Friday, February 17, 2012

Caddy Rowland - Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream

 It is our great pleasure to have Caddy Rowland with us today to promote her book Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream.

Where do you currently live?
Minnesota, USA

Tell us a little bit about your life.
I am married to my high school sweetheart and we are childless by choice. However, we are owned by two parrots. They have the reasoning ability of 3-5 year old humans, and one of them could live 75 years. People ask us why we would want animals that smart and live that long when we did not want children. I tell them our parrots won’t need money for college, total our car, do drugs, or marry someone we can’t stand!

When did you first start writing?
I started writing poetry in grade school.

What was your very first story about?
I have had hundreds of stories in my head, but the first one I put down on paper was a children’s story called “One Little Snowflake”. It is about the circle of life and is meant for seriously/terminally ill children. I also did the illustrations. I did not work very hard to find a publisher. Now that Kindle Fire is out it makes sense to have color illustrations, so I may publish it someday. If so, it will be under a different name since it is a completely different genre.

Have you written anything that you were too afraid to let anyone read?
Nope. I don’t believe in censorship, so whatever I write I would be comfortable sharing. If I did write erotica I would probably use a different name, though, because I would not want possible weirdos looking up my phone number. But I would be comfortable showing my work to anyone, no matter what I wrote. It is art.

Who are several of your greatest literary inspirations?
I really like “streety”, gutty style Stephen King has. You know it is him immediately. I love William Burroughs because he was so avant garde. I used some of his cut-up technique in past poetry. John Steinbeck. I like graphic, gutty, real writers; not “pretty” writers. That is why I moved my books out of “romance”. Gastien has a love story in it but it is NOT a romance. 

At the time I published it I was green and did not realize that romance had a strict formula. The old happy ever after. No wonder romance books generally bore me! Life is never that perfect and all people have some ugliness to them or have ugly things happen to them.

What kind of education have you received, and how has that affected your writing?
I only had a little college. I was an honor student in high school and had taken a lot of classes having to do with fine arts. Painting, sculpting, drawing, theatre, creative writing, etc.

I have read a lot. I think that has affected my writing much more than any classes did.

How much research time customarily goes into your projects?
At least as much research as writing because the Gastien series are all historical novels.

Who is your favorite literary character?
That is a good question. There are too many to name and, oddly, all of them are male. Perhaps Heathcliff.

Who is your favorite character of your own creation?
Without a doubt, Gastien.

If you were ever to write an autobiography, what would its title be?
I think I would want the name I had picked out for my poetry book that I never published, back many years ago. People bought record albums and 45’s when I was a child. “Flipside: Are you still laughing?”

Most people find me entertaining and positive in person and don’t realize my dark side.

Tell us about your featured book.
Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream is about the coming of age of Gastien Beauchamp and his struggle to survive the streets in nineteenth century Paris. He was the oldest of 11 children, and his father was a father who physically and emotionally abused him. He has two dreams. The first is to be a painter in Paris. The second is to become the greatest lovemaker in France.

He has always been driven to paint, which causes dissention with his father. As far as the lovemaking, he hears his father repeatedly misuse his mother and vows to make women want him instead of fear him. Plus, he is 18 when he leaves…all 18 year old boys dream of being great lovers. Especially virgins like Gastien.

He has no money and no formal art training. Paris spits out artists into the gutters every day. His struggle to survive and the various horrors that await him will test his commitment and sanity.

He is driven, talented and stunning in the looks dept. His looks open lots of door for him. A few would have been better off staying shut (I stole that from a review of the book.)

That particular time in history was when the bohemian artists of Paris were really coming into their own. Impressionism was happening, which would lead to cubism, abstract art, etc. I don’t think there have been many times in history more wild and decadent. The novels are for adults with adult themes. They fall under historical fiction and family saga genres.

Why did you write that?
I had gone to some past life regression sessions and found Gastien while under hypnotism. Without debating if I was indeed Gastien or if it only opened up creative doors, let’s say I could not rest until I wrote this story. Or, rather, Gastien wrote it and I was the conduit.

Part 1 and Part 2 were written at the same time. With over 1,000 pages, the decision was made to divide it into two books. There was a logical end in it for Part one, so I put Part 2 aside and worked on the first book. Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream was released in August 2011 and Gastien Part 2: From Dream to Destiny came out in December of 2011. The Gastien series will include at least four books, possibly five. Look for Tristan Michel: Bloodline of Passion (Book 3 of the Gastien Series) to come out in late spring of 2012.

