Q&A With Cathy Yardley
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Q&A With Cathy Yardley
Cathy Yardley is the award-winning author of contemporary
romance, chick lit, and urban fantasy. Her work is Role Playing, the
Ponto Beach Reunion Series, The Fandom Hearts Series,
Prose Before Bros, among others.
Q: Cathy, what do you enjoy most about writing romance?
A: I like that there is always a happy ending, whether it’s
an implied “happily ever after” or “happy for right now.” There’s enough
negativity in the world, and I don’t agree that tragedy is the only way to make
something important or worthwhile. I also like creating the reader’s experience
of falling in love. In horror or thriller, you want to be scared. In mystery,
you want to feel that accomplishment as you try to solve the crime alongside
the sleuth. For romance, you feel butterflies, that rush and swoon. If you
don’t feel that reading my books, I’m not doing my job! I love that feeling.
Q: Since you write urban fantasy, chick-lit, & romance,
if you were to explore writing in other genres other than those three, which
ones would you choose and why?
A: I haven’t written much urban fantasy, although I might
go back to it, and chick lit has gotten rolled into romance for the most part,
or absorbed by women’s fiction. If I were to write in another genre, I would
try horror, perhaps. I have a story idea that’s been percolating for a while.
It would be more humor-horror, if that makes sense… a commentary on my lived
experiences, mostly because it’d be a good challenge and it’s not a story that
translates to romance. I also would love to try screenwriting!
Q: In your opinion, what are the key ingredients to writing
A: Making sure your characters are well-rounded and
nuanced. People who either don’t read the genre or who are in a hurry might
rely on the tropes for the story and use stock characters, relying more on the
situation rather than digging deep into the people who are living the story.
Also, making sure that they have good GMCs (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) that
aren’t simply related to getting the love interest. You want to create a story
where they have their own direction and solid backstories, and very good
reasons why they’re good for each other and fall in love (as well as solid
reasons why they aren’t simply in love from the first chapter!)
Q: What helpful advice would you give to new and aspiring
authors on how to deal with criticism whether it’s online trolls, negative
reviews and family and friends who aren’t supportive of their writing goals?
A: The very first thing I’d advise is to get a support
group of fellow writers. This can be a critique group, or a writing chapter
(online or in real life), or even a class to start… anything that’s supportive
and interactive. Then connect with other writers on a regular basis. They’ll
understand what you’re going through, more than any non-writer ever could. Make
sure you’re being supportive to them as well when they’re going through rough
spots. (And make sure they’re actually being supportive! It’s a bit like
dating… it might take a while to find the right mix.) Beyond that, ignore
online trolls, period. Block, block, block. You don’t owe them anything, and
trying to convince them or apologize to them is a waste of your time – time you
could be spending writing. As for reviews, don’t read them. (You can read the 5
stars if you like! But anything lower, avoid. Generally speaking, they aren’t
going to be valuable critiques, and they shouldn’t be viewed as such. They are
by readers, for readers, not for you. If you need critiques, you can find
helpful writers.) Finally, if your family and friends aren’t supportive, don’t
talk to them about your writing. As the saying goes, it’s like going to the
hardware store for bread. You’re not going to get what you need there. That’s
what the support group/writing friends are for.
Q: Whether Hollywood has the rights to your work or not,
who would be your dream cast to play the characters you created?
A: For my latest book, Role Playing, I would love to
see Maggie Q as Maggie/Bogwitch, and Dash Mihok as Aiden/Otter.
Q: When you create new characters and worlds within your
books, do you use bits and pieces of real people and places? Its always amazing
when an author creates something they use bits of real life and then spin it
into something to create a story.
A: I definitely use bits of real places, because it’s how
I’m able to bring a sense of realism and grounding. Different people can
influence my characters, as well, and sometimes some funny or quirky situations
I’ve been in. I also know that I bring parts of myself to every story, whether
it’s funny or painful. That emotion is where the power of any story is, in my