Years ago in the police academy, we were taught the five W’s and an H in police report writing. Who, what, when, where, why, and how were the questions to be asked in order to form the framework for a crime report. The best place to start an investigation is with the basic questions, or, ‘just the facts’. In the spirit of succinct report writing, I give you a new feature to my blog a ‘just the facts’ interview with interesting fellow writers and from time to time interesting characters. This months installment is Cathleen Armstrong.
Who is Cathleen Armstrong?
Well, let’s see. I’m a lifelong lover of Jesus, the wife of one man(since we were teenagers), the mother of three, the grandmother of eight. I’m a sister, an auntie, a friend. Given the choice of a corner or the spotlight, I’d choose the corner every time—especially if a fire and a good book were involved. I love to cook. Small talk gives me the heebie-jeebies. And my day seems to be structured around the whims of a self-important corgi.
What do you write?
Right now I am writing Contemporary Romance
Why do you write?
You know, I have wondered that myself. After all, no one forced me, or even really cared if I wrote. But I wanted to write. I had to write. And I wrote for years with no promise that anyone would ever read what I wrote. As a writer, I get that, but it still seems like an odd thing to do.
When did the inspiration to write hit?
I was telling stories before I could write them down. I guess the inspiration to write came when I knew the books I loved had authors.
Where do you set your stories?
My books are set in the southwest corner of New Mexico, in a tiny, fictional ranching community called Last Chance. I try to bring in the true flavor of the southwest—the setting, the people, even the food—so it will become as real to my readers as it is to me.
How did you get started?
This one is easy. I went to a Writer’s Conference, specifically Mt. Hermon. I had the “what” down; I wanted to be a writer. Writer’s Conferences gave me the “how” and the “where” and even, to an extent, the “when.” I can’t recommend them highly enough to the aspiring writer. The things you learn, the people you meet, and the friends you make will be invaluable for the rest of your writing life.