Indie Spotlight – Cathy Mayes

Today I am welcoming Cathy Mayes into the Indie Spotlight.

Cathy lives and works in Cornwall, where she lectured at a local college, in Child Care and Education for ten years beforereturning to work in Children’s Services. Now retired she is the author of ‘Out of the Quill Box, Came Secrets of a Family I had Never Known’.

Cathy has been writing for about five years and written two non-fictions ‘White Horses and Sunbeams’ and ‘Matt and Pandora’, both about family life in Cornwall. She has also written articles for an online foster care magazine.

Cathy also worked with the fostering team and was a council foster carer for several years. She is only too aware of the importance of information for children and young people, to know their past, their heritage, and their culture.

Goodreads Author Page | Facebook

Hi Cathy, welcome to my blog.

What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?

My first two books were published through a publisher, it cost me quite a lot of money and frankly it feels like I did not get my moneys worth! I heard from an author friend that I could publish through Amazon and I took a look and decided to take the gamble of going it alone.I had an ex-colleague who very kindly prepared the book for me and made it look great, then I downloaded to kdp and I have been very pleased with the result. My husband was a copy writer in his previous life and has also been very helpful to me.

What made you decide to write in your specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?

I write non-fiction, probably because I don’t have the imagination to try fiction!

Do you only read the genre that you write? 

No, in fact I had rarely read non fiction until I found all these wonderful books through Author and book groups. I like romance and travel books along with some crime related books.

What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Is there a type of music you listen to for inspiration?

I am reading Annemarie Rawson’s book ‘My French Platter Replenished’ at the moment. These social media groups have broadened my genre for reading and I am finding it good to be reading different books, becoming quite eclectic in my choice these days. I like crime/detective programmes on TV and classics like ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Jane Austin and also Catherine Cookson.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

My advice would be just to write. Start with things you know about and then if you have a great imagine just go for it. Initially don’t worry about grammar or spelling, focus on content. The editing will come much later. Keep the creative juices flowing.6. I have two more books in the pipeline, again sticking with non-fiction. The one closest to publication is about a week on the Isles of Scilly with an old college friend and our dogs. Such a beautiful place to stay. The colours are amazing and the walking is wonderful, I feel totally relaxed when I am there. I have another book which follows one of my first books, about my grandson and his new pony, this second one follows his progress in becoming a good horseman!

Thank you for joining me in the Indie Spotlight today, Cathy! Good luck with sales of your book!

Out of the Quill Box

Cathy, brought up in a ‘comfortable’ home in the 1950s, was at the age of seven, suddenly told that she had been adopted as a baby and assured by her mum that the other mother who had given birth to her loved her but had made the difficult decision that she would be better off being brought up by others. Having been told this at the age of seven Cathy seemed to take it in her stride, as children do, though questions began to rise and recur about her own mother, she kept them to herself.

Then, in her early teens, she developed a heart condition and doctors felt information on her genetic background would be of help. Once more health problems came to light as an adult, and Cathy, in an age before such research became so fashionable, and thanks to the internet, so much easier, started on a quest to discover her true roots. The resulting journey, bringing us almost to the present day, resulted in the discovery of a large and vibrant extended family on her birth-father’s side, touched upon The Nuremburg Trials. Her father’s travels and work in South America, Africa and South Africa, took her on a journey of discovery to his last home in South Africa and culminated in the bitter-sweet discovery, after years of dead ends, that she might well have passed her late mother unrecognised in the streets of the city where she lived, and where Cathy studied at the university.

Cathy felt that she had to write her story, for herself and her children and to support others who may be teetering on the edge of beginning their own journey of discovery. Also, for foster parents, adoptive parents, professionals, and students who might work with or support children and young people in foster care and who may be hoping for their forever home through adoption.

It is clear that for some people like Cathy, they just need to know where we come from, for others perhaps not. Cathy hopes that her story might help other people to take the next step in their own discoveries. There is always a risk of rejection. There can be a tremendous sense of loss and grief when uncovering the past, and there needs to be support and help available to cope with those possibilities. There are also many surprises, great happiness, and a very real sense of belonging.

Amazon UK | Amazon US | goodreads

Who is next on Indie Spotlight?

Karen Telling and her husband, Nick, left the U.K. for the Algarve in 2003.  It hasn’t been an easy 18 years but they’re still living in their corner of paradise.  Karen had major surgery in 2009 and is now disabled but they have continued to rescue dozens of animals including bottle feeding abandoned pups and kittens.  Karen has also taken Portuguese citizenship and Nick will soon follow suit, such is their love for the country and its people.

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