Rural Lit is the fastest growing genre in Australia at the moment and I’m really proud to be a part of it. Today I’m bringing you the newest author on the scene, Cathryn Hein and her book Promises. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard nothing but good reports about it. When I’m in town next, I’ll be heading to the local bookshop to pick up a copy. Congratulations, Cathryn, there is really nothing like holding your first book in your hand!
Hi Fleur, and thanks for inviting me on your blog. And a big wave hello to all your readers. I’m delighted to be here.
I was born horse mad and my reading has always reflected this. Mary O’Hara’s My Friend Flicka trilogy was followed by every single book in Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series, and the utter bliss of National Velvet and International Velvet. I can still remember clutching those books to my chest and sighing theatrically as my own romantic horsey dreams swirled in my head.
So it comes as no surprise that I wanted to write books where horses featured in the plot. I’ve written on and off since I was a teenager, and always nurtured a secret ambition of being a novelist. Over the years I’d started many books, each time determined I would reach my dream, but I never managed to exceed 10,000 words. Life, work, love, were wonderful distractions, plus I knew nothing about the craft of writing, and I certainly didn’t comprehend the dedication it took. Only when my partner was posted overseas did I realise that I had the perfect opportunity to make my dream real. So I started writing and haven’t stopped since.
Promises came about thanks to my girlfriend who had read all my novels up to that point. I started off writing rural set love stories, and she adored them, but at that stage no one was touching the genre. Frustrated, I tried an urban set romance and she hated it. Like, really, really hated it and truth be told, so did I. My heart wasn’t in it and it showed. She urged me to go back to what I wrote best. So off I went brainstorming another rural book, and this time I was going to write what I adored most – a romance in which horses featured heavily.
While I don’t share Sophie’s (heroine of Promises) past, some of the events in the book are drawn from my own experiences with horses. For example, there’s a scene where a horse bolts. That happened to me on my very first day of work at local racehorse trainer’s yard, and I was terrified until I remembered my father’s (an ex jockey) advice on what to do in that situation. Some of the horses have characters similar to those I owned. While I can’t remember the exact horse responsible, Rowdy’s penchant for turning his rump and sulking comes from a horse I either owned or worked with. Knowing what a crack-up she was, it was probably my beloved horse Mysty. She may have had four legs and couldn’t talk, but I swear that horse sometimes considered herself human.
Promises isn’t all about horses. At its heart lies a story about forgiveness and hope. It’s about characters who find love when the past should dictate such joy to be impossible. A story featuring a damaged heroine who discovers an inner strength no one believes she possesses, and a hero who finds atonement for an act he believes can never be forgiven.
Most of all it’s a story I loved writing and one I hope readers enjoy too.
I’ve read it and loved the way the horses came to life on the page. Well done Cathryn for writing about what you love. 🙂 Im glad you didn’t give up.
Hi Fleur and Cathryn. I’ve read it too and I agree with Fiona – CAthryn you just make those horses so real. They are as much characters as your hero and heroine. I think your girlfriend was right… when you write what you love it shows on the pages!
Cathryn, wahoooooo! Congratulations on your book hitting the shelves. It was such a thrill when I bought it at our recent Romance Writers of Australia conference and got you to sign it. I wish you all the best with you career – may you bolt into the stratosphere! Waving at Fleur!
Congratulations on the release of Promises, Cathryn! I’m looking forward to picking up my copy in the week!
Thanks for dropping by, everyone, and for your lovely comments and good wishes. And thanks again to Fleur for having me.
Fiona and Rach, that’s quite the nicest thing to say. I’m so glad the horses are vivid. I want them to be loved characters too.
Anna, you have no idea what a thrill it was for me to sign a book for YOU!
Christina, thankyou! I hope you enjoy Promises as much as I enjoyed Forbidden. Though I’m not sure how my Aaron will compare with your sexy Maximus. He’s one hot Roman!
I have long harboured a dream of writing a novel about the bush… Fleur’s success, and now yours Cathryn, spurs me along!
Pun intended… 😉
Well BB, I think you should have a go! Your gorgeous photos could make up the front cover.
Cathryn & Fleur,
Thanks so much for a great interview,
Cathryn’s book is fantastic and is going to fly off the shelves in stores,
She makes rural Australia come to life in a way everyone will love and then be left panting for her next book,
You should go for it, Bush Babe, like Fleur said. Nothing like fulfilling a long held dream.
Oof, Suzi, you make me blush!