Friday, April 8, 2011

Artist Katelyn Cross loves Greg Mazur and he loves her. He wants to be married but a previous relationship that went sour has made Katelyn overly cautious about any permanent commitment. And what about Greg’s first wife? He lost her to cancer and Katelyn worries that he’s only looking for a replacement. What’s a girl to do? Canoe down a river with five gal pals, camp out, catch fish, talk about life and men. The problem is, a river can be as unpredictable as any relationship and just as hard to manage. On their last day, when the river turns wild

, the women face the challenge of a lifetime and find that staying alive means saving themselves first while being open to help from a most unlikely source. As Katelyn navigates the raging water, she learns how to overcome her fear of change in a world where nothing stays the same. When Katelyn returns to her garden, she’ll face one more obstacle and the naked gardener will meet the real Greg Mazur.

I'm married (38 years & counting down to 40), and we have three wonderful daughters.
Of course I'm a writer, but I'm also a magazine editor, artist, and co-owner, with my family, of an integrated media business.
My work has appeared in various journals including Del Sol Review. One of my prose poems has been included in an anthology called Oil and Water and Other Things That Don't Mix, a collection published to support victims of the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
I have received awards for three different stories from the Writer's Digest Annual Competition in the mainstream literary category and the Lorian Hemingway short fiction competition, and was short listed for a Tom Howard Short Story Contest.
I also founded which offers free, themed, writing contests with prizes for emerging writers.
I have published three books all available in print, Kindle, & Nook formats at & B&N,com, The Naked Gardener, Page Truly and The Journey To Nearandfar, and Foxy's Tale.
I'm an avid kayaker (touring) and grew up fishing in the Florida Keys.

Here's a tidbit of interest. My husband proposed on our first and only date and we were married five weeks later. We lived in Paris, France, for a time and now live on a tidal creek where we love watching Bald eagles soar past our windows.

I hope you enjoy my books.

What will readers like about your book?
The writing, the settings of garden and river, which are essentially characters in themselves, and the women characters. I've been told the dialogue is very true to life.

Why did you self publish?
I wanted my books to be read. A book comes alive through the reader.

What is your writing process?
I just sit down every day and write about 1,000 words. First I plot out in general terms what the book is about, the characters, and the plot. But then I let it flow.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?
Depends on the book. The Naked Gardener took me about ten months. Foxy's Tale (co-authored with Karen Cantwell) took 5 months. A record for me.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
A dear friend since childhood lived the way my main character lives in The Naked Gardener. In a chicken coop in Vermont surrounded by her garden. She took many wilderness canoe trips with other women. They found it empowering. That was the inspiration. Real life with fictional twists and turns.


The river pushed us forward, floating on it and in it. We had to keep moving. We had made our choice. You can’t move forward if you’re constantly looking back. Change is the only constant on the river and that’s the way it is in life. No guarantees. Only promises and pledges. Life is full of them. Legal pledges and pledges of the heart.

It felt as if we’d been paddling for a long time, but in reality it went fast. We reached the heavy water in a few moments and I knew that meant the falls were not far ahead. Once we started our descent it would seem as if we were hurtling down. I knew that in my head. But I didn’t know how it would feel. And then, I could almost see the fall off in front of us. A shelf in the water, rounded at the top with nothing visible beyond it. A horizon.

“Here it comes,” I yelled.

Erica would be the first to see the drop-off. Just seconds before me. I waited for her yell. I waited for what I’d have to do to keep us steady. I could hear the roar of them now. Could taste the mist in the air. Could feel light spray on my cheeks and lips. It would be a shock. We would feel as if the earth had fallen away from us. Would hurtle us down into its maw, this falling off, this letting go, this tipping away from equilibrium. Is that what kids love about roller coasters? When they hover at the very peak of a downhill ride. That second before the car starts its descent. That floating moment. When you know you’re about to lose control and you wait for it to happen, know it’s inevitable. Your whole body gears up for it and then wham, you’re dropping, free falling down and down and down with no end to it, nothing but your head thrown back and your own screams filling the air. What ospreys must feel as they plunge head first into the sea, their wings pulled back, their necks stretched to a straight line, beaks pointed down, crashing into the water and then grabbing a fish and up, up, up again. They always come up. They always return to the air to free fall again. Not like Maze soaring with giant ersatz wings, catching the thermals, gliding from a mountain over a valley. No sound except the wind passing by. Not this hurling, crazy diving feeling.

I steered on the right, back paddling some to keep our bow pointed straight ahead while Erica stroked like crazy on the right side and then, after a few strokes, on the left. We had to avoid the last few pillows before the falls.

Links: Gschwandtner


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