Cathleen Armstrong is the author of Welcome to Last Chance, winner of the ACFW Genesis Award for Women’s Fiction in 2009 and the first volume in the series “A Place to Call Home.” She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi, but her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives.
For more, visit her at www.cathleenarmstrong.com
Savanna: Welcome to the blog, Cathleen. I’m so happy to have you here! Congratulations on your upcoming release, Last Chance Hero. (Love the title, btw!)
Your newest novel features some small-town high school football. Do you have a favorite sport you play?
Cathleen: Actually, I’m a total klutz. I admire those graceful swans on the tennis courts or golf course or in the swimming pool, but I’m afraid that’s not me. I do love baseball, though—watching, not playing—and never miss a San Francisco Giants game if I can help it. Also, unlike Jess, I like to watch high school football!
I love that your series is set in New Mexico. I’ve never been there in real life. If you could recommend I visit one particular place there, where – or what – would it be?
Cathleen: How can you only visit one place in New Mexico? It is such a beautiful and diverse place! But if you really could only go to one spot, I guess I’d have to recommend Santa Fe. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, but you can soak up the history, the culture, the art, all while enjoying outstanding food. But then you’d miss visiting the pueblos, watching thousands of balloons ascend at the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, wandering through the Carlsbad Caverns, and so many other things. I think you’d better plan on visiting a lot more than one place!
Savanna: Sounds like fun! 😉 I saw on your website that subscribers to your blog receive a free cookbook. Love it! What’s one of your favorite recipes in Tastes of New Mexico?
Cathleen: This time of year, it would have to be Green Chile Stew. It’s warm and comforting, and tastes marvelous with thick, buttered flour tortillas. I must caution you to use fresh roasted chile, though. You’ll be so disappointed if you used canned. Actually, the recipes for both the chiles and the tortillas are in the cookbook as well.
Savanna: Mmmmm! 😉 Reading that makes me hungry.
That is so cool you won the ACFW Genesis Award back in 2009! What advice would you give for aspiring authors before they enter in writing contests?
Cathleen: First of all make sure your entry meets the qualifications for the contest and is in the best possible shape you can put it in, then take a deep breath and hit send! Aspiring authors can sometimes have a real problem with letting their babies get out there where anyone who wants to can call them ugly. But you have to let them go! And contests are a good way to begin. Often, you get really helpful feedback, as well.
Cathleen: Well, my children were all grown, I had grandchildren, and I had gone back to school to finish my degree before I wrote a single word of fiction. It’s never too late to go for your dreams.
Savanna: Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Cathleen: I’m hoping to begin work on my next series soon. This one involves three sisters who have come back to the family home in mining town in the mountains of southwestern New Mexico—about ninety miles north of Last Chance. I’ve love spending the last few years in Last Chance, but I’m excited to get to work on this new series.
Savanna: That’s exciting! Thank you so much for being with us today, Cathleen. Hope you have a Merry Christmas!
Cathleen has graciously offered to give away a copy of Last Chance Hero to one lucky winner. Enter below and the book could be yours!
Thanks for entering! Contest is open to U. S. residents only and ends December 22, 2015. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!