Hello, Caddy and welcome to Coffee Time Romance. Why not enjoy some delicious baked cookies from the table, then grab a seat in our cozy recliner. Be sure to slip your feet into the relaxing fuzzy pink slippers as we begin our interview, so our readers can learn more about author, Caddy Rowland.
Ha, you know one of my weaknesses: chocolate chip cookies. Thank you.
Caddy, the readers would love to hear how you begin your day before you start your busy schedule?
Well, the first thing I do when I get up is check emails and social media. After that, I walk on my treadmill for 30 minutes. It’s one of the few times during the day that I find time to read. Then I feed my two parrots and tidy their cages. I do the normal things: make-up, hair, bath and breakfast. I try to ready to go to work by 9am.
Now, let’s discuss your Gastien Series. I understand this is a 5 book series. The first book in the Gastien saga/family Series, The Cost of the Dream. Why not tell the readers about The Cost of the Dream?
First of all, I would like to fully explain what The Gastien Series is. It is many genres: historical fiction, family saga, drama. The first book could also be coming of age. The second, third, fourth, and fifth all have strong love stories running through them, but I don’t write the romance formula. My characters are never guaranteed an HEA. Still the same, I think readers will find very vivid relationships and love stories inside them. The fourth and fifth books are also gay fiction. The fifth book is the only true romance, although it is much more. It is gay romance, along with the drama, historical fiction, and family saga the other books have.
This series is definitely for adults with graphic scenes and adult themes. I write edgy, raw, gritty drama and am not afraid to get “real”.
Gastien: The Cost of the Dream is about how Gastien confronts his abusive father, leaves home, and struggles on the brutal streets of Paris. It the story of how he makes it only to lose again, and claws his way back among the living more than once. It’s a story about how much a person can want something, about class struggle, and about abuse of power. It’s about survival and believing in oneself.
Was it difficult composing and outlining a 5 part series?
No, because I didn’t set out to write a series. I only set out to write one book. It ended up being over 1,000 pages. There was a natural place to cut off about half way through, so I set the second half aside and worked on the first half. After that was published, I worked on book two, or the second half of what I had written. Somewhere during that time I knew there would be a third. Once I started the third, I knew there would be five.
The story carries much emotion, as well as a story that pulls the reader into the pages. Where did your thoughts come from for composing stories on this family saga?
The first two books are about a peasant boy who lives on a farm in nineteenth century France, but dreams about becoming a famous artist and great lover. He leaves home to pursue those dreams, not realizing exactly how much it’s going to cost him—and we’re not talking about money. He has none.
That period in history was when art was changing forever, starting with Impressionism. Every type of modern art owes its roots to that era. It was a wild, decadent time in Montmartre. Those bohemian artists were anything but conventional. It rivals Rome and our Roaring 20’s for debauchery. I’m surprised more fiction doesn’t take place in that time and place because the things that went on were simply something else.
I’m also an artist, so that period has always fascinated me. I guess that’s where I got the story idea.
My goal as a writer is to make readers think and feel. To make them see why people make decisions the reader might think they could never make themselves…perhaps get them to understand that very little in this world is black or white. How bad do you want it? What matters most to you? Do you live your life or the life someone else wants for you? All of those questions have many answers, and many repercussions. Very few of us have the guts to live our life fully and in the way we would really like to. Gastien did. At the same time, he paid for that decision over and over.
Do you find it difficult in composing a series, rather than just one book by itself?
No, but then as I mentioned I didn’t set out to write a series.
Why not tell the readers a little about the other completed books in the Gastien Series, so they can get an insight of the other wonderful characters? From Dream to Destiny, Tristan Michel: Bloodline of Passion, Giselle: Keeper of the Flame, and Gastien: Circle of Destiny?
Gastien: From Dream to Destiny is about Gastien’s life after he finally does become an artist. It’s about him falling in love, living life with her in an unacceptable, unconventional way. How that affects the two of them and their son. It’s a story about how, sometimes, no matter what decisions a person makes, there is going to be some real unhappiness along with the rewards. It may be one of the most unusual love stories written.
Tristan Michel: Bloodline of Passion is about Gastien’s son, his vow to not be anything like his bohemian artist father, and how he eventually finds it impossible to ignore the passion running in his veins. He moves to the USA and this book takes place at the turn of the century up through the Roaring 20’s. There is dissention in his marriage and another woman.
