I am honoured and excited to be sharing something new with you all today….a Book Blog Stop with Author Chris Kuhn and her Debut novel “The Muse Unlocked“
I met this Author earlier in the year via Twitter and reviewed her book, The Muse Unlocked, back in August!
Chris is currently holding a “Holiday Book Blogger Tour” visiting numerous Blogs across the 5 Oceans…
Today I am interviewing the two lead characters from her book – Cate Mullen and Oliver Sand! Plus the talented Author has written a new and original poem inspired by her novel… as she knows how much we love Poetry!
(Picture created by PJ Bayliss)
DEB: Welcome 🙂 It’s so great to have this opportunity to get to know you a little s’more! Firstly may I just say how much I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and how inspiring your love tale is!
Cate & Oliver: Thanks, it’s great to be here!
DEB: Ok Cate your up first…
Q & A with Cate:
DEB: Cate, at the beginning of the story, you mention about being braver on FB than in real life! Why do you think that this is so?
CATE: I think the distance that’s usually between people on social media encourages you to be bolder, and I’ve been known to reserve my boldness for the characters I write about. *chuckles* For me, Facebook has been a place I can drop some of the pretense of everyday life and say what I really mean without standing there to see the reactions. Some people find that really attractive, a person being so blunt and honest. It can lead people to make strong connections because they feel like they’re based on truth more than some of their “real world” relationships.
DEB: You originally had a different actor in mind to play the role of Michael Bennington in the Movie “Madly” you’re working on in the story – could you name an actor to give us an idea of the type of character you were thinking about at that time?
CATE: Oh gosh, that’s not putting me on the spot now, is it? *laughs* I’d rather not say who I had in mind, because Oliver has more than made up for any of my expectations as a writer. When I wrote the part, I may not have envisioned someone so outwardly handsome and charismatic in the role but now I couldn’t see anyone else other than him play it.
DEB: <swoons> Yeah totally understand! What attracts you to Oliver the most?
CATE: Have you met him? *chuckles* Aside from the obvious, that he’s unfuc—, um, sorry – unbelievably sexy from head to toe, there’s this sweetness about him. He’s the most genuine person I’ve ever known, cares only about what’s happening with the person across from him and will do whatever it takes to help someone he cares about. I’ve heard that true gentlemen are hard to come by. Well, they’re not if Oliver’s standing in the room.
DEB: Lol ah yeah I hear you girl! Ok back to the interview… Why then in love relationships do you think some people are most vulnerable and internally blame themselves if it goes wrong?
CATE: I think, for many of us, it’s in our nature to apply blame internally when something doesn’t go as planned. I find it interesting that we’d never dream of taking the credit for it if it goes right and that’s the sheer irony of it all – if it truly is all about us as we seem to think it is, then why can’t we accept when some fantastic person wants to spend time with us? We see this is implausible but if a relationship goes sour, we have no problem with taking credit for being the cause of it. Chalk it off to human frailty and our natural inclination to shy away from embracing self-esteem or self-belief. We’re often taught it makes us vain or self-centered when it actually makes us strong and confident.
DEB: How would you describe yourself as a character in one of your screenplays?
CATE: Me? I’d be the bystander. If a scene took place in a restaurant, I’d be the woman sitting in the booth next to the characters listening in on the conversation. I am an observer, always have been. I think that’s why I’ve been able to take that and translate my tendency to hang back and watch and listen into scripts. I’d rather present that scene than be a part of it. I’ve been like that my whole life.
DEB: Have you experienced a major turning point in your life? If so what was it?
CATE: Professionally, it had to be meeting up with B.T., Benjamin Tuttler, our executive producer on Madly. As you probably know, he and I have been working together for many years now, first in television and then eventually film. I wouldn’t have been fortunate enough to experience any of the success that I have without B.T. entering my life. I owe a lot to him. And I’m excited that we have a new project we’ll be working on next together, this time abroad. Personally speaking, I would say that getting to meet Oliver and working on this current film have also been quite pivotal for me in my life. I’ve gotten a chance to get to know myself better and connect again creatively so I could begin writing my next book, so that feels more invigorating than any box office figures or award I could win.
