2017 is off to a great start! And today, we have a real treat in store. Jack’s back to interview another romance author. This time, he’s reeled in Author Cathy Skendrovich. Man the braces, me hearties! Lady Cathy brought her new release, The Pirate’s Bride. Pirates. Brides. Ah, this promises to be quite an adventure!
Take it away, Jack! 😉
Jack: Preens. “Happy to be back on deck, Lady Katherine. I’m awash with delight.” Bows then straightens effects. Turns and poses for his guest. “Ah, there’s the fine authoress Lady Cathy Skendrovich now. Welcome aboard, luv. Tis a pleasure to have ye.” Winks devilishly and points to his rum jug. “Don’t be nervous. I brought rum. Let’s start at the beginning, eh? Everyone was born with a compass pointing somewhere. I have a compass that points to what I want most. Where does your compass point to?”
Cathy: “I was born with a compass that points to being the best.”
Jack: Jaw drops. “Kindred spirits, we are.”
Cathy: “The best student, the best teacher, the best mom, the best writer.”
Jack: “Ye have heard of me, haven’t ye?” Winks.
Cathy: “I’m highly competitive, which is a double-edged sword. You know about swords, don’t you, Jack?
Jack: “That I do.” Brandishes sword. Demonstrates prowess. “Have ye heard of Will Turner? No?” Frowns. “No better swordsmith exists.”
Cathy: “Anyway, striving to be the best at something makes you work hard, which is a good thing. Worrying because you may fall short of your goal? Not so good. I’ve had to learn how to handle my competitive nature, to temper it with the idea that I can’t be the best at everything. I need to be happy with who I am, right now.
Jack: “Happiness is staying alive, luv.” Removes rum jug stopper and takes a swig. “That reminds me, I’ve got pieces of eight in my pocket. Significant treasure, to be sure. If ye had eight pieces with ye at all times, what would they be?”
Cathy: “Three of those pieces of eight would be my husband and two sons.”
Jack: Eyes widen. “Be they bewitched like the Pearl in a bottle? How do they fit in your pocket, eh?”
Cathy: “They are my most important treasures of all, and I want to keep them safe as they venture out into the world.”
Jack: “Aye. Protecting the Pearl, that I understand.” Leans forward. “I’m curious about the other five pieces of eight in your pocket. Will they fit?”
Cathy: “The other five would be: good health, because I’m not getting any younger, more time in each day so I could do everything I want, fame (from writing), fortune (so that I could take care of my family without worrying about money), and, on a more vain note, no more gray hairs!”
Jack: Peers quizzically at his own dreads. “’Sdeath and blood, that would take me vigor, the swash out of me buckle, and wind out of me sails. Speaking of sails, when did the wind take hold of yours?”
Cathy: “I think I was twelve when I first started writing, silly fan fiction stories with my cousin and sister. In high school I was editor of the school paper, and won second place in an editorial contest.”
Jack: “A well-propertied wench, eh?”
Cathy: Nods. “Then I got involved with college and work and marriage, and really didn’t write creatively at all, except for the occasional short story, one of which received an Honorable Mention in the local newspaper. Finally, in 2010, after my mom died I started thinking about writing again. She’d always told me I could do anything if I set my mind to it.”
Jack: “I had a mum once.” Takes a swig in her honor. “She urged me to be like me father.” Shivers. “And did ye do everything ye set your mind to do, like me?”
Cathy: “I started writing at an online writing site, and eventually the readers there told me I should try and get my stories published. I took their advice, and last year had my first book, Prisoner of Love, published, and now The Pirate’s Bride is published.”
Jack: “Prisoner of Love and The Pirate’s Bride, eh? These sound like good books to read to me crew.” Leans forward to whisper. “Most can’t read.” Sits back. “Were there times the Kraken tried to pull ye down to Davy Jones Locker? If so, how’d ye escape?
Cathy: “Oh, wow, yes! I don’t like to be criticized (who does?). The first bad review I got stuck with me for days, dragging me down like the Kraken did with you.”
Jack: Shivers again. “Have ye met Elizabeth Swann?”
