Friday, June 24, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Catherine Richmond

Mary Connealy here. I want to introduce Cathy Richmond to you all. I've known Cathy for a long time. We were both struggling wannabee authors. We're both from Nebraska. And we once took a six hour car ride together and NEVER RAN OUT OF THINGS TO TALK ABOUT!!!
Her debut book Spring for Susannah released this month and is in bookstores now. And, I've read it and it is wonderful. Cathy has really written herself a sweet romance. I could go on about how much I loved it, but then this blog would be mine not hers. Also Julie Lessman's glowing words somehow sneaked onto the COVER, while I managed to make it onto an endorsement page within. Hmmmmmm......
Take it away, Cathy!
What an honor to visit Seekerville this morning! Especially since my first sale was due to a contest win, which gives Julie Lessman the right to say “I told you so!”

Since my writer’s journey is such a lengthy odyssey, let’s see if Chris Vogler can make any sense of it. In the Ordinary World, I work as an occupational therapist. The Call to Adventure came in July of 1991. I heard a song about a mail order bride meeting her husband for the first time. Prairie grass waved dusty green in the wind. The hot sun released the smell of creosote from the railroad ties. A train whistle echoed in the distance. I knew these two people - where they’d come from, their hopes and dreams, and what happened next to them.

But I didn’t know any writers, so I Refused the Call.

I figured this was one of those situations like on “The Partridge Family” when Susan Dey’s braces started receiving radio signals. This story must be already written and I was receiving it. So I started looking for it - which would have been the beginning of research, if I’d had known any better. And, because it was taking up too much space in my head, I wrote it down, thus crossing the First Threshold.

All this time I thought all writers had to be male, British, and, for the most part, dead. But the newspaper reported my neighbor had a book out with Bantam Loveswept. So one afternoon, when everyone was out of the house, I called her. She was female, still alive, and friendly enough to point me in the direction of RWA, with its many Mentors.

The Tests, Allies, Enemies middle involves learning to write, amassing an impressive stack of rejection letters, and hearing contest judges say “you can’t do that in CBA!” I’d gotten so blasé about bad news - eat chocolate and move on - that finaling in the “Launching a Star” contest didn’t even register.

With no idea I was Approaching the Inmost Cave, so I went on a girlfriends vacation in New York City. Agent/detective Sandra Bishop tracked me down for the Supreme Ordeal. Thomas Nelson was interested, but they didn’t want to use the mail order bride song as a prologue. Could I change the title, characters’ names, and setting? Yes to the first two, but changing the setting would make it a whole different story. I had to confess I was running around without my laptop. Rather than saying “What kind of writer are you?”, Sandra made the changes on her laptop and sent it in.

The next morning, she called to say Thomas Nelson liked the changes and wanted the book. Reward! We were standing at John Lennon’s memorial in Central Park, a mosaic with the word “Imagine.” Doesn’t God have an excellent sense of humor?

You might think that finally getting paid to write would be the Return with the Elixir. But the true reward is all the friends - writers who are fun and very much alive - made along this journey. Please join with me in celebrating the release of Spring for Susannah Saturday at Walnut Grove Park in Omaha. After all, Camy survived a trip here in the winter!

Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a copy of Spring for Susannah.
Find Cathy online at:

Mary again: Cathy's also got a page on her website called Zingers in which she quotes me a few times, and some other Seekers and Seekervillagers.


  1. I love hearing these odysseys to publication. Thanks for sharing.

    Now pull up a chair and have a cup of coffee. The coffee bar is set.


  2. I LOVED this book! I'm glad that Thomas Nelson loved it too and published it because mail order/marriage of convenience stories are my all time faves!

    Don't enter me since I already have the book on my keeper shelf. :-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  3. Your book sounds wonderful..and the cover is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story. I'm always so encouraged by reading how authors came to be published. It helps me keep trying and keep writing! Blessings~Stacey

  4. Thanks for sharing. Contest wins being fruitful is a nice thing to hear.

    rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

  5. Cathy!!!! I just put your name in the dedication for my Love Inspired Suspense book releasing in January, Stalker in the Shadows, because you helped me with physical therapy for stroke patients, do you remember me emailing you about that? You SO rocked! The information you gave me was PERFECT. It's so awesome to see your novel cover up on Seekerville! Thanks for guest blogging today!

  6. Cathy,

    Thank you for sharing your journey. It's always fun and an inspiration to hear how other writers have "made it."

    I just went to Amazon to read the blurb and SPRING FOR SUSANNAH sounds wonderful!


  7. Cathy, I love how you related your journey. How fun!! Thanks for making me laugh this morning. (I would say it's early, but there are people that have been up for hours!!)

    belindapeterson at tds dot net

    I would love to read your book.

  8. Is there any place as much fun as Seekerville? Good morning all! Thanks for starting the coffee, Helen. Renee, I'm honored to have a place on your keeper shelf! Stacy, the cover is beautiful & really captured the mood of the story. Contests should come with a warning label, Melissa - not all are helpful. Camy! Glad to hear your story about the stroke patient is coming out (hope the pt gets occupational therapy, too!). Kirsten and Lindi, I hope you enjoy Spring for Susannah!
    It's a beautiful day!

