Stories that Matter

Dear Reader, Who Are You?

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You all know I’m a writer. I’ve struggled. I’ve had victories and disappointments, but like any other job, I continue to strive toward the best. People teach. I learn. I read. I experiment. I grow. You may also know, perhaps from firsthand experience, how extremely difficult this gig is. But I tell you what, I happen to think it’s worth it.

During my agency retreat in Monterey last week, we talked a lot about platform and marketing and the book industry. We were asked, as authors, to identify our ideal reader. Who do we see when we picture someone sitting down with one of our books? The answer came to me easier than I expected it would.

I see me.

Catherine West

That’s right. Someone like me is my ideal reader. I’m a 49 year old mother of two, married, and I work from home. I’m passionate about my writing and my family, and my dog.

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I love beautiful things. China tea cups, copper pots, old books. Roses, sunflowers and lavender. And orchids.

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I adore sunsets and I take lots and lots of pictures of them!

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I’m crazy about my family and I love to talk about my kids and all their fabulous accomplishments.

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I’m madly in love with my husband. We’ve been married 28 years, and I can’t imagine living life with anyone else. While I probably drive him a little looloo, I know he’s always there for me, even on the crazy days. I believe in the sanctity of marriage and I know he does too. We know it’s hard work. But we know it’s worth it to do everything we can to make it work. It’s a God-ordained thing and you just don’t mess with that.

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I’m a little sarcastic. I have a wickedly dry sense of humor. Some people don’t ‘get me’. It’s a refined talent and I work hard to preserve it.

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But hey, at least I’m honest. I’m far from perfect and I’ll be the first to admit it.

I spend a lot of time on social media. If you need to reach me, send me a Facebook message. 🙂 Nope, not even kidding. I have a cell phone but I rarely use it. And I can’t text to save my life.

I love Jesus but I don’t always like the church. And I don’t like a lot of Christians and what they preach. I love my friends. Mainly because I know they love me back, which makes them just as crazy as I am. I am loyal. To a fault. I hate grocery shopping and I hate to cook, but I do enjoy eating out. I suck at math. Like, seriously. I’m phobic around numbers.
I read. A lot. I love to read romances and family sagas, and I read widely, general fiction and Christian fiction. And I don’t always enjoy Christian fiction. I know I’m not alone in this and I think it’s okay to say it. But I’m passionate about the industry in general, and very hopeful for its future.

My ideal reader? You think like I do. You don’t always agree with everything going on around you and you’re not afraid to say so. You’re staring down the road at the rest of your life and maybe wondering what comes next. Sometimes you admit to yourself, often in the middle of the night when you can’t get back to sleep, that you’re a little afraid of getting older. But you appreciate the life you’ve lived, and you don’t dwell on your regrets because who needs that kind of crap? You see opportunity ahead and while you may be a little cautious some days when you don’t know which way the wind’s blowing, you’ve learned to suck it up and pull on the big girl pants.

You are a warrior with a winning smile. You may not want to change the world, but you won’t let it change you. You’re okay with the life you’ve been given, but sometimes you struggle and sometimes you don’t think that anybody listens or understands. And wouldn’t it be nice to open a book that told it straight up?

I get that.

So, dear reader, I get you. And I think you get me. I know you’re out there. I know you’re waiting for the kind of books I write. You’re as excited about this journey as I am. And I can’t wait to connect with you.

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So what are we waiting for? I’d love to hear from you.

Tell me, if you’d care to share, who are you?

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5 Comments

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser on November 5, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Who am I? Nothing special. I’ve just learned, through losing almost everything that I thought defined me, that our ability to be compassionate is the one thing that can’t be taken away.

    Everything else is pretty well lost in the fog. But it doesn’t matter, and it never did.

    I write for the person who sometimes needs a reason to believe, a call to look up. I write for the woman who’s tired of “just say Jesus!” when her child is dying, and for the man who is afraid to cry over the end of a friendship.

    I write to provide a bridge between religion and transcendence.

    • Cathy West on November 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      That’s awesome, Andrew! So many out there need your words.

  2. Ann Ellison on November 5, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Who am I? I am a senior adult who believes age is only a number. I was left a widow a lot younger than I would like to have been but life is still worth living I have a full and active live and believe in enjoying each day to the fullest. I love my daughters, my sons-in-law, my grandchildren, my siblings and my cats. I am blessed with my job in my church office and to me it is more than just a job – it’s a chance to be a blessing. I enjoyed your blog. I loved Yesterday’s Tomorrows and look forward to reading more from you.

    • Cathy West on November 5, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Ann, thanks for stopping by today! It sounds as though you have a wonderfully full life!

  3. Janie on November 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Who am I? I am a book lover-I’m kinda picky when it comes to reading which kind of book, and what kind of book. I am 65yrs. old, but don’t feel it or think it. I have a few medical issues, but I don’t let them keep me away from the things I love to do- travel, crafting, reading, and reading! I love dogs, but have not had one since my C.C.dog passed away 9yrs.ago.
    I get you, I feel as if I connect with you, in the many ways you write things, which is hard for me to express in words. Perhaps that is why I like the way you write, and your books I’ve read. I just finished reading Hidden Heart- I loved it! I gave it 5 stars, and would have given it more, if there were. Please write some more books!

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