I'm delighted to welcome fellow paranormal author Cate Maters to my blog today.
Hi Cate - I kow lots of readers would love you to tell us a little more about yourself - and is there something that most people don’t know about you?
CM Hi Lyn! Thanks so much for having me on your lovely blog. Hm, tough question. I feel as if I’ve already bored everyone with details of my life. Let me try to spice it up. ;) Thirty-seven years ago, I married a Wild Man and tamed him into a wonderful husband, father and now grandfather to three Wild Boys, lol. Along with my son, we’ve been raising the older two for the past three and a half years. I never thought I’d have baby brain in middle age, but I do. And I need a nap!
HL Lol, I can certainly relate to that one Cate - the 'baby brain' I mean, the older I get the younger my brain seems to get LOL! Tell us about your latest release and what was your favourite part of writing this book/series?
CM My mythology-based paranormal/fantasy, Goddess, Awakened is the first in The Goddess Connection series. I love the idea that every woman should embrace her talents, quirks and flaws – everything that makes her uniquely her – and nurture themselves from a place of acceptance and love. In Goddess, Awakened, the heroine, Joss, must begin her life over after her husband dies. Her family has its own unique quirks, one of them being they’re descended from the goddess Iris. Joss purchases an old bed and breakfast, not knowing it sits atop powerful ley lines, or that those in the Underworld would not take kindly to her living there! It’s a very fun mix of paranormal, fantasy and contemporary with some mythological figures playing some fun roles too.
HL Oh it sounds wonderful Cate - and very inspiring! Now, I 'm always interested in what other authors do for fun when not writing - can you share something with the readers?
CM I love to take photos -- of my grandboys (they grow too fast!), our local landscapes, my dog Lily, or whatever strikes my fancy, and I post many of these on my FB page (though never the kids, unless their faces are obscured). My pile of TBR books keeps growing and I winnow them down little by little, but spare time’s fleeting.
HL Again I can relate to the books TBR *Sigh* sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get to the end of the pile. So many books, so little time! In your own books, what comes first: the plot or the characters?
CM Depends on the book. Sometimes an inkling of a story line will come to me, sometimes a character will step out of the shadows and introduce him/herself to me. In one lucky instance, the title popped into my head of its own accord and I began writing Death Is A Bitch.
HL Oh isn't it great when that happens, ! Tell us about your latest release and what you think readers will enjoy about it.
CM The heroine of Goddess, Awakened is in her forties, not your typical leading lady but a very interesting one! All the female characters are very strong and feisty. Grandmothers play an important part in each of these books (so far; I just finished the second), and Joss’ Gram helps lead her back to her familial ties to the fae.
The hero, Eric Hendricks, is also widowed, and shuts out the world by focusing on his veterinary patients. Many of the animals in this book represent my own beloved pets – Taz the border collie/lab is a mix of my childhood dog Tippy, who lost his leg after a car accident, and our border collie/lab who died unexpectedly. Now he can roam the fields again with our old horse Triple Power, who’s also in the book. Some of the other horses mentioned were once in the same stable as ours.
HL Oh that sounds like an amazing read - yet another one to be added to the pile! I also include my animals in my books, as you say, it's a way for them to live on I hadn't realised you were a fellow horse lover too! Getting back to the book, if someone were to play one of your characters in a movie, which character and actor would it be and why?
CM Love this question! I already have this worked out for most of the characters in Goddess, Awakened (as you already know, lol) Diane Lane is my heroine, Joss Gibson, and Josh Brolin is Eric Hendricks, the hero. You can find a peek at the full cast on my blog:
HL Oh what an amazing cast list! What have you learned about writing since you were published that surprised you the most?
CM How wonderfully supportive the writing community is. I love how helpful other authors are, whether answering questions for a newbie, or spreading word about other writers’ books, or just there to pat your back when you need support. Friends like you are worth your weight in gold. :)
HL Aw, what a lovely thing to say - and I have to agree - I've found exactly the same thing, The support of all my friends and fellow authors means so much to me too. And do you have a support system? Do you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?
