Today, I have authors Dana Bowen and Chloe Brogan in the inteview chair. We’re discussing their latest release Chasing Catherine, a contemporary romance. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
1. What book do you think everyone should read?
Dana: I think everyone should read George Orwell’s 1984, and anything by Ted Dekker.
Chloe: I think The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, it’s just a favorite of mine.
2. How long have you been writing?
Dana: Creatively and for myself I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I started writing poetry and short stories in elementary school, and was always filling notebooks with book ideas. But this is my first actual work that I’ve published.
Chloe: Dana and I have similar writing stories a lot privately to keep to ourselves. My love of reading really pushed that creative side of me. Without Dana I don’t think I would’ve ever had the courage to actually get something published.
3. Do the characters come to you at the same time or do a few come to you as you write?
Dana: In my experience so far, characters seem to come as needed. Whether it’s during the initial outline process where you’re deciding what’s going to happen in the book; or when you’re in the midst of a draft and decide you need things said that a certain person needs to say. We didn’t originally give Nathan’s family a ton of depth, but after writing the first draft it became apparent we needed them for Nathan’s backstory to have real depth.
Chloe: I think our character came to us as we needed when we started writing all we had was Darby (What Dana OG named Catherine) Then Darby became Catherine and the man in the distance became Nathan.
4. What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
Chloe: Aside from the initial googling I did on how to write up a Character bible and a book outline, I didn’t do much research. We kept things pretty familiar–drawing a lot of scenery and dialogue from what we knew.
Chloe: Most of our research was done during, to make sure we had some accuracy.
5. Do you see writing as a career?
Dana: I honestly really want it to be a career. I have more stories to tell!
Chloe: I would love if we really were able to keep doing this. I love every second of it and want this to be my life forever.
6. What do you think about the current publishing market?
Dana: I think that the ease behind self publishing is both fantastic and horrible. I think everyone has a story to tell, and everyone should get to have their voice, but as a self-published author it is incredibly hard to make it. Big publishing firms are looking for the next Harry Potter or Fifty Shades of Grey, and it’s really hard as a small author to compete with huge companies.
Chloe: I think self publishing is a gift and a curse. We can get our story out with out paying an arm and a leg for an agent but it’s impossible to compete with the reach of a publishing company.
7. Do you read, and if so, what is your favourite genre?
Dana: I love reading. But I am a genre jumper. I don’t have just one I love. As a kid I read mostly classics. I loved Treasure Island, and Romeo and Juliet. As a teen I read a lot of fantasy, and YA books. As an adult I love romance, mystery/thriller, and true crime.
Chloe: I have loved reading forever, its been a safe haven for me as long as I can remember. Growing up poor books gave me the things I could never have. I love all genres honestly I currently mostly read biographies.
8. Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Dana: My poor ADHD brain doesn’t know what it wants, I do best with minimal distractions, but if it’s too quiet my mind wanders.
Chloe: I think being a parent means silence isn’t even an option.
9. Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
Dana: Currently I’m working on the second book for this series, a shorter Novella type story with Amber, and a few other things.
Chloe: Currently I have few projects going dana has a few projects we have a few together.
10. Pen, type writer, or computer?
Dana: For a long time I always wrote on pen and paper. But for ease while trying to write professionally, and with another person it makes the most sense to share a google doc with Chloe.
Chloe: I used to prefer pen and paper but I’ve become quite fond of typing on the computer through this process.
11. Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
Dana: I have two. Eleanor from Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. To this day that whole book is a favorite, and should be on everyone’s reading list. And as a kid I idolized Arya from the The Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini. They are both amazing female characters.
Chloe: I’ve mostly been reading biographies and nonfiction. To pull back from my brain of characters I love a lot fall under the John green Manic Pixie girl like Alaska from Looking For Alaska.
“It was all I could do last night to let you walk away from me. I wanted you to stay so badly. I wanted to sit and talk the rest of the night. I wanted to walk you home.” His eyes drag greedily down my body and back up to meet my gaze. “I can’t seem to get enough of you. You showed up tonight in that dress, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack.” He closes the last bit of distance between us, dropping his hands to rest lightly on my hips.
