Cathrina Constantine has eight novels published with Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly, a small independent press, and has received Literary Classics Gold and Silver Awards, the New Apple Medal Award, Reader's Favorite International Awards, and recently, Top Shelf 1st Place award for YA/Mystery. The Upside Down of Nora Gaines is her first attempt of self-publishing her own work.
Author Insights Interview with Cathrina Constantine
1. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I believe the most important advice I can offer aspiring writers is perseverance! Persevere in honing your craft, whatever best practices works for you. Read. Read. And read, is a no-brainer. If you are lucky enough to land a publishing contract within a couple of months I applaud you, but typically it takes a writer endless months, if not years of rejections, and with those rejections the need to develop a skin of armor. That's where perseverance comes into play. If you have a polished, wonderful story, remember, it only takes one Yes!
2. Tell us about yourself. (like what you do for a living, hobbies, etc..)
At this point in my life I am babysitting grandbabies most of the week, which is a blessing. Besides writing and reading, my other hobbies are baking, cooking, hand-quilting, crocheting, cross-stitching, and gardening.
3. What is your writing process? (A special place or how you outline, or do you just jump into it. Or, what you need before you sit down to write: coffee, tea, cookies)
I like to sit near a window with a cup of coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon, a cookie is essential. I wish I could outline, I can't. I am a true pantser! So I guess, I just jump in IF something, an idea pops into my head. I finished editing a new fantasy story, and since then nothing new has popped. At present, my writing is lacking. I have been mulling over an idea of making this fantasy into a duology because the end does sort of hint at more to come...
4. From start to finish, how long does it take for you to complete a novel?
I am a turtle writer. It amazes me when I see authors pumping out books every couple of months. I never took creative writing classes. I learned by endless reading, the art of grammar, dialogue and so forth. In the beginning it took a year or two of reworking and revising before completing my first draft. However, I can now have a first draft completed within 6 months time, and then the real work begins.
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The Upside Down of Nora Gaines
Local teen, Rebel, has his own trepidations about the house. His parents, both paranormal scientists, were investigating it when they died under mysterious circumstances. His growing feelings for Nora motivate him to battle the ghosts of his past, if it means keeping her safe.
Allies to turn to enemies. Fiction turns to fact. The past and the present collide. All in an epic battle to claim unfathomable power. Can Nora unlock the secrets buried within the farmhouse in time to save herself and those dear to her from a grisly fate?