I’d like to thank Catherine Bybee for joining us today on Pedantic Phooka Book Reviews. Catherine is the author of the MacCoinnich Time Travel Series. Her fourth book in the series, Highland Shifter, was released today, February 12.
Please enjoy my interview with Catherine below, then be sure to stop by her website for more information about her other series and coming releases: www.CatherineBybee.com
I am a big fan of the MacCoinnich Druids and thoroughly enjoyed the first three books. If you would like to read my reviews, please click the following links: Binding Vows, Silent Vows, and Redeeming Vows.
Please stop by Pedantic Phooka at Noon CST today for my review of Highland Shifter.
1. Welcome Catherine, thank you for visiting us today. I’d like to start with the basics: What inspired you to write the MacCoinnich Time Travel Series?
Thank you Holly for having me here today!
I loved time travel romance before there was a genre for it. “Wouldn’t it be nice to travel back in time to a place where men were so… manly?”
Four years ago I wrote THE END to the words of my first completed manuscript. That book is still sitting under a bed…it will probably never see the light of day. Why? Because the moment I wrote THE END I had this idea about a woman traveling to a Ren Faire who meets the man of her dreams… yet he is and isn’t everything she expects.
Binding Vows, the first book in this series, flowed through my fingers like a hot knife through butter. I kept adding characters and layers. Half way through Binding Vows I wrote the heroine from Silent Vows out of the book. In the back of my mind I said, “She’s book two.” I didn’t dwell on it…I didn’t plot it. I just knew I had to make the part where she leaves into her own story. THAT was when I knew I would write a series.
2. I love that the female characters in your books become just as important to the defense of the MacCoinnich clan as the male characters. Can you tell us your thoughts behind giving the women such strong roles as opposed to the more traditional damsels in distress?
Easy… And I’ll answer your question with a question. If you were tossed back into the 16th century, would you sit on your ass and do nothing to save your own hide? The reason Time Travel Romance is so engaging is because the heroines don’t wait around for the hero to rescue them. They don’t whimper when the scum bag shoves them in the corner. Perhaps this happened back in the days where the women were left at home while the men fought. I somehow don’t think my gender is that weak. Still, we have our society norms and women ‘back in the day’ had a different list of expectations than we do now.
The second part of that answer is personal. I grew up in a house full of women. My brother didn’t stand a chance. There were few ‘good’ men in the equation but a lot of strong women. I could tell you some stories of my own life that would make you cringe. The bottom line is that women are very resilient. Don’t think I don’t believe that there are things men can do better than women… I just know that we will never really admit it and we will do our best to prove them wrong. LOL
My good friend, the first to read Binding Vows, said and I quote. “OMG, Tara is sooo you!”
Take that for what it’s worth.
3. I have enjoyed all of the characters in the series so far, but I do have a couple favorites. Is there a character or couple that you favor above the others?
I can’t do the Nora Roberts thing and say I love them all the same. Yeah, they are like children to a writer. Tara might be me, but Lizzy is more real. I loved writing Lizzy’s story. Okay, I loved writing all of them, but Lizzy and Fin moved the fastest and the two of them were very dynamic.
If you asked me which book I think was ‘the best’ the answer would be different. But I’ll save that for the next interview.
4. Your series is very different from other time-traveling Highlander books I’ve read. The evolution of the magical elements, as well as the presence of the entire family in every book, are just a couple of examples of what makes your series unique. Was it your goal all along to create something new in this genre, or was this something that developed as you wrote each book?
Thank you for noticing that. I think that most writers skim over the characters we loved from other books, and that leaves me very unhappy as a reader. I loved those characters. That’s why I picked up book two and three. Yet most disappear into the background and hardly get a mention.
Somewhere I knew that I wasn’t alone in my thoughts. I’ve been reading romance since before I knew what sex was. I kept thinking… “So what? They closed the bedroom door and then what happened?” When the bedroom door was blown off in the twentieth chapter of those first cutting romance books, I was very happy to know that the hero and heroine were a little more engaged than a kiss. The point is, I know this genre. I know what I like, and I think I’m like many others out there. I wanted to write a series where the list of characters gets bigger and bigger.
As a writer, it’s hard. But I’m doing my best to keep the ‘family’ a part of the MacCoinnich’s lives.
5. I felt that there was an underlying theme about the strength of family bonds in every book in the series. Were you hoping to leave your readers with a particular message or inspiration?
“We are stronger together than we are apart.” That is with anyone and anything we believe in.
6. What can you tell us about your newest book, Highland Shifter?
SIMON! Yeah… C’mon? Who read my series and didn’t want to read Simon’s story? And then there is Amber… and Cian.
I can tell you this. Simon is a Highland Shifter. If you’ve read the other books, you know this already. I keep Simon true to what you’d expect. He loves the 16th century and his family, but he has also learned that love is worth many risks. His strong mother made him a very strong man.
And I hope you all love him as much as I do. He truly feels like a child to me…a grown up child! Don’t go getting all sicko on me. LOL I’ve watched him grow up and into the man he has become and his story is true to his character.
7. If you could live in the world of a novel, which would it be and why?
As long as I knew the ending would be happy, I’d go with the Vows series. The stress of it not working would kill me.
8. What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing?
I’m a publisher and a writer at this time. For me the publisher part is work and I don’t like that it takes away from my writing. However, if I didn’t self publish at this time I would NEVER have made the New York Times Bestseller List…or the USA Today list…or the Wall Street Journal list. So, suck-it-up-Bybee, and be your own publisher! LOL
9. What is your next project and when might we see it?
I will begin working on Amber’s story as soon as I finish my next contemporary romance. I’m a series romance author. I have a hard time writing one book and letting go of the characters. I plan on getting my next Bride Series book out in the spring and Amber in the winter. *fingers crossed*
10. Any advice that you would like to give aspiring authors?
Writers write! If you are spending your days in the chair chatting online (I’m guilty too) then you’re not writing. As an author you want to reach an audience so learn all you can about the genre you are writing and write the best book you can. And keep going.
I have yet to meet a writer who can quit this job. So write!
The MacCoinnich Time Travel Series can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
For more information about Catherine Bybee:
New York Times Bestselling Author
USA Today Bestselling Author
Amazon #1 Bestselling Author
Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author