‘Give them a rocky past, harsh problems,debilitating grief and sunny joy’. Part 3 of our chat with author Cathy Lamb

family love, wonderful stories, storytellers        Part 3 of my Interview with author, Cathy Lamb

I first discovered this author when I was looking for something new to read;  Henry’s Sisters is still a favorite of mine.  Cathy quickly became one of my top ten authors. TS

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

A. I start sketching them out in my journal. I first figure out what they do professionally. I then put family and friends around them. The family and friends are not the easiest people, although some are there for humorous purposes only.

I give them a rocky past, harsh problems and difficult challenges, debilitating grief and sunny joy. They get quirks, talents, and a lot of flaws, too. All this can be discovered as the draft is written and each edit is applied. I don’t know everything about my characters when I start writing that first draft. I let them live and breathe. I watch them. I write down what they’re saying, how they’re saying it. What makes them cry or throw things. What makes them fall in love. What has hurt them the most and how they’ve contributed to their own issues. It’s like watching a movie in my own head.

Q. What inspires your story/stories ?

best selling authors, Cathy LambA. Everything. Julia’s Chocolates came to life when I had an image in my head of a woman throwing her wedding dress up into a dead, gnarled tree on a deserted, dusty street. The Last Time I Was Me was inspired when I imagined a woman using an Exacto knife to open up her cheating boyfriend’s condom and slipping peanut oil into the condom using an eye dropper. She sealed it back up with a hot glue gun. The boyfriend is allergic to nuts. So is my husband. I was mad at him that night and a whole story came to me, laying in bed, two in the morning, and I thought of that condom and his allergies.

Such A Pretty Face was inspired when I wrote an article for Oregon Health Sciences University about bariatric surgery for obese people. What a journey that was for them. A Different Kind of Normal was inspired by my interest in people’s ancestral lines. If You Could See What I See was inspired by colorful lingerie, tree houses, blood, and a family owned business.

When I’m writing books, something I see during the day, part of a conversation, a person…all of those things can end up in my book that night, although I’ll twist and curl and turn them inside out to suit the story.

Q. When is your next book coming out? (or) What are you working on?  Cathy.Lamb.If-You-Could-See-SMALL[1]

A. If You Could See What I See is out August 1, 2013. Here’s the first chapter:

That’s what he was wearing when it happened. I never wear black anymore. He ended up wearing red, too.
That’s what killed my soul. The red.
He haunts me. He stalks me.
For over a year, I have tried to outrun him.
It hasn’t worked.
My name is Meggie.

I live in a tree house.

I am working on my next book, which is untitled for the moment, but due in December. Argh. December? Really?

Q. Do you want to write in another genre?

A. I would love to write screenplays. I would love to learn how to write a play. When I have time, I’ll learn how to do that. I think people should always try new things and meet new people, so it’s on the list! I do write short stories for anthologies and I love the short story format. Short. Sweet. Tight storyline. Easy to edit. Done.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

A. I go to book groups all the time. Sometimes I visit in person, often we visit using Skype. Email me at CathyLamb@frontier.com if you’d like me to join your group for the evening. I’m happy to come.

Thank you for having me on your blog!

Click here to read Part I  and Part II

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!      “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview with one once a month . These authors have already responded and you can read their interviews by clicking on their name: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal,  Karen Robards, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Patrick Taylor, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Cathy Lamb, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Raymond Benson, Andrew Grant, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  Sue Grafton is August’s author with a bonus chat with Cathy Lamb.  September will feature Tasha Alexander. Jeffrey Deaver is November’s author and  slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter.  Raymond Benson is January’s author. Loretta Chase will be featured later this year. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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