Hello, reader friends! We are celebrating the release of Night Bird Calling by Cathy Gohlke with a quick visit and a giveaway!
about the author
Four-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award-winning author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons from history. Her stories reveal how people break the chains that bind them and triumph over adversity through faith.
When not traveling to historic sites for research, she and her husband, Dan, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren.
What is your favorite activity or hobby not related to books?
C: I love spending time with my grandchildren—reading to them or having my oldest granddaughter read to me, working puzzles, creating art or handcrafts, cooking or baking with them, feeding the birds, going for walks and collecting leaves or rocks or acorns or shells, depending on the season. I love singing songs with them, dancing, telling stories, cuddling, sitting around a campfire, counting stars, planting flowers, picking vegetables and fruit together. I love watching them run and shout with glee and splash in rain puddles. Mothering, grandmothering, and working with children of all ages has been and continues to be my life’s joy.
B: I hear having grandchildren is the best hobby! Must be true since you kicked off with reading!
What did you learn or discover about yourself while writing Night Bird Calling?
C: Because some of this story involves scenes from my past both as a child and as a young woman, I had to force myself to stand back and say, “Cathy, you are not this character. This is not your story and it is not about you. Think in Lilliana’s voice, or think in Celia’s voice”—or whoever it was. That was challenging at times. It’s easy to slip into memories we’d rather forget and get stuck when, as a writer, you work to conjure the emotions and reactions of a character going through hard experiences similar to what you have survived. By stepping back and giving myself “a talking-to,” my characters were able to live out a new story, one with more creative solutions.
B: Bless your heart, Cathy! Thank you for digging deep!
C: I’ve long been a print-only reader, but because my library is growing by leaps and bounds, I’m working to train my brain to read fiction that I don’t need for research from a Kindle. It’s not an easy transition. I love the feel and weight of a printed book. Print is also easier on my eyes after spending so many hours writing on a computer.
B: I completely understand that, long live the books! If you don’t have a classic Kindle ereader or a Kindle Paperwhite, I highly recommend trying one of those. Unfortunately, all ereaders are not created equal.
What is your next release and/or what are you working on now?
C: I loved the characters of No Creek so much that I wanted to discover what happened to them during and after WWII—and why the generations before them made some of the decisions they did, leading them to embrace prejudice or poverty or wealth. We’re all familiar with stereotypical characters from those wars, but there is much that happened during Reconstruction and after WWII that directly shaped the society and its mores that we live in today. I’m writing a stand-alone time-split novel covering the American Civil War/Reconstruction and WWII/aftermath set in No Creek and England, with the working title of A Hundred Crickets Singing. It’s an exciting, enlightening, and fascinating journey—one I can’t wait to share with readers.
B: That’s wonderful news! I can’t wait to meet these characters!
What’s your writing style?
C: I consider myself a plotter with a pantser’s heart. I create a detailed synopsis, which assures me that the story is viable. Then I put it away and write freely, checking the synopsis only if I feel stuck or off track. I gladly pursue rabbit trails and often find that the story is stronger once I give characters freedom to lead. So in the end, the story is often different from my synopsis. Sometimes background characters emerge, claiming their spot onstage. Sometimes, they take over the stage. When that happens, I’m delighted and intrigued. Plotting intrigues me. Writing the story is the hard work, but editing, once the story is on paper, is joy.
B: What a happy way to go about it!
Do you have any writing quirks?
C: I love to write before a roaring fire, seated in a comfy chair with my feet up. If the weather is too warm for a fire, I enjoy an electric fire with no heat. Just the ambiance—the feeling that I’m sitting comfortably with friends/characters, sharing stories on a winter’s evening is a feeling that relaxes me and allows me to slip into a story world.
B: This sounds absolutely delightful, I’d love to work in a similar environment! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us, Cathy!
about the book
Night Bird Calling by Cathy Gohlke
From award-winning author Cathy Gohlke, comes a historical fiction story of courage and transformation set in rural Appalachia on the eve of WWII.
When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.
Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek—with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. When the plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand.
With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t.
Thanks to the generosity of the publisher, one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader friend will win a print copy of Night Bird Calling by Cathy Gohlke.
US only | ends 01/19/21 | giveaway policy
Be sure to add Night Bird Calling by Cathy Gohlke to your tbr!