by Catherine Castle
Have you ever begun writing something that didn’t work for you?
That’s what happened to me with my book The Nun and the Narc. When I originally started it the heroine was a missionary. But as the book progressed I began having trouble with it. The words wouldn’t come. The plot kept failing, and I got stuck. Then, one of my critique partners suggested I make the heroine a nun.
I knew if I changed my heroine to a nun the book would be a harder sell in the Christian market than if she had a more generic, evangelistic faith or if she was an Amish heroine. And it has been a hard sell because it didn’t fit the traditional inspirational market. But the more I thought about the suggestion, the more I liked the idea.
I have always loved stories about nuns. The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews, who had the voice of an angel, was one of my favorite movies. I even played one of the chorus nuns in a high school production of The Sound of Music. I loved the television series The Flying Nun and never missed an episode with Sister Bertrille, a nun at the convent San Tanco in Puerto Rico, whose oversized headgear allowed her to fly. And as an Elvis fan, of course I had to see the film A Change of Habit starring Mary Tyler Moore and Elvis. As a journalist I had the opportunity to interview nuns who had left their orders because they fell in love. These stories of women who had committed themselves, or were about to commit, to a “marriage” with God, yet fell in love with a man, intrigued me. I realized I had an innate curiosity about the subject that would carry me through the story. I wanted to know what made these women tick. I wanted to know about the struggles they had to go through to make their decisions. And so, The Nun and the Narc was born.
What’s the moral of my little anecdote?
Write the book, or books, of your heart. If your work in progress isn’t working, consider whether or not you really love what you’re writing about. Does it excite you? Are you anxious to sit down at the computer and tell the story? Is it a book of your heart? If not, can you change something about it to make it a book of your heart? It may be as simple as changing your character’s vocation, or avocation. It may be something that requires more thought or more change. Or you might not be able to salvage it…this time.
The point is, if you don’t love your story how can you expect an editor or a reader to love it?
Are you writing the book of your heart? What is it?
Thanks, Tamara, for having me as a guest blogger today.
Meet the Author
Catherine Castle is the romance author pen name of Catherine Hershberger, a published poet and freelance writer whose non-fiction work, for children and adults, has appeared in the secular and Christian markets. Her first published inspirational suspense romance novel, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, will be released as an e-book April 24, 2013.
Catherine began writing stories and poems almost as soon as she could string words together on paper. When other students groaned at essays and term paper assignments, she relished the chance to research new things and write. Poetry was her first love. Then she tried her hand at fiction as a teenager, writing her first book in longhand on lined paper. It was an awful story of teen love showered upon her favorite teenaged actor. She still has it and, no, you cannot read it. J But you can find samples of her poetry and other writing on her website.
When she’s not writing or working on a writing project with her husband, whom she also coauthors with, you can find Catherine reading. She owns hundreds of books and magazines, on all kinds of subjects, that constantly threaten to overrun the house. She’s trying to control the book habit with her Kindle. It’s not working so well; she may need a second Kindle to keep up. So many books—so little time.
Catherine also likes traveling, singing, and attending theatre, as well as being onstage in the spotlight. 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. For weeks after receiving the award she went around the house, wearing a smile big enough to crack her face, saying, “I’m an award winning gardener!” It was—besides marrying her high-school sweetheart, the birth of their daughter, being an ACFW Genesis contest finalist, and receiving her book contract with Soul Mate Publishing—one of the best events in her life.
In Catherine’s Ohio garden you’ll find flowers from friends and from her mother’s gardens that have been moved from house-to-house, city-to-city, and state-to-state. Like stories, which are meant to be enjoyed and passed on, Catherine believes flowers should be shared. If you come to her home when the garden is blooming you’ll leave with a big bouquet.
You can see Catherine’s excerpts from her upcoming book, pictures of her garden, read her poems and blogs, connect with her, and follow her at http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com. She also blogs on the Soul Mate Author Group http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/ the fourth Tuesday of the month.
The Nun and the Narc
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.
The Nun and the Narc, will be released as an e-book from Soul Mate Publishing, April 24, 2013.