Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Interview with Catherine West

Cathy is a friend to many of us at ICFW. Having first met Cathy via the ACFW Beyond Borders group I was fortunate to meet her at the Conference in Dallas two years ago which was a treat. We’ve stayed in contact ever since.

Cathy resides in Bermuda, which I’ve always found fascinating for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a tax haven (hey, I'm a finance guy by trade!) and secondly some of my favourite Aussie tennis players of yesteryear have called it home for a few seasons of their careers.

Cathy’s writing journey is one that many of us can relate to. But in recent months Cathy’s made some significant changes that I thought would be of interest to the ICFW community.

Cathy was kind enough to respond to some questions I posed her and so without further ado, please give Cathy a very special ICFW welcome.

ICFW: Firstly, tell us a little about your writing journey to date.

CW: Well, I began writing seriously with the goal of publication quite a few years ago! Once my kids were in school I had more time to devote to the task. After I was offered representation, then I really knuckled down and wrote pretty much full time. My first published novel was released in 2011, the second in 2012. 

ICFW: You've recently obtained the rights to your previously published novels and have re-released the first one: Yesterday's Tomorrow. What led you to make this decision? Could you tell us a little about the thought process you worked through regarding producing & marketing them yourself.

CW: Unfortunately sometimes things don’t always work out the way you plan. My agent and I made the decision to obtain my rights back early in 2014. The process usually takes about six months, so during that time I worked with a freelance editor, Mick Silva, had Dineen Miller design a brand new cover, and we’ve really tried to make the book even better the second time around. 

Going Indie was an exciting prospect, but there is lots involved. Fortunately I was able to work with my agency, Books & Such, who handled all the formatting and liaising with Amazon, so all I needed to worry about was the content of the book itself, which is an easy way to go for me. I have great respect for the authors who can do everything themselves. I think I’d be a little out of my depths!

ICFW: Okay, so tell us a little about "Yesterday's Tomorrow." It's set in Vietnam during the war? What led you to explore that?

CW: Yes. The story is about a female journalist who goes to Vietnam to cover the war and finish the story her late father started years ago. She meets a mysterious photographer whom she quickly decides might just hold the key to getting her the story of a lifetime.

I’ve always been fascinated by that time period. I read about the young female journalists who’d leave everything at home and travel over there to cover the war and I thought it might make for a great story. The characters began to come alive, and as I started to research the war, I realized there would be so much more to this story than I ever imagined. It sounds a little cliché, but it really was a life-changing experience for me.

ICFW: What are some of your future plans re: re-releasing others on your backlist and new material?

CW: I definitely have more books to share with my readers. There are some things in the works right now that I will hopefully be able to discuss in the near future, so I’m afraid I’ll have to get back to you on that one! J

ICFW: Narelle Atkins recently wrote a post about the exotic locations some of our novels are set in. I reckon Bermuda sounds pretty exotic. For those of us who know nothing about Bermuda, other than celebrities live there (including at one time two great Aussie tennis players Pat Rafter and Pat Cash) for tax purposes, tell us 2-3 interesting facts about the country.

CW: We’re small: 24 sq miles long and 6 wide. But I’ll say we have the most beautiful beaches in the world. Our climate is temperate and we don’t really have cold winters at all, which makes Bermuda an ideal location for sports fans. We’re also a tax haven and we’re fortunate to have many big re-insurance companies make their home base here.

We’re about an hour flight from New York, two from Boston and three from Toronto, so easy to get to! Come visit!

Love to visit, Cathy. One day. Even though there will be many of us in ICFW that will challenge you for the title of “most beautiful beaches in the world.”

Thanks for sharing with us and wishing you well as you continue your writing journey.

Cathy's Bio

Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Her first novel, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, released in 2011 and won the INSPY for Romance, a Silver Medal in the Reader’s Favorite Awards, and was a finalist in the Grace Awards. Catherine’s second novel, Hidden in the Heart, released in September 2012, was long listed in the 2012 INSPY’s and was a finalist in the 2013 Grace Awards.

When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. 

Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com

Where you can find Cathy on the Web

Amazon Buy Link for Yesterday’s Tomorrow - click here

Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Sydney, Australia. Ian's first novel of speculative fiction, Angelguard, is now available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter


  1. Thanks for having me here on ICFW, Ian! Nice to catch up with everyone again!

  2. Enjoyed catching up with you here, Cathy! Thanks for the great interview, Ian!

  3. Hi, Cathy! What a journey you have had with your books. I hope this new move of yours to go indie brings excellent results. And thanks, Ian, for the interesting interview.

    1. Thanks, Jo-Anne! For now, I'll be doing the Indie thing only with these two previously published books. I've learned a lot, but I'm still a traditionalist at heart. :) I've got a new contract in the works that I'll be able to share news on soon, so I'm very excited about that!

  4. I loved Bermuda when I went there many years ago. Interested to see you bought the Rights back on your earlier books and went indie. I'm in the process of putting some of my earlier books up as e-books. No Rights involved there, because they were only ever print books before. But I've gone indie with my latest print book, Time to Shine: a mystery; a marriage mender; and a Mary Berry style bake-off

    1. Congrats! It's a big step, but most Indie authors are really enjoying the ride! For me it was more a business decision than anything. Sometimes you have to do what makes the most sense!

  5. Blessings, Cathy! I love your title and beautiful cover.

    1. Thanks, Donna! I'm kind of in love with the new cover myself. :)

  6. Thanks ladies for sharing the ICFW love with Cathy. It's fascinating to see whether the "hybrid" author becomes a norm for many authors: some novels traditionally published and others indie published.

    More fun for all of us.

    Thanks again, Cathy, for sharing with us and we're looking forward to watching your progress.


  7. Cathy and Ian, great interview! Cathy, I really enjoyed reading the original version of Yesterday's Tomorrow and I'm glad to hear it's back in print :)

    1. Thanks, Narelle. I've got Yesterday's Tomorrow on my kindle and hoping to get to it soon.