CM Yes, absolutely, I couldn’t get by without them, whether local writer friends or online friends. My crit group celebrated its tenth anniversary, and we cheer each other on through thin. They’ve all taught me the importance of giving back, of lending a hand when needed and especially, supportive ear (or shoulder to cry on).
CM Love this question. It’s one all artists should ask of themselves before starting down this road, because with all its related hardships, it can be such a difficult path to stay on. Although I would love to be on all the bestseller lists and see my books made into blockbuster films, the writing is what’s most important to me. Being able to do what I love best is a blessing, made all the sweeter when readers enjoy my stories.
CM A wild horse roaming the plains. If I could also be a mythical creature, then Pegasus. How cool would that be to be a horse *and* fly too?
The sting remained with Joss long after Eric fled the inn. Deep-rooted pain emanated from him when he’d first entered, and his palm against her arm sent an electric shock straight to her bones. The poor man. Grief kept him its prisoner. Joss understood how easy it was to fall into that dark trap. The way he’d held her, he sought escape. Comfort. He awakened deep-seated sensations in her. In the few moments with him, she’d felt more alive than she had in three years.
So strange. Normally, one look allowed her to see the person inside. With Eric Hendricks, her receptivity went into overload. His soul, pent up for years, stirred to life and churned up love, fear, joy, hopelessness, yearning, jumbled and shifting faster than light. He displayed great strength in his firm stance and gentle touch. Beneath a hard veneer of sheer pain, one other trait came through clearly—purity of spirit, and integrity enough for many men.
The arrival of more guests drew Joss to the foyer again. Another matronly witch and an older man wearing a checked flannel shirt, jeans, and boots stepped inside, followed by a princess and a boy in a fabric turtle shell.
Joss recognized the girl as one of the riders whose horse was boarded at the inn’s stable. After greeting them and pointing them toward refreshments, she returned to Lydia. “Sorry about Dr. Hendricks.”
“Don’t apologize. It’s wonderful you have so many guests.” Lydia fingered the flowers in the vase on the table.
One woman stood in the archway to the front room, her bright-eyed glare directed at Joss. Wearing a short white shift adorned with large red hearts, the woman held a wand topped with a glittering red heart.
Confused by the woman’s malevolence, Joss approached and fought to overcome the negativity oozing from her. “Did you try some of the booscotti?”
The woman tilted up her chin. “I’m not hungry, Mrs. Gibson,” came her familiar nasal reply.
Recognition finally hit. Of course—the girl who worked at the diner in town. “Sheree?”
At her curt nod, Joss forced a smile. “I love your costume.”
Sheree’s gaze darted her length. “Likewise.”
What could be her problem? The woman wielded her wand like a weapon, ready to strike. “Please have a drink and make yourself at home.”
“Thank you.” Her narrowed eyes swept the room as if suspecting an ambush, and then she moved stiffly away.
Joss crossed the room to Lydia. “That was weird.”
Lydia whispered, “Be careful of her.”
“Sheree? I can’t imagine why.” Could she be nervous the inn would take away some of the diner’s business? Though Joss would have liked to think it was the cause of her strange behavior, Sheree’s vibes told Joss otherwise. Business had nothing to do with it. The waitress directed her bad juju at Joss personally. Had Joss unintentionally insulted Sheree? She’d barely met the woman.
Leaning close, her aunt spoke sternly, “I warned you to watch for others who seek the power of this place.”
Sheree? Her aunt must be mistaken. The woman’s terrible attitude resulted from something. Maybe an imagined slight? Joss would find a way to put Sheree at ease.
More guests entered, and Joss excused herself. She left Lydia deeply inhaling the air. Joss couldn’t deny the charged atmosphere was one of the reasons she’d bought the place. Not to tap into any lines of power for herself, but maybe to enhance the lavender field she planned. Joss needed the garden to thrive so the inn would as well.