Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Life On The Rock
Hello from Bermuda! I'm so glad to be here with you as a member of International Christian Fiction Writers.
I'd like to introduce myself, and tell you a bit about what it's like to live in Bermuda.
And then what it's like to live in Bermuda as a writer.
I had the good fortune to be born here some twenty odd years ago - okay more than that - I did a bit of traveling, including a few very cold years in Canada, but now I'm back home enjoying the view of the ocean from my new kitchen. I have been writing for a very long time, been through all the ups and downs and even quit a couple times. When I finally realized this was exactly what God wanted me doing, things started happening.
I'm now agented and working on a few projects that we're hoping will be picked up in the near future. I am the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Zone Director for Beyond the Borders - members who live outside of the United States. Through various conversations with group members, we decided it was high time a new genre was created. Thus the birth of International Fiction.
I'm always surprised when I hear some people ask where Bermuda is. So let's clear that up right away. Get out your trusty Atlas, check out The United States, put your finger on North Carolina and go east (or right, depending on how geographically inclined you are). You should see a tiny dot in the Atlantic. That's us.
Twenty-four square miles long, about six wide. But the most beautiful beaches in the world. Some call it Paradise.
I call it home.
We are still a British colony but we rule ourselves under a two-party system. There's always talk of Independence, but so far most of us are happy with the status quo. Politics on a small island...don't get me started.
Population sits about 64,000 but we have very little unemployment, no welfare system and a crime-rate that has been pretty low, but like anywhere else in the world I suppose, we've noticed a rise in crime the last few years. But I would say that yes, Bermuda is still a safe place to live and visit. We have an interesting mix of culture, which I'll be talking about at some point.
When I first decided to call myself an author, there was no internet. Honestly, I don't know how I survived. I'm not kidding.
Put that together with the fact that I knew zip about writing, it wasn't surprising when the rejections started appearing in my mailbox. Living on a small island had its drawbacks for an aspiring novelist back then. The internet changed all that.
Now I get the best of both worlds. I'm able to enjoy my tiny island, yet can access data, ask for advice and chat with fellow writing buddies anytime I want. We even have high speed!
Downside to living in Bermuda? No Starbucks. No Malls. No AMC movie theatres...but there's no snow and we rarely experience a day colder than 50 degrees (F) so it balances out in the end.
Travel is pretty easy from here. We have flights leaving to New York, Boston, Atlanta, Toronto, Philly and the UK daily, so whenever I need to get that Starbucks fix, it's not hard. I've been so blessed to be able to attend a few writers conferences over the years. I highly recommend working these into your budget. Especially if you're in a country or area like me, where there aren't many authors or writers groups to tap into.
Well, that's probably enough for now. I'm looking forward to getting to know our readers here on the blog, and promoting International Fiction. So don't be shy, chime in and tell us what you'd like to know, read and learn about on this blog!
To reward you for sticking with me this long, I'm giving away a copy of The Bermuda Colors Calendar! This is a beautiful calendar put together by local artists, with fun facts and recipes about Bermuda in it as well. Just leave your name and contact information in the comments. You can even leave a comment if you want to but don't feel obliged. I'll be drawing the winner and we'll post the name November 8th!
See you next time, and Happy Reading!
Catherine West writes contemporary romance and women's fiction. She enjoys life on Bermuda with her husband and two teens, and two Border Collies. When she's not writing you can find her in the garden or out on the Agility course, pretending she knows what she's doing!
Catherine's work is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Wordserve Literary. You can check in with her anytime at her blog New Website Coming Soon!