Monday, 2 March 2015

Coming Out of the (Writing) Closet

My heart was pounding. I felt slightly nauseous. Even sweating a little. This was Big News. I was about to finally confirm my chosen career in life. Yes, it had taken a while. At almost 30 years old you would think I had it sorted. But, life never quite works out the way you expect. I had been naïve, ill-advised, distracted by other activities, and generally lacking in confidence enough to do what I really wanted. Eventually, I went for it. I started writing. And once I started for real, I mean being a serious, active, doing it writer, I knew this was the start of a beautiful journey.

My first task was to convince my husband that I should give up my full time paid job, take on a part time job closer to home, and spend my free time writing to develop my career. That took a lot of courage actually, especially since we were planning a wedding at the time and were very busy with time-consuming, and expensive, tasks. We had taken on a mortgage for our first home. The house needed (and still does need) a lot of repair work. It’s a very old house. But that was all inconsequential. I had released the demon, so to speak, and the demon was demanding that I be a writer.


My parents knew that I enjoyed writing. They knew I was an avid reader. It was my mother who introduced me to the library from a young age, and continued to encourage my creativity as I grew older. I excelled at English and creative writing classes in school. I chose to do a degree in Media Studies at university. Everything was intended to see me follow through into a creative writing career. But, as I mentioned, I got distracted. And I never quite had the guts to write a story that I would actually show to people, one that could be published and released into the public domain.

It had to happen eventually. Something clicked, I did a lot of soul searching and spiritual work, and finally I decided to go for it. I submitted my first short story to a competition for an anthology. It was accepted. I submitted a story to another anthology. That publisher came back and asked if I had any other stories to publish. They soon helped me to bring Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) out into the world, followed soon after by its sequels, Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel) and Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel).



Even now, with four published novels behind me, and several short stories around and about, I struggle with the concept of calling myself a writer. Well, I did. I don’t any more. It took me a while to accept that I wouldn't necessarily earn millions of pounds in royalties overnight. Authors had always been these mysterious, elevated entities that existed in a world of which I could never be accepted. Well, now I am there. I am an author. And for those of you reading this who are struggling with the demand for your writing and your ‘day job’ I say this: Be proud of who you are. Believe in your stories. They are important. And they will be told, to the right people, at the right time. Have a lovely week!

Friday, 27 February 2015

You Can Find Me in the Bookshop #amreading

What does a writer do on her day off? Go to the bookshop of course! At the weekend I decided to take a break from the children, so I hijacked the car, left my husband in charge at home, and collected my friend and fellow book lover for a day out at our favourite local craft and antique centre. And there, we lost ourselves among the stacks… it had to be done!


I love the smell of old books. I love the texture of their covers. And while my dry eyes struggle to cope, I even love that dusty, musty atmosphere of a second hand bookshop. It is unique. It is special. It is home. I found myself wandering alongside the bookshelves dragging my fingers across the spines, just to get a fix of their energy and power. You all know what I mean!


My favourite local bookshop is called Booklore, and is hidden away in the arcade at Dagfields Crafts and Antiques near Nantwich in Cheshire. Where is your favourite local bookshop? Tell me about it, and share your story of bookish love…

Monday, 23 February 2015

I’m Still Here! Author at Work #amwriting


Hello my friends, and how are you today? You may have wondered why I fell silent over here on the Catherine Green Author blog. Well, I will tell you. I have been very busy. Not only am I powering ahead with my business plan, setting my intentions for 2015 and beyond (thank you, Leonie Dawson!), I am mothering and nurturing my young family at home. And, most importantly for the purposes of our conversation, I am beavering away on the latest installment of the Redcliffe novels series.


Before you get too excited, remember that I am still only writing the first draft of my fourth Redcliffe novel. Eye of the Tiger has taken a lot longer to write than any of the previous books that I published. I think the reason might have something to do with my nineteen month old daughter… and her four year old sister… and the dog… and the husband… and the house… you get the picture. But I never gave up. Despite the sleepless nights, the almost constant breastfeeding, and the demands of my family, my Redcliffe characters waited patiently in the background until I could return to them.


And now they are losing patience. The story has been too long in coming, and the Mason brothers are getting restless. That is never a good sign! When you take the cool, calculating power of the vampire, and his hot-headed, impulsive alpha werewolf brother, you know there will be trouble in their little Cornish town. Poor old Jessica has got it bad. She really fell in with the wrong crowd. Now she is in love with a vampire and a werewolf, and they alternately use her and abuse her for the power that she holds as a witch. Tough times, filled with passion, intensity and action.

See you later!


*Vision Board from personal archive; Witch image courtesy of Deviant Art

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Love Hurts; Love Kills; Love Redeems - Happy Valentine's Day! #amreading

I never understood the concept of being in love.  It always seems like such a big deal and yet everywhere you look you see people getting their hearts broken, scorned women and cheating men.  Practically every TV show, film or novel has some sort of love theme running through it.  People thrive on relationships; they chase each other for romance, for excitement, or simply to be together.  They argue, fight, make up, and break up. I have seen a lot of people hurt by love and then I have seen a few people who are happy with it.  The whole subject confuses me, it frightens me, and because I don’t understand it, I don’t miss it and I certainly don’t chase it.

