Cathy Bryant is an author who loves to write and teach music at her farmhouse in East Texas. She has written two contemporary fiction books and her newest one (A Path Less Traveled) released in October of this year. She is currently working on her third book in this series - which will be released sometime in 2011.
Cathy has stopped by to do an interview with us and give one of her books away! *Note* Be sure to read the rules at the bottom of this post before entering.
What authors (whether classic or not) stirred your deep passion to write? And can you tell us why they were such an impact?
When I sobbed through Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, I knew I would like to write stories that touched people with the truth of God. I’m still a long way from being able to write a story like that, but it’s my goal in every book I write.
What steps do you usually go through when it comes to writing and perfecting a story?
I spend several weeks doing what I call pre-writing. This involves brainstorming the theme and plot of the story, adjusting it to fit a three-act story structure, and getting to know my characters as well as possible. Then, using my pre-writing, I get the first draft down on paper. I leave the book for a while, then return to read through it several times, checking for a good balance between dialogue, sensory detail, internalizations, emotions, tension/conflict, and setting/description. I also check chapter beginnings and endings, the story timeline, word usage, plot details, and sentence structure, as well as how the story reads overall. Once I finish my final round of edits, I send the story to beta readers and editors for their feedback. It’s a very lengthy and mind-numbing process.
You now have two books written in the A Miller’s Creek Novel series - your newest one having been released in October. How would you compare Texas Roads to A Path Less Traveled?
Both stories are set in Miller’s Creek, Texas, and both stories involve a different member of the Miller family. The same cast is in both books. They both involve heroes and heroines who are struggling in some way, and also have spiritual themes entwined in the story.
In A Path Less Traveled, the story deals with loss and grief. What pushed you to pick this particular subject? And what part of this story do people need to soak up like a sponge and share with others?
All of our life experiences are different, but all of us will deal with loss and grief at some point in our journey through life. I don’t feel like I really chose this subject; it really chose me. I’ve recently come to realize that much of what we do is based on the traditions of men (for example, the “rule” that you should wait a year after a great loss before making major decisions). I hope that readers come to realize that all decisions in our lives should be based on one thing and one thing only—trusting God to direct our paths.
I would like to say that I admire the cover design of this book. It truly is beautiful. There must be a meaning behind the picture and the title. How does it relate to the story?
Thanks, Grace. I love the cover, too. It was designed by a talented young lady named Kellie Southerland. My husband and I made a trip to the Texas Hill Country in the spring of 2010 for the purpose of taking photos of the bluebonnets for this cover. I wanted a country path to show that following God IS the path less traveled. It’s often rocky and confusing, but the only way to true joy and peace. Taking that path means not following the traditions and expectations of men, but following the Shepherd of our souls. Since Trish is an artist in the story, I really wanted some reference to painting on the cover—hence the hand holding a paint brush. The font chosen for the word ‘Path’ in the title is an unlikely font for a book cover, but I liked the way the word ‘Path’ was disintegrating. That’s exactly how Trish felt—like her world was disintegrating and crumbling beneath her feet. The paint brush is near that disintegrating ‘Path,’ which came to symbolize to me how God paints our paths, even when it feels like the road we’re traveling is falling apart.
At the end of A Path Less Traveled, there’s a quick mention of your next book - The Way of Grace. Could you slip us and our readers a few tiny details describing it?
The analogy of journey continues in the third title in the Miller’s Creek novels—roads, path, way. This journey is about a young woman named Grace who thinks she understands God’s grace, until she is called upon to exhibit grace to someone who has used and abused her trust. It’s also a story of overcoming perfectionism and legalism. Through the course of the story Grace realizes she’ll never be perfect in her own strength, and any attempt to be perfect as a means of earning God’s favor is a waste of His grace.
I’m really curious… We all have a Bible verse and/or quote that we try to live by, so which one is yours?
There are so many passages that speak to me, but if I have to choose only one, I would choose the entire chapter of Romans 12. If I were to have to choose a shorter passage, I’d choose the first couple of verses. Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Randomly Fun Questions:
If you could get into a time machine and visit any era, which one would it be?
LOVE this question! There are many time periods I’d love to visit—pioneer days in the United States, the 1940’s and 1950’s in America, the beginning of Creation, Israel during the days of King Solomon—but if I have to choose only one time period it would the time that Christ walked the earth, because all of time as we know it hinges on that event and it is the most significant spiritual act that has ever taken place.
Have any favorite quirky words? Lots! Bodacious, onomatopoeia, serendipity—to name a few!
I see that you like plants. What must you absolutely have growing in your garden?
Flowers! And it really doesn’t matter what kind because I love them all.
How can our bookworms best get in contact with you?
They can reach me at my blog, WordVessel (http://WordVessel.blogspot.com) where I write devotionals, talk about writing and review Christian books. I also have a website at www.CatBryant.com where they can leave a message in my online guestbook. I’m also on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/cathy.england.bryant) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/CathyBryant).
Cathy, I want to thank you endlessly for stopping by TCS and doing this interview with us. And I especially want to thank you for giving your book away to one of our readers. I am sure they will enjoy it!
The pleasure was all mine, Grace. Can’t wait to see who wins!
Trish James is tired of being rescued. When a spooked horse claims her husband's life, she's determined to blaze a path for herself and her traumatized son without outside help. But will that mean leaving the place etched on her heart? Andy Tyler has had to struggle for everything, and starting a new law practice in Miller's Creek, Texas is no different. Though prepared for business challenges, he's not prepared for falling in love--especially with yet another woman who will probably abandon him for her career. Will Andy and Trish be able to see past their limited human understanding to take a path less traveled?
Title: A Path Less Traveled (A Miller's Creek Novel #2)
Author: Cathy Bryant
Format: Paperback *autographed*
Publisher: WordVessel Press
Cathy is giving away A Path Less Traveled to one bookworm! In order to enter, you must leave a comment with your e-mail address (so that we can contact you if you're the winner). US and Canada only, please. This giveaway starts today and ends on the 14th of this month (January). A winner will be picked randomly and announced on the 15th. We will contact the winner and notify them by their e-mail address. If the winner doesn't respond within a few days, we will have to pick another. Good luck! =)