The Story Behind My Blog's Title

The Story Behind My Blog's Title
Why is my blog named "My Father's Oldsmobile"? Click on the car and find out.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Author Interview: Cathy Bryant

Over the past few years, I've had the privilege to watch a number of writers, similar to myself, as they've journeyed into this career. I've shared in their struggles and rejoiced in their triumphs -- especially when one makes that joyous announcement, "I'm going to be published!" Doesn't matter if it's a short story, an article, self-published or traditional; those five little words represent the achievement of a long sought-after goal. And for those of us in this business, we understand how much effort that involves. Today I'm delighted to welcome Cathy Bryant. I've always been drawn by Cathy's sincerity, warmth and kindness, and now I get to congratulate her on the publication of her first novel, Texas Roads.

Shawna: Cathy, would you please tell us a little about yourself?

Cathy: Hmmm, not a real interesting subject, but I’ll give it my best shot! =) I’m a Texas gal by birth and by choice. I’m a wife to the love of my life, mom to two awesome sons and a beautiful daughter-in-love, and a new Nana to my three-month-old grandson. (Wanna see my pics?) =)

Shawna: When did you first become interested in writing?

Cathy: I have to attribute my love of writing to reading great books. I was an early and avid reader, and it just seemed like a natural progression for me to make the leap into writing. I started writing stories in elementary school, then in high school entered and won several writing contests. My job during high school was at the town newspaper, working for a gruff but loveable editor who encouraged me to write articles about school events.
When my children were little, I tried several times to write a novel, but always ended up stashing it away. When the empty-nest phase hit, I went through a series of life events in which God basically told me, “Time’s a-wastin’. Get busy.” I did, and I am! =)

Shawna: What genre do you prefer writing/reading?

Cathy: I definitely like to write the same type of books I enjoy reading. I love romantic comedy that tugs at your heart, and I think that comes across in my writing. I also enjoy a dark women’s fiction novel every once in a while, and have a few book ideas simmering in the back of my mind in that genre. Biblical fiction is also an area I’d like to explore someday.

Shawna: How do you approach a new project? Do you research and plot before you write? Or do you have a general idea and just go to it and see where it leads?

Cathy: I probably spend just as much time (or more!) preparing to write a novel as I do actually writing the story. Since I write contemporary novels, there’s not too much historical research that has to be done. Research is more a matter of knowing the location and the lifestyles of the people I’m writing about.

I have to know where the story is going to take me ahead of time. I liken it to setting out on a really long trip. I want to know the exact route, so I’ll know how to pack and how long the trip will take. It’s the same way with my story. I want to understand what’s happening at the beginning, where it will lead in the middle, and what the outcome will be. This would drive a lot of writers nuts, but it would drive me nuts not to know. Besides, trip or story, I don’t want to get lost!

Shawna: Tell us about your new book, Texas Roads?

Cathy: Texas Roads is a contemporary love story about a disillusioned widow’s search for home. The heroine, Dani, is a wealthy city-slicker, but inside she’s empty and dry. She visits an aunt she’s never really known in the back roads Texas town of Miller’s Creek. Captivated by the town’s quaint charm, business potential, and quirky residents, Dani thinks she’s found the perfect place to start over—except for the cowboy who gives her a ride into town...
Dani secretly finances renovations to the town, but malicious rumors force her to choose between keeping her involvement a secret and the home for which she’s always longed.

Steve Miller, the cowboy-mayor of Miller’s Creek is determined to save his dying hometown. When vandals threaten the town restoration project, he can’t help but suspect Dani, whose strange behavior has become fodder for the local gossips.

You’ll have to read the story to see if they can overcome their differences for a higher cause, and to see if Dani finds home. ;-)

Shawna: What inspired you to write this?

Cathy: The theme of the story really came from my own desire to put down roots. For several years, my family and I moved from one small Texas town to another. Just about the time we’d start to feel like we’d found home, God would move us somewhere else. Through the process, He helped me realize that home isn’t a place, but a person. Jesus. Nothing else will ever satisfy that home-sized hole in our hearts.

Shawna: Tell us a little about the characters. What endears them to you?

Cathy: I’m a visual person, so I based Dani’s character on Reese Witherspoon--petite and bubbly on the surface, but on the inside, hurting and seeking. She has all the outer trappings of success, but her life has been full of personal tragedy. Dani’s longing to belong, to find connections and home is what endears her to me. My heart grieves for her.

Steve Miller is a hunky cowboy with marshmallow filling. He struggles with forgiving himself over something that happened in his past, and with entrusting his heart to a woman—convinced he’ll never find the quality of woman he’s looking for. The main thing that endears me to Steve is his desire to help the town and its people, and his heart for God.

And I have to mention Mama Beth, the mother figure of Miller’s Creek and Dani’s aunt. Full of wit and wisdom, this nurturing woman is hiding a very dark secret.

