5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, May 1, 2015.
As a top insurance agent in Chicago, Katia Stanislaus isn’t just used to pressure; she thrives on it. When she finds out her firm’s future is at stake, she’s the first to dream up a solution: relocate to Indian Lake and land the town’s reclusive millionaire as a client. Austin McCreary might be the sweetheart she left brokenhearted when they were teens, but she can’t let her feelings—or his—get in the way of her career. If she can just convince him to listen to her explanation, and her pitch, he’ll see this is the deal of a lifetime. But that would involve talking, and he won’t even take her calls! How ridiculous. Because this is strictly business…isn’t it?
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? Have you had other jobs along the way?
I knew I wanted to be a writer (actually a journalist) when I read my first “Brenda Starr” comic strip in the Chicago Tribune. My conscious thoughts about this career were at the age of six. At that time, I had a younger brother and a baby sister. I felt very old at six and “knew” I had to think of my future. (No kidding.) So, all through high school I wrote poems and I adored writing research papers for any class that required them. Weird, but true. My high school teachers told me I had talent. I believed them.
Then I went off to college. My freshman year, my creative writing professor, told me in very raw, un-minced words, “Frankly, Miss Lanigan, your writing stinks.” Then he said that I “had no talent as a writer whatsoever.” He told me that I’d “never make a dime as a writer.” That I needed to change my major immediately and there was NO way in ___ I was going to get a passing grade in HIS class without a lot of help from him. I was devastated. Crushed. I promised God I would never believe in dreams again. I would only believe in what was real. For fourteen years I wrote nothing. Then I met a journalist who literally “shamed” me into writing my first novel. The rest is history.
I’ve also had just about every job you can think of, most of which have nothing to do with writing. Sad, but true. From selling hot tubs to owning the company, secretarial work, accounting, floral arrangements, landscape design, catering, construction. Yeah. I feel like I’ve done a lot. It’s good research!
2) When you got that first phone call announcing you had sold a novel, how did you react?
The journalist who encouraged me to write sent my book to his agent. A month or so later he called me and said, “I read your manuscript and it was damn good. So, I sent it to my agent. She’s going to call you in half an hour.” Then he hopped a plane to Mexico.
A half hour later the agent called me and said, “Cathy, you are startlingly talented.” I could only imagine she had the wrong number. She went on and on about contracts with her; how did I “see” the book? Hard? Soft? Trade? Maybe we shouldn’t decide. She was going to see the president of Random House at a cocktail party in two days and let him decide.The book wasn’t quite done, and I didn’t even have a typewriter. I was writing in long hand and gave the sheets every night to my girlfriends on my block and they typed up the pages. I had to finish the book in two weeks. When she was ready to hang up she asked if I had any questions. “Just one. Does this mean you liked the book?”
3) Be honest, how many drafts did it take to write this book?
One draft. Then there is the re-write with my editor and then the final edits. I wrote a book, WINGS OF DESTINY, that took me fifteen years to write, research, edit and get published. At one point the book was over a thousand pages. It’s up on Amazon as an e-pub. THAT book was a true labor of love.
4) When you start a new book, do you like to outline the entire story or fly by the seat of your pants.
For our line, we have to have a pretty detailed outline, so as I’m doing the outline, I’m always flying by the seat of my pants. What is interesting to me in the book that I’m writing now, UNBRIDLED LOVE, the next in the series, is that as fine-tuned as I thought I’d gotten the story, I just came up with two major story line issues that put an entirely new twist on the characters. They are much richer and deeper now, yet for a year that I’ve labored over this story, there are still fresh approaches coming to me.
5) How do you come up with your characters’ personalities?
I don’t know if I’m the typical author or not, but my characters are real people to me. They talk to me. They wake me up at night. I have conversations with them. I hear them in my head and I see them doing things. There are times when they tell me I’m doing it wrong and that how I’ve written them is NOT how they are! Arguments are not uncommon. I have to let them be and evolve through the story. My joy is still that as I near the end there are surprises they present to me that throw me for a loop and yet they work!! It’s really fun.
About the author
Catherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of over thirty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Heart”, Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit”. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over a dozen languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available on audio-cassette, CD and on electronic format.
A prolific writer, she is always writing wonderful stories. She has several titles only available in ebook format on Amazon.com Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine for December, 2002, and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference. In March, 2006 Divine Nudges: Tales of Angelic Intervention and the second in Lanigan’s Angel Watch series of books, was published by HCI, the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher. Visit Catherine online at CatherineLanigan.com.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, May 1, 2015
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