DEB: What’s your pet peeve? What do you love most?
CATE: My pet peeve? I’m not a huge fan of delays on the movie set. I like to keep things moving along there. I’m not crazy about smoking. I’ve seen what it can do to people. What do I love? Oh, so much – gazing up at the stars, strolling through an art museum, sinking into the tub with a tasty glass of wine and a book that’s just as delicious.
DEB: Do you have a motivation in life?
CATE: I used to set all kinds of goals in my life and I’d achieve them, but I’d find myself still searching for happiness. I was with someone else at the time who was very helpful in keeping me focused and driven to pursue my career goals, and at the time it was what I needed. But now, my greatest motivation is I just want to be happy. And I don’t care what I’m doing. If I’m with the right people, the right friends and loved ones, that’s all that really matters to me. I know it probably sounds simplistic, but that’s really how I feel.
DEB: Okay, name five items in your purse, briefcase, or pockets.
CATE: Let’s see. *starts foraging through handbag* Pens, always some of them in there, and a notepad. You never know where or when your next idea will arrive. Lipstick. My wallet. Duh. Oh, and my Kindle. I never travel anywhere without bringing with me my little portable library. Sometimes on movie sets, we’ll have long delays and I enjoy sneaking away to a few favorite hiding spots to catch up on some reading if I don’t have other plans or people to see.
DEB: Lol it’s amazing what we carry in there! Ok, What are the last three books you read?
CATE: I recently finished reading a historical romance for which I’m currently adapting the screenplay, and that should be a very exciting project to tackle next summer. I also just finished this fascinating biography on Jim Henson. I did grow up on “Sesame Street” and “The Muppet Show.” Before that, I finished this book called The Controversy of Renaissance Art by Alexander Nagel. Really intriguing stuff.
DEB: Oh haven’t heard of them, cool! How do you envision your future?
CATE: Wow, Deb. That’s a really tough question. I stopped looking ahead to the future a long time ago. Now I take things day to day. Oliver’s taught me that. I find that I’m much happier living in the moment instead of planning everything. It’s a big departure from the way I used to live but I guess as we get older, we start to make some sense out of things. A little bit. *chuckles* I see a future that is full of possibilities, new places to visit and things to see. I’m going to keep an open mind.
DEB: Ok thanks Cate see you later, can you send Oliver in please!
Q & A with Oliver:
DEB: Ok Oliver, What initially drew you to Cate? And when did you develop real feelings for her?
OLIVER: I’ve told Cate this but I fell in love with her the first time I read her words. It was her first book. I loved the way she used language. Felt every single sentence, you know? When I got the script from my agent and learned that it was written by THE Cate Mullen, I couldn’t wait to read it. Then I met her. I was struck by the way she carried herself, such a smart, beautiful, funny woman who didn’t seem to have a clue about how smart, beautiful and funny she was. When you’re surrounded by people all the time who are told all their life how beautiful and talented they are, it’s like walking through a pageant hallway 24/7. Cate was a breath of fresh air. So I guess I fell in love with Cate’s words long before I met her but once I did, it didn’t take long to realize this was an incredible woman in front of me and I wasn’t about to let her get away.
DEB: Early in the story you talk about feeling fake… why did those few changes you made as an actor bother you so much?
OLIVER: People might assume that actors love to be in the spotlight, and it’s not true at all. Not for all of us anyway. We find out when we’re younger that people react a certain way around us and that it can help us get things or gain certain access. But when you make changes to make other people happy because they tell you it’s smart business, you start to wonder who people are admiring when they tell you they love you and your work. Do they like you – the real you under that disguise – or the only one they know, the pretty face with those features that may or may not be who you really are?
