Monday, August 29, 2011

A Biographical Q&A with Cathy Maxwell - North America Giveaway

Book Description:

It’s never wise to blackmail a highwayman.

Lady Corinne, rebellious daughter of the duke of Banfield, refuses to marry Lord Freddie Sherwin. Yes, he’s the catch of the Season and the man her father chose for her. He’s also the most despicable male of her acquaintance. With her wedding only weeks away, she flees and finds herself a prisoner of the notorious Thorn!

Who says the devil isn’t a woman?

The rich and powerful tremble at the highwayman’s name, while England’s villagers rejoice in his bold exploits. His identity is a secret; his life a mystery— until Lady Corinne tumbles into his arms. If the Thorn wants her silence, he must hide her until her wedding day passes. It’s a devil’s bargain and one that can only lead to a hangman’s noose.

Corinne believes it the perfect plan—until her highwayman reveals a passionate lover’s heart, and she realizes that in the seduction of scandal, she may have found the hero she’s been waiting for her whole life.

Cathy, welcome to Romance Author Buzz.  What are some of the places you’ve lived?

Olathe, Kansas is my home—a picture book Midwest town where I learned I could do everything and anything.

I’ve been in Virginia off and on for over twenty-five years. So, I’m a Virginian by choice, but a Kansan by nature. I was raised outside of Kansas City, Kansas and went to school in Topeka.  I love big skies, rolling flint hills, and people who don’t stand on much ceremony.

Anything seems possible when I’m in Kansas, and, no, that isn’t Dorothy talking.

Were you an only child?

I had three sisters. The family is all girls—which makes my father a very lucky, and spoiled, man.

What sort of jobs have you held?

I was a news broadcaster my first few years out of college. Yes, I had the job everyone wants. I did news, sports, and weather, did voice over work, sent out affidavits, vacuumed, and made the coffee. It was great!
 I left the news business to go into the Navy. Yes, that is what I did. I always wanted to join the Navy and at the ripe age of twenty-three I made a list of the ten things I wanted to do with my life. Reading the news wasn’t on the list, but the Navy was and so was writing. I joined and have no regrets. My time in the service opened me up to the big world, had me making news instead of reporting on it, and led me to my husband.
 Other jobs? I worked in a watch factory and later sold clothes, electronics, tanks (the storage type not the armored ones) and now books.

Your books are filled with characters that find themselves in extraordinary situations and have to rise above them. Who are some of real-life heroes and heroines you admire?

Public service workers--firemen, police, EMTs, teachers; anyone who acts for the public good based upon his or her convictions; those who reach out to better the lives of others; those who raise thought-provoking concerns and arguments. I can admire Mother Theresa and Christopher Hitchens.

Who are some of the authors you most enjoy reading?

Florence King when I can find her. Jenny Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, I’m intrigued by Sophie Jordan, Sophia Nash, really any of the Avon authors. They have a great line up. Jennifer Blake’s classics are on my keeper shelf. Connie Brockway, Kristin Higgans, Nora, Linda Howard . . . I think romance is in a hey day. So many choices, so many wonderful reads.

Who are some of the authors whose work has influenced your writing style?

Andre Norton, Jennifer Blake, and Dick Francis, with a little Florence King thrown in for spice.

The writers, still living, you would most like to meet? Writers no longer alive that you would most like to meet?

Florence King. She’d probably bite my head off. Anne Lamott. I heard her speak locally once and I don’t think she’d bite me at all. I’m in the catbird seat here because I get to meet and friend my favorite romance writers.  Among those we’ve lost—Georgette Heyer, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Dick Francis, Andre Norton.

What are you favorite types of books? Historicals? Contemporaries? Biography?

I’m a sucker for non-fiction, especially about people. So I enjoy biographies but also all of those selfhelp
books that involve personal transformation. My kids roll their eyes every time I recommend a book.

When did you first start reading romance?

I discovered Georgette Heyer when I was thirteen and I’m a huge fan. She’s my favorite Regency writer. However, I didn’t start reading single title romance until I was in my late twenties. I came late to the game, but didn’t stop once I started.

Who are some of the people you most admire?

Connie Moslow. Connie started the Free Clinic in my county and I have incredible respect for her. I currently volunteer there around three to five hours a week. Her dedication to the clinic project has impacted
untold numbers of lives. It’s an honor to work beside her.

Ruth Fitzsimmons. Ruth started a retreat program for people in Virginia who are HIV positive. Not only is the program educational, it is also empowering. It gives folks a chance to be fully who they are and to feel
loved in spite of living in the shadow of AIDS.

Who are some of the people who have most influenced you?

My parents. They believe in making the world around them a better place. They taught me the power of
active volunteerism. My late husband. Kevin taught me to grab hold of life with both hands and never let go.

Do you have favorite charities or causes? Do you belong to any organizations?

Causes include the Free Clinic of Powhatan; Transformation Retreats, a retreat ministry for people with
HIV; the YMCA; Comfort Zone Camp, a support camp for kids dealing with the death of a loved one. I belong to Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc., Virginia Romance Writers, Washington Romance Writers.

What’s next on your personal and professional schedule?

On August 30th I’m at the launch of the K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign —a cocktail party hosted by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Then I’m in Kansas at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. Later, I’m in Dallas/Fort Worth to meet readers for High Tea, French-style, sponsored by Fresh Fiction and head back to my hometown, Olathe, where I’ll be awarded a place on the Wall of Honor by the Olathe Public Schools Alumni Association on October 5th. I’ll keep posting appearances on my site, so please check there.

How many novels have you written? Have they all been published?

24ish. Every book I’ve finished, I’ve published. I’m very lucky.

If you were to travel back in time—and had to stay there—where/when would you like to settle?

I do travel back in time through books. However, I like where I am here and now. I enjoy the freedom
and creativity we all have open to us.

One copy of THE SEDUCTION OF SCANDAL ~ one copy of a backlist title from the "Scandals & Seductions" series U.S. and Canada only. Don't forget to leave your email address; contest will end Sept 30th  To win a copy, follow Cathy on Facebook and tell her what you thought about this interview.

1 comment:

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Cathy! Great interview, especially those who inspire you and taught you to love life! Enjoy your upcoming travel ... you have an open invitation to Hawaii!


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