Kathryn Cushman started her writing journey in 2003, and she has been blessing lives with a wonderful variety of fictional tales ever since. A Promise to Remember, Waiting for Daybreak and Leaving Yesterday are just some of her novels from the 2010s that readers have thoroughly enjoyed. This month, she released a new gem titled The Plans We Made with co-author Lauren Beccue. BTSCelebs was recently given the opportunity to virtually interview Kathryn and learn more about her and her latest heartwarming novel.
BTSCelebs: Who is Kathryn Cushman professionally?
Kathryn Cushman: I am someone who writes the kind of stories I want to read. While that mark continues to evolve, I always want a thought provoking story with characters that hang around for a while after you’ve finished reading.
Where do you gain the most inspiration for your impressive books?
Thank you for that adjective 🙂 The answer is–life. Watching people. Listening. My husband often says that the questions I ask show that I am ‘veering away from the facts, and looking for the story.’ He’s usually correct.
The Plans We Made seems to be a unique family story. Tell us about the birth of this particular novel.
My co-writer, Lauren Beccue, and I were friends, who occasionally met in coffee shops to write. We didn’t work on the same project, just sat quietly beside each other and tapped away on our laptops (she writes non-fiction as a rule). One day, she told me about an idea her husband had given her for a novel. It was a great idea! I was working on something else, but I told her she should definitely run with it. She began to toy with the idea of writing fiction. Several months later, she asked if I would be interested in co-writing it with her. I prayed about it, and was happy when the answer came back ‘yes’.
The characters in the story have drastically different lifestyles. Caroline Chapman is a career woman, while Linda Riley is a wife and mother. Which character do you identify with the most? What inspired the other character?
Linda is definitely more like me. Like Linda, I raised two children. Like Linda, one of my children got desperately sick as a teenager. Also, Linda is close to my age. Caroline was conceived and written by Lauren– who is quite a bit younger, and has a really fun and quirky voice. I liked the contrast of the two women.
What is one scene you wrote that didn’t make it in the final cut, but you secretly wish it did?
The original plan involved an epilogue that was CRAZY. I still love the idea, but it was out there. Everyone who’s ever read the book and found out what we wanted to do, has commented that we were wise to change it. (I can’t say what it was without giving away a big spoiler for the final book).
Tell us about an important time in your life where the plans you made didn’t go the way you wanted, but God worked it together for your good.
There have been a lot of them. I suppose one of the strongest was multiple years of infertility and miscarriages. It was excruciating. Still, I look back on that time as bittersweet, realizing some of the life lessons I could not have learned any other way than by going through those experiences.
From A Promise to Remember to Fading Starlight, which novel do you identify with the most? What do you want readers to take away from your writing?
Each of them has a little bit of me, but I’d say for right now, it’s Almost Amish, as I am currently in a period of intentionally keeping my life slower and simpler than it used to be. (Obviously, Covid has helped with that goal quite a bit!). And I hope readers leave each of my books with something to think about–no clear cut answers, no sermons preached, just a “real life” experience that makes them see things in a different way. I think a good illustration is the Titanic. We all knew it was a big boat, it sank, lots of people were killed. It was sad and awful. Then the movie happened, and suddenly it wasn’t just a sad story, it was real.
What can projects and/or activities readers anticipate from you next year?
I am currently working on an historical series set in tsarist Russia. It is my first time to explore historical writing, so it’s not moving as quickly as I’d like. Still, I’m hopeful for a Christmas novella in 2021, with a full book to follow in 2022.
Learn more about Kathryn Cushman by visiting her official website, KathrynCushman.com.
A Special Thanks to Kathryn Cushman for the interview and image.