Detailed view for the Author: Cathy Yardley

Full Name:
Cathy Yardley
Place of Residence:
California, USA


Author Biography: Cathy Yardley, half Vietnamese-American, half Irish- American, is the author of three Harlequin Blazes and L.A. Woman, a Red Dress Ink novel. She lives in California.

I’m compulsive by nature. When I like something, I tend to love it. I devour books like they were coated in dark chocolate. If I love a story, I will do whatever I can to stay in that world and find out what happens next, until I reach the last word on the last page. If that means propping up the book during dinner or while washing dishes; sneaking pages as a treat during the work day or while my son’s distracted by one of his many blinking, gyrating and beeping toys; or worst of all, sacrificing my few hours of sleep by staying up till the wee hours of the morning, just to finish the book… well, I do it. I can’t help myself.

Writing is similar. Characters, story premises, start out with a jolt: I get an idea, a name, a scenario, and I jot it down somewhere. With luck, it’s a piece of paper, although I’ve been known to write on cereal boxes, envelopes, my checkbook, whatever’s handy. From there, I start to circle it. The process isn’t one of consumption. Unfortunately, I can’t mow through writing a book the way I do reading one! It’s more selective, a marathon rather than a sprint… or, an eight course meal, rather than one simple dessert. I write notes, rambling stream-of-consciousness pages with no paragraph breaks. I investigate my characters. Who are they, what do they want, why can’t they have it? Then the outline. A lot of people hate outlines, but for me, it’s a way of whistling in the dark as well as a blueprint. Honestly, my books never match the original outlines. But if I had to face the blank page without any sense of where I was going, I would get so overwhelmed by the delicious, intriguing and infinite possibilities, I would go catatonic. As it is, the writing comes out in fits and starts, usually nudged along by deadlines. But once I get a story idea in my head, something inside me pushes: I have to see how this thing ends. It’s no different than the compulsion that gets me reading.

I have a lot of loves. My son’s laugh. My husband’s kisses. Walking the streets of Paris with a fresh brioche. Watching the leaves turn in fall. Listening to a mélange of Modest Mouse, Bob Marley and Amy Winehouse while driving down the coast, against the blink of the ocean.

But the loves of my life – reading and writing – are also the demons that drive me. If you’re like me, I hope you enjoy my books… and perhaps, just perhaps, you’ll be encouraged to write yours, as well.

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