Jen: This weekend we welcome Cathrine Ann to Romancing the Book. Cathrine, will you please share a short bio with us?
Cathrine: I am 54 years old and the President of Consumer Connection Inc., an international Mystery Shopping company. We are one of the largest in Canada and we employ thousands of contractors every year. I have won numerous entrepreneurial awards including the prestigious YWCA Women of Distinction award for Entrepreneur/Innovator. Not bad for someone that was homeless, unemployed and broke (and worse) just a few years ago!
Jen: Tell us about Beautiful Buttons and where it’s available:
Cathrine: Beautiful Buttons: A Memoir of Survival and Triumph and it’s available at Amazon.ca and Chapters.ca, and at bookstores everywhere across Canada. It will soon be available in the US and in other countries as well.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Cathrine: This is my first book. I never ever thought that I would actually end up writing my own book. After I got a book deal with Key Porter Publishing, my literary agent hooked me up with the person that I thought would be writing my book. But as I saw the drafts that were submitted, I didn’t read or feel my voice in the pages. I knew that I would have to write the book myself. My literary agent was freaking out saying, OMG! Cathrine, you’re a business person NOT an author! But after Key Porter read what I submitted, they were more than happy. I said, well, it looks like I’m an author after all! LOL!
Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Cathrine: Raw. Real. Honest.
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Cathrine: Since I have ADD and a learning disability, it was VERY difficult for me to keep my thoughts organized. I gave props in my Acknowledgement page to Jonathan Schmidt, the Editor at Key Porter for his help sorting out my disorganization.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Cathrine: The most difficult part for me was having to relive my life over and over again when for so many years I just wanted to forget. The easiest was putting my voice and thoughts to paper and recalling things so vividly from the past and being able to put that to paper.
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Cathrine: Helping others to change their lives too. I get calls and e-mails all the time from people who have heard me speak about my personal story/journey or read about me in magazines or newspaper articles and they contact me to say that I have changed their lives. Or saved their lives – that’s something that is so incredible and mind blowing. I help people change their lives by having changed and saved my life first.
Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Cathrine: Stephen King. His book On Writing I believe it’s called. It was like he was talking to me as I read. I wanted my book to be just like that. Plus, my story was often a bit of a horror story itself at times! LOL!
Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book?
Cathrine: Oh, I’m supposed to celebrate? LOL!…just kidding…2 book launches – one provided by the Vancouver Public Library and one local near my home…celebrating with staff and friends and lots of bubbly!!!
Jen: What has been your highlight of your career to this point?
Cathrine: Well, running my company successfully for 12 years is an ongoing highlight…speaking all over North America is always a highlight and now the book….my life is one ongoing highlight that keeps getting topped by the last highlight.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Cathrine: Walk my 5 dogs, work on launching The Cathrine Ann Project (CAP) my animal philanthropic project in Los Cabos, Mexico, go to the gym, watch UFC – I’m a HUGE fan – and work, work, work.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Cathrine: Well, I am hoping to secure a movie deal as I’ve gotten a lot of interest from Hollywood. But nothing is signed yet.
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Cathrine: How’d I do? LOL!
Jen: Are we holding a contest during your promo? If so, what is the prize and are there any restrictions for the winner (such as age or location)?
Jen: Readers, Cathrine is giving away two autographed copies of Beautiful Buttons. Due to shipping costs, the winners must live in North America. To enter the contest, you must first leave a question or comment for Cathrine. Then to finish your entry, you need to either include your email address in your comment or send a message to email@example.com. The winners will be chosen on Thursday, October 21.