Is there anything special you would like your potential readers to know?
That I appreciate every single reader. It thrills me every time a reader contacts me. I have sold books all around the world and that amazes me. If a reader wants to email me about my books they can do so at

What is your favorite season of the year, and what makes it so?
Summer. It is hot and humid. I live in Minnesota, so I appreciate it when hot, humid weather arrives. If I had my way I would live somewhere that had a low of 80. However, I married a Minnesota man and he loves it here, so we stay. He is worth it.

When you think of the word “Writer” what comes to mind?
A writer is much different than an author. A writer could be writing advertisements, screenplays, or news articles. I see many things in that word. An author writes books and markets them.

If you could pick one thing about yourself that would be passed onto your
(imaginary/actual) child, what would it be?

My passion. That passion gives me focus, drive, and the ability to believe in the success of something in spite of the odds. I don’t worry about what others may think of me, I just focus on it.

How about one thing about yourself that you absolutely wouldn’t want passed on?
I am not a good manager of money.

If you had to live in another time period, which one would you choose?
That is easy! Nineteenth century France, in Paris as a bohemian artist. A male. That time period sucked for females.

Name one movie that always has a huge effect on you. Why do you think that is?
Murder in the First. It is Kevin Bacon’s tour de force. I have always had a fear of going to jail for some odd reason, ever since I was little. Jail, boarding school, military…I was glad I was female because at the time girls did not go into the military. I think it is because I am a nonconformist and do not like authority much.

What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to try, but never have?
Downhill skiing and ski jumping. I don’t have the coordination anymore, so I won’t try downhill now. I am a coward when it comes to possibly injuring myself severely, so I never would have done the ski jumping even though I have always wanted to.

What is your favorite thing to do when you have a day to yourself?
That depends. Am I alone? If so, painting. I am an artist, it is who I am- just like Gastien. However, unlike him I do NOT like doing portraits. I do like life form (mostly human body, just not portraits) and abstract the best.

If my husband is with me, I like to go into the woods for a long hike or walk.

When were you most scared in your life, and why?
Almost two years ago I found out that I had breast cancer. Obviously, until you know what stage it is and until you know if they got it all, you are looking death in the face. Death is not the scary part, the possible suffering is. I was lucky, it was Stage 0. They got it all and my doctor says to plan on eventually dying from something other than breast cancer.

What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
Sorry to sound hokey, but my husband’s smile. It made me fall in love with him. Second to that is our grandson Gideon’s toothless grin. (We are “adopted” grandparents of the baby next store, as his grandparents live out of state and I babysit him at least once a week.)

First thing you’d do if you were handed a million dollars?
I would say “Thank you”! Then we would pay off our house and call a money manager.

You’ve been given the opportunity to give a televised speech which will be
broadcast on all networks, what do you speak about?

Population control. People jump on all kinds of band wagons. Save the rainforest. Save the air. Save the water. What they don’t seem to understand is that all of these things would not be endangered if we did not reproduce like imbeciles. I get so tired to hearing “Well, they have several children, but they can afford it.” Really? Well, guess what? Our planet cannot. Every person born uses air, water, lumber for a home, the earth, food, creates waste…we need to understand that we should only reproduce ourselves. That is even too many, but it is asking too much to expect people not to want children at all. Just use your intelligence about it.

What was/is your favorite thing about your childhood home?
A tree in the front yard where I had a swing. I also laid or sat under it and read quite often.

What inspires you?
Nature. I love plants, flowers, animals, trees…just the cycle of life. I don’t believe in organized religion. When I want feel close to the Creative Force, I go to the woods.

What do you most want out of your life? Your ultimate ambition, as it were.
Nonmaterial: I have always said that we come here for 3 things: experience, education and enlightenment. I want to continue to grow in all 3 areas.

Material: I want Gastien Part 1 and Part 2 made into a movie or mini-series. First it has to become a best seller. I was asked when I started it if I wanted to write great literature or just a book. I decided what I wanted was to write a damn good read. I have done so. 

People say they are haunted by Gastien for weeks after they finish each book and that they could not put it down. They say the books make them feel more emotion than any other they can recall. They can’t put the books down once they start. They talk about Gastien as if he is someone real that they know personally. To me, that is the start of success. Now I just need more people reading it. More people telling others. The story is just waiting to explode onto a screen. And it will. I only hope I am still alive when it does!

Thanks to Caddy for sitting through our questions. Find her work below on Kindle, on Nook, or in paperback. Also, find Caddy on twitter: @CaddyorPims

No comments:

Post a Comment