  9. WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, CATHY! And congrats on that sale! Fabulous!!

  10. Welcome to Seekerville, Cathy! LOL, I loved reading your journey. Chris Volger has NOTHING on you!

    Congratulations on your sale and many, many more to come!

  11. Cool!!! Congrats on your book. It looks very interesting.

  12. Good to see you again, Glynna! Audra - I bet I have more rejection letters than Vogler! Good morning, Rose!

  13. I love getting paid to work! I LOVE IT, Cathy!!!! ;)

    And this is a wonderful post! Teeeenster and I were outside John Lennon's house at Central Park West and the signs for "Strawberry Fields" were fundraisers dotting the light poles.

    "Imagine", indeed!

    So glad to have you here in Seekerville!

  14. CATH!!!! Please, PLEASE let me say it just one more time:

    I TOLD YOU SO!!!

    I read one of Cathy's books a number of years ago and KNEW she wasn't long for the slush pile, which is why I jumped at the chance to endorse her. And, Mare? I made the cover and you didn't??? Obviously an oversight as everyone knows the Connealy name sells books like hotcakes whenEVER it appears on any cover -- yours or somebody else's -- sweet cheeks.

    Cathy -- LOVED your publishing story, ESPECIALLY the part about where you found out -- in front of John Lennon's "Imagine." Just imagine doing all of this without Him. Oooo, cold chills!

    From book shelves to the Bestseller list, my friend!


  15. Julie, I've gotten a few comments about the amount of sensuality in this story. Hey, it's about a marriage! Two people trying to start a family! But one of the bloggers said seeing your name on the cover gave her a clue!

  16. Cathy, I loved the story of your journey.

    And the final reward - what would money be without friends? Okay, maybe you could buy some friends - but really, isn't homemade always better than store bought?

    I'd love to come to the party in Omaha, but it's about three weeks early. I'll be driving through there at the end of wouldn't consider postponing, would you? I didn't think so. It's like asking someone to postpone their wedding!

    I'll be looking for your book - I'd love to read it!

    Meanwhile, put me in for the drawing!

  17. What a wonderful story and I loved the way you followed the Hero's (heroine's) journey.

    I'm a big fan of mail-order bride stories. :)

  18. Cathy!!!

    Snoopy dancing with you! And May is wiggling her entire self too!!

    Congrats! Really enjoyed reading about your journey. Adore your sense of humor.

    (Agreed. Isn't Seekerville the best? Complete with endorsements... Wawzah!)

  19. Spring for Susannah is a mail order bride story in North Dakota two people living way out in the wilderness in a sod house.
    Cathy pulls off a great fete when she takes this isolated setting and just makes is rich and funny and fascinating.
    It is EXCELLENT writing. It's so hard to take such a small cast (there are others, but not at first) and just do it brilliantly, the back and forth between the hero and heroine is perfect.

    I was really impressed. Cathy, you did a great job.

  20. And it definitely has heat between these two isolated people. An amazing amount. :)

  21. Welcome to Seekerville, Cathy! As another Thomas Nelson author I can relate to changing the setting, character occupations etc.! LOL. Your book sounds wonderful.

  22. Jan, I'll wave as you drive by Omaha! Yes, it's fun to read about mail order brides, Erica, but I wouldn't want to be one! Hi, KC and May - I tried to get a dog on the cover, but he ran off to chase rabbits! Mary, thank you so much for all your kind words! We always have a great time together, even when we get lost! Cara - your books are on my To-Be-Read list. The horse on the cover of Mary's Deep Trouble keeps kicking all the other books off my nightstand. Wishing all of us a day off to READ!

  23. Even when we get lost?

    Excuse me?

    That was NOT my fault.

    And anyway, your tactful suggestion that I drive while you read the map, was a good choice. The right choice.

    Minneapolis is huge btw

  24. I love it! And how the song played a part... wonderful!

  25. Cathy,

    This was a great story. You did leave out the blood, sweat, and tears, I guess. However, it kind of sounded like the inspiration for this story made writing it sort of like rolling off a log. Is that true? Were there 15 revisions in between? You wrote it in the early 90's and it's just getting published. Were there other mss along the way?

    Not sure if I want to know. The struggles are what get to me. Would like to think it's easy-er for somebody.

    By the way, it's nice to get to know someone who knows the correct way to spell Cathy--no "K"

  26. Oh, put my name in for the book, please.

  27. Cathy~

    I love that you started with song lyrics. My WIP is inspired by song lyrics. Johnny Cash.

    I ignored it for a long time too. While I'm not exactly ignoring it now, I'm not making much progress either.

    Your story is very encouraging to me. I hope to have one like it someday.

    I'd LOVE, love to win the book:

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  28. Virginia, even though I didn't get to use the song lyrics as the prologue, I'm so thankful for the inspiration - and the incentive to try to write as well as the songwriter! Cathy, who spells her name correctly, I did leave out the sagging middle. I suspect it's a lot like everyone else on Seekerville, only dragged out over the decades. This poor story suffered revisions every time I took a class, entered a contest, or got a "personalized" rejection letter. I worked on other ms, but always came back to this one. Andrea, I love Johnny Cash! Which song!

