Monday, 17 October 2011
An interview with the amazing Caddy Rowland!...
1. Hi, please would you mind telling me a little about yourself and your books?
Sure, Katie, I would be happy to. I am a new author, with my first book out since August 2011. Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream is the first book of a several book series. It takes place in nineteenth century France. Gastien wants to become a painter in Paris-and the greatest love maker in France! It takes place during the time in history when Paris was the art capital of the world, Impressionism was starting and modernism, cubism, etc were all going to start there.
The second book is where the “big” romance happens. I hope to have Gastien Part 2: From Dream To Destiny out by December 1st, 2011. Key word: hope! It is written and I am now polishing it. There will be a couple other books in the series after that.
As far as me personally, I am also a painter. I paint in oil, acrylic and watercolor. Although I can paint all types of subjects, my favorites are life form and abstract. However, even though I like life form, I do NOT like to do portraits (unlike Gastien). The reason is that people always see the people they love much better than they actually look. It is hard for an artist to see what isn’t there when they don’t know the person, and it is even harder for an artist to NOT see what IS there! I find it difficult to make my brush lie in order to please someone.
I am married to my high school sweetheart. We have been married too long to mention! Let’s just say a long time. We are childless by choice, but have two parrots. They can both talk, but the African Grey talks the most. She has an endless vocabulary. I am quite worried that she will write a novel someday and tell all of my secrets.
I had breast cancer about 1 ½ years ago. They caught it really early, at Stage 0 and it is completely gone. But, getting that news and going through the uncertainty and the radiation really teaches you that NOW is all you have.
2. How do you spend your time when you are not writing?
When I am not writing, painting or playing with parrots, we walk, hike, play Texas Hold ‘Em and other card games, enjoy movies and just hang out with friends. I also enjoy working with flowers. Unfortunately, my favorites are annuals instead of perennials, so very year I have to rebuy!
3. Do you have a outlined ‘plan’when you write, or do you just write and see where it takes you?
I commit a certain amount of time five days a week. I get an idea in my head about a story, kind of a “Wouldn’t it be cool if” type of thing. I also “see” a main character. I do not write down plans or details. I just sit down and start to write the idea. I call on the main character in my head and he/she tells the story. Seriously. It is the strangest thing.
4. How do you manage to come up with your plots and ideas?
Gastien is very personal for me. Gastien came about because I had gone to a therapist after cancer for past life regression and life between lives regression after reading “Journey of Souls” and “Destiny of Souls” by Michael Newton, PhD. This opened up the creative flow inside of me. Regardless of if Gastien was a part of my past or just creativity unleashed that is how this series started. Book 1 and 2 were at first one book. It was over 1,000 pages and written in less than four months. So, I made it into two books, because no one buys 1,000 page novels. The editing process for book one took five months. I have been editing book two for 3 ½ months. I have started to write book three.
I have two other books that I started to write and quit years ago. I want to do them. I won’t say what they are about quite yet, though. I want to keep them a secret. I also have book four general idea in my head, and the possibility of a book about one of the other characters in book one….we will see. I also have a suspense/horror type of idea that I have kept in my brain for about twenty years. That would be different from all of the others.
I have written a children’s book “One Little Snowflake” and did all of the illustrations. It is for children with terminal diseases and explains the circle of life. A little snowflake knows he is melting and is sad and angry. An icicle helps him understand. I have not really send it anywhere and have not self published because Kindle was black and white. Now that Kindle Fire is color perhaps I will publish it sometime.
5. Do you have a favourite character from your book?
I love Gastien dearly. He is very real to me, and to most of my readers.
6. What was the most difficult part when you’re writing?
Writing just comes for me, but a certain scene in book one was very, very difficult. I had to go back several times and add more. I can’t be specific because it would give things away.
7. Was it a challenging task in order to get published?
I self published, as most new authors do now. At first, I thought that was still looked down on. Then I researched and found that it is the fastest growing thing in publishing. The good part is you have freedom. The bad part is you wear a half dozen different hats, from writer to marketer. Plus, the formatting scared me, as I am very right brained. Once I got going, though, formatting for Kindle and NOOK was not hard. The formatting for paperback was much more difficult. Several times I almost gave up on that. However, I wanted to hold my own book in my hand, so I kept going. That came out in mid-September.
8. Which author would you most like to meet and why?
Either George Orwell, because my favorite book is “1984”, or William Burroughs, because he was a beat author and I am arty and odd, too. “Naked Lunch” and other books were amazing. He would write and then cut the sentences up with a scissors, then put pieces together randomly, kind of like abstract painting. My kind of guy!
9. If you could travel to one country/place in the world where would you go and why?
Paris, France and I would stay in the 18th arrondissement, which is Montmartre. That is where Gastien had his home/studio. I would like to see the area, go to the museums, etc. It is the most important art area in history.
10. Do you have a favourite type of food/s?
REAL ice cream, not the sugary crap that passes for it. Popcorn with real butter. Did I mention that I need to lose weight?
11. What’s your favourite colour?
Asking an artist to pick one color is like asking a parrot to swim. So, I will tell you my favorites: black, white, screaming bright red, teal, quinacridone gold. Those are my favorite to wear, paint with and decorate with.
12. Do you have any advice for the aspiring authors out there?
I laughed when I read this question. I wanted to write a book since I was a little girl. I would read other authors saying this and I would say, yeah..but how? But, here it is:
Just do it. Seriously. Just firmly commit, say 1 hour a day 5 days a week. Then sit down and start typing. Don’t worry about going back and fixing or sharpening. Just keep going every day. You can pretty it up later. Until you have a book, you have nothing to pretty up.
13. Finally, would you like to add anything/say anything to your fans etc.?
I would like to thank every one of them individually. I truly appreciate that people take time out of their lives to read what I write. Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream is quite dark. I know that it stays with readers a long time. I have them tell me that Gastien is real to them and that, after they are done with the book, they keep thinking about him for weeks and even months. I am so thankful that they have allowed him into their lives.
I hope they stay with me, reading my future books. I would love to hear from them, too. Gastien has a fanpage on facebook. Here is some social media information for everyone:
My blog: http://caddyrowlandblog.blogspot.com
(writing, art, men, women, life, love, etc)
You can also find me on Goodreads.
Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream for Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/3ecu8ku
For NOOK: http://tinyurl.com/3ue4a7h
For Paperback: http://tinyurl.com/3luddg7
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! I really appreciate it! I can't say how much some parts touched me. :)