Monday, July 19, 2010

Author Interview with Cathy Bryant

Please join me in welcoming back, one of my favorite authors, Cathy Bryant. Cathy’s debut novel Texas Roads was a 2009 finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest. A Texas gal since birth, she lives in a century-old farmhouse with her husband of almost thirty years and a phobia-ridden cat.

[Anne] Welcome back, Cathy. I’ve been hearing some really wonderful things about Texas Roads. Will you remind us what the story is about?

[Cathy] Thanks for having me over for a visit, Anne. Texas Roads tells the story of a disillusioned widow’s quest for home. Here’s the back-cover copy:

Dani Davis longs for a place to call home. With quaint country charm, quirky residents, and loads of business potential, Miller’s Creek, Texas seems like the perfect place to start over … except for the cowboy who gives her a ride into town. Then malicious rumors and a devastating discovery propel her down a road she never expected to travel.

[Anne] You self-published this book, any regrets about not going with a publisher?

[Cathy] None at all. It’s been a huge learning curve, but what I’ve gained in experience more than makes up for the hours of work.

[Anne] I know you did a wonderful post on your blog about the pros and cons of self-publishing, but would you please list a couple that come to mind for those who may have missed it?

[Cathy] I’d be happy to. The biggest pro for me has been the ability to make all the decisions. I’ve always been the type of person who likes to get my hands into every part of a creative project. From cover design to interior design, I enjoyed learning about the process and making the final choices.

The biggest drawback for me has been the stigma associated with self-publishing. Unfortunately, many people won’t even take a chance on a self-published book. Truthfully, there are a lot of horrible self-published books out there, but there are also some really great ones (and some horrible traditionally published books). Statistics prove that more and more writers are choosing to go the self-publishing route, so I hope the self-publishing stigma will go the way of the dodo.

[Anne] Have you had any trouble lining up book signings? And do you feel they are worthwhile?

[Cathy] No trouble at all. In my opinion, book signings are more about gaining readers than they are selling books. While I’ve been very pleased with sales at the book signings I’ve done, I’m more pleased with the opportunity to meet readers.

[Anne] I totally agree with you there, Cathy. I love visiting with the readers too! You have a very successful blog, plus you’re a great writer. Do you keep to a rigid schedule that enables you to get everything done?

[Cathy] I’m a self-confessed workaholic, but I enjoy what I do. The hard part for me is fitting everyday life around my work. Last week, I finally took some time off to finish a major renovation project on our century-old fixer-upper. Sad, isn’t it? Take a break from work to—well, um—work!

[Anne] LOL. You’ve gotta love those working vacations. Do you have anything new in the works?

[Cathy] I just finished the rough draft of book two in the Miller’s Creek, Texas Series, entitled A Path Less Traveled. I hope to have it available to the public by October 2010. I also have a devotional book in the works.

[Anne] I had the pleasure of reading one of your devotionals in a recent Upper Room issue, so I’m looking forward to both your new books. What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantster?

[Cathy] I’m a card-carrying plotter! =) I compare writing a book to taking a trip. When I go on a trip, I want to know all the details ahead of time—which roads to take, where I’ll stay, what sights I’ll take in. I feel the same about writing a book. I spend at least two or three weeks plotting out every detail of the story, including lengthy character charts. My pre-writing is usually 50-100 pages long.

Next I zip through the first draft, usually in 4-6 weeks. After that, I spend considerable time on edits and revisions before sending out the novel to beta readers and editors.

[Anne] If you could be anyone of your characters, which one would you chose to be and why?

[Cathy] Without a doubt, Mama Beth. She’s the mother figure of Miller’s Creek, a woman shouldering a life-altering secret, but always willing to share her love and wisdom with anyone who needs it.

[Anne] Cathy, you’ve just been informed that Texas Roads is a NY Times bestseller and Hollywood wants to turn it into a movie. What actors would you choose to play your main characters?

[Cathy] Really? Thanks for passing on the good news! All kidding aside, Dani Davis would be played by Reese Witherspoon, and I see Scott Bakula in the role of Steve Miller.

[Anne] Great choices? What type of books do you like to read when you’re not writing?

