JS: Welcome Cate. I was reading your media kit and was quite impressed with how you immerse yourself in your research. Tell us a bit about yourself that readers might not know.
CD: I am a huge history buff, and I love castles. That takes me over to England on a regular basis, hunting castles I haven't seen yet, and visiting old favorites. I travel on my own, and while hunting down those castles, I have met some fascinating people, and had great adventures. I am also an avid photographer, and part of the joy of travel is capturing those moments in time. I also love to cook, and spend time with my four too-smart-for-their-own-good nephews.
JS: What made you decide to become a writer?
CD: To get the stories out of my head! Seriously, I have been making up stories since I can remember. I've taken some side roads, but I always come back to my writing. This time for good.
JS: What do you write and what made you decide to go with that genre?
CD: I write fantasy - both adult and YA - and paranormal. I grew up reading fantasy, and I love the spooky. Writing in these genres is like going to a job I love - all play and no work.
JS: Where do you get your story ideas?
CD: That is always tough for me to answer. It only takes one thing - a castle ruin in North East England gave me the idea for my novella, When Walls Can Talk - and the story just seems to build itself in my head. sometimes it takes a few weeks before it's ready, sometimes just a few days. My novel, Rest For The Wicked, was like a lightning bolt - I couldn't write fast enough. I have been making up stories in my head since I was very young - it was a game, and has turned into my method for story creation.
JS: Where do you get your characters?
CD: They pop in with the story - most of the them. some I add in when necessary - usually minor characters. and sometimes there are one or two that just show up for the party!
JS: How do you name your characters?
CD: I let the character hang out on the page for a while, then a name usually pops out at me. Other times, the name is just there, with the idea. I don't have lists of names - I am not that organized - but I do avoid using the same name in different books.
JS: What type of hero/heroine do you like best?
CD: One I can identify with - they have to be real, even if they aren't quite human. Flaws make a hero or heroine memorable, and if they have to overcome those flaws in order to be the hero, then I love them.
JS: Tell us a typical day in your life as a writer.
CD: I am either writing, editing, or outlining something. I also do my share of beta reading for other writers, so add that in. And I also read - loads of reading. I am a prolific writer, and I have an ambitious publishing schedule for the next couple of years, so every day is a working day for me. Friends know that if I'm staring into space, I'm working out some kind of plot.
JS: If you could hang out with one of your characters for a week, who would it be? Why? What would you do?
CD: It would be Annie, from Rest For The Wicked. She's a free spirit, has a wicked sense of humor - and we would hang out at the beach, spend a day at Disneyland (yes, I grew up in Orange County), have long talks over tea at Starbucks, and have a blast the entire time.
JS: Do you have to be alone to write?
CD: Nope - in fact, I do a good portion of my writing at the cafe in my local bookstore. When I am at home, I need background noise, either the TV or music. It comes from years of writing in public places - I'm great at tuning out. Especially when I'm in the zone, and time just slips past me.
JS: Anything else you'd like to tell us?
CD: First, I want to thank you for having me here today, Jamie. It was great fun to hang out and answer your questions. I would love for your readers to checkout my website (listed below). I am in the middle of a blog tour for Rest For The Wicked, and the schedule is on my site. It would be great fun to have some of your readers join in along the way - I will be hanging out each day at the blog, to answer questions. They can also hangout with me on Facebook and Twitter. I enjoy meeting new people, and being an author has allowed me to meet fascinating, smart, friendly people from all over the world.
JS: Thanks so much Cate. I look forward to you coming back with Book 2 of The Claire Wiche Chronicles. Here's an excerpt from Rest For The Wicked. . .
Claire Wiche is an ordinary woman, running her Wicca shop, The Wiche’s Broom, in an ordinary California beach town.
But Claire wasn’t always ordinary, and she isn’t quite human. She hides a secret, and a past she thought she had put behind her.
A past that is about to explode into her present.
When it does, and everyone she loves is in danger, Claire must face up to her past – and become what she left behind in order to save them.
Claire Wiche guided her unhappy customer through her shop, one arm around the woman’s hunched shoulders.
“You know I don’t do love spells, Mildred.”
“But I know if he could see me, really see me, he’d fall desperately in—”
“Would it be real, if he’s under an enchantment?”
