A Character Interview with Catherine Carnegie from CONFESSIONS OF AN ASSASSIN plus a conversation with author Linda Heavner Gerald!

Today we're bringing something different to Writing in the Modern Age in the form of a character interview.  These character interviews, now and in the future, should prove to be very enlightening for all of us. 

We have the pleasure of meeting Catherine Carnegie, a character from Confessions of an Assasin. We'll get a chance to talk to the author, Linda Heavner Gerald, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Catherine!

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Catherine.  Please have a seat.

Character Catherine Carnegie:  Thank you.  It's a pleasure to be here.  

Marie:  We're going to start out with some simple questions, okay? 

Catherine:  Of course.
Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?
Catherine: I own an art gallery in Eufaula, Alabama. We sell our paintings all over the world and host about three major galas each year. All of my life, I have planned my occupation and am excellent at marketing my art and that of others. To say that I love it would be an understatement. I feel this what I am supposed to do with my life.

Marie:  Great!  So, what is your family like?
Catherine:  The Carnegie family is very affluent but my parents were the renegades. Still, we are accepted by the more affluent members. We are a large clan.
Marie:  Okay. What did your childhood home look like? 
Catherine:  My childhood home was located in New York City. The family home was a large estate, but small compared to the more distant cousins. Our home was a large Georgian brick home on a gated compound.  
Marie:  Wow!
Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing? 
Catherine:  Painting is my love. Not only is it my chosen occupation but the way that I fill most of my hours. Also, I love sailing and taking long walks. The lake at Eufaula is the perfect place to spend hours of time just enjoying the beauty of nature. 
Marie:  It sounds like a great creative outlet for you! And I can't blame you. Nature can be pretty amazing.

So, what is your greatest dream, Catherine? 
Catherine:  My greatest dream is to help other artists fulfill their dreams and find the ability to support themselves doing what they love. Since I have met Farid, an even greater dream is to spend my life with him.

Marie: Great!

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?  

Catherine:  Funny, I am the exact person of which I have always dreamed. Although it seems that my dream of a solitary life has changed since meeting Farid, we fulfill a solitary life together. It is difficult to explain.  

Marie:  I see.
So...who was your first love?

Catherine:  Farid is my first love and hopefully my last. He is my soul-mate.

Marie:  It always warms my heart to hear that!  :)
Let's try something else. 
What's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Catherine?
Catherine:  The most terrible thing that ever happened was being used by a man who claimed that he was in love with me. When I discovered him with his wife in a Washington restaurant laughing over my stupidity and naïve nature, I was crushed. Never, will I forget the feeling of betrayal.
Marie:  Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that, Catherine. Sometimes people can be jerks. 


Let's try a different question, shall we? 

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Catherine:  My dream growing up is the very life which I now live. Since leaving NYC for Eufaula, Alabama and discovering the house of my dreams, I have started my art gallery and with my personal household staff, my life is just as I dreamed. Of course, now I have Farid so it is even more wonderful than I ever thought.  

Marie:  Great! 
So, who is your role model? 
Catherine:  My grandfather was my role model. His gentle spirit and love of God kept him straight and allowed him to weather life's blows with strength and dignity. I wish that he could see me now and know that I am back on course.  
Marie: I know what you mean. I lost my grandparents too, and I miss them terribly.  It sounds like grandpa was really special.
Let's trying something else. 
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike? 
Catherine:  There is a man in my life named Frank. His last name doesn't even matter but he is someone that I work with occasionally. He is a very difficult person. I must work with him, but I truly do not like him. No, not at all do I enjoy him. I hate it when he phones me with his stupid games. I apologize for being so negative but I have never met anyone who disgusts me as he does.  

Marie:  Hmm...I won't pry, but he doesn't sound like a good person.

So, what is your deepest desire, Catherine?
Catherine:  My deepest desire is to spend the rest of my life with my love, Farid, in peace.
Marie:  (Smiles.) I can totally relate to that...So, one more question.
What is your greatest fear?
Catherine:  My greatest fear is losing Farid because of the poor choices which I have made. I can't explain this, but I wake up in a sweat over it.  
Marie:  Oh, I see.

Well, it looks like we're running out of time, Catherine. Thank you for visiting us today.
Catherine: Thanks for having me.

Of course! I wish you luck with Farid! It was so interesting getting to know you.  (Waves at her guest as she heads off the stage.)

Now, let's shift over and get the author's perspective.  We have Linda Heavner Gerald on the stage today!  Hi, Linda!

Author Linda Heavner Gerald:  Hello! It's so great to be here.


