C.D. Cain

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Today I welcome C.D. Cain for an interview. A friend introduced us, and suggested I might find her a good candidate for an interview. So here we are. I hope you will enjoy meeting this bright new author as much as I did.

AJ: First some warm up questions: Coffee or tea?

Can I say both?

AJ: LOL, you can say anything you want, it’s your interview and your answers! So, you like both equally?

Coffee as the hot beverage is a necessity for me to rise out of bed in the morning. Cold iced tea is my afternoon, evening drink. When I traveled up north I got the craziest looks from people when I ordered unsweet tea. Finally my friend told me to simply order tea as there is only unsweet varieties up there. Here we have unsweet and diabetic coma sweet.

AJ: Are you a sports fan? A player or a couch potato?

Yes, I am. My favorite sport is football. Sadly I don’t think I would do well on a football field. Although, I was one heck of a cheerleader when my girlfriend played softball. 

AJ: Milk or dark chocolate?

Milk chocolate Hershey bar dipped in peanut butter….heavenly!

AJ: Lake, beach, or mountains?

Hands down the beach. I can’t describe the feeling I get when I smell the surf and hear the crashing waves. It is nearly a transformation into a realm of peace. Second choice, sitting on a deck of a mountain cabin listening to the surrounding wildlife.

AJ: Tell us a bit about your life. (Partnered or single, job, kids, pets)

My partner and I will celebrate 23 years this January. The question as of late is whether or not we will get married now. Honestly neither of us thought we would see legalization of marriage here in Georgia. We have a house full of kids—one with two legs and five with four. Our furbabies are two Yorkies—one female and one male a shepherd mix and two cats. Our son will turn 5 in October. He is such a little man. Love that boy. Becoming a Mom changed my life. A few women who have read When it Raynes have asked if this is a story of my life. Throughout the series there will only be one aspect that mirrors a life experience and that will be in book 3, “After The Storm”.

I am a Physician Assistant when not trying to find time to write. My main focus is on treating adult spinal disorder. Previously this was in both neurosurgical as well as orthopedic spine practices where I was responsible for both clinic, inpatient and surgical treatments of their disease. In the last few years, I have focused mainly on a clinic practice.

How about you? 

AJ: Nothing as dramatic as you. I’m a married, retired school administrator with two cats.

How would your best friend describe you?

      As the perfect girlfriend! Ha! Okay perhaps I exaggerated a touch. Honestly, my partner is my best friend. This realization came on me a few years ago, which is strange as we have been together for so much longer than that. I found myself realizing when it came time to plan any activities, I wanted to be with her…when something happened I called her. She is my best friend and I can’t imagine life without her.

AJ: We have that in common. My (I don’t like the term wife) partner and I have known each other for almost fifty years, and been together for over thirty.

If you could go back to age 21 and live your life again, what would you do differently?

I met Geanie at the age of 22. I think if you would have asked me this question 15 years ago, I suppose I would have answered with “date”. I hadn’t dated women before I met her; so, I never had that experience. There was a day and time where I wondered if this was a bad thing. Yet as I grew it dawned on me how incredibly lucky I was to meet my partner at such a young age. Now for you mathematicians…don’t start calculating my age. I’m 36 and not a day older. ;-) Beyond that, I would have gone to Physician Assistant school in my early twenties versus thirties.

This is such a great question…how have you answered this?

AJ: I’ve been lucky…nobody has ever asked me that question! What is the strangest job you’ve ever had?        

I don’t know about strange but probably the most memorable summer job was at an equine farm. I was responsible for the barn which meant mucking the stalls, washing the horses, you name it. I came up to about their mid legs! Once while picking the back feet of one of the larger mares, she turned her head around, bit the belt loop of my jeans and left me suspended in her mouth until which time she decided to release me.

AJ: Wow! There’s an experience I bet few people have had! Everyone always wants to know if it was difficult to find a publisher. Tell us of your experience.

I have to say I was extremely lucky when it came to this aspect of my writing. I had been pretty active in different Facebook groups and had posted several pieces of poetry prior to finishing my novel. When I contacted Bedazzled Ink Publishing for their submission guidelines, Claudia had seen some of my stuff and messaged me back to ask me to forward my manuscript to Casey. I signed with them a couple of weeks later.

AJ: When you were in high school, did you enjoy creative writing?

I have to admit, I had never taken a creative writing course until attending the GCLS Writing Academy. I am a science geek! Not having the creative writing background hindered me initially but the program really helped me through that. I now know what a protagonist is. J

AJ: What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Wow! Good question.

AJ: Thank you…I have one of those inquiring minds!

You know I was so surprised to be published I hardly thought past this point. But now that it has arrived, I would say initially to complete the publication of the Chambers of the Heart series. Until a month ago, I feared I had no more stories percolating other than Rayne’s. Then one day a story popped into my head. I would really love it if those ideas keep popping up every now and then!   

