Today I’m so excited to welcome multiple Goldie Award-winning author Catherine Friend to Women and Words! We are just coming off an AMAZING 2017 Golden Crown Literary Convention, where Catherine won another Goldie for her book The Copper Egg! CONGRATS Catherine! SO exciting!! I’m sure many W&W bloggers will cough up all the fun and exciting con details, so I’ll only say it was the best con ever and I’m so looking forward to GCLS 2018 in LAS VEGAS, baby!
Catherine’s new book is called Spark, and it sounds amazing!!! Of course, anything Catherine does is fantastic, but I’m really looking forward to this one. Drop a comment below and you’ll be entered into a drawing for either an ebook or print book. I’ll do the drawing Monday July 24th, so that will be plenty of time to get those comments in!! SO GET TO IT!
Now, without further ado, here is Catherine!
I’m thrilled to be part of Women and Words this week, and a little intimidated because of all the wisdom the other authors bring to this blog. I don’t have any wisdom to share, just a confession.
Here it is: I spend a great deal of time escaping from my life through daydreams. I always have. The critical thing to know here is that I have a fine life. Good parents, boring adolescence, stable relationship, etc. And even though I’m trying to stay engaged in these insane political times, I still need to escape now and then to a happy place where Trump can’t follow.
As a teenager, most of my waking hours were spent thinking about rescuing people from burning buildings because I could fly. Or being struck by lightning and suddenly being able to sing well enough to become a rock star. Or turning into a mermaid. Or being beamed up to the Enterprise by Captain Kirk (I hadn’t yet figured out that Lt. Uhura would have been much more to my liking.)
I think this is why I write romantic adventure fiction—it allows me to continue escaping. (If I can’t daydream about the situation, I’m not interested in writing about it.) What would it be like to be flung back in time to 11th century Spain? I loved daydreaming about this for The Spanish Pearl and The Crown of Valencia. What would it be like to be a female pirate in the 1700s? More daydreaming for A Pirate’s Heart. Or an archeologist searching for a tomb? (The Copper Egg) Or a modern woman meeting Queen Elizabeth I? (Spark)
Early studies about daydreaming claimed it made you lonely and unhappy, but luckily more recent studies say that daydreaming can: 1) increase empathy; 2) enhance your memory; 3) improve creativity; 4) lift your mood; and 5) lead to self-discovery. (Self-discovery has shown me that, sadly, I’m never going to turn into a mermaid.)
I don’t read a lot of what’s known as “literature” (those ‘must-read’ books about important or difficult issues) because many leave me unhappy or depressed. I want to be entertained by a book. I want to escape.
It’s not that I don’t like challenges, but I have plenty of those in my life, thank you very much. I want the books that I read, and that I write, to let me escape into the lives I’m never going to lead (and would never want to lead.)
For some of us, reading is a form of daydreaming, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Jamie’s life is turned upside when her consciousness apparently travels back to 1560 and lands in the body of one of Queen Elizabeth I’s ladies-in-waiting…or has she instead totally lost her grip on reality? Betrayal, murder, thunderstorms, and two doctors complicate everything, but just as Jamie is running out of both hope and time, help—and love—come from a most unexpected place.
Catherine Friend is the author of five romantic adventure novels, and has also written memoir, nonfiction, and children’s books. She’s won a Minnesota Book Award, a McKnight/Loft Fellowship, the Alice B. Readers Appreciation Award, an Independent Book Publishers Association award, four Goldies, and has been a Lambda Literary Award finalist. She’s narrated two of her books for Dog Ear Audio: Hit by a Farm and A Pirate’s Heart. She lives in Minnesota with her wife and their dogs and cats. Her current day job is writing nonfiction for an educational publisher, which is more fun than it sounds.