Cathy McIlvoy

Why I Started Writing:

I have enjoyed expressing myself in writing since I was a kid, so from a young age, I wrote. I kept a prayer journal, crafted stories, and was even enthusiastic about writing reports and answering essay questions on tests. As I got older and became a mom, I started writing stories and articles and submitting them for publication. When some were published, my passion for further developing my writing skills was fueled. As a result, the time I spent writing grew to where it is now—it’s my job! I write freelance (mostly ghostwriting) for a variety of clients in addition to creating my own works of fiction. 

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

I’m influenced on some level every time I read a good book, but the few authors that come to mind right away for fiction are Wendell Berry, Jan Karon, Patti Callahan Henry, and Sean Dietrich. As for nonfiction books on writing, William Zinsser’s On Writing Well is a favorite and has been a helpful resource to me for years. 

Books I Have Written:

My historical fiction novel, LaDelle and Jubilant, is due to come out in the latter part of 2023 with Elk Lake Publishing! The story is set in Tuskegee, Alabama, in the 1930s. It features a fiery, no-nonsense widow who must have things her way (efficient and chaos-free), her troubled twelve-year-old nephew, and a captivating man and hero of mine from history—George Washington Carver. 

What I'm Working On Now:

I am currently writing a book about my grandfather’s birth mother. Elisabeth came to America from Germany in the late 1800s to start a new life in New York. In my book, her past unexpectedly collides with her great-niece in the 1950s when she reveals a long-kept secret, opening the door to forgiveness, healing, and fresh hope. 


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