Catherine "Cat" Larose, author of Any Color But Beige, launches her blog tour
We've all heard the saying "The straw that broke the camel's back." What's your straw? The event that would cause you to straighten up and say, "That is IT! I am going to change my entire life!"
For Catherine "Cat" Larose that straw was a Paris sunset full of amazing colors...in stark contrast to her usual life that was, well...colorless. Her memoir, Any Color But Beige: Living Life in Color, chronicles her journey from her colorful childhood to the predictability and security of a beige suburban marriage to the major life changes that she initiates in her quest to live life in color. Any Color But Beige is a tale of metamorphosis, international travel, and romance as exciting and enthralling as any novel.
With the New Year and its accompanying resolutions is right around the corner, Any Color But Beige is the ideal inspiration for readers who want to shake up their lives to celebrate 2012.
You can enjoy the book trailer for Any Color But Beige (also shown below) and a video of Cat wandering the colorful streets of her hometown and celebrating her book's release with friends.
Hardcover: 232 pages
Publisher: Friesen Press (August 2011)
Twitter Hashtag: #NoBeige
Any Color But Beige: Living Life in Color is available at Amazon in print or as an e-book for Kindle.
BOOK GIVEAWAY CONTEST: If you would like to win a copy of Any Color But Beige, please leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in a random drawing. The giveaway contests closes this Thursday, November 17 at 11:59 PM, PST. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #NoBeige, then come back and leave us a link to your tweet. We will announce the winner in the comments section of this post on the following day, Friday, November 18.
BOOK CLUB CONTEST: Cat is also sponsoring a Color-tastic Book Club Contest so you can share Any Color But Beige with your favorite book club! Visit any participating blog before Friday, December 16 and leave a comment on the Any Color But Beige Blog Tour post with the words "Book Club Contest" in the message. If you win, your book club will win 10 copies of Any Color But Beige, a virtual visit from Cat at your next book club meeting, and several other surprises. Don't miss this fabulous giveaway!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Catherine is one part hot blooded Latin and one part wild eyed Celt. She's the oldest of seven children raised in a large Irish/Italian family--Catholic, of course. But family and friends think of her as the gypsy. She's spent her life studying, living, and working all over the place. Cat is forever destined to wander. Blessing or curse? Grandma V. had her pegged long before she ever left her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio when she gave her red-headed Italian granddaughter this advice, "All you need is a place to hang your hat."
When she isn't writing, Cat sells color for a living. What does that mean? When you go to a home improvement store and choose a paint color, those little color chips are made by the company Cat works for. They produce color chips for the automotive industry, cosmetic industry, and of course your local Home Depot. It was while she was on a business trip to Paris that Cat decided to add a little color to her life.
Stay in touch with Cat at:
Cafe Girl Chronicles Blog: http://cafegirlchronicles.wordpress.com
---------Interview by Jodi Webb
WOW: Hi Cat! Welcome to The Muffin. Please tell us how Any Color But Beige began.
CAT: I was in Italy and I'd had my heart broken by a friend turned lover. Because we shared a space for a while post-breakup, I spent as much time as possible in a cafe. I began to write to clear my head and heal my heart. I initially ended up with a bittersweet essay entitled "Ain't No Such Thing as a Hollywood Ending." It was a bit negative but it reflected my mood at the time.
WOW: Well, we're all allowed a little negativity after a relationship. But what made you realize that "Ain't No Such Thing as a Hollywood Ending" wasn't just an essay, it was the beginning of a book?
CAT: That came about organically. I didn't set out to write a book. I showed my essay around and it seemed to resonate with the people who read it, both men and women--after all, heartbreak is universal. One friend asked if this was the beginning of a book. She planted a seed that took root but grew gradually. I got into the habit of writing and before I knew it I had 200 pages.
WOW: The habit of writing! I think that's something we all strive toward. How long did it take you to complete those 200 pages?
CAT: The first draft took five months and doesn't resemble the book at all. I wrote every night from 7:00 to 11:00 pm, I took some vacation days to have long writing weekends and I wrote when I traveled. Jet lag is a wonderful thing if you can make it work for you. I'd be wide awake in a hotel room in London at 2:00 am and so I would use the time to write. My day job is pretty demanding so I use every spare second.
I eased off a bit with the second draft, which took a year. My friends saw me a bit more often. I write to instrumental movie soundtracks--my favorite composer is the great Ennio Morricone. Any Color But Beige (much more positive title, don't you think?) was born while listening to Cinema Paradiso and The Mission.
WOW: Did you ever worry about how friends and family might be less than thrilled about their portrayal, and how did you deal with those worries?
CAT: Yes, but there's nothing I can do about it. I was careful to change identities and distinguishing characteristics as much as possible. Since it's my story I asked myself--"So what's the alternative?" and the answer was an even worse scenario, i.e. not telling my story. That was not an option.
WOW: While reading Any Color But Beige I was struck by how much your memoir reads like a novel. Did you consciously write it with that voice in mind?
