Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sit-Down Saturday with Catherine Lanigan



Today we’re celebrating the release of HEART’S DESIRE.
So, Catherine, where did you get the idea for this novel?
  1. This story has been rattling around in my head for years. I wanted a story about a girl who invented smashingly good cupcakes to order with every conceivable frosting and fillings you can imagine. (My inspiration was a friend of mine, Sally Fischer, who makes just such cupcakes. She is the supreme gourmet pastry chef. Makes her own marzipan to decorate the cupcakes!)

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?
  1. “BLISS—is finding one’s real heart’s desire.” 
How long did it take you to write this novel?
  1. Two months, but this book was unique because I had fallen on some black ice, shattered my knee cap and after surgery, I was in bed or in a wheelchair for six weeks after that. The pain was excruciating, so in order not to think  about the pain, my husband rigged up my laptop in the guest room where I slept, sitting up, I might add,and I wrote probably eighteen hours a day. Two weeks after the surgery, I developed several blood clots in my lungs and was hospitalized for almost a week—no laptop there. They didn’t want me to move a muscle.  So, it was a frightening time, hanging between this world and the next. I was incredibly motivated to finish this book so that if I died, it would be done. This was before I sold it to Heartwarming, so I can honestly say, I was driven by my heart’s desire to write this story!
What is your favorite scene?
  1. Hands down, it’s the scene in the Bridal Shop when Maddie is trying on a wedding gown for fun and while standing in the store’s front window, she looks out and sees what she thinks is the apparition of her very first love,  Nate, who abandoned her over eleven years ago. She is spellbound and when she blinks and looks again, he’s gone---like a ghost. 
Who was your favorite character and why?
  1. Maddie Strong because she is strong, but not in all the right ways. She is one of my most flawed heroines. She is terribly insecure . She was raised by a mother who honestly didn’t give a whit about her and actually blamed Maddie for being born out-of- wedlock.  Maddie has used her anger against Nate to spur her to reach her goals with her business. However, once he returns to town, she has to face the truth about her own participation in their breakup. Her maturing happens only after she releases her anger and then lets love come and fill up the void.
If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine, who would they be?
  1. Maddie would be that side of Scarlett O’Hara who ran the saw mill when Atlanta was being rebuilt after the Civil War.  Nate is the idealistic doctor type like Young Dr. Kildare or the doctor Patrick Swayze played in “City of Joy”.  Alex Perkins, Maddie’s other love interest  and a real possibility for another kind of life for her is a Greg Kinear role in half a dozen movies, but my favorite is “Sabrina”. 

Tell us one thing you learned during research.
  1. I can’t decorate cakes worth a darn. I can bake great batter and whip up tasty frostings, but the decorating thing eludes me. 

What music would match the mood of this novel?
  1. A lot of Miles Davis jazz.  Saxophones, sensual clarinet and slow, earthy beats.

This is your 41st book. Exactly what does that mean to you?
  1. I need to get to work. I have a lot more to write.

What do you plan to work on next?

  1. I just finished A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE for Heartwarming which will be published in January, 2015.   I’m halfway through the first draft of  LOST LOVE for Heartwarming. I have six proposals that are in various stages of tinkering and thinking. All of those are for Heartwarming. 

What are you reading for pleasure right now?

I just finished Dana Mentink’s “Return to Pelican Island.”  I have  “If I Loved You” by Leigh Riker; “Magnolia Bride” by Tara Randel;  “Safe Harbor” by Marie Ferrrarella; and “Legacy of Silence” by Flo Fitzpatrick on the nightstand. I have several manuscripts from my writing students I’m reading and I’m always re-reading something esoteric. I can’t leave out the angels, you know! 
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23 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the release of your 41st book, Catherine! I have a lot of catch-up reading to do with your work, but I look forward to it.

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    1. Hi, Kate!
      By the way, thanks for all your help with the social media. I feel like THAT is where I have to catch up!!! You are a wonder.

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  2. Ooooh, I love the title 'A Fine Year for Love'! I believe we're going to be Jan release sisters!!

