Interview with Catherine E. Chapman

When did you first start writing?
I wanted to write from being a teenager but I think I believed that life had to be exciting in order to warrant writing about it. It wasn't until I was older that I realised life as lived could be the source of fiction. Of course, the fictional worlds you create are very different from real life but I think, once you get beyond a belief that your own life has to be remarkable in order to inform your writing, then you can actually get somewhere with starting to write.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has been invaluable in helping me to develop as an indie writer. There are other publishers catering for the needs of indies but Smashwords seems to be unique in regarding its authors as stakeholders in the development and success of the indie publishing movement, of which it is at the forefront. That sense of being part of something bigger is both empowering and fulfilling.
What do your fans mean to you?
Feedback from readers is really important to me. Because my writing falls both within and outside of the romance genre, it's particularly useful to know what readers think of books that are less easily categorised.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm a big fan of the novelist, Iris Murdoch. She created such vivid worlds that reading her books is an escape from life. I enjoy reading classic Nineteenth century novels, and was captivated by the works of the Bronte sisters early in life. Jane Austen, whom I encountered later, was a real revelation in the concise and witty nature of her narrative. Because I'm interested in history, I enjoy reading writers from the past whose work seems to bring the times they lived through to life.
Do you regard yourself as a romance writer?
When I first began to publish my writing I struggled to categorise my longer contemporary fiction. My shorter works are historical romances but my fuller-length fiction has strong elements of social comedy and is, perhaps, better-described as women's fiction than romance. What is great about romance readers is that they are very forthcoming with feedback on what they read, which is invaluable to a writer, so I'm very happy to embrace the romance label in order to reap the benefits of having responsive readers!
What are your writing ambitions?
My fuller-length writing is dialogue-rich so I'm interested in exploring adapting it to dramatic media, e.g. stage and audio. Since my most successful books have been my short historical romances, I'd like to write a full-length novel in this genre. However, this is something that has eluded me so far!
Published 2013-12-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Laird's Right-Hand Lady
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 40,770. Language: English. Published: January 24, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
(4.00 from 1 review)
Jess is Cameron’s newly-appointed PA. Instantly attracted to Cameron, Jess begins to suspect that her feelings are reciprocated. But Cameron’s father is determined that his son should make a match fit for a Laird. Will Cameron live up to his father’s expectations or follow his heart? "Who doesn't love a Scottish castle and a handsome Laird-in-waiting?" (Review, Goodreads).
The Fight for Dolores
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,900. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When Cal McCoy, American heir to a business empire, shows an interest in buying West Lough Lodge in rural Ireland, his real estate agent, Maggie O’Reilly, does her best to put him off. She has good reason to prevent the sale and can’t abide Cal. He is determined to get his palatial, lakeside residence but, before long, the pursuit of Maggie becomes his main goal. "A sweet, cute, short story."
Miss Millie's Groom
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 41,480. Language: English. Published: March 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
It is the summer of 1914 and Britain teeters on the brink of war. Society girl, Millicent Awbridge, is oblivious to the impending conflict and preoccupied with the recent shooting of her horse. When she confronts the culprit, Ryan O'Flynn, a groom in her father's service, Millie finds romance rather than hostility. But can she and Ryan ever be truly united? "Great read," (5 star review, Feb '17).
Collected Romances
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 62,480. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
Seven of Catherine E. Chapman's short historical romances collected in one volume, to give you an overall novel-length read. Stories ranging in time and tone from the subtle wartime tale, 'The Hangar Dance,' to the darkly sensual, 'Danburgh Castle,' set in Norman Britain. "These are good stories ... I enjoyed them all," (5 star review, Feb. 2015, Goodreads).
High Sea
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,320. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Samantha, a seamstress, stows away on a ship bound for Australia, disguised as a boy. Discovered by the ship's doctor, she becomes his assistant but rapidly finds that her growing feelings for Doctor John mean that her disguise is a hindrance, rather than a help. When the feisty Estelle McEwan enters the scene, things become even more complicated for Sam. "A very good story," (5-star review).
The Office Party
Price: Free! Words: 2,230. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
In the run up to their Christmas works' party, Maria's colleague, Clair, has her eye on the new guy, Alex. But it's Maria herself who finds she's the object of unexpected attention. A short story for Christmas.
The Family Tree
Price: Free! Words: 2,360. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
When Jack finds a wooden box in his grandma's attic, a family secret is unearthed and his grandma faces a dilemma: should she keep it in the family or keep it to herself? A short story. "I Will read anything Catherine E. Chapman writes; she just has a way about her."
Three Medieval Romances: Braggot Park, Danburgh Castle & Rhiannon
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 27,090. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
A collection of three sensual romances, set in the Medieval and Elizabethan eras. 'The plot was tight and kept me engaged; good characterisation meant I truly cared about what was happening,' (4-star review, Danburgh Castle). 'Very well-written and fast-paced,' (4-star review, Braggot Park). 'A bed-time story for grown-up girls,' (4-star review, Rhiannon). 'Enjoyable short reads; talented author.'
