With November coming to a close, I still have a couple more lovely authors to feature on my blog. Today, I’m thrilled to announce that historical fiction author C.H. Armstrong will be joining me to chat about her upcoming release. Just reading her answers here has made me super interested to devour the book, and I hope you feel the same!
Also, please join me in fangirling over her BEAUTIFUL COVER ART. #obsessed
Please give a warm welcome to C.H. Armstrong!
- Any advice for new writers?
Only the sage advice that was given to me countless times, all of which I ignored until I finally sat down to write: Just write. Write whatever comes out of your head. Don’t worry about how it sounds or how it reads — that can be fixed in the editing stage. But you have to start somewhere, so just sit down and write whatever your heart leads you to write. Some of it you’ll keep and some if you won’t, but you’ll be surprised what you end up with when you finally step away from the keyboard.
- What are your thoughts on e-books vs. “traditional” print, both as a reader and a writer?
First of all, I won’t lie: I love traditional books. Like a lot of people, I love the feel of them in my hands and the way they smell. BUT, I also love e-books and have transitioned over to doing the majority of my reading on e-books. The reason is because it’s just so easy. I can adjust the font size when I don’t have my glasses on, I can carry with me thousands of titles in under a pound, and I can even read in the dark. And even better than all of that is that when I find a title I want to read, I can have it in my hands in about fifteen seconds. So the answer is that I love both, but these days I’m loving e-books just a bit more.
- Tell me a little about your upcoming release.
The Edge of Nowhere is a work of historical fiction inspired by my own family’s experiences during the 1930s Oklahoma Dust Bowl and The Great Depression. My grandmother married a man much older than herself, and then was left a widow at 28 with twelve children (five of whom were her stepchildren). Everybody was poor in those days and times were hard, and she had it harder than most. So the story centers around asking the central question of “what would a woman alone and with no resources do to provide for and protect her children?” Similar to my grandmother, the main character is widowed at 28 with nine children and she makes some (arguably) reprehensible choices in the name of providing for her children. This book is very personal to me because it helped me to understand the things my own grandmother may have endured, and many of the major elements are based upon family anecdotes. The Edge of Nowhere is due out in paperback and e-book formats on January 19th.
- Do you see some of yourself in your main character? What traits have passed from you to them?
Oh gosh, yes! And probably the biggest reason why is because the main character is loosely based upon my own grandmother. She was a strong and assertive woman — aggressive, even, if the situation required it — and she refused to back down from even the worst adversity. In many ways I take pride in the fact that I see a lot of my grandmother in myself. In fact, I’d argue that most of my grandmother’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have inherited this genetic predisposition to refuse to accept defeat and we’re all very proud of it. So yes – like the main character, I’m definitely a strong and independent woman who values family above everything else. Like her, there just isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my children; and I’ve not encountered a situation yet where I easily accepted defeat.
- What are you most excited about with this upcoming release?
Oh gosh, everything! Obviously I’m excited because it’s my first release; but, I’m also excited — and a whole lot nervous — to see what my friends and family back in Oklahoma think of it. I’m an Oklahoma native transplanted in Minnesota, but I’m an Okie at heart and consider Oklahoma to be “home.” The book is set in my hometown of El Reno, OK (which is where my family was during the 1930s), and I’m both anxious and excited to get feedback from my hometown and the surrounding communities. I’m headed back there in April, and I sincerely hope they’ll be kind to me. 🙂
Here’s a spot to pimp one of your writer friends… GO! (Or to gush about a recent fave read)
I love this! I get to gush about my favorite author(s)! I have so many but, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that Cathy Lamb is probably my favorite author. She just “gets” people and relationships. I’ve read everything she’s written, and she never fails to make me laugh, then cry, then laugh through ugly tears. She has a true gift. I think my favorite books of hers are Julia’s Chocolates, Such a Pretty Face, and The Last Time I Was Me. See — I tried, but I just couldn’t choose one title!
The year is 1992 and Victoria Hastings Harrison Greene—reviled matriarch of a sprawling family—is dying.
After surviving the Oklahoma Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, Victoria refuses to leave this earth before revealing the secrets she’s carried for decades.
Once the child of a loving family during peaceful times, a shocking death shattered her life. Victoria came face to face with the harshness of the world. As the warm days of childhood receded to distant memory, Victoria learns to survive.
No matter what it takes.
To keep her family alive in an Oklahoma blighted by dust storms and poverty, Victoria makes choices—harsh ones, desperate ones. Ones that eventually made her into the woman her grandchildren fear and whisper about. Ones that kept them all alive. Hers is a tale of tragedy, love, murder, and above all, the conviction to never stop fighting.
C.H. (Cathie) Armstrong is an Oklahoma native transplanted in Minnesota for the last twenty-three years. A 1992 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she is a rabid Oklahoma Sooners football fan and can be found most Saturdays from September through December glued to the television or computer watching her alma mater play some good-old fashioned Oklahoma football. Cathie is a prolific reader of most genres and is happiest when curled up between the pages of a great read. The Edge of Nowhere is her first published novel.