Interview: The Mistletoe Effect by Cate Ashwood

Although Christmas is his favorite time of year, all is not merry and bright for Danny Ellis. After being laid off and facing eviction, he’s eager to make a fresh start. When a friend mentions an opportunity in Sin City, he packs up and heads west. Unfortunately, plans run awry when his truck breaks down a little more than halfway there and he’s stranded in the cold with no money, nowhere to stay, and no way to get to Vegas.

‘Tis the season, but not for Merrick Holland, who loves being a part of the community in the small town of Rowley Bridge. Christmas has been a little tainted since his father died three years ago, and when people start to deck the halls, he withdraws. When Merrick finds a man asleep inside his bakery one morning, rather than call the police, Merrick makes him a cup of coffee, and after hearing his story offers him a job and a place to stay.

The two men strike up an unlikely friendship, but with Christmas only three weeks away, could a little holiday magic bring them together?

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Molly: What music, if any do you listen to when you write?
Cate: Before I had kids, I was a strictly silence-only writer. It was difficult for me to concentrate if there was any noise in the background, but since having a baby I’ve had to adapt. Now, more often than not, the music that plays is something like “Pup Pup Boogie” courtesy of Ryder and the Paw Patrol. Not the most ideal for getting into that romance mood, but if I waited for silence, I’d never get anything written!
Molly: Are you a full time writer, or part time writer?
Cate: Part time that feels like full time? I do have an EDJ, but the shifts I work are sporadic. Most of my time is spent wrangling my kid and I write a paragraph here or there when I can. Most days it feels like I’ve spent the entire day writing, when it’s probably only been a couple of hours broken up over the course of the day.
Molly: Do you hope to one day be a full time writer?
Cate: I would love to be a full time writer. Right now, with how little I actually work at the hospital, writing actually pays me more, so it’s not so much a financial thing as it is a time thing. I’m hoping (perhaps naively) that once the kids are in school, I’ll be able to fall into more of a writing routine that is closer to full time than it is now. That’s the dream, anyway.
Molly: Do you have a word count per day you try to hit?
Cate: For some reason 700 words is my magic number. If I can hit 700 words early in the day, I know I’m going to end up with a decent word count. It’s totally a stupid superstition thing. These days, 2,000-3,000 is a good number for me. The most I’ve written in one day was around 7,000.
Molly: When you finish writing a book, how long before you begin writing the next one?
Cate: I try to dive right into the next one every single time, and every single time it always takes me a few days. There’s a refractory period where my brain just does not function and if I sit down with the intention of writing, I’ll end up wasting a few hours messing around on the internet rather than doing anything productive. I probably should have learned by now that I need a few days off in between.

About Cate:
Cate discovered her love for books of all kinds early on, but romance is where her heart truly lies. She is addicted to the happily ever afters and the journey the characters take to get there. Currently residing in White Rock, B.C, Cate loves living just a stone’s throw from the ocean. When she’s not writing, she can be found consuming coffee at an alarming rate while wrangling her toddler, her husband, and their two cats.

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