About the Author
Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Her most recent novel, The Memory of You, released March 2017 and Where Hope Begins releases in May 2018. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com.
1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I’m not sure it was any one thing. I always loved reading as a child and writing stories. When I got to middle school, English was my favorite subject. I read anything I could. My parents were big readers too, so we’d spend a lot of time together reading. Mom was a big fan of Mary Stewart and Catherine Coulter, and she’d pass those books onto me. It’s a wonder I didn’t choose romantic suspense as my genre of choice, but I guess it didn’t stick. Once I got my hands on Gone With the Wind, romance and family drama took over! I kept writing off and on as something fun to do to occupy my time. It wasn’t until my kids were in school that I began to take myself seriously and start really pursuing publication.
2. Who are some of your favorite authors? Do these authors inspire your own writing?
Oh, I have many! I read widely in both CBA and ABA, and I’m always looking for new authors as well. I’d say a few of my long time favorites are Susan Meissner, Lisa Wingate, Katie Ganshert, Kristy Cambron, Patti Callahan Henry, Rachel Hauck, Nicole Baart, Karen White, Sarah Addison Allen, Liane Moriarty, Kate Morton . . . I could go on, but we’d be here forever! :)
3. What are the top 5 books currently on your TBR pile?
I don’t have a ton of to be read books at the moment, as I’ve just gone through a reading binge, so I’m saving up new stories for summer and going to try to get some writing done! That last few books I’ve read are The Man He Never Was, by James L. Rubart, An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones, No One Ever Asked, by Katie Ganshert, Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart, and As Bright As Heaven, by Susan Meissner.
4. Who was the hardest character to write in Where Hope Begins? The easiest?
Gosh, tough question! I guess I’d have to say the hardest character to write was Kevin. Because we don’t have his POV, I wanted to be sure that the scenes he’s in really did show who he was and why he made the choices he did. I chose not to include his POV, because this is really Savannah’s story. The easiest character was probably Clarice. She just waltzed into this book and kind of took over as the voice of truth. I loved her and I think she brings so much character to this story!
5. What inspired the idea for Where Hope Begins?
Um, can I say God? I really don’t have another explanation. The idea literally came to me late one night, the first line so clear and loud – ‘My husband is leaving me.’ I was like, what?! LOL. Savannah’s voice came to me in first person. I have never written anything in first before and honestly, it always terrified me. But once I began, I realized I loved it! I really had no idea what this story would turn into, that’s the amazing thing. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle the topic of adultery, loss of a child, suicide. That’s heavy stuff that I had no experience with. But I kept writing. And as I was finishing the first draft, we were hit with the news that dear friends were separating, and I was suddenly walking that road with my friend. I was able to go back into the story and give greater meaning and depth to it. Marriages are in trouble. The more I see and hear, I have to wonder if the vows we make before God are truly taken as seriously as they once were, as a covenant with Him, even within the church . . . I’m sure most people could say they’ve been affected either directly or indirectly, by broken relationships. I think this story is a relevant one for today, and I believe God has a purpose for it.
6. What do you want readers to take away from reading Where Hope Begins?
Reading is a subjective experience, so I can’t say what I want another person to experience. That will happen organically. I can share what I learned while writing this story though. I realized what it must be like to be thrust into a situation you can do nothing about, the helpless feeling one must have. I learned that judgment is an easy weapon to yield, and so very harmful. I learned that even in the darkest hour, if we truly want things to change, we can find a glimmer of hope. God does not abandon us, even when it may feel like it. We are never truly alone. And while things may not work out the way you planned them, God always has a better plan in mind, and healing is possible.
7. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
I’ve been playing around with a new story that will be set in Bermuda. This is fun for me, as I’ve never written a story set here before. I’m not very far into it at the moment, but I can tell you that it’s women’s fiction, there will probably be three main characters, and I think we’re going to take a peek back in time through one of them, who fought for women’s rights in Bermuda back in the early 1900s. It’s a story about discovering our true identity, not being afraid to stand up for your beliefs, and really about finding your voice. I’m just praying for more time to write it!
Request an Interview
Hello and welcome to my author interview page. Here there will be interviews with some fun and amazing authors.
How to comment on the blog due to weird theme issues:
-Notify me of new comments to this post by email
Need to search the site? Use the search engine below...
Follow the author interviews blog via email: