Please welcome Portland Storm series author Catherine Gayle to Diane's Book Blog.
How long did it take you to write Delay of Game?
It took 9 weeks, give or take. I had a week off in the middle of that when my nephew came for a visit, and I got sick in the middle of it, too. Oh, and I was in New Orleans for the RT Convention during the early part of writing it, so I had a lot of interruptions. I’d say I probably spent about 6 weeks of actual writing time on it over a 9 week span.
What is your favorite book that you wrote?
Breakaway, the first book in the Portland Storm series. I’d tried writing contemporary romances before that one and it hadn’t worked out very well. I’d always thought that if I could manage it, hockey romance would be a great niche for me since I love hockey, but I’d started out writing Regency-set historicals and everything I wrote came out sounding like it belonged in the 19thCentury. It was while I was stuck on one of those historicals that the idea for Breakaway came to me. I spent an hour writing the first scene, then sent it off to some friends for feedback, expecting (and maybe hoping) they’d tell me it was awful and I needed to get back to work on my historical. Instead, they said I needed to drop what I was doing and write that immediately. Which I did. Three weeks later (yes, three weeks!), I had a complete novel and a new part of my career was born.
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
I’d always thought I was a poet. I was an older college student, since I didn’t figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was already grown up, and I was taking a creative writing course. My professor very kindly described my poetic style as maximalist, which isn’t what you want to hear in regard to poetry, and he strongly encouraged me to pursue long fiction. Over the following Christmas break, I started my first novel, and I haven’t looked back since.
What's your favorite book-turned movie?
Lord of the Rings! I read the book at least once a year, and I’ve read a ton of Tolkien’s other work, as well. But where a lot of movies based upon books fail because they leave so much out, I think those movies succeed because of what they choose to leave out. They’re brilliantly done. Plus, Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom.
What is your typical day like?
My cat wakes me up around 5 am by leaping across my face multiple times, until I get up and shut her out of the bedroom. Then I go back to sleep for an hour or two, until she’s crying so loudly and frantically outside my bedroom door that I can’t take it. I get up, have 2 cups of coffee and breakfast while I turn on my computer. I deal with my emails, check in on Facebook and Twitter, and do that sort of thing while I try to wake up. Probably around 10 or 11, my brain is functioning well enough that I can be creative, so I open up my work in progress and start by reading through what I wrote the day before, tweaking and fleshing it out as I go. By the time I’m done with that, I take a break for lunch, and then I settle in after lunch for a writing session. I call it quits when it’s dinner time, or when I need to take a break and think about things, or when I am so frustrated that I can’t stare at the screen any longer without fear of throwing my computer through the window. After dinner, I hang out on the couch and watch TV, do some crocheting, or read a book…or sometimes, I pull my laptop onto my lap and do some more work because I’m an addict. There is a lot of cat play time in the evenings, as well.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin, the fifth book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. These books are so long, though, that I can’t just sit down and read them like I want to, or else I will forget to eat and sleep and do my own writing. LOL. I try to read a chapter or two at a time and then force myself to set the book down.
What do you love most about hockey?
I love the speed and intensity and almost non-stop action. Baseball is boring unless you’re there. It just doesn’t move fast enough for me. Football could be okay if they didn’t stop the clock incessantly. I’ve never been able to get into basketball or soccer. They just don’t do much for me. But hockey? It never quits. I watch it every night of the season, and I never get bored.
Who is you favorite real life hockey team?
I have two! The Detroit Red Wings have been my team since I was a kid. I grew up in Texas, and back in the day, we didn’t have a home team. In the first game I watched, Steve Yzerman of the Red Wings got a hat trick, and that was all it took to convince me that was my team and he was my guy. A few years after that, the Stars moved down to Dallas, so I adopted them as my secondary team. Even though I live in North Carolina now (Hurricanes country), those two teams are still the two I follow. I subscribe to Center Ice so I can watch all of their games.