Wednesday, November 27, 2013
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Catherine Spangler
I am happy to bring you all an exclusive interview with bestselling RITA-nominated author Catherine Spangler, who penned the Shielder & Sentinel series, the former a sci-fi romance and the latter paranormal romance.
Enjoy this look inside her mind!
1. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer and why?
I've always made up stories, even when I was in elementary school. In high school, a creative writing teacher singled me out and gave me special writing assignments because he thought I was way ahead of the class. That's when I really thought about writing. But it wasn't until I was thirty-something with two children, that the desire to write took off. It was triggered by a college catalog coming in the mail. There was a one-day writing course listed inside, and I knew immediately I wanted to take that course. After that, I was fully engaged in writing. I think it was the universe giving me a nudge.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What authors do you enjoy today?
When I was younger, I devoured Nancy Drew, Louisa May Alcott, Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Then I moved on to Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, then Linda Howard, and so many others. Some of my favorite authors today are Nalini Singh, J.D. Robb, Kay Hooper, J.R. Ward, Jim Butcher. There are many more, but I can't name them all here.
3. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
I don't know about the career, because this is such a tough business. I do hope I'll never stop writing, so I'd like to think I'll have more books written in ten years.
4. In Touched by Darkness, instead of making the situation be about only the leading male & female characters, you turned it into a family thing, with Kara's son. Why did you decide to incorporate that extra level?
I don't normally give children large roles in my books, because my stores are romances and focused on the hero and heroine. In this case, Alex needed to be part of the story. I have to write a story as it speaks to me, and as my inner voice tells me it needs to be. In this case, Alex was pivotal to the story. There aren't any children in the other Sentinel books.
5. Why Atlantis? You not only did a lot of research to write this, but you also had to fabricate quite a bit. What was it about Atlantis as opposed to other mythological places and inhabitants?
I have been fascinated with Atlantis all my life. No one really knows if it existed or what it might have really been like. But I've ready many books on Atlantis, and have even written an article, based on the Edgar Cayce readings. The Sentinel books are also based on the Cayce readings.
6. Were any of your wildly unique and different characters based on real people?
Not directly, except for Touched by Light, where Tami Lang is a very real person, and I portrayed her pretty accurately. I do think some of every author's real life experiences flavor their characters and their stories.
7. If there were to be a movie made featuring your stories, who would you pick to play your creations?
I am terrible at stuff like this, because I don't even know who the current hot young actors are. If anyone reading this has some ideas, please be sure to contact me and let me know.
8. So far, you've written three Sentinel novels. Do you foresee more in your future?
I do. I have two on the "drawing board", Barrie's story (she's introduced in Touched by Fire), and Matt's story (the missing Sentinel in Touched by Light).
9. After you wrote Touched by Darkness, did you originally plan on writing more novels or were you sort of surprised into it?
I'm always surprised into it! I actually sold Touched by Darkness to Berkley as a two-book deal, but had no idea what the second book would be about. I'm an organic writer, a "pantster" and I discover my characters and the story as I write.
10. Your previous Shielder series earned you a RITA nomination. Can you tell the readers more about that series?
These are science fiction romances set in another world, with the main focus on the Shielders, a race of people facing annihilation. It sounds grim, but all the books have happy endings. Shadow Fires was the book that received the RITA nomination, and while the heroine was a human Shielder, the hero was part reptilian. It was an intriguing but difficult book to write. The Shielder books will be reissued online in the next few months.
11. What made you change from that to the Sentinel series and what is the biggest difference between the two, in your opinion?
It was time to do something different, and the Sentinel stories were starting to speak to me. The biggest difference between the two series is that the first was set in another galaxy, and outside of the main characters, was populated with odd, non-human creatures. The Sentinels are in human bodies, on current day Earth (although they do have super powers).
12. Do you have any other books in the works? If yes, can you/are you willing to share anything with us?
I have more books planned. Possibly a sixth Shielder book, and I'm also working on a dark fallen angel series.
13. Your bio says you like to have football games as background noise while you nap. Are you a football fan and, if yes, will you never incorporate than fandom into your writing one day?
I'm not a huge football fan, and the Dallas Cowboys haven't been playing very well! I think the background noise of a game is perfect for napping!
14. Kara has dealt with a lot of loss, heartache and single motherhood. Is there anything from her story that you would like readers to take; any message or lesson?
It's a message that runs through all of my books: the human spirit is strong and resilient. We can endure tremendous suffering and trauma, yet we can also heal, rise above it, and find happiness and joy.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview! Can you please leave the reader with three things that may surprise them about you?
Thank you so much for interviewing me.
Wow. I've got to say I'm really not a surprising person. Okay, here goes:
1) I do accounting in my day job. 2) I'm an avid poker player (all in!). 3) I've studied many metaphysical topics, am knowledgeable in astrology, and used to read Tarot cards.
Find Ms. Spanglervia the following:
Labels: Atlantis, author, author interview, Catherine Spangler, edgar caycee, interview, nancy drew, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, sci-fi, science fiction, sentinel, shielder, supernatural
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