Braggot Park
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,550. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Gothic
(4.00 from 1 review)
Eliza, lady-in-waiting to Lady Jane, is sent to work in the household of the noblewoman's brother-in-law, Sir Richard. Upon arrival at Braggot Park, Eliza encounters his son, Lorenzo, and swiftly falls under his spell. But all is not as it seems at Braggot Park; Eliza faces a dilemma: should she tell Sir Richard the truth? A short, sensual Elizabethan romance. "Very well-written and fast-paced."
Opening Night
Price: Free! Words: 1,890. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Romance » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Lisa is invited to the opening night of the local am-dram production by her friend, Maddie. There she encounters Jason, an old flame, but she's daunted by the glamorous young woman on his arm. Just who is Alice? "This short story can be savoured slowly, like sipping the perfect cup of tea!" (4 star review, Barnes & Noble, Jan '14).
Clifton
Price: $1.49 USD. Words: 30,790. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » General
Michelle, involuntarily single thirty-something, is living beyond her means but desperate to retain the flat and urbane lifestyle she enjoys in the sought-after suburb of Clifton. When she meets Lawrence, successful businessman, she thinks her prayers may have been answered. A darkly comic novella about two love affairs played out against a backdrop of aspiration and ambition.
All The Trimmings
Price: Free! Words: 1,400. Language: English. Published: October 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
A short story for Christmas. Issy is nervous about introducing her new boyfriend to her family on Christmas Day.
Three Romances: Brizecombe Hall, Kitty & The Hangar Dance
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 25,830. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
(4.00 from 1 review)
Collection of three historical romances that are short & sweet: "5 stars; perfect for a quick romance fix!" Brizecombe Hall - set in Victorian England, 'A young woman must value, above all else, her virtue.' Kitty - "Captured the spirit of our well-loved Regency romances far better than some lengthier works." The Hangar Dance - set during World War II, "A story about love, innocence and loss."
Kitty
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,920. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Historical
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Kitty Lewis travels with her younger sister to join their family for the season in Bath. With time, her plan to keep her head firmly fixed in a book and avoid all the nonsense going on about her goes gradually awry. "Captured the spirit of our well-loved Regency romances far better than some lengthier works." "I recommend it to all who need a small diversion from life," (4-star review).
The Hangar Dance
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,030. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
Sylvie is a girl who longs to be a woman. When she is invited to a dance at the local airfield, where a US squadron is based, she knows she has to go, even if it means lying to her parents. Upon meeting Jack, a young American airman, life becomes even more complicated. A short World War II romance, set in rural England. "Sweet story about love, innocence and loss," (Review, May 2013).
Danburgh Castle
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,140. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Gothic
Lord Robert, Norman ruler of a region of England, spares the life of Emma, the widow of an Anglo-Saxon rebel. When his wife dies in childbirth he asks Emma to become nurse to his son at Danburgh Castle. But not everybody welcomes Emma's arrival at the stone keep. Lady Fiona, Lord Robert's fiancée, is suspicious of the nurse. A sensual Medieval romance. "A good quick read," Goodreads, Aug '12.
The Ramblers
Price: Free! Words: 2,880. Language: English. Published: July 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
(3.60 from 5 reviews)
Two friends, Sandy and Angela, join a rambling group in the hope of finding love. The girls are unused to walking and ill-equipped for their expedition. Early in the walk Angela hurts her ankle but she refuses to give up. Events that follow challenge both girls' first impressions of their fellow ramblers. "A really cute, well-written short story," (5 Star Review, Barnes & Noble, Aug. 2012).
Rhiannon
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,160. Language: English. Published: April 24, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Gothic
(4.00 from 1 review)
Rhiannon, a Welsh farmer’s daughter, is smuggled into a walled English garrison town. Harboured by a merchant and his son, her happiness is shattered when her presence in their home is discovered. Taken to the castle, Rhiannon’s fate lies in the hands of Lord Edward. Will he believe Rhiannon’s claim that all she wants is to be a lady? "A bed-time story for grown-up girls," (4-stars, Goodreads).
The Beacon Singer
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 119,740. Language: English. Published: December 5, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » General
(3.50 from 2 reviews)
Disillusioned jazz singer, Jane Lake, returns home to find herself at the centre of amorous intrigue. Embarking upon an emotional journey that brings chaos to her circle of friends, Jane teeters between personal jeopardy and a burgeoning self-knowledge that might just permit the prospect of love... "I loved this book ... Many LOL moments. A very satisfying read," (Review, March 2013).
Brizecombe Hall
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 8,560. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Regency
(4.57 from 7 reviews)
‘A young woman must value, above all else, her virtue.’ Ann Rhys, daughter of a minister, is employed by Charles Brindley, the widowed Master of Brizecombe Hall, as governess to his two children. Her initial feelings of apprehension regarding her employer are rapidly surpassed by other emotions that are new to Ann. "I love when true love overcomes social standing," 5-star review.
Elizabeth Clansham
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,460. Language: English. Published: June 20, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » General
(3.80 from 5 reviews)
Elizabeth, reluctant teacher and aspiring author, retreats to a croft house in the Scottish Highlands to write a novel and avoid real life. Real love, however, proves harder to elude. Andrew maintains it’s the things you don’t do in life that you regret but is it ever too late for love to blossom? "A finely-crafted tale of social interactions, love and finding yourself," Review, Sept 2011.