Catherine Bybee never thought about being a writer:
• “I would still be flunking English Literature if you asked me what a pronoun is.”
• “I can’t spell. Thank God for spellcheck.”
• “I came to California to become an actress. I got tired of waiting tables and went back to school to be a nurse.”
However, after an on-the-job injury, Bybee hung up her ER scrubs and began writing full-time. In just a few short years, Bybee went on to become a New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and No. 1 Amazon bestselling author of romance novels, including her popular “The Weekday Brides Series.”
Bybee will join special guests Anne Perry and Tina Folsom as one of the keynote speakers at InD'Scribe Author & Reader Convention, Sept. 18-19, at the Renaissance Hotel in Palm Springs. The two-day event, which is open to the public, will celebrate both published and aspiring authors in an educational symposium of workshops, panels, and book signings. Representatives from iTunes (iBooks) will also be on hand to provide marketing tools and strategies for authors in the current market place.
PalmSpringsLife.com spoke with Bybee about her inspirations, motivations, and words of wisdom for aspiring writers.
What inspired you to write your first novel?
“I was an ER nurse for over a decade. I loved my job and writing wasn’t even on the radar. I have always been an avid reader of romance novels. They are inspiring and a great escape. In the ER, I was dealing with life or death situations and when I came home from that, reading was what I did.
Eight years ago, I was injured at work. In that first year after my injury, I was sitting at home at the computer, trying not to be depressed and I sat down and wrote a contemporary novel. When I wrote the words “The End,” I realized what was possible. While that novel will never see the light of day (it still sits under the bed), I began my journey as an author. Once I started, I couldn’t stop…it’s like an addiction.”
Would you consider yourself a romantic?
“I am a romantic. I do believe in romance. There’s nothing more exciting in a persons life than that thrill of meeting someone new and falling in love. Every relationship, romantically speaking, helps a person grow… good or bad. It gets you in the right place you need to be to live your happily ever after.”
You’ve written no fewer than 20 books since 2009. Where do your stories come from?
“I have had a colorful life. Working in the ER you don’t escape that without thinking outside the box. Every experience you go thru in life gives you the ability to look at things with a different set of eyes. I’ve always been a good storyteller. I think about other people and their plight. I think everyone on this earth wants to find love.
I will say I am gifted at storytelling. I do think I have an ability to tell a story whether in person or on paper whether it’s true or it’s fictional and make people stop and listen…. I have some great fun stories to tell.”
What is the most important tip for an aspiring writer?
“To write. Put words on the page. Your voice and your ability to put something on paper will be innate.”
InD'Scribe Author & Reader Convention, Sept. 18-19, Renaissance Hotel in Palm Springs, 888 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, 760-322-6000; www.indscribe.com