Please give a warm welcome to author Catherine Castle today as she talks about her new book The Nun & the Narc. Leave her some of your own questions and comments below.
What was the inspiration behind this book?
I have to credit one of my critique partners with the inspiration for The Nun and the Narc because the original concept was for the heroine to be a missionary. I was writing the book for a contest entry, but it wasn’t working, and it kept getting stalled. After my critique partner suggested I change my heroine to a nun, novice actually, the book took off.How much do you have in common with Sister Margaret Mary?
I have to say, I don’t think I have much in common with the good sister, except we both love the Lord. I don’t actually see any other traits in her personality that match mine. I’m not sure I can say that about other characters I’ve created. What kind of research did you have to do for this book?What is one of your favorite scenes?
Since I’m not a nun, have never been to Mexico, and know nothing about the drug trade, I had to do some research. For one of the scenes, I also had to check on border crossings and find the best places to sneak across the border illegally. I did worry a bit about what the government might think if they seized my computer while I was researching these things.
I have quite a few. The Mexican market scene where Margaret is tailing her young friend is one of my favorite scenes. Readers have said this scene comes alive for them. I wrote this scene with mariachi music blaring from my CD player. That was one of the only times I’ve listened to music to help me set a mood in a scene. Guess it worked.What do you think makes your book stand out in this competitive romantic suspense genre?
I could tell you what I think makes my book stand out, but I believe what readers have been saying is a stronger statement. Readers say my book has polished writing, an intriguing title, and a book description the hooks the reader. They have called the book fast-paced, funny, filled with vivid characters that they care about and root for, a just-one-more-chapter, make-you-lose-sleep kind of book. I’m not going to argue with praise like that.When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve been writing since my youth. The decision to do something professionally began when I decided I could write something for my local weekly newspaper in the early 90s. Our church was building a new sanctuary and I asked the paper if I could write an article about the groundbreaking. They said, “Yes.” I wrote the story and I was hooked when I saw my name in the byline. They didn’t change a word, and I thought, “I could do this.” I got up the courage and asked if I could become a stringer. I began writing fiction with publication as a goal after I covered a story on the Ohio Valley Romance Writers conference. Finding a group of fellow writers was very helpful in starting me on the fiction road.How does your faith influence your writing?
My faith causes me to want to write inspirational or religiously themed books that will appeal to non-believers. Inspirational romance is often considered “safe reading for believers.” While there is a place for that kind of book, many non-believers would never consider picking up an inspirational romance. When we write books that only believers will read, I think we are missing opportunities to let non-believers know about the blessing of faith. The Nun and the Narc is not a typical inspirational romance. It’s out-of-the- box and not a true inspirational by industry standards. But, according to my reviews, it appeals to Christians as well as non-Christians. That’s exactly what I wanted to do with this book, and any other “inspirational” books I write.Please tell us about your other writings.
Aside from my fiction, I have over 600 non-fiction articles that have been published in the secular and the Christian markets. I’ve written for children, newspapers, magazines, and I have written plays, dramas, and fiction with my husband.On what projects are you currently working?
I have multiple projects. I tend juggle several things at a time whether I’m writing or crafting. Currently, I’m working on something with my husband. I also have several partially finished romance books/ I usually have a few poems in various stages of composition, and I have two music compositions I’m working on right now. Oh, and a gardening devotional that is in the final stages of what I hope is the last revision.The tagline on your website is "Romance for the Ages." How did you come up with that?
I wanted something that wasn’t limiting for my website tag, since I read and want to write in multiple genres and subgenres. The ‘ages’ part of the tagline was meant to be inclusive of romance that YA and well as adults would be able to read and books that cover all historical ages, as well.What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I’m afraid of mice and rodents. When I see them on the movies I close my eyes, cringe, and lift my feet off of the floor.Is there anything else you would like to add?
The Nun and the Narc is an 2014 EPIC finalist in the action/adventure romance category. I’m very excited to be a finalist.Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you for hosting me!
Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.
Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what
Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.
Read an excerpt:
Margaret inched forward, hoping to hear what they were saying. A mariachi band nearby blared out a tune, the polka-like melody destroying any hope of eavesdropping. The shriek of off-key brass sent chills up her spine. She covered her ears and moved closer to Rafael and the stranger.
After a couple of minutes of conversation, the man removed an envelope from his jacket and pulled out a handful of bills. He folded them in half and then slipped them into Rafael’s extended hand. With a furtive glance around, Rafael moved closer to the man, blocking Margaret’s direct view, and handed something to the stranger.
A wave of apprehension swept over Margaret. The chapulines she’d snacked on earlier that morning threatened to see the light of day.
A drug deal! Of all the things Rafael could do, this was the worst.
Esperanza had fought so hard to keep her son away from bad influences. Now he appeared to be involved in the very thing she’d hated most. Margaret imagined Esperanza banging on the gates of purgatory, trying to get out and rescue her son.
She hesitated for a moment, hearing Mother Superior’s admonishment. Stay out of trouble while you are in Mexico, Sister.
Silencing the nagging voice in her head, Margaret charged forward, protective instincts in full swing.
Stopping Rafael and talking to him about the dangers of drugs surely wouldn’t qualify as trouble. Bluntness, maybe, but not trouble. It was more like saving. Yes, that’s it. I’m saving him.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist and is a 2013 EPIC finalist.
Catherine’s website: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com
Catherine’s blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/
Catherine’s Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle
Catherine’s Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085414.Catherine_Castle