Award-winning author
Unusual times, remarkable places

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

21 August 2012

Orangeberry interview with author Caddy Rowland

Today's author interview is different from previous ones: For the first time, I've linked up with the Orangeberry Website. I'm posting interviews two authors as part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash. These do not follow my usual interview format because both authors were given an Orangeberry Summer Splash questionnaire and asked to answer at least twenty questions.

Be sure to read down to the very end! There, you can enter a contest to win a Kindle Fire and/or ebooks.

Today's featured author is Caddy Rowland, a Minnesota author of historical fiction. Her novels Gastien: Part 1: The cost of the Dream and Gastien: Part 2: From Dream to Destiny follow the life of a 19th-century peasant who goes off to Paris as a teen to become an artist.

What is one book everyone should read?
1984 by George Orwell. It’s a great lesson in what can happen when you allow a government too much control. I think it should be required reading for everyone.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Real vanilla – the high fat kind, not the sugary kind.  The reason I like vanilla is because the possibilities are endless as to what you can add to it.  Every dish can be a new flavor with toppings, fruits, etc.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
Pablo Picasso. I am also a painter, and his talent was amazing. It would be heaven to work next to him and just learn. I know many say he was an asshat, but the things he could teach me would make it worth putting up with that if that was true.

One food you would never eat?
What perfect timing to be asked this question!  I just read that lamb balls (yes, testicles) are going to be offered at our state fair this year.  I don’t believe I will be eating lamb balls during this lifetime.

Pet peeves?
Stuffiness! That drives me crazy, along with prudes. Oh, and people who go into too much detail, stinginess, people that can never make a decision. Those who chew with their mouth open or talk with food in their mouth. Lack of follow through when something is promised.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
The story of Gastien will affect you deeply and take you on an emotional ride that causes you to think of him for weeks after reading the last page.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects
Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream is the first book in The Gastien Series. Gastien Part 2: From Dream to Destiny is already available, and Tristan Michel: Bloodline of Passion (Book three in the series) is available also. I am currently working on the fourth (Giselle: Keeper of the Flame) which I hope to release in September. The fifth and last book of the series will come out in late 2012 or early 2013.

After that, I do have a couple of stories involving internet affairs bouncing around in my head.  They would be dramatic, contemporary fiction.  I may also choose to do a fiction novel about a real artist who lived during the same time my character Gastien did. Her name was Susan Valadon.  Very few females were artists during the bohemian artist era in Paris. I also have a scary story that has been in my brain for years.  I have completed a children’s book called One Little Snowflake that I also did the illustrations for. It is for children with terminal illness and explains the circle of life. It has never been released and perhaps someday it will be.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Without a doubt, it would be reader emails or in person reader meetings.  They almost always make me cry because they so strongly love my work. That is why I write.  When it happens it is magical.

What was your favorite book when you were a child or teen?
Alice in Wonderland, as a younger child. Crazy Horse when I was around 10 and 11.

If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?
Nineteenth century France, in Montmartre.  It was where the bohemian artists lived and worked. Montmartre was technically part of Paris by then, but they definitely considered themselves a separate village. It was the most important era in painting.  Since I paint I would love to live there, as a male.  It was not so great for females yet. This is the setting for the story of Gastien.

If you could be one of the Greek gods, which would it be and why?
Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, love, pleasure, and procreation.  Why?  Well, what could be more enjoyable?

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
France. Not sure if I would pick Paris, a small town in the country, or the South of France.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?
A movie star. I used to pray every night that God would turn me into Ann Margaret or Tony Oliva (a baseball player)! Quite a difference between the two.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Sidney Sheldon, Harold Robbins, John Steinbeck, George Orwell, William Burroughs. Oddly, all men.  Women writers I have enjoyed are Jacquelyn Suzanne and Toni Morrison.

What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?
To not be afraid to say no, even when it makes people angry. You can’t be taken advantage of without your permission.

If you were a bird, which one would you be?
My two parrots will be disappointed, but I would pick an eagle. They fly so high and dive so fast!

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?

Our home! I would pay it off.  Then I would buy us airline tickets to France for three months. The rest would go in savings.

What TV show, movie, or book do you watch or read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?
When riding my exercise bike I watch various crap on Bravo, like Millionaire Matchmaker, Real Housewives, etc. (blush).

Finish the sentence: One book I wish I had written is...
Harry Potter.  I don’t read or write that genre, but had I written that we would certainly have enough money!  I could write and paint anywhere in the world. Money is not the reason I write, but if I could pick any book, why not pick one that has made big money! Other than that, I already am writing what I want to write.

What's your favorite season or weather?
Summer!  I love hot weather.  We have a pool and one of my greatest pleasures is floating in a pool chair that keeps your behind and lower legs submerged, and then tying it up so that it can’t turn and I face the sun.  Yes, I do wear a good sunscreen.  I am mentally healed and relaxed by this.

Thanks for having me on your blog.  It was fun!
Thank you, Caddy!

In this first book of the Gastien series, young Gastien Beauchamp begins his journey from the farm to Paris with two goals in life. The first is to become an artist with his own studio, following his own rules. That is an almost impossible dream for a peasant with no money or formal training. Paris spits out talented men into the gutters every day. “Good” gets you nowhere. “Great” maybe gets you a bowl of soup.

The second is to become the greatest lover in France. That should be easy. With his stunning looks and willingness to learn, the women of Paris are about to be awakened in a way they have only dreamt about in the nineteenth century!

Gastien also has focus, drive, and raw, natural talent. With the dream burning inside of him, he is determined to succeed at any cost. Poor Gastien. If he could only know in advance what brutal struggles await him, he might turn around and go back home.

Sometimes the “impossible” is possible. But the cost can be extremely high.

Buy Now @ Amazon Kindle
Genre - Family Saga / Historical Fiction
Rating - 18+
More details about the book
Connect with Caddy Rowland on Facebook and Twitter

And now for the contest!

Grand Prize - Winner wins Kindle Fire and all books
Consolation Prizes - 25 x winners choice of 3 ebooks

Kindle Fire Giveaway is sponsored by
ALL participating authors in the Orangeberry Summer Splash event.
Check out these awesome peeps HERE

Book giveaways are sponsored by:
 Tonya Cannarioto - Dust to Blood & Dementional
Bruno McGrath - Elevenses
Pandora Poiklos - Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Pandora Poikilos - Frequent Traveller

Caddy Rowland - Gastien
Bruno McGrath - Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Patricia Macias - Hot & Spicy
Shauna Roberts - Like Mayflies in a Stream
Joseph DiCristofano - Paths to Divinity

Maggie Bonham - Serpent Singer
Donna Burgess - Solstice
Diana Murdock - Souled
Hillary Peak - Wings of Hope
Shel Delisle - Winging It

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Unknown said...

Shauna, thank you so much for having me on your blog today. I really appreciate it! -Caddy

Shauna Roberts said...

You're welcome, Caddy. I was glad to host you.