Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Author Interview: Cathy Bryant, In Which We Discuss Literary Yenta, Wardrobe Malfunctions and Discombobulation

If you are a reader of Christian Fiction, or Christian Romance, and you don't know who Cathy Bryant is.....well, I'm here to fix that.  She is awesome!  I love her books!  I'm not generally the biggest fan of Christian Fiction, it often feels preachy.  Not Cathy!  Her books are funny, full of rich and real character you root for and just all around good.  You can see my review for her 1st book in the Miller's Creek SeriesTexas Roads here,

and my review for the 2nd, A Path Less Traveled, here.

 As you can see, A Path Less Traveled even received my coveted highest rating--Pay Full Price!  Okay, so maybe it isn't all that coveted, but I don't hand it out to just anyone!

So, on to the point of this post, I am lucky enough to be receiving her newest book The Way of Grace

From Cathy's website
    In pursuit of justice, in need of grace . . .
A justice-seeking perfectionist pursues her dream of a perfect life in her hometown of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Sidetracked by a desire to be a prosecuting attorney, Grace Soldano launches into uncharted waters, making herself over to please her boss and mentor. Then a disheveled free spirit turns her perfectly ordered world upside down, challenging her concept of personal goodness. A fall from perfection leaves Grace teetering between vengeance and grace, caught in a deadly crossfire that leaves her dreams in a heap of ashes. Can she learn to joyfully accept the life God has given her–far from perfect–but one completely immersed in His grace?
Until I get that review up and running, here is a little bio and interview to hold you over with the lovely (and funny!) Cathy Bryant:


Cathy Bryant is the author of the Miller’s Creek Novels—Texas Roads, A Path Less Traveled, and The Way of Grace. Her desire is to write heart-stirring stories about God’s life-changing grace. Though Texas-born, she currently resides in the beautiful Ozark mountains of northwest Arkansas with her husband of thirty years and near the world’s cutest grandson. You can learn more about her and her books at and

The Book Buff:  First things first, you are here to talk about your newest book, The Way of Grace, so talk about it!

Cathy Bryant: The book tells the story of a justice-seeking perfectionist by the name of Gracie Soldano. Like most people in their twenties, she has this plan of how her life is gonna turn out--the perfect man, the perfect job, the perfect kids, the perfect house, etc. Then a disheveled free-spirit, Matt Tyler, messes with her plan and confronts her concept of personal goodness. A fall from perfection leaves her devastated, and she teeters between vengeance and grace. She finally decides on grace, but is caught in a deadly crossfire that makes perfection impossible. Hopefully, she'll come to the place where she joyfully accepts that her life will never be perfect, but as His follower, it will always be immersed in God's grace.

TBB: I love the title, mostly because my oldest daughter's name is Grace :)  How did you come up with the title, and without divulging any juicy spoilers, tell us about the significance?

CB: Love the name Grace! All of the Miller's Creek titles reference a journey--Texas ROADS, A PATH Less Traveled--so I knew I wanted something in the title that stayed true to the other titles. Hence The WAY of Grace. The title is a play on words. On a minor level it's the way of the main character--her journey. But on a much more significant level, it's the way of God's grace and how it operates in and around us every minute of every day.

TBB: I’ve been writing a book over the years (who isn’t these days?) and I have bounced around from title to title.  I know most writers do this.  What are some alternative titles you considered for some of your books before setting on the ultimate titles?

CB: Texas Roads was originally "This Road Leads Home," since the spiritual thread of the story deals with finding home. An agent suggested the alternate title. He also suggested the name Texas Path for the second book, but I kept it as A Path Less Traveled as a tribute to the fact that following Christ IS the path less traveled. (I've always loved the Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken" as a great metaphor of the Christian life.)

TBB:  I’m all about playing Yenta the Matchmaker and marrying off some of my favorite characters to other completely random and unrelated characters in my mind.  I’m weird. This I know.  Now, I’d like to drag you into my weirdness.  If you could marry one of your characters off to any other literary character, who would it be?

CB: Great question! (Made me stop and think...) I think I'd marry one of my secondary characters, Coot--a loud, brash guy with suspenders to match--off to a really strong female character like Anne of Green Gables or Jo March. They'd put him in his place pretty quickly! =)

TBB: Yes!  Nothing better than a strong female putting that man in his place if need be J  My favorite woman like that is the classic Ms. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice (My book BFF).  I love the scene where she turns down Darcy’s first proposal.   Though how you could turn down Colin Firth is beyond me…..

He is WORKIN' those mutton chops! I digress, back to the interview.  I’m curious, what made you choose Christian romance as your genre du jour?

CB: First of all, I felt like it was my greatest chance to make an impact. Second of all, I'm a romantic at heart. I like love stories and happy endings. And if you think about it, isn't that the story of all stories? A love story with a happy ending is the story of Christ and His church! =)

TBB: What do you love most about being an author?

