Guest Author: Cathyrn Marr




When I was asked by Kim Rozzell, owner of Author’s Umbrella, whether I’d like to have debut author or paranormal romances, Cathryn Marr, on the blog, I had to research this new-to-me author. I didn’t know that Cathryn Marr is the pseudonym for the writing team of Terese Ramin and Dawn Johanson and I only realised when I checked out the author facebook page that I’d actually met both ladies at the Concierge Desk in New Orleans when I was at the inaugural Booklovers Convention in May!

Digging a little deeper into these ladies, I found their Amazon Author information absolutely fascinating...

Terese Ramin, who lives in Michigan, is an award winning, bestselling author of ten romance and romantic suspense novels and numerous short stories. Terese has also worked as an editor, a ghost writer, a book doctor, and a paranormal investigator, and there are lots of other details for you to explore on the Amazon page!

Dawn Johanson, from northern California, worked as a counseling psychologist for 25 years and says that her interactions with exceptional children led her on a thought-provoking journey exploring the phenomenon parapsychologists refer to as the new generation of psychic children (often called the Indigo, Crystal, and Rainbow children). I had never heard about these children until I read about Dawn’s work, but they sound fascinating. Dawn says that thousands of websites and numerous non-fiction books about these unique children finally coalesced into story ideas for the fictional Brotherhood of Shadows series.

Wow! I can’t wait, especially when I read the blurb below from the first book, Soul Keeper.

He’s a heavenly outcast. She’s a mortal woman with unearthly gifts. Can they ward off a rising apocalypse?

Fallen angel Luceire Garard has spent an eternity chasing redemption. So, when he’s given a mission to find and protect a defenseless young psychic, he jumps at the chance. But he never expected the beautiful woman who could help his mission to slam him in the chest with an impossible power. Aurora Montgomery has always had a special connection to kids with disabilities. As more and more children reach out to her in pain, she knows she has no choice but to join the darkly handsome Fallen on a death-defying mission. But when a serial killer targets the innocent children, saving them may require tapping into an ancient, unexplainable gift. As Luceire and Aurora hunt down the murderer, they discover his attempt to sacrifice souls could resurrect an ancient, indestructible darkness. And the only way to stop the end of the world may require shedding innocent blood. Can Luceire and Aurora avoid the unthinkable and stop the end of humanity?

So, without any further ado, I welcome Cathryn Marr as guest author to the blog today.

Thanks so much, Alyssa! We really appreciate this opportunity! And it was great meeting you at the concierge’s desk at Book Lovers Con in NOLA!

 
I hope you enjoyed your tour! First up, will you please tell us whether the story itself posed any particular problems for you?

The most challenging part was working with a big alternate world. Integrating fantasy with reality in a way that makes sense isn’t easy. We’re introducing quite a few characters in Soul Keeper, plus ‘beings’ that may be new to readers. An example of this are the psychic children, or Crystals, who are at the heart of Soul Keeper and the Brotherhood of Shadows series. There have been many non-fiction books and articles written about these psychic children but it’s likely not everyone has heard about them. Our goal was to integrate Crystals into our story in a way that every reader would understand. To help with this we added a Lightway Codex entry at the beginning of every chapter. The Codex chapter entry is a short paragraph that includes bits and pieces of information about some of the beings in our world.

How exactly do you go about writing a book as two people? Do you sit and write every line together or do each of you work on separate chapters?

We don’t write every line together or work on separate chapters then swap. When Dawn was bedridden due to a stubborn and then undiagnosed bout of chronic Lyme disease that looked like Multiple Sclerosis, she kept herself busy by building this wonderful, complicated world full of angels and fallen angels. And psychic children, called the Crystals and Indigos. She defined the characters—who they were, what roles they played in this world, and how they interacted, what their stories were, and how each of those stories played. When we joined forces, we tweaked this already prepared world by chatting on Zoom or getting together in various locations where each of the stories are set.

Generally, what happens is that I write a chapter, then ship it to Dawn for her feedback and edits. This allows us to blend styles and ideas in order to make the work as seamless as possible, turning two separate voices into one voice.
That's a fabulous story of keeping productive when Dawn must've been feeling so ill.
Well done!

I imagine that working together as an author would bring its own challenges – particularly as you live in different parts of the USA. What has been the most challenging thing for you in coming together as a single author?

  

Thankfully, living 2500 miles apart hasn’t felt that challenging. We facetime frequently via Zoom so that it’s almost as though we write every line together. We also travel together regularly—our first meeting was in San Francisco where both Soul Keeper and Soul Bound are set. We toured the city, scouted locations (the Trans America Pyramid is the site of Savitri Nousaine’s offices; Alamo Square is the setting for the home Aurora Montgomery and Solaya and Senn Lawton share; the Haight and Pier 39 both see a lot of action in Soul Keeper), and enjoyed not only getting to know each other, but playing in the world populated by characters from the Brotherhood of Shadows.


I travelled to San Francisco when I was a flight attendant with the Australian national airline, Qantas. I absolutely loved the city and when you mention all these places, it takes me back! 

Obviously, all authors can grow from feedback and you two must be getting constant feedback from each other on your writing. Can each of you identify something the other has helped you develop in your writing?

We’re certainly in a unique situation. Terese has been in the writing world for thirty plus years while this is a totally new experience for me. Terese’s gift of storytelling and knowledge of the industry amazes me daily, and I have learned so much from her. I can never thank her enough for joining forces with me!

Will you tell us a little about your next two titles in the series and when we can expect them to be released?

The next book in our series, Soul Bound (Brotherhood of Shadows, Book 2), will be released in 2020, and Soul Thief, the third book, will be out in 2021.  

Soul Bound (Brotherhood of Shadows, Book 2)
In an effort to remind the Brotherhood of Shadows only female member of the love they once shared, its director brings an infant whose mother has been kidnapped to her for protection—only to discover the mercenary warrior is terrified of all things damp, screaming, and in need of nurturing.


Soul Thief (Brotherhood of Shadows, Book 3)  A Brotherhood of Shadows dark ops specialist comes to the aid of an ethereal woman who’s a Louisiana bayou legend when evil forces threaten the lives of the pregnant woman and the extraordinary unborn child she’s sworn to protect.

Thank you for joining me today on the blog!

Thanks so much, Alyssa!

If you are an attendee at the Book Lovers Con in Nashville in March, 2020, you'll be able to meet these ladies there!  (https://www.bookloverscon.com/)

You can find out more about Cathryn Marr by visiting the website: https://cathrynmarr.com or:
Facebook: https://facebook.com/Cathryn.Marr
Twitter: @CathrynMarr
Instagram: Cathryn Marr
Pinterest: Cathryn Marr

Thanks for visiting the blog today. Please join me next Saturday when I welcome author, Eva Moore.  Until then, Happy Reading!
Best wishes,
Alyssa

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About the Blogger:
Alyssa J. Montgomery is an Australian contemporary romance author who is published by Escape Publishing (Harlequin Enterprises, Australia). Some of her series include the Royal Affairs series and Billionaires & Babies series. She also 
writes medieval romance as Alyssa James.

You can find out more about Alyssa and the romance stories she writes by visiting her website at: 


 

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