Tell us a little about yourself.I enjoy spinning heart-stirring stories of God's life-changing grace. So far, all my books are set in the fictional town of Miller's Creek, Texas, where the folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth's front porch beckons. When I'm not writing, you'll find me rummaging through thrift stores or up to my elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin I share with my minister husband of over thirty years.
- Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.A Bridge Unbroken, the fifth stand-alone book in the Miller's Creek novels, tells the story of a frightened runaway who wants her painful past to disappear. Her plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with the man responsible for the scars on her heart. But he isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Chance and Dakota must learn to lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and to build a bridge of forgiveness. If you'd like to read a sample chapter, click HERE. To watch the book trailer, click HERE.)The book's blog tour runs from May 1-22, with book giveaways at almost every stop. You can see all the tour stops HERE, or visit the blog tour/launch party Facebook group for details. If you'd like to attend the Launch Party on May 22, from 7-8 p.m. CST, RSVP here. I'll be giving away a $100 Visa Card; an Amazon gift card; a t-shirt, tote bag, mug, and bookmarks; as well as ebook copies of the Miller's Creek novels and print copies of A Bridge Unbroken. You can enter the drawing for the $100 Visa Card at my website or my Facebook author page (click the blue giveaway tab).
- Why did you choose this particular genre?I've always been a big fan of Jan Karon's Mitford series and Lillian Jackson Braun's Cat Who... books. Both of these have a home-town feel, with a cast of quirky, but lovable characters. I wanted to create that same feel in the Miller's Creek novels. Readers have commented that Miller's Creek reminds them of Mayberry, but with Texas style. In addition, I enjoy love stories and suspense. Texas Roads and A Path Less Traveled, the first two stand-alone books in the series, are romance. The Way of Grace (book 3) and the new book, A Bridge Unbroken, are both romantic suspense. Pilgrimage of Promise (a 2013 Grace Award nominee) is the odd duck. One reviewer said it reminded her of "...Karen Kingsbury meets Nicholas Sparks." It's really a love story with historical elements, since it spans from the 1960s to contemporary times. So as you can see, I haven't done too well about sticking to just one genre, though romance and/or love is a common theme in my stories.
- What was your journey to publication like?My first completed novel, Texas Roads, had just been recognized as a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist, when I felt led down the path of indie publishing. While that route has presented several challenges, I feel confident that it was what I was supposed to do. That's not to say that I have anything against traditional publishing. If the Lord so leads, I hope to someday have a few books published traditionally.
- What is a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?First, of course, is the Bible. What other book gives you romance, intrigue, action, drama, and the best love story of all time in one book? My next favorite would be Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love. The story was a huge influence in my life as a writer. This will probably sound boring to most readers, but the book I'm currently reading is on learning HTML code for building websites. Yeah, I know...major yawn! :)
- What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it?I actually have a couple of writing projects in the worse. The first is non-fiction, a first for me in the book publishing arena. It's a companion Bible study on the topic of forgiveness, the spiritual theme of A Bridge Unbroken. It will hopefully be part of a series of Bible studies, and is entitled: All That Is Ours: Forgiveness. I've also started harvesting ideas for the next Miller's Creek novel, Crossroads. Here's the book blurb as it stands right now: A bitter prodigal denies God's existence until faced with her own mortality. Can a struggling veteran, with his own demons to overcome, help her find the road back home?
- What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?First of all, pray hard. Writing and publishing (and the marketing that comes with it) is by far the most difficult work I've ever done, with the exception of motherhood. I work from early in the morning to late at night, and many other things get put on the back burner. That being said, I enjoy my job.
- Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us?My favorite book on writing is Brandilyn Collins' Getting Into Character. I highly recommend it!
- Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered?I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to join you and your readers here today in this interview. I'd be happy to answer questions in the comments.
- Please let us know where we can find you on the web.My website, where I share devotional posts, book-related posts, and interviews with everyday heroes I meet, is www.CatBryant.com. You can also find me at the following spots in cyberspace:
Reader friends on Facebook may want to visit the following groups, the first for book bargains and the second to discuss all things Miller’s Creek.