CB: Going to work in my pajamas ranks pretty high! =) But honestly, the biggest advantage to me is the opportunity to share Christ through my writing.

TBB:  I’m not going to lie, one of my favorite things about being a stay at home mom is being able to be in my jammies.  Anyway, what inspired you to write in the first place?  How’s that for a loaded question…

CB: Hmmm, how long do you have? (I'll try to keep it short...) My love of reading and story (all the way back to when I first started reading in the Stone Age) made me want to write, and I've written in some form or another almost as long as I've been reading. Believe it or not, in person I'm fairly shy and timid and often have difficulty expressing myself. Writing allows me that expression in a way that's far more natural for me. Other writers have also inspired me. When I read Francine River's Redeeming Love, I boo-hooed. (Not just a romanticized single tear inching down my cheek, but what I call the "Ugly Cry." Trust me, you don't want me to describe it...) I was reminded through that story that God's love for us is greater than our spiritual adultery. I hope to touch reader's with God's grace in that same way. And then finally, I went through a time in my life when several life events, including health issues and the deaths of people I loved, that made me realize none of us are guaranteed another breath. Life is fleeting. If I wanted to write stories for Him I needed to get started. So I did.

TBB: Time for the personal aspect of the interview…awkwardness is most welcome…What interview question do you absolutely hate getting?  Be honest now…

CB: Ugh! The dreaded "tell us about yourself!" My first thought is: "Really? Are you sure you wanna know?" And the second thought (thanks to my overactive writer's imagination and paranoia) is: "Hmmmm, why do you wanna know?"=)

TBB:  You don’t need to know why I want to know….it definitely isn’t for anything weird….as far as you know…*quickly changes the subject* We all have literary pet peeves, what drives you crazy when reading a book?

CB: Rambling dialogue that seems to serve no purpose to the story and mind-numbing descriptive passages. My eyes skim over both. Unfortunately, I’m probably guilty on both counts... 

TBB: Fo sho.  That crap drives me crazy too!  Continuing on with this negative line of questioning…What do you hate with a fiery passion about the writing process?

CB: The countless hours staring at a computer screen and my numb derriere. (Sorry…you did ask…)

TBB:  Fair enough, I did ask.  Here’s another question, what advice would you give to any aspiring authors?

CB: Run!!! (j/k) Study the craft of writing. Read, read, read. Write, write, write…

TBB:  Soooooo, this is awkward but….Tell us about yourself.

CB: *spewing coffee through my nose* (Guess I should’ve read through these questions before answering…) Yeah, um, I’m a Christ-follower, wife, mother, Nana, teacher, musician and writer who enjoys home improvement projects, gardening, hiking, canoeing, spending time with my family, and analyzing human behavior, either in real life or through reality TV. (Don’t be scared…)

TBB: Gotta ask-what is your most embarrassing moment?

CB: Another one of my favorite questions! :/ Well, it could be the time I did a belly-flop in a swimming pool, not realizing that the water had pushed my swimsuit top up around my neck. (Again, you did ask…)

TBB:  Whaaaaa?????  You call that embarrassing?  I call that a shining moment of blazing glory! What is your least favorite book of all time?

CB: It’s not so much a least favorite book as it is genres. Don’t like steamy fiction (blech!) or vampire/werewolf/zombie fiction (*nose wrinkle*).

TBB: Word association time; just type the first thing that comes to your head when you read the following words...

Discombobulate – Honestly, I thought of “Off with their heads!” from Alice in Wonderland, but after further googling found that it actually to means to confuse. (Thanks for discombobulating me!)
Scuttlebutt – Rumors! (Hey, I’ve spent most of my life in small town Texas, the mass producers of scuttlebutt and cow manure…)
Bumfuzzle – Discombobulate.
Diphthong – A dunce’s underwear? ;) (*TBB’s turn to spew liquid forth from her nose*)
Effluvium – Dead skunk in the middle of the road.

TBB:  I live in rural Idaho, so that definition of Effluvium might actually be useful to me…Last question!  Free for all time-tell me anything you want!

CB: Then let me say how thoroughly I enjoyed this interview! The most laughs I’ve had in a long time! Thank you!

TBB:  Thank you so much for taking the time out to connect with the readers on this blog.  I love your books and I can’t wait to get my hands on The Way of Grace!  *Runs out to check the mail, despite being barefoot in 30 degree weather, comes back to dejectedly finish the post empty handed*

Be on the lookout for my review coming in the next few weeks which will also contain the magic word.....GIVEAWAY! Also, Cathy will be a guest blogger here on The Book Buff on October 24th, so be there or be square :)

If you want to get this book before the review is here for the paperback, here for the Kindle, and here for other e-book editions.

1 comment:

Cathy Bryant said...

More laughs, Kate! :D Thanks for the great time and the opportunity to let others know that The Way of Grace is finally available! Blessings!


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