An Interview with Ohio Author Catherine Pomeroy
The author of two novels, The Gulch Jumpers and Four
and a Half Billion People (No
Bad Books Press), Catherine Pomeroy writes family-life fiction and
thrilling scenarios that entertains and engages readers. Her debut novel, The
Gulch Jumpers, “was an exercise in love – a love letter, really, to my “down
on the farm” family roots, the power of music, what it means to be a parent,
and my belief that law is personal. The story was also a fun way for me to indulge
my sense of adventure, travel and the magic of a road trip.”
GM: Happy New Year! What is your 2023 New Year's Resolution?
CP: I’ve given this
lots of thought! It’s certainly not a tough question, but I wanted to try to
really reflect and answer honestly, for myself as well as for the blog. The answer is to dig deep and connect with my
“why.” Why I make the choices I do in my
personal and professional life. To connect writing and work to a greater
purpose and use that as motivation. In
writing, finding the “why” seems linked to identifying the theme of one’s book.
And for me, the theme is often not evident at the beginning or even mid-way in
the writing process. So, in addition to finding the “why” I suppose my
resolution is to keep going, keep trying, get up every day and work at it even
while feeling lost, keeping some patience and hope that the “why” will surface
and become apparent organically. On a much more mundane level, I also resolve
to exercise, eat healthy, etc. And, or
course, to improve and strive to become a better writer.
GM: What is the premise for your new book?
CP: Four and a
Half Billion People, which was released in June of 2022, is a novel about a
single mother in small-town southern Ohio grappling with the after effects when
her neurodivergent teenage son is arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter. There
are elements about the legal system and how juveniles are treated in that
system. There are also some speculative elements. The book also includes a
strong side story about bicycle touring, including the infamous Tour of the
Scioto River Valley (TOSRV), a two hundred-two-day ride from Columbus to
Portsmouth and back that takes place annually in Ohio.
GM: What are you currently writing?
CP: My current WIP is
about how a handful of neighbors in an isolated housing development in exurbia
start interacting with each other after a solar flare knocks out electricity
and satellites. While that is the premise, I want it to be more of a family and
human relations story rather than a disaster story.
GM: How do you maintain thoughts and ideas for new
CP: Reflective time for imagination, but also forcing myself
to sit down and start producing something. Getting anything down on paper is a
start. One can always go back later and tinker.
GM: Who is your favorite author?
CP: It’s tough to
pick just one. Some of my favorite authors are Homer Hickam, Charles Frazier, Jodi
Picoult, Elena Ferrante, and Elizabeth Strout. I recently discovered Kim
Michele Richardson who wrote The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. I like
anyone who writes well. I especially enjoy stories that are set in Appalachian
GM: Do you have advice for novice writers and those looking
to begin their first manuscript?
CP: Start writing, and if you slip into your zone and
a state of flow, keep going! Later, when
you go back to edit, email the document to yourself. I do this because it allows me to read it on
my phone in addition to on my laptop. I also print a hard copy. It’s surprising
how many things you catch reading over a document in various formats.
GM: Authors say that writing is easy, but marketing is
difficult. Do you have any advice for authors regarding marketing and
CP: This is probably
my greatest weakness. It is hard not to feel shameless about any
self-promotion, but marketing is necessary to connect to readers. Word of mouth
and appearing at author fairs and events has worked for me. Word of mouth has
especially been helpful getting book clubs to take up my novels. If a reader
reaches out with complimentary feedback, I know I should request them to write
a review, but I struggle with overcoming my shyness to make that ask.
GM: When you're not writing, what do you like to do for fun?
CP: I love cycling! I
do solo rides and ride with a club when time allows. I set mileage goals for
myself. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some beautiful places from my
bicycle. I also enjoy going out to dinner and relaxing with a good book.
|Catherine riding her bike|
GM: List 10 things your fans may not know about you...
grew up visiting my mother’s childhood home in Jackson County, Ohio, which is
where Four and a Half Billion People is set. This was my grandparents’
farmhouse, and later the home of my aunt, who was also a writer.
a child welfare lawyer. My books incorporate quotes from Supreme Court cases.
inner geek loves the maps and historical information posted at highway rest
I was a teenager, I twice completed the two-day two-hundred-mile bicycle tour
(TOSRV) described in Four and a Half Billion People. I also biked from
Cleveland to Mammoth Cave Kentucky and back when I was seventeen years old. The
year I turned fifty, I biked from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh.
to come up with a big idea as “sixty” approaches!
I go to hunt for a specific book or author, but I also really enjoy free form
browsing at the library. There’s no cost to borrowing a library book so giving
something unusual a try is literally a no-risk/no-guilt treat.
the pandemic, with my grown children living out-of-state, and other relatives
equally as far flung, I started a private Facebook group where we can all post
pictures of what we are making for Sunday dinner. Not everyone participates,
and it’s a bit of a friendly competition, but a nice way to stay in touch.
I go months at a time without writing, and then get back into it.\
love music – live concerts, listening in my car, playing the violin.
Researching various genres, artists and musical history for my first novel, The
Gulch Jumpers, was enjoyable.
Oh, yes. Yes, yes.
I have read both of Catherine books and anticipate reading her next book. The stories flow with ease and are captivating. I find her books hard to put down once I begin reading them. I would highly recommend her books to anyone.
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