Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cathryn's Post: Introducing THE LONG WAY HOME

I’m interrupting our hiatus to participate in a blog hop with Denise Eagan, the original founder of our Moody Muses blog.  Denise is over at Scandalous Victorians this week, and here is the link to her blog post talking about her latest book.
On to the blog hop questions…
What is the title of your book?
THE LONG WAY HOME is my second Harlequin Superromance and a December 2012 release.
Here is the back cover blurb:
Life on the road suits Bruce Cole just fine. And after what he went through back in the day, he’s in no hurry to face his hometown again. Until his little sister asks him to return for her wedding. One brief visit can’t hurt, right? Especially when he meets a beautiful stranger at the reception.
Except Natalie Kimball isn’t a stranger. In fact, she knows more about Bruce than anyone else in Wallis Point—including the secret he’s been running from all these years. The woman Natalie has become is fascinating…and so different from the girl he remembers. If anyone can change his mind about what home really means, it could be her.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is difficult to answer, because ideas come from all around me.  One of the first sparks for Natalie and Bruce’s story came from the memory of a tragic automobile accident that happened in front of my childhood home.  I’ve often wondered what became over the years to the families and friends of the deceased teenage driver. 
What genre does your book fall under?
This contemporary-set story is a Harlequin series romance.  My line, Superromance, has recently increased to 85,000 words, which is about single-title length.  I like that there is room to present complex characters and detailed plotlines.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I used photos of Christian Bale (love him!) as a model for Bruce Cole.  The image of Natalie Kimball exists only in my imagination. 
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Here are two sentences:
A charming but emotionally-unavailable business consultant is forced to spend the week in the small beach town he’s avoided since the summer after high school graduation, when his best friend was killed in a car accident and he was unfairly blamed.  A hearing-impaired family lawyer, determined to make it in her home town, is the only person who knows his secret, and can help him learn to live and love again.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am unagented.  This book is published by Harlequin Enterprises.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I do a LOT of prewriting, which for me, takes longer than the writing itself.  Once I have my outlines, I use a NaNoWriMo philosophy for the first draft.  This draft takes me a few weeks to complete.  I do several more layers of revisions and edits after that.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Denise’s answer fits mine, too.  Let me quote Denise: “I am very, very uncomfortable comparing my books to other books. Partly I don’t want to upset other writers, but mostly I am just too close to my characters and story to be anywhere near subjective.”  
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My first published book was accepted for publication in May, 2011, and after that, my editor invited me to submit more story ideas for a second contract.  I sent in a list of ideas, and this was the idea she chose for my second book. 
While writing it, I was inspired by the characters, Bruce and Natalie.  Their stories and struggles became real to me.  It also helped that many of the topics in the book are important in my life, namely the Seacoast New Hampshire setting, the fact that Bruce was a road warrior and that he attended the Naval Academy, Natalie’s hearing loss, and Bruce’s grandfather moving to a rest home facility, being a few.  Their community and their romance really came alive for me as I wrote their stories.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I worked with themes of forgiveness and redemption and courage.  It’s an uplifting, happy-ending story, great for the holidays.
In closing, let me introduce a special, real-life character who is featured in THE LONG WAY HOME.  He is Otis, my neighbor’s cat, and here he is showing off “his” book:
Here is the link to my website, and a list of places where the LONG WAY HOME may be purchased.
Happy Reading!