Mildred pouted, not a pretty sight on an eighty-year-old woman. “What happened to the customer is always right?”
Biting her lip on a smile, Claire walked her through the open door.
“Never been my policy. And I have good reasons for that.” She rubbed the old woman’s arm. “You go on home now. I’ll phone you when my new shipment of crystals shows up.”
Leaning against the narrow porch post, Claire watched her toddle down the sidewalk, sunlight bouncing off the thin silver poodle curls. The morning gloom had burned off early, and it looked like the start of another beautiful day.
She crossed her arms, cold despite the sweater she slipped on earlier. It took longer to warm up lately, a fact she did her best to ignore.
“Are you cold again, Claire? It’s got to be at least 80 in the store.”
Unless, of course, a well-meaning friend shoved it in her face.
She turned around, forced a smile. “Is it, Annie? I must have forgotten to turn it down this morning.”
“How could you not notice? The candles are sweating.” Annie Sullivan—the lively, no-holds-barred friend Claire never expected to have in her life—stepped across the small porch that ran along the front of the shop, her almost six foot height topping Claire by a good ten inches. She caught one hand before Claire could shove them in her pockets. “You’re like ice. Again.” She looked down at Claire, concern in her warm brown eyes. “And you’re avoiding. Again.”
With a sigh, Claire squeezed her hand before easing out of it. The warmth in Annie’s fingers made her skin tingle, yearn.
“Time to turn that heat down before the candles become a puddle.”
Annie followed her back inside, hovering while she adjusted the thermostat to a more reasonable temperature. She would need a heavier sweater.
“Come on,” Annie said, hands on her hips. “Give.”
Shaking her head, Claire smiled, a real smile this time. “Would I’m just cold and tired do it for you?”
“Hardly.” Annie stood in front of the counter, looking like a golden Amazon ready for battle. “But it’ll have to until I can get you drunk and pry the truth out of you.”
Laughter burst out of Claire. “I’d like to see that.”
“Yeah, so would I. If you actually touched the stuff.” She gave Claire a wicked smile. “I could always slip you a mickey.”
“You could—if I wasn’t able to smell it from across the room.”
“Slapped down again. Hey—what if we just tried—”
“Not again. Never again.” Claire still felt the residual agony from her one failed attempt at social drinking.
“How do you do that?” Those warm brown eyes narrowed as they studied her. “How do you always know what I’m going to say?”
Claire reached up and patted her cheek. “I’m a witch, sweetheart. It’s what I do.”
“Wait.” She grabbed Claire’s hand, pushed her sleeve up to reveal the bandage that peeked out. “Is that another tattoo? What is it this time?”
Claire flushed. The second reason she put on a sweater this morning.
“More protection? Jeez, Claire, the pentacle on your hip isn’t enough?”
“There is no such thing as too much protection.” She pulled free and walked around the counter. “And the subject is closed.”
“Okay, I can take a hint. I’ll drop in sometime tomorrow, see if you need any help during the festival madness.”
“That will be most appreciated.”
Annie strode to the door, her long legs taking her through the small shop in a few paces. She paused in the doorway. “Hey, Claire—I’m worried, and I poke when I’m worried. I’ll leave it alone for now. But if you don’t get better, I’ll do more than poke.”
“Annie.” She stuck her head back in. “Don’t you even think about taking on Mildred’s love spell.”
Color rushed into her cheeks.
“I mean it. Last time you nearly had your victim falling in love with her cat.”
“Never gonna let me live that one down, are you?”
Claire smiled. “Not if it keeps you from trying again.”
Annie cursed under her breath and stalked out.
Chuckling, Claire made a mental note to put feelers out. Annie had more than enough power, and just enough knowledge to make her dangerous.
Without warning the pain stabbed her; a blade of ice in her gut.
Bracing her hands on the counter, she fought to breathe, fought to keep herself upright. Shaking so hard her rings clattered against the granite countertop, she gained enough control to lower herself to the chair that she recently added, out of necessity.
“God above—” She pressed both arms against her stomach, prayed for a slow morning. If she believed God would actually listen to her, after all this time, she’d ask the single question that haunted her.
Is this how it feels to be dying?
Cate Dean's LinksFacebook Page: Cate Dean Writes
Goodreads: Author page http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5694181.Cate_Dean
Buy Links for Rest For the Wicked
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