  

Don’t get me wrong; love must be worth fighting for because everyone always seems to be chasing it.  But not me.  No, I decided after my parents died and my family abandoned me that I would look after number one before anyone else.  Then I met Liz and developed love of a different kind, love for my best friend, my sister.  I made an exception and vowed to always protect her no matter what.  But when it came to men, not a chance.  I wasn’t interested.  I didn’t need romance, and I didn’t need a relationship.


  Then I met Jack Mason and his brother Danny.  All of my carefully built defences came crashing down around me.  Love is dangerous and painful.  Love is confusing and exhausting.  Love will get you killed.  Yet despite everything I find myself going back for more, unable to break free of this trap.  My life was normal and happy and successful before I met the Mason brothers.  Then they showed me what I had been lacking and what I needed to truly be fulfilled.  So let me tell you the story, about a picturesque seaside town in South Western England, and the secrets of its seemingly innocent inhabitants…

***You can now purchase Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) for just £0.99 on Kindle!*** 
The Redcliffe Novels are widely available in both paperback and ebook formats.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

How Writing about Vampires Actually Reflects my Life

It’s true! Sounds daft, doesn’t it? I mean, vampires don’t really exist… do they? Of course they do. We have the so-called lifestyle vampires; people who dress in gothic clothing, file their teeth into fangs, and even drink blood. That is not me. I am just your average, red-haired, glasses-wearing housewife. You can usually see me sporting jeans, t-shirts and jumpers. I do like to dress up, and I adore gothic clothing, but it just isn’t practical for my lifestyle at the moment. I mean, think about it: if I floated about in fancy dresses with long, floaty sleeves, I would be forever washing my clothes after they got in the way of cleaning the children and changing nappies. And then there is the challenge of breastfeeding in certain clothes.


But that leads me into the reason behind my title. I write about vampires, witches and werewolves (and other magical creatures). I have always been fascinated by the supernatural world. And yes, I see the link between these creatures and the people in my life. For example, I am surrounded by vampires. My baby daughter, as she feeds from my breast, is a vampire, sucking my essence so that she may live. But this is a wonderful, beautiful process, and perfectly natural. My husband is an energy vampire. He leaves me alone with the children for most of the week while he goes out to work full time. He expects me to provide emotional and practical support for him, while also providing full care for our children. Who looks after me? Who gives me the care I need?


And then there are all the other people around me who represent the good and bad qualities of the creatures that I am so in love with. Vampires to me are sexual, alluring beings. That is part of their magical charm. They use sex as a tool for hunting. And they do it in a very beautiful, fantastic way. I will be honest here; my husband and I enjoy a fun and passionate sex life. That is the best part of our relationship. In a way I am also a vampire. I use other people for support in all kinds of ways. Mainly I rely on my friends to listen when I complain about never having time to myself, or being so tired I can’t think straight, or simply complaining about the lack of romance in my life. We are all energy vampires. We feed from each other constantly. The only difference in my stories, is that the creatures I write about act on their urges physically. They are passionate, dramatic, romantic and dangerous. And that is a most exhilarating fantasy to keep me happy!

* You Should Be Writing image courtesy of Pinterest 

Monday, 9 February 2015

Back to Basics with my Writing Process #ASMSG

When it comes to writing my stories, I have always used the computer for the whole process. I love notebooks, and I have a growing collection littering the house. I use these to jot down snippets of conversation, inspiring lines from songs, and ideas for new stories as and when they hit me. But the actual writing, of paragraphs, scenes and descriptions, is all done on my computer. I had thought that this made sense because it was quicker and easier. And that is true. But there is a certain charm to using good old fashioned pen and paper.


Last night I was reading the February edition of Writing Magazine. I am once again way behind on my reading of this publication, mainly because I am so busy being distracted by the children and my domestic responsibilities. And reading books. And surfing the social networks. OK, I procrastinate. I am a writer. It’s what we do. Back to the story. I saw an advert for one of the monthly short story competitions, and an idea came to me of what I should write. But the deadline is in three days, and I only had today to get it submitted, because of the aforementioned distractions. So, I decided to do something different.


I surprised my husband by going to bed at the same time as him for once. But I also took my magazine, my notebook and a pen. I left the computer switched off and out of the way. My toddler chose that exact time to wake up crying, but after a slight delay of around forty minutes, I was good to go. I tucked myself up in bed, propped the notebook on my knee, and started writing. It felt wonderful! Such an exhilarating and freeing experience. I wrote about half of the story before I got tired, and then I typed it up and finished it this morning after the school run. I am so proud of myself! In fact, I plan to do the same again, with another story competition. The notebook is brand new and ready for use. And so am I.


Do you prefer to write your stories on paper before you type them up? Or are you a computer advocate all the way? Please, do share your experience. We writers are a fascinating bunch when you think about it…