    I had no idea about the injuries you suffered while trying to write this book. You're an endless source of inspiration and motivation for me, Catherine.

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    1. Thank you, dear. But honestly, when we are faced with adversity, especially as mothers, we just do the best we can. Slug through another day and keep going. What fun to be Jan. release sisters! We have to do something fun to rock in the new year with our books!!! Hmmm. Time to get REALLY creative!

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  3. Hi, Catherine! Congratulations on your wonderful and inspiring career. I'm a huge fan :) I loved this interview and had to give a shout out to your comparison of your heroine to the Scarlett who ran the mill- I loved her then because she really came into her own and did things her way without worrying about what other people thought!

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    1. Hi, Karen,
      I'm there with you! She had to survive in any way she could. War takes off all the blinders and rose colored glasses, which is what makes that kind of novel so interesting to write.

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  4. Wow, Catherine! You are amazing. My first Heartwarming was proposed while my leg was broken - but I had totally smooth sailing, almost no pain, and none of your life-threatening experience. I guess the good way to look at it is that it'll make great drama for a future book. Not that your life's been short on drama the last few years, according to previous posts. Add me to the January release sisters with IN MY DREAMS. I have my copies of the UK two-fer we share, so am going to start reading that today. Congratulations on such a stellar career against such difficult odds.

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    1. Muriel!
      You broke your leg, how awful!!! I'm so sorry. Don't you agree that besides the pain itself, it is the feeling of helplessness and not being able to get around, depending on others to do all those "things" for us, that's what drove me nuts. I like to think I can take care of myself, but the truth is, we all need each other. Actually, I'm thinking about writing a Heartwarming story about JUST that theme. Since IN MY DREAMS is going to be released in January, let's ALL do something fun and different for our launches. Hmm.

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  5. I love that your said, after writing 41 books, that you needed to get busy and write more. That's my kind of attitude.

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    1. I am probably always going to feel that way because I missed that 14 years of not writing anything because I believed the wrong guy and not my heart.

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  6. Congratulations on #41, and I'm with Pam--that's my kind of attitude. Doesn't mirror my own a lot of days, but it should!

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    1. HI, Liz,
      Thanks! We all have slow months. Now that I just broke two ribs, I'm thinking this is going to be a slower than normal month. Sigh.

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  7. Heartwarming just keeps getting better!! More great authors and books. I'll be reading from here to eternity!! I've just begun reading your interview with Rula which is pretty fascinating. You're very tenacious, and I look forward to reading your new Heartwarming books. All the best to you.

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    1. Thanks, Laurie
      I'm slugging through another chapter today...along with giving directions to the plumber who is tearing out my old bathroom and putting in the new one! HA! But after 60 years, it needs help to keep functioning.

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  8. Catherine, your TBR stack sounds about like mine. I finished last month's Heartwarming books. Loved them all. I'm reading one of B.J. Daniel's books that I got at the conference. And I have a non-fiction book on education. Plus my daughter and granddaughters are here visiting. I have book revisions on one book I'm working on and an AA on another to read. Keeps me out of trouble.

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    1. Roz, I got that book too! Let me know what you think.

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    2. Roz,
      I love this. Keeps me out of trouble. You are so very right! I've always said that my writing schedule is responsible for keeping me out of the malls.

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  9. What would you have done to get through all that pain if you didn’t have that book to write?

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    1. Honesty, I have NO idea. I tried reading, but that didn't help all that much. The writing was the savior!!!!

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  10. 41 books. Wow. I have a ways to go to catch up with you. :-) but I understand what you mean about time awasting. I have Heart's Desire on my Kindle to start tonight!

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    1. Hi, Patricia!
      I hope you enjoy it. Let me know your favorite cupcake flavors!!!

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  11. 41 books.Catherine,that's amazing.how many do you write a year. You are an inspiration

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    1. Hi, Eleanor!

      When I compare myself to Nora Roberts and others, I feel lazy. I do best writing three or four a year.

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