CAT: No. I actually write like I speak. So many of my friends who know these stories paid me the compliment of saying, "I could hear your voice when I was reading the book." I have a great ear for dialogue. I believe in telling a good story not just a resume of names, dates, and events.
WOW: Did you feel you were influenced by any other writers, memoirists or novelists?
CAT: Yes, and it's a list a mile long: poets, playwrights, novelists, historians. I'm constantly writing down quotes, dog earing pages or going crazy with the highlighter. So many books, so little time; that's the problem with writing: it cuts into my reading time.
WOW: Do you have any advice for us?
CAT: I can't say this enough, if you're serious: Get an editor, Get an editor, and Get an editor. There are lots of good people out there. I have an amazing editor I'd be happy to recommend.
WOW: What are you working on now?
CAT: A book similar to Any Color But Beige: Living Life in Color but using other people's colorful stories.
WOW: We can't wait. Because if there's anything to be learned from your memoir it's that we can never have too much color in our life!
(Shown above) Any Color But Beige (Book Launch) from Marrone Video on Vimeo.
---------Blog Tour Dates
Tuesday, November 15 @ Empty Nest
Is it time to recreate yourself? Cat Larose tells how she began life with a fresh slate and gives away a copy of her memoir Any Color But Beige: Living Life with Color.
Wednesday, November 16 @ Musings from the Slushpile
Cat Larose is giving away tips on speaking or "Dear God, Please Don't Make Me Sound Stupid" as well as a copy of her memoir.
Thursday, November 17 @ Misadventures with Andi
Andi, who had misadventures all over the world, reviews Any Color But Beige--a memoir full of traveling. Return tomorrow for more fun!
Friday, November 18 @ Misadventures with Andi
Inspired by Cat Larose's globetrotting? Your next trip will be great if you follow Cat's recommendations for the five things everyone should have int heir suitcase. Also enter to win Any Color But Beige to read on your next trip!
Tuesday, November 22 @ Selling Books
Learn everything you wanted to know about Cat Larose, author of Any Color But Beige.
Wednesday, November 23 @ A Writer's Life
Learn from Cat Larose, a world-wide traveler, how to explore new destinations with Five Things to See or Do in a New Place. Cat is also giving away a copy of her memoir Any Color But Beige: Living Life with Color.
Tuesday, November 29 @ Mom-e-Centric
Meet color-guru Cat Larose in living color during her podcast plus enter to win her memoir Any Color But Beige.
Friday, December 2 @ Words by Webb
Don't miss the "5Ws with Cat Larose" mini-interview today as well as a review of her memoir Any Color But Beige.
Tuesday, December 6 @ CMash Loves to Read
Cat Larose, the Queen of Color, stops by with a quiz about how colorful your life is. Learn something about yourself and enter to win Cat's memoir about travel, romance, and yes--color!
Wednesday, December 7 @ Me and Reading
In the mood for a surprise? Stop by when Cat Larose guests posts at Me and Reading--a blog coming to us all the way from Estonia! Cat will also be giving away a copy of her memoir Any Color But Beige.
Thursday, December 8 @ Writer Inspired
Now we finally know why you haven't finished your novel! Your walls are the wrong color! Color-guru Cat Larose shares the ideal colors for your writing space and gives away a copy of her colorful memoir Any Color But Beige. Don't miss your chance to also enter her Color-tastic Contest for Book Clubs!
Friday, December 9 @ Kritter's Ramblings
Learn more about yourself and color with a fun quiz from color guru Cat Larose. You can also enter to win a copy of Cat's memoir about embracing a colorful life: Any Color But Beige.
Monday, December 12 @ From the TBR Pile
Are you brave enough to bare all? Your soul that is...to write memoir! Cat Larose writes about baring all and gives away a copy of her memoir Any Color But Beige.
Wednesday, December 14 @ Laurie Is Reading
Stop by to learn more about Cat Larose, the colorful author of Any Color But Beige. You can also win a copy of her memoir and be inspired to make your life more colorful!
Friday, December 16 @ For the Love of Reading
LAST CHANCE to win a copy of Cat Larose's memoir Any Color But Beige, the perfect book to give you a new attitude for a new year. Cat will also be sharing her ideas on why travel can help improve your writing skills.
BOOK GIVEAWAY CONTEST: Enter to win a copy of Any Color But Beige by Catherine Larose. Here's how you enter:
1. For your first entry, just leave a comment on this post! Leave a comment or ask Cat a question to be entered in the random drawing.
2. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #NoBeige, then come back and leave us a link to your tweet.
The giveaway contest closes this Thursday, November 17th, at 11:59 pm, PST. We will announce the winner in the comments section of this post the following day--Friday, November 18th, and if we have the winner's email address from the comments section, we will also notify the winner via email. Good luck!
PS. Remember, if you mention "Book Club Contest" in the comments section of any of the blog stops on this tour your book club will be entered in Cat's Color-tastic Book Club Contest and have a chance to win 10 copies of Any Color But Beige and a virtual appearance from Cat!