[Cathy] I’m an eclectic reader. I read books in the genres I like to write, romance and women’s fiction. I try to read books from the Christian fiction market as well as books from the ABA. I also enjoy the classics, biographies, devotional/Bible studies, books on the craft of writing, and books that help me better understand the psychology of my characters.

[Anne] What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-publish their book?

[Cathy] Pray, pray, pray and research, research, research. Avoid subsidy publishing. You can do it yourself for much less money. Consider your time schedule and the LOADS of work required when self-publishing.

[Anne] Excellent advice, Cathy. Will you remind our readers where can we find you on the web?

[Cathy] At my blog, WordVessel (, my website (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter (

[Anne] And for those who haven’t read your wonderful book, where can we purchase Texas Roads?

[Cathy] For all eReaders:

For a print version:

[Anne] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

[Cathy] Thanks again for the opportunity to join you at your wonderful blog, Anne. It’s always a pleasure!

[Anne] The pleasure was mine, Cathy. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit. In closing, I’ll let you all view Cathy’s book trailer. Folks, if you haven’t picked up a copy of Texas Roads yet I highly recommend you do.


Melanie Walsh said...

Congratulations on the success of Texas Roads, Cathy. I have no doubt you, and your writing career will go in one direction from here - upwards.

Great interview, Anne.

Association of Independent Authors

Miss Mae said...

Fantastic interview, Anne and Cathy. Glad to see Cathy back, and it's great to know she's an indie author. She's right, there's a stigma attached to being indie, and there really shouldn't be. I've read some horrible stories from some traditionally published authors, and I thought, "What publisher would want to publish THIS???" LOL So having a publisher logo on the back does NOT guarantee a good book!

Cathy Bryant said...

Good morning,ladies! Thanks so much for the words of encouragement! =)

Anne, thanks again for the distinct honor of visiting your blog. I appreciate the opportunity.

Danielle Thorne said...

Great interview. I love Cathy Bryant interviews. Appreciate the insight on self-publishing. The series sounds wonderful--I really need to check it out!

Hello! said...

Can't wait to read this. Awesome interview.

Cathy Bryant said...

Thanks, Danielle & Hello! =)Hope you enjoy the story.

Gina said...

Wonderful interview, really very interesting! Sounds like a great series. Best of luck to you!

Cathy Bryant said...

Thanks, Regina!

Anne Patrick said...

Thank you for all the wonderful comments and for dropping by in support of Cathy.

Cathy, thank again for taking the time to let me interview you.

You're an inspiration to us all!!!

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Cathy,
I'm a little late getting to the party, but I certainly enjoyed your inspirational interview. Congratulations on your success and best wishes for much more. Texas Roads definitely sounds like a book I'd like to read.

Cathy Bryant said...

Thanks, Anne! I enjoyed the day so much!

Thanks, Gail!

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Cathy and Anne,
I really enjoyed finding out more about Texas Roads. Also I'm always glad to meet another Indie-Author.
I really believe the stigma of being self-published will eventually wear off as more quality books are independently published. Congrats and wishing you every success.

Anne Patrick said...

Hi Rebecca,
I agree with you. I've read several self-published books that were just as good, if not better, than those published by the big houses.

Thanks for dropping by my friend.

Cheryl said...

Wonderful interview ladies. I enjoy learning more about Cathy and her work.


Cathy Bryant said...

Rebecca, that is my prayer, and the only way for that to happen is for more and more of us to produce the highest caliber of work. Thanks so much for adding your insight.

Thanks, Cheryl!

Jan Marie said...

Another great interview! Congratulations on the success of Texas Roads and I hope that The Road Less Traveled will be every bit as successful! It is wonderful to see proof that self-publishing can be successful and gives hope to some of those who may be struggling.

Ha! I so much agree that there are some really awful books that have been published my major companies - that isn't necessarily always the mark of a good book.

Thanks for sharing with us!

Cathy Bryant said...

Hi Jan Marie,

Thanks for your kind words of hope and encouragement, and I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

In my very humble opinion, the decision on whether or not to self-publish all comes down to what the writer's goals are. Once you know why you write, making the decision is much easier.

Thanks so much for stopping by! =)