AJ:  Which writers inspire you?

I have enjoyed so many writers based on their styles and storylines—too many to list actually. To answer this, I will tell you how I started writing. When I turned the last page of Jericho, I thought to myself “Man, if I could create characters like this!” Ann McMan created “people” in that book. I would have sworn I could have bumped into Maddie down at the Wal-Mart at any time. She was that real to me. So I began to create people in my head. We had these really great conversations and before the men with the little white jacket showed up on my door, I decided to put them to paper. The best part of this story is I am reading with Ann at this year’s GCLS! How cool is that?

AJ: Very cool. Tell us about your book.

Ok take a seat…nah just joking. Will make this short and sweet. When It Raynes is the first book in the Chambers of the Heart series. The series follows the life of Rayne Storm as she faces trials many of us have faced at one time in our lives. She will be knocked down and my hope is the readers will cheer her on to get back up. In each of the books, I will introduce a different trial or life event for the next chamber of her heart to deal with. In the first book, she wrestles with feelings she has developed for a new transfer student. This will be against everything she has been taught while living in a small town in Louisiana. She does however have a pretty darn cool “Memaw” to help her navigate the waters of life.

When It Raynes

AJ: Tell us about your main character(s). What makes them unique or interesting?

Rayne Amber Storm is a woman who knows what she wants out of life. She has it planned to a definitive “T”. Luckily for her, it has always fallen into place. That is until Sam, the new transfer student, shows her what it is she may truly want.

A reader has told me she perceived another main character as well. When I read her thoughts, I couldn’t have agreed more. The bayou that is the serenity for Rayne is its own character. My hope is other readers will sense this too. The waters have their own voice in the book. 

AJ; Is there another in the works?

Yes, the second book is “It Pours”.

AJ: Is any of your book based in reality, or is it pure fiction / imagination?

You know, I have actually been messaged this question a few times by when readers who have contacted me. I find this to be a huge compliment because I must have written in a way that the reader feels the rawness of the story stems from experience. The story is purely fictional. There are no characters similar to my life. Although, there are a few phrases I did steal from my grandmother. One of the most popular seems to be “titty bream”.

AJ: I won’t ask you to eplain that. Instead, maybe the readers will look up your book to find out what that is. If you could cast a movie about your book, who would you cast for your lead?

See this would be a great quiz question to pose for the readers of the book. The truth is, I am an extremely visual writer. I have two monitors when I write. One with Word pulled up and one with the image I am creating. These range from bayou scenes, to general location scenes to character pictures. I try to even listen to audio clips of sounds that may be present in the area. Each and every character in my book is a resemblance to a celebrity. Wouldn’t if be fun if anyone could guess who Rayne is? I think Sam (the secondary character) might be pretty easy. In fact, a beta reader did guess her.

AJ: If anyone picks characters stars for my book, Angie Harmon is always cast…let me guess…LOL.

How much research do you do?

TONS! I was shocked to realize how much research I did. I thought when envisioning this book that I would be able to sit down and write but no! Some examples of my research--surnames to ensure they were common to the area, the life cycle of the Magicada cicada and I researched my trauma scene. As my specialty was always spine related, I had to research the trauma scene for the book. (which was cool because I as able to log CME for it! Win-win) Lots more but these are the basics.

A question for you on that topic. Do you research and if so which program do you like best to put your information into? I have used Scrivener and OneNote and seem to find OneNote so much easier.

AJ: It depends on the story. Most of my stories include information about things I’ve done or been interested in. For example, Sunset Island took the reader to Maine, a place I’ve visited many times. Awaiting My Assignment had the characters on a cruise, also something I’ve done quite a lot. In another book, one character was an amateur photographer, something I’ve done before…so you get the idea. My next book, A Journey To You, due out in August, actually required the most research. Although I’ve camped before, I’ve never actually backpacked. So there was a great deal about survival and camping in the wilds of Maine to research. 

Although I consider myself computer literate, I simply write things down on a Word document. I start out by listing all my characters and their personally identifiable traits (hair color, eye color, little gestures, etc. Then I make notes below that regarding things that are important to the story line. It is the beginning of the document my editor and I work from. I start it, and she adds to it as she works. I just bought Scrivener, but the learning curve seems a bit steep.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate, or write longhand?

A computer! Unfortunately I have developed a nasty case of “doctor’s handwriting”. It’s contagious I tell you! If anyone ever asks me to sign a book they may say “What the heck is this?” My accent makes dictation full of errors, example I say “she caresses her hip” what I get is “she caresses her he up”. Completely throws off the mood, you know?

AJ: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.

Sadly not as much as I used to. I was an avid and fast reader until I started writing. I sandwich the writing time into being a PA, a mom and a partner; therefore, not as much time these days for reading. But when I do find some time to read, I generally like general fiction, romance and paranormal. 

