Today’s featured debut author is Cathleen Holst, a thirtysomething wife, mother of three amazing children and writer, as her Twitter bio states. Sounds suspiciously like me, everything except the “thirty” part, of course. :)
Name: Cathleen Holst
Name of book: Everleigh in NYC
Book genre: Women’s Fiction (Comedy, Chick lit)
Date Published: November 2010
Publisher: Scéal Books, an imprint of Canonbridge, LLC.
What is your book about? Basically, it’s about a young woman who dreams of life and love in the big city, but quickly discovers her dreams have something completely different in mind for her, starting with the ability to read the mind of her handsome new boss.
Most challenging part of the writing process: Well, since I’m a ‘pantser’ the hardest part for me was hitting my word count goal on a daily basis, which was at least a thousand words a day. Some days I blew it out of the water, others I struggled to even hit a hundred. Those made for very frustrating days.
What motivates you to write? The whole creative process. I love getting to know my characters. For me, that’s the best part. It’s like giving birth, you know? Only without the pain. Well, I suppose it can be painful sometimes, just a different kind of pain.
Did you experience writer’s block? Oh, God, yes. There were days when I wanted to do anything, ANYTHING, other than write. The words just weren’t there. I overcame it slowly. I still wrote. Every day, I squeaked out something. I had to. If I didn’t, the book never would’ve been finished, and I’d still be watching mindless television.
How long did it take you to write this book? Seven months.
What was your favorite aspect of the writing process for this book? Since I never plot anything, ever, my favorite aspect would be the surprises I find along the way. Characters never cease to amaze me when they do something I initially never expected them to do, although it can become frustrating. Even though I don’t plot, I still have a general idea of the way things will play out, so when characters refuse to do what I want them to do, the process usually grinds to a halt. But only briefly.
How difficult was it to find a publisher? My journey to publication with this book happened rather unconventionally, to say the least. I’ll spare you the long story, but what I will say is —never under estimate the value of networking.
What is the biggest misconception about writing a book? That anyone can do it. Seriously, writing a book is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. It’s a lot of hard work, and it doesn’t end with the words “The End.” Oh, and probably that you’ll be rich once it’s published. I’m not holding my breath on that one, but I am dreaming.
Do you plan to do this again? Oh, absolutely. I couldn’t imagine not doing it.
Oprah has famously said that there is no such thing as luck, without preparation and a moment of opportunity. Would you agree or disagree with regard to your own success as a writer? I love Oprah. And I couldn’t agree more with that statement. I was in the right place at the right time when my window of opportunity opened. I saw it, took a chance and hoped for the best. It paid off.