My latest book, INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS takes place in 1969. The Vietnam War is the backdrop for this poignant and vivid story. It’s a time of uncertainty for 18 y/o boys waiting to be drafted and feeling as if a guillotine is hanging over their heads. Peace demonstrations, hippies, booze, drugs, and rock n’roll with the love-fest in Woodstock and a music revolution that spurs a riotous generation of teenage
Do you have a favorite character?
My favorite character is Michael. He’s a gorgeous, flawed bad boy that’s totally misunderstood.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes. I did have an agent for INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS. After a year on submission without a sell, I did revise the novel. I’d been sitting on this novel for years due to personal reasons. I finally submitted it to my publisher at Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly and she loved it.
How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS IS MY 6TH novel. My first novel took me a ton of revisions and rewrites and roughly 2 years for it to get contracted.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I’m a total pantser all the way. The only book I had to have some sort of an outline was for the ending of my murder mystery, DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE. I rewrote that ending over three times. Even I didn’t know what character was going to be the ultimate killer.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Yes. I’d advise all writers to have their manuscripts professionally edited and/or proofread before querying. It’s vital to give a good impression.
What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
It takes time, sometimes years, and great perseverance and a thick suit of armor.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Presently, my ebooks and prints are through Amazon. I believe you can order the print copy through Barnes and Noble.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I dislike marketing. Nowadays, I feel as if I spend too much time marketing and not enough time writing.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
I would say to read, read, and read, and not only in the genre that you’re interested in writing. I believe a writer gains knowledge from all sources. Then I cannot express this enough, don’t give up and great perseverance!!!
What’s next for you?
Right now I’m dabbling with a prequel to my Wickedly Series. I’m going back to my angels, demons, and a Snarky Teen. And I’m having fun with this one.
Incense and Peppermints
Publication date: March 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties, and a musical revolution, flower power, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations—young and old—into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.
Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.
With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.
Cathrina Constantine is the Best Selling author of Don’t Forget To Breathe. Her book won Readers’ Favorite International Book Award for 2015 and The Literary Classics Seal of Approval and Literary Classics Gold Award. Her Paranormal Fantasy, Wickedly They Come has been awarded the 5 Star Seal from Reader’s Favorite. Tallas from her dystopian series received Literary Classics Silver Award and Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
Cathrina resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and her cat, Bones. Author @chbbpublishing. Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. When not attached to her computer, she likes to take long walks in the woods with her dogs, drink way too much coffee, and is an avid movie watcher. She loves music and doesn’t need a dance floor to shake a leg.