Cathy: “I really was depressed, so much so that all the good reviews didn’t seem to matter as much as those one or two bad ones. And then one night I was watching the TV show “Castle,” and the main character, a writer named Richard Castle, is confronted by someone who criticizes his writing, saying that he’s in a slump and doesn’t write as well as he used to. Castle responds lightly: “Everyone’s a critic.” That’s when I realized I couldn’t please everyone, and there wasn’t any point in worrying over those readers who don’t like my writing. Instead, I focus on the many readers who do like my books.”
Jack: “I say the same to meself when I find myself behind bars. Steady as she goes until ye can catch that dog with the key. During a broadside, what do you do to mend your sails?”
Cathy: “I like to go for walks, maybe go to a movie. Or read a book by one of my favorite authors.”
Jack: “Have ye been to the Tortuga, luv? No? Ye might find inspiration there, unless ye can’t remember names.” Palms cheek and drifts off. “Where were we? Ah, yes. Once the course for that coveted horizon had been charted, how long did it take ye to make port?”
Cathy: “I sent my first book, Prisoner of Love, to two prior publishers before Entangled Publishing picked it up, so I’d say about a year. For The Pirate’s Bride, I entered a Twitter #Pit2Pub event, where authors sum up their book in a tweet, and participating publishers request to see more of their work. The Pirate’s Bride was picked up immediately. That was February 3, 2016, so about eleven months.”
Jack: “Drawin’ on every rag of canvas and signing the articles, eh? I’d call that a successful adventure. Pirates have a code, more like guidelines anyway. What’s your code?”
Cathy: “I’m a little bit scattered, which is something I’ve got to work on this year. First, I come up with an idea, and I jot it down (longhand). Next, I write a synopsis, a character list, and the main events I want to see happen in the story. I usually follow that with research. Once that is done, I start writing. I outline each chapter before I write it, because sometimes I don’t get as far as I want, or the characters go in a different direction than planned.”
Jack: “Easy at your helm as ye get under way, eh? Every adventure begins with a spark of an idea.” Stands to posture by the rail. “Alas, our time is done. But one more question niggles me brain. Who is your all-time favorite pirate?” Summons charm to disarm.
Cathy: “Why, you, of course!”
Jack: Bedevils with a golden-toothed smile. Produces a gallant bow. “At your service, m’lady.” Rises. “And now we’ve come to the end of our interview. But first, every tar what sets foot on a ship has a story to tell. What have ye brought for our readers today?
All Sophie Bellard wants is her freedom, freedom to sail the seven seas, and freedom to be her own person without interference from a controlling husband. But an arranged marriage to handsome and dangerous Captain Andre Dubois derails all her hopes. After a disastrous wedding night where a ruinous secret is discovered, the two go their separate ways with hopes of never meeting again.
Sophie becomes a pirate while Andre sets off for the Orient, where he makes a murderous enemy. After escaping with his life, Andre returns to home waters, and in an unexpected twist of pirate fate, reunites with his estranged and unwilling wife.
When Andre’s murderous enemy threatens Sophie’s life, he vows to protect what is his, and attempts to win his wife’s forgiveness and love, once and for all.
Cathy Skendrovich has always loved a good story, and spent her formative years scribbling what is now called Fan Fiction. The current heartthrob of the time featured heavily in all her stories. Unfortunately, once she went to college, her writing took the form of term papers, written on typewriters instead of computer keyboards.
Upon graduation, Cathy took a job as an English teacher in a middle school. Along the way, she married her husband of now thirty-two years, had two sons, and moved to southern Orange County, California. She chose to work part-time in the school system there.
Now she has returned to writing. Prisoner of Love is her first published novel, followed closely by The Pirate’s Bride. A sequel to The Pirate’s Bride, as well as another contemporary romantic suspense are in the works.
She likes writing romance because she feels it’s lacking in today’s technological world. While she enjoys writing contemporary stories, creating romance in bygone times fascinates her. She hopes her ability to write in both genres will be the beginning of a long and satisfying writing career.
Ports of Call:
Thanks for coming aboard, Lady Cathy! Best wishes for the greatest success in 2017!
Wishing you following winds,