Giselle: Keeper of the Flame is about Gastien’s love child, a daughter. She ends up in New York, raising Tristan’s son. The love between her and Laurent is another great love story. The second half is about Tristan’s son (Gastien’s grandson) also named Gastien. As he becomes a teenager, he finds some success as an artist; his young career is thriving. The problem is he realizes he’s gay. That could not only ruin his career, it could cost him his life in 1940’s America. His struggle and denial of it make it coming of age gay fiction.
Gastien: Circle of Destiny continues grandson Gastien’s story. It is the story of acceptance of one’s own sexuality, and a search for love. He has fame and money. He wants someone who loves him for who he is inside. He ends up back in Paris. There are some strange connections between him and his grandfather. This is a very beautiful, poignant gay romance. It is also much more.
Can you describe your workplace for us?
Depends on the season. Late spring, summer and fall I try to write outside as much as possible. Otherwise I most often write at the table, although I do have a dedicated home office. I’m an artist, so I like light. I suppose that’s why I don’t use my back office much. It’s very nice and very cozy, but I prefer more light. I do use the cozy office in the mornings to do my social media.
Do you write on a schedule or as inspiration strikes?
Neither. I write when I can. J I can’t keep a strict schedule, as I’m not a conformist. But I also know I need to write even when I don’t feel like it. For me, it is more a question of time than inspiration. I am not a plotter. I sit down at the keyboard and the main character tells me the story. Yes, because I write series I need to remember details. My notes consist of one word reminders for things, strung all over the table. J The research after writing took longer than the writing, since it is historical fiction. I had to always research after writing to make sure I got it right.
What's one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
I love to write, but I live to paint. Also, I have always been a nonconformist. I think maybe John Mellencamp’s “Authority Song” was written about me! Yes, I fight authority—and, yes, authority usually (though not always) wins.
Do you consider yourself a shy person, outgoing person, or reserved person, at times?
All of the above. It just depends on my mood, the people around me, and if I’m tired or not. What I always am is real. Sometimes that’s not the best choice.
What is your dream vacation spot and why?
I would like to visit Paris and stay several months, for obvious reasons.
Do you have a favorite snack that you really enjoy?
You have been invited out to dinner, and when your meal arrives, you are not happy, do you continue eating, forcing a smile, or do you call for the waiter and politely comment.
I politely comment.
If you could be any animated character, who would you choose to be?
Peter Pan. Who wouldn’t love to never grow up—and to be able to fly would rock.
Thank you Caddy for being with us today. I look forward to reading all the books in the Gastien series, as well as all your wonderful stories.
Thank you for having me! I hope some who read this give The Gastien Series a try. I also have a new continuing sage out called There Was a House about a young girl trafficked into prostitution. She vows to take down the house, the man who owns her, and the men who so willingly use underage girls. It is drama, suspense and contemporary fiction. The first book, House of Pleasue is already out and the second, House of Pain will be coming within weeks.
When young Gastien Beauchamp flees the farm for Paris, the late nineteenth century bohemian era is in full swing. Color has always called to him, beseeching him to capture it on canvas and show people a new way of seeing things. His father belittled his dream of being an artist and tried to beat him into giving it up. The dream wouldn’t die, but Gastien would have had he not left.
He also yearns to become a great lover. After the years of anguish he has endured at the hand of his father, it would be heaven to feel pleasure instead of pain.
However, the city of Paris has a ruthless agenda. Unless a man has money and connections, Paris unfeelingly crushes dreams and destroys souls. With neither of the required assets, Gastien faces living in alleys, digging in trash bins for food, and sleeping where a man is often killed for his threadbare blanket.
Left with only his dreams, Gastien stubbornly pushes on. He vows that absolutely nothing will stop him, not yet realizing what keeping that vow might mean.
Sometimes the "impossible" is possible— but the cost can be extremely high.
This historical fiction novel is book 1 of a 5 book drama/family saga for adults (The Gastien Series). As such, it contains adult themes and graphic scenes. Each book can stand on its own, but is most compelling read in order.
Buy links for Gastien: The Cost of the Dream:
http://tinyurl.com/3ecu8ku For Kindle readers
http://tinyurl.com/3luddg7 To order paperback
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