I also should point out a cast of colorful secondary characters who are the townspeople. I want people to read the story and say, “I know someone just like that!” =)

Shawna: What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing?

Cathy: Great question! First and foremost, I want to touch people’s heart with the truth of God. I want my struggle and spiritual growth to be a source of healing and learning for them. Truthfully if one person is touched and moved closer to God as a result of my writing, then the hours of hard labor, sweat and tears will be worth it to me.

I also hope to give them a brief escape from the pressures and problems of living in this fallen world, and to make them smile and laugh. I want them to get lost in Miller’s Creek, and feel like they’ve arrived in a place that’s vaguely familiar.

Shawna: Any ideas for future projects?

Cathy: Oh my, yes! I’m currently in the middle of my first draft of a second book in the Miller’s Creek, Texas series, tentatively titled A Path Too Narrow. I’m keeping the symbolism of journey in all the books in this series—Texas ROADS, A PATH Too Narrow, and The WAY of Grace. The second book will use Steve’s sister, Trish, as the heroine, and Dani’s attorney, Andy, as the hero.

Shawna: Other than your book, which I'm certainly looking forward to reading, do you have any recommendations you'd like to pass along?

Cathy: I’m a book lover, and I’ve read some AMAZING books in the past year. I’ll have to narrow it down or we’ll be here all day. My favorites for 2009 were The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner, Talking To the Dead by Bonnie Grove, and June Bug by Chris Fabry. I’m also a HUGE fan of any book Susan May Warren writes. Her PJ Sugar books and The Great Christmas Bowl kept me laughing and smiling for days!

Thanks so much for this opportunity, Shawna! I really enjoyed it! =)

Shawna: Thank you, Cathy! Congratulations, and God bless. It's been a pleasure.

Cathy is giving away an ebook copy of Texas Roads. leave a comment to enter the drawing. I'll announce the winner on Thursday morning.
Thanks again, Cathy.

For more on Cathy Bryant and Texas Roads, check out these links:

To purchase
A portion of the proceeds from this book are going to Buckner International.


  1. Great interview, Shawna. Cathy, it sounds like a great ride ;)
    I left my heart in Texas, so I hope to pick up this one ;)

  2. Thanks KM. Hope you make it back to Texas to get your heart! ;)

    Shawna, thanks so much for the interview. I had a blast doing it! (Looking forward to meeting you!) =)

  3. I love the reason you write. I love to find books with great spiritual themes in them. Great interview. Please enter me. (This can be downloaded on my PC through PDF???)
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  4. It's great to see some nice exposure to your work, Cathy. It's a great story--too nice to keep out of reader's hands. Nice interview, too, and thanks for inviting me!

  5. Thanks, Carmen. Yes, the book can be downloaded on your PC with a PDF file. Amazon also has a free Kindle app that you can download to your PC if you want to do that. In that case, you would want the .mobi file download. Either way, you can read TEXAS ROADS on your computer! =)

    Thanks so much, Lisa. I appreciate your kind words more than you know! =)

  6. For anyone with an iphone, Kindle has a free app for it too. My neice uses this, and I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable it made reading. Kindle is also working on an app for Blackberry, but I don't think it's available yet.

    Cathy, I'm really looking forward to meeting you. When you guys stop to stretch your legs, do you have any favorite spot in town?

  7. Shawna, we stop at the Wendy's/Exxon/Baskin Robbins. (Can you tell I have a constant craving for ice cream? LOL!)

  8. You don't need to enter me in the drawing, because I've already got it. I just wanted to say that Cathy met her goal: "First and foremost, I want to touch people’s heart with the truth of God. I want my struggle and spiritual growth to be a source of healing and learning for them. Truthfully if one person is touched and moved closer to God as a result of my writing, then the hours of hard labor, sweat and tears will be worth it to me." She touched me and brought healing to me. And she also made me laugh!

    It's really a great book!

  9. I enjoyed the interview. The book sounds great. I like books about Texas.I hope you sell tons of books. Doylene

  10. Thanks, Valita. I feel incredibly blessed (& humbled!) by your words!

    Doylene, thanks for your kind words! =)

  11. Great interview.This book sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

  12. Yep, our Wendy's/Exxon/Baskin Robbins. Gotta love small towns. We're appreciative of small luxuries. My favorite is our two-screen theater. It's the old style, long and narrow. The walls are covered in corrugated tin, and the projector has a tendency to jump off the screen and split the movie between the screen and the wall. But we used to live in a small town in Texas where there was no theater; and if you wanted to see a movie you either had to drive to a neighboring town an hour away, or wait until it came out on video, so I adore our little theater and think it's just perfect. And they're really good about getting current releases as quick as they can.

  13. Great interview. Please enter me in the giveaway.



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