Author Interview: Cathy Bryant
I would like to welcome author Cathy Bryant to New Horizon Reviews, today. Cathy is an Amazon best-selling author and she loves to write heart-stirring stories of God's life-changing grace.
`Pieces On Earth` (book blurb): As the wife of a naval aviator in sunny Florida, Liv Tulley eagerly anticipates the first Christmas in several years with her husband, daughter, and extended family. Then her husband is unexpectedly deployed for an undetermined amount of time, smashing her white Christmas dreams to pieces, even as she harbors a secret and battles fear. Can she find God's peace in the midst of life's pieces?
Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant loves to write heart-stirring stories of God's life-changing grace and has done so through six Miller's Creek novels, two Bible studies, one Christmas novella, and two devotional books written in collaboration with other Christian authors. She's also written for The Upper Room devotional magazine. When she's not writing, you'll find her rummaging through thrift stores, romping in the great outdoors, or up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin she shares with her minister husband of over thirty years. You can connect with Cathy in the following online spots, including her website:http://www.CatBryant.com, where you can download a free eBook copy of one of her novels.
(1) What inspired you to become an author?
It was actually a combination of things which prompted me to become an author. First of all, I've always been an avid reader. It didn't take much for me to make the leap into writing, which I did begin in elementary school. In high school, I entered and won several competitions, and I had the perfect after-school job for a writer. I worked at the local newspaper office. Though I shelved writing for a few years to pursue a music education degree, I came back to it every summer.
Secondly (and several years down the road), a friend loaned me her copy of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I literally sobbed as I read the book, and I realized with gut-wrenching clarity how God loves us so much in spite of our spiritual adultery. I knew at that moment I wanted to write life-changing stories for God and His kingdom.
But still I put off my dreams of writing Christian fiction. A few more years passed, and our baby chicks flew the coop, I lost a friend to breast cancer, and I had a few troubling diagnoses of my own. The brevity and uncertainty of life made me realize that if I was going to pursue my writing dream, now was the time. From that moment on, I never looked back. I attended writer's conferences, took online classes, and snatched up the best books on the craft of writing, treating them like college textbooks, complete with dog-eared pages and highlights. Within a year, I had written my first-ever completed novel, Texas Roads, and made it to the finals in the 2009 ACFW Genesis contest.
(2) What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?
To me, Christian fiction is significant because it has the power to impact lives for eternity. After Texas Roads launched, I received a letter from a female inmate in a Texas prison. Somehow she'd come across a copy of the book, a story about finding a true home. She wrote me to let me know that the book had changed her life. In addition, she had started a Bible study with several of the other prisoners. If I never receive another letter from a reader, that one communication made all the long hours I put in behind a computer screen worth every second.
(3) What was your favorite book as a child?
I had lots of favorites, but if I have to choose just one it would be Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables. I identified with Anne with an "e" like no other character in any other book. I felt her angst at having carrot red hair and being teased by Gilbert. I understood her desire to please Matthew and Marilla. I rejoiced at her desire to re-frame everything with a romantic flare, including the naming of The Great White Way. *happy sigh* Yeah, I truly love Anne. And I often pull out my well-worn copy of the book to once more re-visit Avonlea.
(4) Have you always dreamed of being an author?
While it hasn't been my only ambition, being an author has definitely always been a dream. Honestly, my bucket list item was "write a novel." But I've been bitten by the writing bug, and I'm not sure I'll ever recover.
(5) How do you hope your readers will react to the stories you write?
My author tagline is "heart-stirring stories, life-changing grace," which I feel perfectly encapsulates my desire for my reader friends. I want to tug at their hearts for the purpose of changing their lives with the truth of God's grace.
(6) What has been the most surprising aspect of being a published author?
The endless work that has absolutely nothing to do with writing, which includes formatting, graphic design, marketing, promotion, etc. It really is endless...
(7) Who encouraged you to write?
So many people to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. Teachers, students, my first boss, my mom, my husband, friends, other writers...yet another endless list.
(8) What authors impress you?
This question makes me smile because the list is so long and eclectic--from Dr. Seuss to Francine Rivers, from Louisa May Alcott to Robert Whitlow, from Carolyn Keene to Mark Twain, and many, many more in between.
(9) How has being an author impacted your relationship with Christ?
I'm constantly amazed at how God uses my writing to speak His capital-T truth into my heart. In Texas Roads, he taught me that no home on earth can compare to having Christ as my home. In A Path Less Traveled I learned that faith means stepping out, even when it seems to make absolutely no sense. In The Way of Grace, the story took me to a place of personal healing with the importance of bestowing on others the grace God has lavished on me. Pilgrimage of Promise came from a very trying period in my life in when I learned that without fail, God is always faithful to keep His promises. From A Bridge Unbroken, I was reminded that forgiveness is something we do in spite of our scars. In Crossroads, I grew stronger in my faith and bolder about sharing that faith with others. And with this new and totally unexpected Christmas novella, I learned that even in the pieces of our broken lives we can experience the unfathomable peace of God.
(10) How did you decide to write this story?
Without going into details, this year has brought a lot of broken pieces, culminating in a heartbreak I never saw coming. I was literally crushed as were other family members. When the smoke cleared, it was as though I sat in a war zone of broken hearts, wondering if life could ever again be the same. But in the midst of devastation and pain, God's unfathomable peace sustained me in a way I never realized was possible. I'm living proof that you can experience God's peace in life.