Marie:  (Smiles.) Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age.
We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Catherine.  Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?
Linda:  Sure, I would love to talk about Catherine because she is so interesting and complex. 
Marie:  Great!
Linda:  Catherine came from old money and had the world on a string so to speak. She could have just enjoyed her trust fund, but she chose to do what she loved most while attempting to help those less fortunate. When she established her art gallery, Carnegie Hall in Eufaula, Alabama, her goal was to assist less fortunate artists who struggled to be able to continue showcasing their talents. Most of these artists worked all day and were only able to paint late at night. Although her gallery could not help a great number of artists, she was able to allow a few to do what they loved most, paint to support themselves and their families.
Marie:  How inspiring!

So, what are your character's greatest strengths?
Linda:  Her greatest strengths are love of family, friends and community. Her love for God was there, but was swept aside until Farid helped her recognize His importance. I'll bet that she never forgets His importance again. Catherine was also a talented artist who was happy to share her good fortune helping other artists. The beautiful home which she purchased in Eufaula brought her great joy as did her art gallery.
Marie:  Okay.

What are her greatest weaknesses? 
Linda:  Ms. Carnegie loved parties and entertaining herself. These things proved to be her greatest weakness. She also frequently forgot the most important things in her life just to enjoy herself.  
Marie:  I see. 
So, what are some of her favorite foods?
Linda:  The wealth to which she was born allowed her to enjoy the cooking of others but when she moved to Eufaula, she learned to enjoy cooking some of her meals. Fresh ingredients prepared in a simple, Southern way came to be loved and enjoyed most.
Marie:  What's a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has? 
Linda:  Catherine was unaware of her great capacity and desire to love and be loved. Although she looked forward to a quiet life of art, she unknowingly learned that the ability to love a man and receive that quality of love was a core need.
Marie:  All right.
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why? 
Linda:  Readers will really connect with Catherine Carnegie. From her early childhood, her innocence and humanity is so apparent. A strong love for her grandfather and the effects of the loss of his love later in life contribute to her understanding that love is so important. God also becomes the core of her existence even though she conveniently forgets to include him. 
Marie:  Well, now that we have a real taste of Catherine, we have a few questions for you as well as the author. 

What first gave you the idea for Confessions of an Assassin?

Linda:  Reading through Architectural Digest one day, I saw an article on one of our friend's homes in Bali, Indonesia. We knew this man quite well and were aware of his home in the Bahamas. As I read about the Bali home, it seemed to come to life on the page. I was so inspired by the architecture that my mind clearly connected with that place. A strong desire filled me to share the mystique and beauty. Although that house is not pictured until the end of the book, it is very powerful.

Marie:  Well, that's cool!

So, what is your writing style like, Linda?  Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Linda:  Oh, I'm definitely a pantster. My writing is from the heart. Usually it begins with a vision and the words filter so quickly that my writing flows. I don't need or have time for outlines, etc. This just seems to work for me.

Marie: That's great!  We all have our own styles.

So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers.  Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Confessions of an Assassin or getting it published?  What would you do differently the next time?  

Linda: Confessions of an Assassin did not prove to be any challenge. I enjoyed writing it so much. Usually I connect with my characters. This was definitely the case with Catherine. I truly hated for the book to end because for a brief time, she was a joyful part of my life. I used the same publisher that I used with the book before, Till Heaven Then Forever. My problem is with marketing. That is so difficult for me. This book is such a strong read, I believe that people will love it but getting it out there is a challenge.
Marie:  Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on Writing in the Modern Age, Linda. We hope you can come back again sometime!  :) 

Readers, don't miss your chance to pick up a copy of this awesome book! 

Here is the blurb for Confessions of an Assassin.

Confessions of an Assassin is the story of Catherine Carnegie.  Although she was born to a wealthy, prestigious family from New York, her dream was all things southern.  “Cat” finally obtained everything that she dreamed of since childhood. Once established in the loveliest home in Eufaula, Alabama, she meets a vaguely familiar man from her college days who changes her life.  What begins as a fun diversion attending state dinners in Washington, soon immerses her in a dangerous unknown government agency.  Despite attempts to withdraw from their clutches, she realizes that they are ruthless and unwilling to ever let her leave.  Her assignments become more dangerous; sent to various places all over the globe.  Eventually, she is given her most heart-wrenching assignment in Bali, Indonesia which will change her life forever.

Purchase Links:

About Linda Heavner Gerald:

Linda is retired and lives with her husband on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida.  Currently she has six published novels with another thriller on the way.  Her goal is to demonstrate that regardless of our actions, God is always there to welcome us back.  The books which she writes are books of substance with something to challenge or encourage.  A medical background encourages her to incorporate facts that may help readers seek professional help for various situations or the provision of latest facts.  

Linda has one son and one grandson who reside in Dallas, Texas.  She and her husband love to take long walks on the Gulf of Mexico and bike on the trails by her home.

"WRITING WITH A PURPOSE, that’s what I’m about."

Author Links:

Linda's Books:  




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