Even though we live on opposite sides of the world, C.D. and I have become good mates over this past year. It is with great delight that, apart from sharing friendship, we also find ourselves debuting as authors in the same year – C.D. with “When it Raynes” (Bedazzled Ink) and myself with “Twice Lucky” (Bold Strokes Books).
C.D. has very kindly offered herself up to the 10-to-1 gauntlet to give us a sneak peek into herself as an author, an individual, her writing style and her recently released debut work.
C.D.’s voice is unique. She eloquently paints the South, with all of its stunning complexities, drama and humour, into the tale that is When it Raynes. This lovely lady promises to be an author to keep an eye on, with When it Raynes being only the beginning of what promises to be an exciting literary ride with her book series Chambers of the Heart. I for one can’t wait to see how this series will grow and blossom.
Ten-to-one with C.D.Cain
1. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty and why?
At an early age, I was fascinated with science. I fell in love with medicine when I was quite young. As a child I thought I was destined to become a doctor but then life happened. I was an only child until shortly before I graduated with my BS. At that point, I wasn’t ready to move away from my family; so I prolonged school. A few years before I turned thirty, my medical bug started to itch again. That was when I discovered Physician Assistant School. Through it all, I had this lingering desire of always wanting to write. I wanted to put words to the worlds I had created in my imagination. Last year I got serious about this and wrote my first manuscript.
2. I love the sound of your debut novel ‘When it Raynes’. Tell us a bit about it and what’s in store for the two main characters?
“When it Raynes” is the title of my first book as well as the name of its main protagonist, Rayne Storm. It is an oddly different book when you think of the “two main characters”. I didn’t realize when I first started writing that I was creating more than two main characters. Of course there is Rayne, who is the main protagonist. The book is her journey of discovering life. Alongside her is her maternal grandmother, Memaw, who sees Rayne for who she is and well…who she doesn’t yet know she is. Sam is the woman who will start to make Rayne begin to realize the side she had kept hidden from everyone including herself. The main character that slipped up on me is the Louisiana bayou. Writing the story, I realized I had given such life to the setting of the story that it was essentially another main character all together.As for what is in store for them…I guess I should answer by saying “life”. Wow, what power there is in this small four letter word. But it’s true, isn’t it? Life does get in the way sometimes. It gets in the way of our wants, our dreams, our desires. It becomes our reality far too often. My characters are much like real women I have met in my life. They are strong and overcome some hard realities of life—much like my readers have. I suppose my biggest wish is for a reader to connect with my character’s experience. I want them to be proud of the characters and in the process perhaps relive a bit of pride they had in their own lives. We also read for an escape into a different world so of course I wanted to add a good bit of laughter and love as well.
3. What’s the best piece of advice you were offered when you first started out writing?
The best piece of advice I got was to join the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS). I know that may sound like an odd answer but it is the truth. People had told me about Internet sites, blogs and books on creative writing topics but until I discovered the GCLS I was pretty lost. I was lucky enough to get into the Writing Academy. This has been a great program. The program has taken me from introductory grammar to genre directed lectures. Just last week we were taught by Georgia Beers. As you can tell, I’m really excited about this program. I plan on shadowing next year’s lectures if they will let me! I encourage any new writer to look into it. I’ll also be happy to answer any questions I can if they want to contact me.
4. The ultimate party personality test – when it comes to toilet paper, are you a folder or a scruncher?
I have seriously been deprived in my partying because I have never been asked this before. Ha! Well now, let’s see…I’m neither. I’m a wrapper—unroll the paper by wrapping it around your hand. Now, which are you?
5. What do those closest to you think about your writing?
I would say most of them are excited. However my partner has been the best. For Christmas this year, she made me an office in the spare bedroom and lets me sneak off in there to do some writing every now and then. My mother was probably the most embarrassing. She did a beta read for me and text me one night around eleven o’clock. Take it from me, you don’t really want to be awakened at that time of night to your mother texting, “Whoa! I even got a little heated up in the bathroom scene.” I didn’t go back to sleep for hours!
6. ‘When it Raynes’, is the first book in the series, and I understand that the second book is underway. Can you share some more details on this next adventure?
Now that one is a tough. How to answer without giving any spoilers? When we leave Rayne in ‘When it Raynes’, she has found herself at a crossroads after a tragedy strikes back home. With her foundation shaken, she has had to look inward for the answers of where her life is to lead her. ‘It Pours’ picks up there. In life (oops, there I go again), we are all faced at some point with decisions which seem not to have a winning answer. It is how you deal with the answer you have chosen that truly shapes your future. The second book carries her beyond her choices and the consequences which follow.
7. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
Dang girl you ask some good questions! I was a bit of a tormented soul at eighteen. You know the age of trying to figure out all of the feelings your body was trying to tell you. At eighteen, I honestly didn’t think I would ever find happiness or a person to share my life. I was so afraid of the sacrifices I would have to make in order to live my life as a lesbian. I was afraid I would lose my family, never have a family of my own…all of those things. Of course there are still struggles of acceptance all around me. Yet here I am living as an out lesbian in a small community that for the most part accepts me for who I am. I share my life with my partner of twenty-two years and our four year old son. And I am about to have my first book released—happiness is all around me.
8. Tell us a little bit about your writing style – what sort of stories do you write and why?
Thus far my writing style has been general fiction/romance. The ‘Chambers of the Heart’ series takes place in South Louisiana so I add a hint of Louisiana culture both in the scene descriptions and characters. I enjoy writing romance because it is my favorite genre to read. I can get lost for days in a book with a really good love story. For my next project, I am planning a doozy of a combination—historical fiction, paranormal and romance. Wish me luck!
9. Which gay/lesbian writer inspired you the most? Do you have a favourite author(s)?
As for inspiration, I would have to say it was Ann McMan. She wrote the first lesbian fiction book I read, ‘Jericho’. I was literally blown away by her characters. The main characters were so real and I connected with them so strongly that I honestly could picture walking into them at the grocery store. I wanted to create characters like that! An exciting turn of events is being paired with Ann for a reading at GCLS. Can I ask for luck wishes again? I wouldn’t say I have a favorite author really. I read many different authors and enjoy each of them for the unique talent they have. I don’t think I could narrow it down to a few much less one.
10. With the New Year still fresh from the oven, what are three things you’d like to do or experience in 2015?
First, is the GCLS conference in New Orleans this year. I am so looking forward to July. This will be my first ever literary conference and a fantastic avenue to launch ‘When it Raynes’. I’m excited to meet authors/friends face to face as well as attend some awesome sessions. I am assigned to two panels, a reading and will be a presenter for one of the Goldie awards A dream come true!
Secondly, I would like to finish up the writing of the remainder of my series.
Lastly, I hope this may be the year I can get married. Most recent to this interview the SCOTUS decision was announced. My hope now is that Georgia will not find a way to prevent our marriage before we get to the alter. Gotta’ make an honest woman of my partner one day!
Want to know more or catch up with what C.D.’s up to? Then be sure and catch up with C.D. using her contact details below:
Facebook: C.d. Cain