Today, another author joins us for interview. Please welcome Caddy Rowland, author of The Gastien Series...
Well, I have been published for less than a year. I had always wanted to write a novel, but put it on hold. You know, that “someday” file. Then, two years ago, I got breast cancer. It was caught really early, so I am completely cured, but getting cancer taught me that “someday” can easily never come. After I had finished up with radiation and started to get my strength back, I decided to go for it.
2. Can you tell us about your book, Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream?
It is the first book in The Gastien Series (there will be five). This book is really Gastien’s coming of age, and his struggle to stay alive on the streets of Paris. It takes place in late nineteenth century Paris. That was during the height of Impressionism in painting. Gastien is from a farm, the eldest son of a cruel, abusive father. He leaves home at eighteen to become a painter and, no matter what the cost, have his own studio. Peasants owning property was almost impossible in those days. Because he suffered physical and mental abuse, he would like to feel something besides pain, but does not want to get close to anyone. He decides to become a very skilled lover. That way he can finally feel pleasure. He heard his father using his mother and how it made her cry, so he vows to also make it wonderful for the women he partners with. That was unheard of in those days, so he would become a very desirable lover by the wives and daughters of the upper classes.
There is a lot of darkness and struggle in the book. Gastien vowed to stop at nothing to get his dream. When promoting the book, I like to say: Sometimes the “impossible” is possible. But the cost can be extremely high.
I am also a painter, so that era has always interested me. I did some past life regression and ended up back during that timeframe in Paris. Reading about that whole bohemian artist era in Paris is fascinating! People think we are decadent now, but we are nothing compared to Montmartre and everything that was legal there! And what a time to be painting! The camera had been invented so artists were forced to think in new ways. Just reproducing realism had lost its glow. In order to stay needed artists had to show things in new ways.
4. What do you find most appealing about writing historical fiction?
I get lost in the period. It is such fun learning about the things people did not have, and about what things were considered acceptable and not acceptable. It is great fun to add historical events to fictional ones. I hope it gives the reader a sense of belonging to another time.
5. What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you?
I need to work on weaving in historical events and facts better instead of dumping too much information at once. I would say that is hardest for me.
6. How much research do you do for your books?
I spend just as much time researching as I do writing the story. I use the internet and various books. I had three books that I used a lot for the first two books in the series.
7. What was the best advice you ever received as a writer?
To go indie. I did not realize that the majority of new authors were doing that. What freedom!
8. Who has inspired you as an author?
I don’t have specific authors that inspire my writing, but I do have certain ones I love to read. They tend to be male for some reason. I liked Harold Robbins, Sidney Sheldon, John Steinbeck, and George Orwell (1984 is my favorite novel).
All of these authors wrote raw, gritty stories that were not always pretty. Some were very graphic and angst ridden. I like a story that causes strong reaction. I don’t write pretty, I write real. I also write for a reader who likes characters who are at times hated, and yet loved. Readers who do not expect a certain formula, but want to be entertained and moved.
I also really love William Burroughs, an old beatnik writer. His novels are very surreal. Not for those looking for realism, the writing is like an abstract painting.
9. What’s next for you?
Well, Gastien Part 2: From Dream to Destiny came out in December and I am currently working on the third book in the series. The name of it is Tristan Michel: Bloodline of Passion. I hope to have it out in May. Then I will write books four and five. After that, who knows? I have several novels pounding on my brain.
Her blog: Writer of Fiction, Painter of Life and Energy
Meet Gastien Beauchamp: http://www.facebook.com/Gastien.Beauchamp
Where to Find Gastien (Part One: The Cost of the Dream):
Available in Paperback at https://www.createspace.com/3664944
Available on Amazon for Kindle http://tinyurl.com/3ecu8ku
Available on Barnes and Noble for NOOK http://tinyurl.com/3luddg7
Where to Find Gastien Part 2: From Dream to Destiny:
Available in Paperback at https://www.createspace.com/3749863
Available on Amazon for Kindle http://tinyurl.com/bv9zosn
Available on Barnes and Noble for NOOK http://tinyurl.com/cx87deq