  29. Cathy,

    So nice to read your story again. I think I first saw it on Keli Gwyn's blog (sorry, if I'm remembering wrong), but I read an excerpt of the first chapter and was HOOKED!!

    Can't wait to read this story and if it has the heat level of Julie's, even better!

    Congratulations and best wishes for many, many sales!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  30. And just in case Julie chimes in here, I did NOT get lost in Omaha with you, neither.

    Sure I went the wrong way down a one way street. But I knew exactly where I was at all times.

  31. Oooo - love mail order bride stories =D.*

    I'd love to have a chance to read it!

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

    *Love them so much I'm writing a modern adaptation. And my heroine is reading a Mary Connealy book =D.

  32. Sue, yes I was on Keli's blog. Thanks for your support on the level of sensuality. Carol, mail order bride stories are fun, but I wouldn't want to be one! Ruthy, I agree - I love getting paid - money is such a lovely surprise.
    Mary, instead of getting lost, let's call it the scenic route. After all, we did get turned back around before we hit South Dakota. But I would like to know which one way street it was!

  33. Hahaha Julie, I mentioned in reply to one of the comments made on my review of this book that your endorsement was on the cover so it had to be good! ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  34. Never tire of writing journey/Call stories.

    Congrats Cathy on your debut release!

  35. Congratulations Catherine!
    What a journey life is :)

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

  36. Interesting post! Please count me in for the drawing.....your book sounds great!!!

  37. Great to hear from you Catherine!
    I read the book and really enjoyed it, hoping for more books from you soon!

    Don't enter me.

  38. Patricia, thanks - I love having good news to share! Yes, Eva, it's an interesting journey! Thanks for stopping by, Jackie! Faye, glad you liked it. My next one, Relying on Sophia, comes out summer 2012.

    Thanks so much Seekerville! You are awesome!

  39. Ooh, loved your heroine's journey, Cathy. So much fun.

    And I'm also hearing great things about Spring for Susannah. I read the the first chapter and LOVED it. I'll definitely be buying the book so I can read the whole thing!

  40. This is so pitiful...okay I am so pitiful. I read your post at five am and loved it. Just loved it. Thought I commented but apparently I was sleep surfing.

    Thanks for such a clever post and for being our guest!!

  41. I would love to read Catherine's book! Count me in!

  42. Congratulations for having your book published! I've read some reviews and it sounds like one I'd enjoy reading. Thanks for sharing a bit of your writing journey.


  43. Cathy,

    I'm so sorry to show up late for your blog post but I do have a good excuse, my second granddaughter arrived today!

    I'm so happy for you with the release of this book and I can't wait to read it.


  44. Rose, what's her name?

    "Cathy" is almost as good as "Ruthy"...

  45. Ruthy,

    Her name is Brystol Olivia.

    I have pictures on my facebook page and she's a cutie, but I MIGHT be biased!!!

    Thanks for asking.

  46. I loved your story and congratulations! I hope you have a huge turnout at your signing.
    I'd love to be entered for your contest.

  47. Tina, I thought you commented earlier too, but then maybe I was sleep websurfing.

  48. ROSE!

    Congrats on the new grandbaby.

    Love her name.

  49. Cathy, congratulations! I love the details of your journey and how you worded them. Gotta love God's sense of humor.

    christinainspirationals [at] gmaildotcom

  50. Ooo, I love mail order bride/MOC stories, but I hardly ever see them in the CBA! The story sounds good. Way to go, Cathy! Congrats on your debut!

  51. Ooo, I love mail order bride/MOC stories, but I hardly ever see them in the CBA! The story sounds good. Way to go, Cathy! Congrats on your debut!

  52. Christina, LOVE the pic! Gorgeous!

  53. Pam, Congrats on your new release! Great cover! Tina, five am is too early for anything - thanks for coming back at a "decent" hour! Thanks, Patsy & Pam - hope you enjoy Spring for Susannah! Rose - congratulations on Brystol - she's got your smile! Christina - yes, I love how God took a song against Him and turned it for Him! And thank you Melanie - your books are also on my To-Be-Read list. Blessings!
    See you all at ACFW!

  54. CATH!!! My name on the cover as am endorsement gave a blogger a clue about the sensuality??? Well, then my work here is done ... :)

    SUE ... we do like our "heat level," don't we, though? ;)

    MARE ...don't even get me started on your driving in Omaha ... I developed heart problems after that as I recall ...

    RENEE!! You are SO sweet, my friend -- thank you for that great comment!


  55. This post was very interesting. I enjoyed it a lot! Catherine you are a new author to me and I'd love to win a copy of your book, Spring For Susannah. It sounds like a very good read!

    God Bless,


  56. Wow - Love hearing about these long, winding paths taken to publication. Glad to have found Seekerville, I feel like I've found my own people!
    Please consider me for the five page critique, and hope you all enjoy that conference in NYC!

  57. I started writing in 1990 so I know what a trek you've been on. Congrats on your book's publication! That is so exciting!

  58. I loved the cover!
    Enter me !

    niastrong at gmail dot com