Writers are like magpies. They gather their own experiences, couple them with
tons and tons of research, and come up with a distinctive realm that they hope
will draw readers into their stories. How do they do it?
The old adage, "Write What You Know" holds a lot of merit. As an author, I try
to follow it whenever I can. For example, I don't set my stories in Paris,
because I've never been there. I couldn't do the city, or the people, justice.
And as much as I love to read Regencies, I've only been to England once. That
doesn't make me an expert on all things British. However, I do know the United
States, especially California. Being a native Californian, I've travelled up and
down and all around this state. Coincidentally, that's where my latest release,
UNDERCOVER WITH THE
NANNY, takes place.
The heroine, Kate Munroe, lives in a little beach community near the border of
California and Mexico. I haven't been down that way in a long time. When I did
my research, I found that the town of Imperial Beach was the closest to the
Mexican border. I scoured pictures of it on the internet, and even thought about
driving down there for authenticity. And then, I had a brain blast. Why not use
a town I have been to, Carlsbad, as my reference? Use that author's
device of Creative License. I gave myself a mental high five.
If you've ever been to Carlsbad, you'll know that it's a slow-paced little
coastal town. It has a tree-lined main street, with quaint little shops and
restaurants that invite you to browse and maybe stop for a bite to eat. In my
book, Kate takes our hero, Sawyer Hayes, to a little Mexican restaurant that
fronts that jacaranda-lined street, and it's just as he describes it: "It looks
like a pińata ready to burst."
Bright, primary hues bombard your eyes when you enter. Family photos adorn the
walls. Interspersed between them are folk art and colorful sarapes draping any
barren spots. The tables are cozy, and the bar crouches at the back of the
restaurant, perhaps the length of a kitchen island at most. Canned Mexican music
fills the space.
Sawyer's reaction was what I felt the first time I went inside. It was crowded,
noisy, and smelled so good, I could hardly wait to eat. When I wrote this scene,
I wanted to convey my feelings through Sawyer's eyes. Readers will have to
decide if I did it justice.
Besides the Mexican restaurant, Kate takes Sawyer down the tree-lined street to
a candy store on the corner. It also serves ice cream. Now, I'm a candy expert.
I know the different types, consistencies, and prices of chocolates. I have to
say this little shop has some of the best. I can't speak for the ice cream; once
again, I agree with Sawyer. Ice cream at the beach in the evening is sometimes
just too cold!
By taking what I've seen in Carlsbad, renaming my town as well as moving it, and
illustrating what I know about seaside communities, I was able to create a
unique setting that readers could picture in their heads. And I didn't have to
drive down the coast to do so!
The same goes for the coaching and ball fields within UNDERCOVER WITH THE NANNY.
Any mom of sons knows her way around the games football, soccer, or in my case,
baseball. I've spent countless hours on park fields, watching my sons play in
Little League games. My boys have had highs and lows during their sports
careers. They've felt like Bobby, the young boy in my book, at one time or
another. And there has always been at least one coach like Sawyer, who goes
above and beyond his volunteer position. I was able to channel my sons' sporting
experiences into this book through Bobby, bringing a realism to this imaginary
Pulling from real life is what makes a book memorable to readers. Whether it's
how team moms organize snack schedules during Little League practices, or the
jock dad who shouts criticism from the sidelines, readers will be drawn into a
book more deeply if they can relate through shared experiences. It's up to the
author to paint a vivid world for the reader to get lost in. And if you have to
use a little creative license to do so, more power to you. After all the reader
is the winner.
DEA agent Sawyer Hayes came to California in search of a drug cartel leader
who slipped through his fingers in El Paso. The link to finding him is Kate
Munroe, a nanny for one of his henchmen. The problem? He didn’t expect to be so
drawn to a possible suspect. How is he supposed to do his job when his growing
feelings for her are clouding his judgment?
Interior designer Kate Munroe’s life is a train wreck. Her parents’ deaths
left her with their mounds of debt, she can’t get a job designing even a
cubicle, and she’s bunking in her best friend’s spare bedroom. To make ends
meet, she’s a nanny to a lonely little boy whose rich father works all the time.
Romance is not on her radar. But her hot new neighbor could change her mind,
with his broad shoulders and Southern charm. Too bad his secrets could destroy
Sensual | Romance
Suspense [Entangled Ignite, On Sale: April 23,
2018, e-Book, ISBN: 9781640635548 / eISBN: 9781640635548]
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-three years, had two sons, and moved to southern Orange County,
California. She chose to work part-time in the school system there.
she has returned to writing. Prisoner of Love is her first published novel,
followed closely by The Pirate's Bride. The sequel to The Pirate's Bride, The
Pirate Bride’s Holiday Masquerade, came out Oct. 1, 2017. Her next contemporary
romantic suspense, entitled Undercover with the Nanny, is due out on April 23,
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.
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