AJ: For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

Definitely ebooks that way they are always with me and can be opened if lying in bed next to the boy while he sleeps.

AJ: What book/s are you reading at present?

I am reading Loved and Lost by Stephanie Kusiak right now.

AJ: I read that. Interesting story.

Many think that once you sign with a publishing company, the author’s role in publicizing the novel is finished. I was surprised to discover how much self-promotion an author has to do. Did this surprise you as well? What have you found the best way to reach readers?

Yes, honestly it did. I think I had gotten a taste of it viewing authors FB pages and their posts in groups earlier before signing with a publisher. Yet I still wasn’t prepared for what was to come. I don’t think it is as hard for those who have a name already built for themselves as it is for a newbie like me. They publish a book and not only is it purchased but reviews are left. I can’t say that I have found the best way as of yet. This is my debut novel so mine is not a name readers recognize. They don’t have an idea of what I write or if I write. When your book is next to a well-known author’s book I can understand the person’s desire to buy what they know. Money isn’t easy to come by. I am a big proponent of the samples. I can’t name many books I have purchased without reading a sample first, even if I am familiar with the author.

AJ: What is your favorite line from your book and why?

I’m going to say the first line of my book and I will tell you why. During the master classes at GCLS as well as the Writing Academy lectures, they drilled into us to make our first line count. It should be your best in the book. It should be the one that hooks your reader to read your book and not the author’s next to you.

AJ: If you could have been the original author of any book, which book would it have been?

The Harry Potter series. I have a deep desire to one day be able to write supernatural, suspense. These books spanned over so many generations of readers from kids to adults. Not only didn’t age matter but sexuality didn’t either. I would be hard pressed to know either a straight or gay reader who hasn’t read or in the very least heard of this series.

AJ: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Not to give up. Put your best words on the page and don’t give up until they are out there for others to enjoy. Take your reader on a journey. Show them worlds they can’t or don’t see in their everyday lives. Let them feel your characters emotions. Be proactive in getting your story out there. I don’t mean only by submissions or self-publishing but be interactive in social media long before you plan on trying to publish your book. Try to let people know your name before it is attached to a book. Be aggressive in learning the craft. Join the GCLS. The best writing advice I got was when a friend told me to join.

AJ: Where do you see publishing going in the future?

Now that seems to be a hot topic. I try desperately to steer clear of controversy which makes me sort of stumble over the way I want to answer this question. I think the big push is for lesbian writers/books to be considered more “mainstream”. I fully admit I may not have the correct definition of what this truly means but to me it seems folks are trying to pull away from the label of lesfic. I’m a bit conflicted where this is concerned. As a lesbian reader I was comforted knowing there was a genre for me. One where I could find books fitting the way I lived my life. I’m pretty darn proud to be a published lesbian fiction author.  I would love it if my audience reached straight readers but wouldn’t want them to purchase my books and be shocked or disappointed to find at the heart it’s a lesbian’s story. I write for lesbians to read. If other readers enjoy it as well then I have exceeded my every expectation. At the end of the day and future to come, if a lesbian reader sees my name on a book, I want them to be assured it is a “lesbian’s” story. For so long I avoided reading as I never read about me. That added another peg to me feeling different. When I discovered lesfic, Katie bar the door, I was hooked. Finally I was able to read books that had women like me as the protagonist! It would be lovely to span the genres to reach other readers, yet I would surely hate to lose having a genre for us. If that makes sense? And again, I may completely be misunderstanding this whole topic. I’ve been known to do that.

Saying all of that…I do want to point out my very first review I received was from a young straight woman who was an advance copy reader for me. I didn’t know her personally. She was not a Facebook friend nor had our names ever passed by one another. Therefore I was comfortable knowing I would get an honest opinion. As I am a completely open, what you see is what you get, author I wanted to have a general idea of how the book would be perceived by my peers in town. I was happily surprised at her response. I have encouraged anyone who knows me to give the book a try yet it is full disclosure when they do.

Can you clarify any of that for me? How do you feel about the mainstream push?

AJ: I’m afraid I wobble back and forth. I think it’s nice, especially for those of us who lived in the day when there were few options for obtaining quality lesbian literature, to be able to have our own genre. You know, to be able to go to a list and know that you will find a good lesbian story with strong lesbian characters. I do think that as gay marriage just becomes marriage, eventually lesbian literature will become stories rather than lesbian stories with gay/lesbian characters as part of the mainstream. Can’t we have both, though?

 Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Yes, I would like for my readers to feel comfortable contacting me. I love hearing from them. I can remember reading books that I connected with and immediately wanting to know some of the author’s thoughts on her words.

AJ; How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I am pretty active on my Facebook page and have included my contact information in the back of my book. They can also check Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company’s website. I can also be found here:

Twitter (@cdcain1019) 

Goodreads (Cdcain) 

Email: cdcain1019@yahoo.com 


© JEN 2014