Chasing Catherine is a Contemporary Romance about escaping abuse, friendship, and finding love after heartbreak. This heartfelt and empowering story follows Catherine Martin after her escape from an abusive ex-boyfriend and her journey to self-discovery. This book is the first of two about Catherine and Nathan, as well as the jumping-off point in the Bethon Grove series. 24 chapters of romance, compassion, self-discovery, drama, family, and friendship.
“We went to dinner. And I had fun.” I feel my chest squeezing around my lungs. “I know the night didn’t end exactly as planned, and I feel like I may have overstepped this morning…” My voice dies in my throat. I could have sworn there was more between us than the stoic look he is giving me now. For a moment last night I thought he would kiss me. “And tonight, I don’t know what I was expecting. I don’t want to make you think I’m desperate. I’m not. I don’t need anything from you. God, I feel stupid.”
Nathan takes a step toward me, easing into my personal space. I have to tilt my head up slightly to keep looking at his face. Everything inside of me makes me want to close the rest of the distance between us, to thread my arms under his, and around his waist. But I will myself to stay put.
“You don’t sound stupid,” he says quietly.
I take a shaky breath. I wrap my arms around myself, feeling a slight chill from the turmoil of emotions swirling around inside of me. “I guess tonight I was just confused. You shot away like you couldn’t distance yourself from me fast enough when your family showed up. If you’re uncomfortable with this…” I wave my hand, motioning between us. “I get it. I just don’t want to be left in the dark.”
He catches my hand before it can fall back to my side. A jolt of electricity surges up my arm. “I’m sorry I made you feel that way.” He brushes the back of my hand with his thumb. “I’m apparently not very good at this.”
“Good at what?” My brain is having trouble focusing on his words as he takes another half step closer to me. There’s maybe a hand’s distance between us, and my pulse threatens to overpower the sound of his voice in my ears.
His eyes turn darker. “It was all I could do last night to let you walk away from me. I wanted you to stay so badly. I wanted to sit and talk the rest of the night. I wanted to walk you home.” His eyes drag greedily down my body and back up to meet my gaze. “I can’t seem to get enough of you. You showed up tonight in that dress, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack.” He closes the last bit of distance between us, dropping his hands to rest lightly on my hips.
The pounding of my own heartbeat in my ears is deafening. I press my hands flat against his chest, unable to look away or move. I’m completely paralyzed by the lust dripping from his words.
“Oh,” I exhale. I can’t seem to get enough air in my lungs. The ache I felt before, low in my stomach, starts to resurface again at his touch.
“Oh?” he repeats teasingly. His hands rub slowly up and down my hips and back as if he’s testing the way I feel. I’m trying hard to stay focused, but the longer he touches me, the more I desperately want him to kiss me. He grazes my stomach and chest with his knuckles as he slides a hand up to the back of my neck. “I had to keep my distance tonight because I knew if I was too close for too long, I would not be able to keep my hands off you.” His fingers graze lightly down my neck and across the skin where my breasts swell in my dress.
I shudder pleasantly under his touch and his eyes drop to where his fingers leave a tingling trail across my skin.
“You are so beautiful.” The words come out in a low rumble from his chest.
My eyes drop to his mouth, and I find myself unable to look away from his full lips. His breath catches, and before I can register what’s happening, he takes my hand and pulls me down the hall a few feet to the closet where I stashed my coat when I got here. He whirls around on me, closing the door behind us before gently backing me against it. I feel his hand trail down the side of my body before I hear the lock click into place.
Dana and Chloe grew up in rural Ohio, and sparked a close friendship in the summer of 2019. When the Pandemic hit in 2020 they saw it as an opportunity to be adventurous. As two young moms, they spent months finding creative outlets through baking and art, but they were running out of things to do. So, when Dana came to Chloe one Friday over coffee and suggested they write a book — it seemed like the next logical step in their endeavors to use their time at home to pursue something they’d always dreamed of doing. The two discovered quickly that they made a great pair, and the story spun itself together almost overnight. The pair plan to keep up the momentum as Indie Authors, exploring all subgenres of romance in their coming stories.
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