The Nun and the Narc
By Catherine Castle
Crystal: Today as part of the Goddess Fish Virtual Book tour, I have the opportunity to interview Catherine Castle. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Catherine: I’m married to my high school sweetheart and we have one grown child, whom we live close enough to that we can visit whenever we want. I love gardening and my hillside garden won a local gardening club award a few years ago. I like to quilt and have lots of UFOs (unfinished objects). The Nun and the Narc is my debut novel.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for The Nun and the Narc?
Catherine: I honestly have to credit one of my critique partners for the nun portion of this book. Originally, the heroine was a missionary, not a nun, who was building houses in Mexico. But the story wasn’t working for me until my critique partner suggested making her a nun. After that the story took off. I think part of the reason this happened is because of the humor element Sister Margaret Mary brought to the book. One of the publishing houses who wanted the book, but didn’t want the nun, actually considered asking me to make the heroine back into a missionary. Ultimately, they gave up the idea because they said doing so would lose so much of the humor in the book.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Catherine: I have several projects that are partially finished, which makes it hard to decide which direction I want to go next. One book is a romantic comedy, another a historical inspirational romance, and I just came up with two more ideas for sweet romances with an inspirational element.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Catherine: I always print out the pages I’ve completed at the end of a writing session. I developed that habit after losing 50 pages of a book when my computer crashed as I was backing the file up. If I hadn’t had an old copy of the manuscript I would have lost the entire book. Also, I can see errors on paper better than on a computer screen. When I start work the next day, I will go back and read and correct any errors I found on the previous day’s work. It makes for a much cleaner copy when it’s time to revise the entire book.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Catherine: Since I’ve never been to Mexico, don’t know anything about the drug trade, nor have I ever been a nun, I had a fair amount of research to do. Thank heavens for the internet. You can find anything you need in cyberspace.
As for fascinating facts, I discovered there is a patron saint for drug dealers. There are Mexican drug dealers whose religious faith (which seems a bit oxymoronical to me considering their line of work) involves the adoration of Jesus Malverde, a 19th-century bandit regarded by many as the special patron saint of drug dealers. Who knew drug dealers had a patron saint?
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Catherine: As a youngster I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder. Still do. I read all of her books multiple times, and we read them to our daughter when she was little, too. C.S. Lewis and his Narnia series is also a favorite. I discovered J.R.R. Tolkein and Robert Heinlein when I was a teenager. I don’t think I have a favorite current author. If the book sounds interesting, I’ll pick it up.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Catherine: I’d like to try writing a cozy mystery some time. I like watching shows like Agatha Christie and Murder She Wrote and think it would be fun to take a shot at writing something like that.
Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.
Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what
Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.
Margaret inched forward, hoping to hear what they were saying. A mariachi band nearby blared out a tune, the polka-like melody destroying any hope of eavesdropping. The shriek of off-key brass sent chills up her spine. She covered her ears and moved closer to Rafael and the stranger.
After a couple of minutes of conversation, the man removed an envelope from his jacket and pulled out a handful of bills. He folded them in half and then slipped them into Rafael’s extended hand. With a furtive glance around, Rafael moved closer to the man, blocking Margaret’s direct view, and handed something to the stranger.
A wave of apprehension swept over Margaret. The chapulines she’d snacked on earlier that morning threatened to see the light of day.
A drug deal! Of all the things Rafael could do, this was the worst.
Esperanza had fought so hard to keep her son away from bad influences. Now he appeared to be involved in the very thing she’d hated most. Margaret imagined Esperanza banging on the gates of purgatory, trying to get out and rescue her son.
She hesitated for a moment, hearing Mother Superior’s admonishment. Stay out of trouble while you are in Mexico, Sister.
Silencing the nagging voice in her head, Margaret charged forward, protective instincts in full swing.
Stopping Rafael and talking to him about the dangers of drugs surely wouldn’t qualify as trouble. Bluntness, maybe, but not trouble. It was more like saving. Yes, that’s it. I’m saving him.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist and is a 2013 EPIC finalist.
Catherine’s website: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com
Catherine’s blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/
Catherine’s Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle
Catherine’s Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085414.Catherine_Castle