I got to sit down with Mary Catherine Gebhard to talk classic skateboarding, hot bullies and her new release, Heartless Hero!
When did you realize or decide you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember! I have boxes in my attic of my earliest “novels”—which are basically just me rehashing my fave Nancy Drew novels, and replacing the main characters with Brad Pitt. The day I knew this was it for me, like, this is it, this is my dream, was in ninth grade. It just clicked. After that, I focused all my energy on writing and being a writer.
What has been your best experience as an author so far?
Oh wow, so many! I think getting deep into the book community, and meeting all the readers and authors and bloggers.
What sort of challenges have you faced as a writer? How did you overcome them?
Self-doubt, definitely. Pushing through the little voice in your head that says you’re not enough and what you’re doing isn’t good enough. I don’t think you can ever overcome that, and if you can…hey, let me know. For me, I just push through it, ignore it, and don’t let it stop me.
How do you research and plan your books? Do you find outlining helps or hinders your process?
It depends on the story, honesty. Sometimes a story needs to be plotted, and sometimes I have to pants the thing.
Have you learned anything really cool or interesting while researching your books? What’s been the weirdest research you’ve ever had to do?
I go big into research! With Beast, I read a ton about mafias and watched a lot of documentaries. With Skater Boy, I researched a lot about skateboarding in the sixties, seventies, and eighties, and punk houses, because Patchwork House is based on punk houses. I don’t know if I can narrow down one thing I learned that was really cool! I read about skaters stealing wood from wherever they could find it in their towns and using that to build their ramps and I thought that was funny, so I hinted at that in my story.
What advice would you give to new writers in the field?
ASK. FOR. HELP!!! I was so afraid to ask for help in the beginning, and it really hindered me.
Tell us a little about your writing nook! Favorite tea/coffee/writing snack?
I like to say my writing nook has a “six-year-old girl’s bedroom aesthetic” because there’s a lot of lace and sparkles and fairy lights. I always have some kind of tea!
Of all of your own characters, who would you most want to date?
Ohhh man. I want to date them all!!
What project are you currently working on?
The next book in the Crowne Point universe, so the one coming after Heartless Hero.
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About the Book!
Tell us a little about your new release: Heartless Hero!
Where did your inspiration for the book come from?
I had this idea for a bully deep in my heart. I love, love, love bully romances and mean boys in general, and I really wanted to explore the why of that. Why do I like mean boys, when you’re really not supposed to, right? Then the idea for a bodyguard who is a bully came to me—the antithesis of someone who should be a bully—and it all spiraled from there.
Did you outline the story, or dive right in?
I outlined it!
What was your favorite part of working on this story? What was the most challenging?
Both Theo and Abigail were so beautifully broken and as opposite as they were, their opposites somehow…matched. In a dark, perfect way. I loved writing that, but it was also so hard. I so much writing this story.
What’s next for this story – is it part of a series?
I’d like to write the other characters of Crowne Point. There’s so much depth, heartache, and love there waiting to be explored!
It’s part of series of standalones 🙂
When does it come out?
“I’m not like your other guards, Reject, you can’t scare me away. Your secrets are mine.” He took another step. “Your mind is mine.” My back bit into the wood. “Your body is mine. How else could I protect you?”
A moment passed forever, all too aware of his body pressed into mine. I tried to control my face, not let on how unnerved I was. Protect me? More like destroy me.
I gave myself away with a hard swallow, and Theo stepped back, a cruel smirk on his lips.
“Get dressed,” he said.
“So you can make mom hate me even more? No thanks. I’ll stay here.” Today was one of my most favorite days in the entire world, but if Theo wanted me dressed, instinct said I should do the opposite.
A cruel smile passed his lips. “Scared?”
“No. I’m just not in the habit of listening to my bodyguards.”
“Get dressed, or I’ll dress you.”
A ripple of excitement raced up my spine, one I quickly disregarded as shock. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Want to test me, Reject?”