Hello Reading Friends!
I’m delighted to introduce the next in my series of author heart-to-hearts💗 that focus on women’s issue-led fiction. And we have something very apt today from Catherine Miller, as she explores Broken Heart Syndrome (a condition I knew nothing about) in The Missing Piece (read my 5 star review here). I am excited she has agreed to join us as, not only was another of Catherine’s novels, The Day That Changed Everything, recently nominated in the shorter romance novel category of the Romantic Novelists’ Association awards, but also Catherine’s journey to publication is an inspiring one. So let’s get started…
Welcome to an author heart-to-heart Catherine, and before we turn to your books and writing, would you mind sharing some of your journey to publication?
Thank you for having me, Rae! First, I’ll grab a cuppa as I’m also a mum to 7-year-old twins, so any moment for a sit down (especially over the last year) is a welcome one. I’ve always written, but even though my first novel attempts occurred in my teen years, as I’m dyslexic, I never felt I was capable enough. Instead, I trained as a physiotherapist, but ill-health (uveitis – an eye condition) brought that to an early end. As I couldn’t do the job I loved, I decided to follow the impossible dream of becoming a writer. Having the twins should have made that trickier, but I found it taught me to never waste ten minutes. I secured my first book deal when they were two and it’s been non-stop ever since.
I am genuinely in awe of all you have achieved, Catherine, whilst juggling being a mum too. We would love to hear more about your work…
My stories always tend to be idea-led so I’ll think of something and write a one-page synopsis. My agent and I will then discuss what I should write next. Most of my books are emotional women’s fiction, but I’ve also have two contemporary comedies published (The Gin Shack series). Currently I’m writing uplit emotion women’s fiction for Bookouture. It’s great having Hattie (my agent) to bounce my ideas off as she is good at pointing me in the right direction.
Fantastic news! We all need some uplifting reads at present… Let’s focus on your latest release. What inspired you to write The Missing Piece? And what do readers love about Keisha’s story?
The Missing Piece focusses on Broken Heart Syndrome. As I used to be a respiratory physiotherapist working in cardiology I was surprised to hear about a condition I’d not heard of and instantly thought there had to be a story in it. Without giving too much away, it ended up featuring my grandad’s allotment and I wrote it for my nan. It was a cathartic book to write, especially given the backdrop of the pandemic… sometimes we can’t fix hearts in real life, but we can in fiction so that’s what I set out to do. One of the latest review on Goodreads is from Christine Anson and it really summarises well what I hope to achieve with all my stories: I don’t know if I have ever read something so intricate and unique and I am a die hard reader. I love the story.
I know that as well as novel writing and being with the family, you also make time to support other authors by sharing reviews. Whose writing do you enjoy most?
I love reading and tend to switch genres from book to book. Some of my favourite books over the last year have been: Half A World Away by Mike Gayle, The Choice by Claire Wade, The Dead Wife by Sue Fortin, The Cottage of Curiosities by Celia Anderson, The Runes of Destiny by Christina Courtenay, The Corset by Laura Purcell and the Mel Craig series by Betty Rowland. I manage to get through a lot more books now I enjoy audiobooks. If I had the chance, I’d read books all the time.
Agree, audiobooks are a brilliant way of powering through a to-be-read pile. Although after reading your recommendations, mine has just grown!… Can you share a little about what you are writing next?
If you can’t cross the threshold, is it ever possible to find love?
I pitched my next book prior to lockdown last year. It’s about Fiona who has agoraphobia and what she does when life comes and finds her. It’s been quite strange to end up writing the book in similar circumstances to how Fiona lives as a result of lockdown. I know there’s method acting, but I think this is my first true dose of method writing! Despite having to home school alongside a good percentage of my deadline time, I’ve somehow managed to finish the book and it’s due out in June. It’s another heart-warming read trying to find hope in the toughest of times.
Thank you so much for having me, Rae.
It’s been a pleasure, Catherine. Thank you for joining us and I’m pleased to learn we don’t have too long to wait for your next release, which sounds like another fantastic heart-to-heart💗 book. Also, thank you to the reading friends who have joined us.
To discover more about Catherine and her writing just follow the links below, but in the meantime, stay safe and happy reading!
The Missing Piece is available is in e-book and paperback editions. Buy here:
To find out more about Catherine’s books and writing go to her website www.katylittlelady.com
Follow Catherine on Instagram: katylittlelady
Follow Catherine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/katylittlelady
Follow Catherine on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katylittlelady