Friday, April 5, 2013

Catie Rhodes opens the "Forever Road"

Today I want to feature my friend, Catie Rhodes, author of Forever Road. We met through her blog...where I had one of those "Google Alerts" pop up to tell me somebody might be mentioning my book, Dead: The Ugly Beginning. Over time, that casual meeting (I signed up to follow her blog that day and left a comment saying thank you) turned into an honest-to-goodness friendship. Today is the launch of her DEBUT novel!!! I was fortunate to receive an ARC and will be posting a review this evening, but I want the day to be all about Catie, so please say hello to the lovely and talented Catie Rhodes.

What is your favorite part about being a writer?

Getting to do something I love that challenges me constantly. Not having to put on lipstick and pantyhose to go to work. Saying the eff-word when I feel like it.

What are some of the lessons you have learned as a writer that caught you off guard?

How hard it is! I mean, I thought I’d just sit down and pound out the next big thing. And that it wouldn’t take much effort. Boy, was I wrong. If I knew back then how hard it was going to be, I am not sure I’d have had the nerve to try.

Buy it HERE!!!

What can you share about your writing process?

I like to rough draft in Scrivener (software). The way the program allows me to see my book broken down into scenes and chapters at a glance helps me stay organized. The software also helps me see what is missing and evaluate continuity issues.

I rely heavily on my critique partner, Stacy Green, and my wonderful editing team. Forever Road would have been a piece of junk without their help.

If you could work with any other indie author on a book, who would it be and what would you like to explore?

Todd Brown. I’d like to write a story (or maybe series of them) exploring the darker side of human nature. Something with elements of Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad.

(Todd says, “That sounds like serious fun!”)

What could traditional publishing learn from the Indies? And how about the other way around?

Traditional Publishing – Pay attention to readers. They know what they like.

Indies – Invest in editors. They will make your story shine.

The writing community can be its own worst enemy at times. What are some of the issues you see cropping up? Solutions?

The divisiveness I see makes me want to run and hide. And I’m not just talking traditional vs. indie. I see it broken down into indies who have agents vs. indies who don’t. Indies who follow one marketing guru rolling their eyes at the devotees of another guru. You name it.

Humans are insecure creatures. One way of affirming we are traveling the right path is to denounce the other camp. I understand that, but it just gets old.

The social media is…

Social media is virtual methamphetamine. The instant gratification is addictive and affirming. It’s difficult to break away and, you know, get some work done.

Share some information about your work with us:

I enjoy exploring folklore and urban legends in my fiction. So far this has come out in the form of ghosts. But I have plans to incorporate elements of folk witchcraft as well as folklore involving creatures that may or may not exist into the Peri Jean Mace books. I also have plans for a few short stories involving urban legends.

What is one question you are sick of being asked—not in interviews, but by individuals who know you write?

Writing, you say? Isn’t that more like a hobby? What about a real job?

Or worse…

Aren’t you like forty? Isn’t it time to grow up? You know, stop wearing checkered Vans and mooning people on the freeway….

(Kidding, but only a little)

How will you deal with negative reviews?

As professionally as possible. Cry in private if necessary.

How much reading do you get in, and can a writer excel at his or her craft if they do not read?

I know of some writers who do not read fiction. I couldn’t do that. I’d be so sad. Reading fiction is what made me want to do this. I read every day, usually at bedtime and upon waking.

When does self-promotion cross the line and become a nuisance?

I dislike being included in email blasts (including Facebook private messages) without my permission. I think that’s not a great way to approach people.

It also annoys me to follow someone on Twitter and get an immediate direct message asking me to check out a book, a blog, whatever. I mean, come on. The most I’m going to do is send back a link to my book just to let them know how it feels.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on a novella for the Peri Jean Mace series. It will take place the spring or summer after the events of Forever Road and will be set in South Louisiana. Peri will have to solve a 20-year-old murder and learn even more about her super power.

What is one thing about you that would surprise the readers who do not know you personally?

I have a thick East Texas accent. Watch the movie Bernie if you don’t know what I mean. It features faux interviews for which they hired locals as extras. That’s about how I sound. And I will do almost anything not to talk on the phone with people who have never met me face to face.

Since your playlist feature on your blog is my favourite, take a minute and share some of your playlist for Forever Road.

I listened to a lot of Ry Cooder while I wrote. My favorites were “Houston in Two Seconds,” “See You in Hell, Blind Boy,” and “Paris, Texas.”

Another favorite was Carl Orff’s “Gassenhaur,” which you may remember from the soundtracks of both Badlands and True Romance.

Is there anyone you’d like to give a mention?

My good friend and critique partner Stacy Green is releasing her second novel—and the first book in her Delta Crossroads Series—this month. The name of it is Tin God, and it’s a creepy suspense/thriller. Be sure to check it out.

What is in your “to be read” pile right now?

As always, a mixed bag.

The Trailer Park Tiara and The Goat Incident by Annetta Ribken
Graveyard Blues by Reina Salt
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Just Like That by Les Edgerton
Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
That Ghoul Ava by Todd Brown


Forever Road (Super cool debut novel from Catie Rhodes!)


  1. First off, thanks for the shout outs! Loved this interview. Great questions and as always, well thought out answers from Catie. As Catie's critique partner, I have learned a lot about writing and myself. And I can say that Forever Road is an excellent book. I am a very picky reader, and when I received the ARC, I read the book in one night even though I knew how it ended. Very proud of her!

    1. Thanks, Stacy! I've learned a lot from you. And I still despair that I'll never be able to convey emotions as well as you do. So there. Thank you so much for your support and friendship. I would not be here today without you. For a zillion different reason.

    2. We all need people like that as we try to craft our stories.

  2. Thanks so much for interviewing me, Todd! I had a great time answering your questions.

    And...thanks for the glowing review. You are so lucky you don't live near me last night. I'd have come to your house and hugged you. And your dog.

    1. The interview was a pleasure, and the review was straight from the hip. You deserve huge praise for such a fun read. And I will keep that hug on account.

  3. Really nice interview, Catie. You know, I've never read an interview featuring you so it was cool to get to know you better. And yeah, it's great not to have the typical job. I already did that before becoming a mom. I wore the suit and perky bow tie and heels. AACK! It was sort of fun then but I can't imagine putting away my Jordans now and joining that life again.
    I'm fortunate I don't have to!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview, Patti! I rarely do them because I think, "Oh who cares about that?"

      As for the typical job, I started working as a secretary when I was 16. By the time I quit the last job, I was sooo sick of it. And fascinated by how much of my paycheck I spent on clothes, lunches, makeup, and hair.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. I just got mine from the Zon. Can't wait to dig in! I love Caties blog and short stories, so I know I'm in for a treat.

    1. This would be a perfect candidate for the 30 minute reader (hint).

    2. Oooh, I'm curious to see what you think, Greg. Even if you hate it.

    3. Todd: Funny you should say that...
      Catie: I do hate it. But I'm going to read it and see if I change my mind. ;-)

  5. Great interview, and nice to meet a new author! Loved your bio Catie (had me cracking up), and have added your book to my reading list. Jimmy Pudge sent me here. <3

    1. Oh, I just love Jimmy! He cracks me up. If I want to laugh, I go mess with Jimmy on Facebook. Hope you enjoy Forever Road.

  6. Great interview! I was fortunate to receive an ARC and I just want to say I thought the book was excellent. Congratulations, Catie!!!

    1. Thanks for all your support, Rhonda!