Tell us what The Key to Her Heart is about, Catherine.
The Key to Her Heart is romantic suspense with a Christian bent. The main character is Anna Lattimier. In the story Anna becomes the unwanted obsession of Matthew Wolffe. He is cruel and vicious, and always gets what he wants no matter what it costs. Anna refuses to bow to his horrible intentions, and ends up running for her life. Ultimately she has to decide what is most important.
Patrick Rueschel grew up with Anna until a battle erupted between their families when they were teens. Now he is back in her life and maybe the only person able to save her from destruction as Wolffe’s cat and mouse games turn more and more deadly.
Sounds intriguing! Did you have the book planned out before you wrote it? Did anything unexpected happen while writing it?
No, I didn’t at all have it planned out! I started as a teen and it evolved as I matured and as I kept writing.
Actually the events in the book were ‘inspired’, shall we say, by actual events that happened to me and my oldest daughter. It is definitely fiction, but the emotions and some of the scenes have their roots in real life.
The unexpected thing that happened while editing and rewriting for publication was how I had to confront the violence that happened in my own past and also do some healing.
Did you find anything challenging about writing your book?
Chapter six was the hardest thing I have ever had to write. I ended up deleting it three times, and rewriting it twice after that. It affected me so bad I handed it to my daughter to edit it. I couldn’t read it again until just recently. The violence in that scene was the last thing I wanted to put in there, but every time I tried to eliminate it the story didn’t seem real. Everything else didn’t hold together without seeing the damage that Wolffe could do.
Do you have a specific writing style or process that you prefer?
This question makes me smile. I have music lists for each of my characters, and when I am working on a certain character I put on my head phones and find a place where no one will bother me (many times it has been Panera’s) and blast the music as I am writing the scene that character is involved with.
I also try to work off an outline because otherwise I am not linear at all! I tend to work on scenes that deal with the emotions I am experiencing that day.
Who designed your cover? It’s very dynamic.
Originally the cover was done by my second daughter (she is an incredible artist) and my oldest daughter’s best friend, who is a graphic designer.
But just recently I changed the cover and used Selfpubcovers. The new cover is show stopping and I love it, but I also like the old cover because it showcased my daughter’s talent which I thought was pretty cool.
The problem I finally had to confront was that it didn’t really tell as much about the story as I would have liked. Now you look at the cover and you can see elements of the story– which makes me happy.
Are you working on anything else?
I am working on the sequel to The Key to Her Heart, Patrick’s Rose right now. I also have a blog, Cat Tales, and do a ton on social media. Ultimately I would like to have The Key to Her Heart as an audiobook, but that is pretty far away.
What book are you reading now?
Just finished Pretty Maidens All in a Row about a week or so ago. I’m in between books right now. I really love suspense, a little bit of a thriller, or historical romance. Also I read anything by Beverly Lewis and have read everything from Grace Livingston Hill. I am as much a reader as I am a writer. Reading is like a movie to me, and if I can, I will read a book in a night. Pretty Maidens was a little long for that, but it was an awesome read. Before that I read Orphan Moon; Today, Tomorrow, Forever; and Today, Tomorrow, Forever Carey’s Revenge. I’ve already downloaded my next three reads but haven’t started any of them yet. So in the next few days I will be in reading world again– Joyfully!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with my lovely readers?
Well— I guess my big news is that Patrick’s Rose should be published and available by the end of the year or at the latest in January of 2016. It continues Anna’s story and is taking my writing to a new place.
Thank you for sharing, Catherine! It sounds like you put your heart and soul into your book. I’m sure your experience, no matter how dark, brought your story to life. Your readers will appreciate that.
If you haven’t read Catherine’s book, you can purchase The Key to Her Heart through these retailers: