Sunday, 6 May 2012

Author Interview: Cathy Woodman

Over the last couple of years I have read and loved all four of the previous books in the Talyton St George series written by Cathy Woodman.  The latest book in the series, The Village Vet, has just been published and I'm glad to be able to welcome Cathy to the blog today to answer a few questions.
How long did it take you to get your first book published?
About nine years! Having received many rejections from agents and publishers, I had my lucky break when I entered the Harry Bowling competition for a synopsis and first chapter of a novel set in London and was joint winner in 2002. I met my agent, Laura, at the award ceremony.

Do you have a set daily writing routine?
I have a chaotic life combining writing with teaching Animal Management and Vet Nursing at a local college, along with acting as taxi driver for my teenage offspring and looking after two horses, three dogs, cat and rat, so I tend to write until late at night. When I’m getting close to a deadline for sending a manuscript to my editor, I have been known to stay up all night, something I did several times while writing The Village Vet.
Have any of your characters in your books been based on people you know?  If so, did they recognise themselves?
My characters are all fictional, although I have had requests from people asking if they can be in the next book. I wouldn’t write about a real person in case I offended them! 

How hard is it to come up with the plot for books?
It isn’t difficult. Characters and stories are always popping into my head at the oddest times which is why I always have a pen and paper with me. Train journeys provide me with the most inspiration, but I’m not sure why. If I should ever have the misfortune of suffering from the dreaded writer’s block, I would cure it by taking a trip on a train. 

If you could write another style of genre, what would it be and why?
I’d write books for the teen market because I keep being asked to write them by my niece, Jess, who is my number one fan!

After writing 5 successful novels, how do you manage to keep yourself motivated?
I’m very lucky because I love to write, so I don’t have any problems with keeping motivated. In fact, I get frustrated when I don’t have time to write every day. 

Have you got a favourite out of all the books you've written, if so, which one and why?
Trust Me, I’m a Vet because it is the first of the books where we meet the characters of my fictional market town of Talyton St George in Devon.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Never give up! I could have so easily given up with each rejection letter I received, but I didn’t because I was always moving on to the next writing project and using the feedback to avoid making the same mistakes again. I think it’s important to respect other people’s opinions of your writing too because they could well be reading your novels in the future. 

Are you able to give us a hint about what your next novel is about?  And when is it likely to be published?
The next novel is also set in Talyton St George and is about the romance between Nicci, a glamorous event rider and doctor, and Matt who is an equine vet. Vets in Love will be published in November this year.

Can you describe The Village Vet in 20 words or less?     
The Village Vet is a story of love, romance and rescue, set in an Animal Sanctuary. 

I cannot wait to read this one because if it's anything like the others I'll be hooked in no time.  I'll have to a little while though as I've got to get through all the books in my to-be-read pile first before I can buy anymore from my Amazon wishlist.

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