist in the EPPIE Contest. On the heels of that, I received recognition in other major awards. As I said, it’s been a marvelous year and I’m grateful for all the recognition.

FF: And now that you expect me to be different, I’ll ask an obvious question: say something about your latest book.

Catherine: My latest release is ICE PRINCESS. This is the second in a series of military romantic suspense books co-written with Bryndis Rubin. ALWAYS FAITHFUL was released in October; JUDGING ELLIE will be out in January. All are set in my hometown on the military base where I work. In fact, they are set in my office. In ICE PRINCESS, the hero and heroine must solve a murder. Here’s a little blurb about it. Zach Taylor and Claudia Stuart have been at odds with each other for five years, a feud that masks the desire each truly feels. After a night of wine and gambling, they wake to find themselves married to each other. Disgust turns to a partnership when they discover they must use their marriage as a front to find a killer. Forced into close companionship, can passion tear down the wall between them before a power-hungry madman kills them both?

FF: I would like to find out a little about the favorite character you have created. Who is this person, which book is she in, and are you still friends?

Catherine: If I have to pick a character, I think I’d pick Aida from ANOTHER CHANCE, ANOTHER TIME. The reasons are a little complex. This book is a reincarnation romance. Years ago I read about an archaeological site in the Mediterranean, Kourion. Archaeologists had uncovered a man, woman, and child who had been crushed beneath a block of stone during the earthquake that destroyed the village. The woman is cradling the child, the man is trying to protect them both — his arms and legs are draped over them. I knew I wanted to write a story for that couple so they could live happily ever after. ANOTHER CHANCE, ANOTHER TIME is for them. The second chapter of the book is devoted to their life there. It is factual as far as archaeological evidence is concerned. Naturally, the human aspect is my fiction. But I’m very proud of that chapter. So while Aida isn’t necessarily the heroine of the book, she was the heroine in that life.

FF: What do you do when you are not writing?

Catherine: I have a full-time job. I’m a Paralegal specializing in tax law and manage the Tax Office on the military base where I live. People always ask if I’m military. No. I’m a Civil Service employee working under the legal office (JAG).

FF: Have you ever been struck by the dreaded writer’s block? And how did you recover from this bruising experience?

Catherine: Oh, yes. How do I deal with it? Someone once told me she believed we often can’t write the next words because we haven’t experienced what we need to write those words. I thought that was interesting. I try not to force it. I try not to think about all the projects I’ve got lined up or I’ll freak out. I’ll write in my journal, watch a movie, do cross-stitch, go for a walk, read a book. I simply try to fill the well and trust that the words will come.

FF: You are a member of EPIC and a number of other writers’ organizations. Do you find membership helpful to you? What are the benefits, and the disadvantages if any.

Catherine: Membership in these organizations is definitely beneficial. Writers need to be with their own kind. Who else is going to understand what we go through? I’ve learned so much over the years about this business. I’ve made some wonderful friends. And I sure don’t mind sharing knowledge that I’ve gathered through the years. But there can be disadvantages if one allows it. I try very hard not to be drawn into the politics of an organization. I try to stay focused on my writing goals. Now, some people enjoy that and that’s fine for them. It’s just not good for me. My goals are more important. If I ever hope to make those goals, I must stay on track.

FF: What have been the experiences that helped to improve and sharpen your ability as a writer?

Catherine: I’d have to say watching and listening to other authors. Playing attention to what works and what does not for them. Learning not to stress over things over which I have no control. Learning that it’s not carved in stone and there isn’t anything an edit won’t fix. Meeting other authors and counting them as friends helps tremendously.

FF: And finally, what are you working on at the moment?

Catherine:Right now I’m working on two romantic suspense books scheduled for 2004 release with Amber Quill Press. I just finished a submission for Ellora’s Cave. I’m obligated for two historicals in my Foggy Nights Series for Amber Quill Press and four historicals in my Texas Brides Series for LTDBooks. I also am waiting to hear back on a double submission from Five Star. So it’s busy, busy, busy in my house.

Thank you Catherine for sharing your thoughts with us. Readers can find out more about Catherine and her work on her website at: http://www.catherinesnodgrass.com/index.html.End

Copyright © 2002 by Dr Bob Rich

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