DEB: Oh ok I see what you mean! Do you think the author portrayed you accurately? How would describe yourself? What’s your strengths and weaknesses?
OLIVER: How you met me in the book – that’s me. I don’t pretend to get everything right. Sometimes I might take a wrong step and think I’m helping someone out when I’m actually hurting someone else I care about. I don’t do it maliciously; I just don’t always think everything through. I know this about myself. I can be a bit…rash. Make decisions in the heat of the moment. Hell, all you have to do is look at the ink to figure that out. *laughs* So I guess that’s probably my biggest weakness but I try to be a good person. I like to give someone the benefit of the doubt and be friendly to anyone I meet. Life’s too short to be miserable all the time. I’m usually a pretty pleasant person to be around.
DEB: Hmmm Readers certainly think so! You’ve mentioned before that you’re a Patrick Swayze fan. What is your favourite movie that he starred in?
OLIVER: Definitely Ghost. That may surprise some people, that I didn’t pick more of an action flick like Red Dawn or Point Break but I’m a romantic at heart. Well, I think readers have probably picked up on that by now. *chuckles* I don’t think Patrick did any finer work than that film or that performance. He lets his vulnerable side show in Ghost and it pays off – for the actors, who all turn in very strong performances and for the viewers who get caught up in a really beautiful story.
DEB: Yeah mine too! Ok, What is your most prized possession? Why?
OLIVER: I love my Harley. It’s no secret. I like the freedom of being able to hop on and clear my thoughts, feel the breeze on my face and ride. And it’s even better when I can invite someone special to join me. And I really love my album collection. Cate has tried to move me to the digital age and so have other friends, but nothing will ever beat vinyl.
DEB: Lol I understand, I love both! The book mentions that your relationship with your mother is strained, why do you think that is?
OLIVER: *sighs* I don’t really want to talk about that. It’s not something I feel good discussing. We’re two people who have never seen eye to eye on a lot of things. I don’t go out of my way to keep us at a distance but we just lead separate lives and look at the world in very different ways. That’s all I feel like saying about that. Sorry.
DEB: That’s okay. I understand. If you had a free day and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
OLIVER: Anything with Cate. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing. We could just ride out to the beach and spend the day reading. Or head over to a park and walk around. She would make every minute worthwhile. What can I say? I’m hooked on that lady.
DEB: That’s truly wonderful! Ok, When you’re driving down the road, what music do you listen to?
OLIVER: This always surprises people but I like listening to soul and R&B. Al Green, Ray Charles, Otis Redding. But when I’m on my bike, I don’t listen to any music. I like hearing the wind near my helmet and the sound of my bike and my surroundings as I’m traveling.
DEB: What have you always wanted to do but haven’t done? Why?
OLIVER: I don’t have a long list or anything. Usually if I want to do something, I do it. But one thing I haven’t done that I want to try is Broadway. I did some live theater when I first moved out here to Los Angeles but every actor looks at Broadway as the big challenge, so someday…
DEB: Hmmm interesting! Do you have any fears and if so what are they?
OLIVER: Not really. I’m sure there’s something I haven’t faced yet that will test me and I’d answer that question differently then. I guess the only thing I’m afraid of is losing someone special, people that mean a lot to me, like my sister, my brother. And Cate.
DEB: Where do you see yourself in the future?
OLIVER: I don’t have a crystal ball or anything. *chuckles* I just follow where life takes me. I do want to try other parts of moviemaking, maybe behind the camera, too. But I don’t have any special plans in mind. I want to be spending time with the woman I love and doing something for a living that makes me happy. That’s it.
DEB: Cool….ok that’s it, let’s go find the others and have lunch!
A Poem inspired by “THE MUSE UNLOCKED” by AUTHOR Chris Kuhn
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A telling glance,
The brush of a hand,
So small a flirty gesture
Yet leaves a lasting brand
What was that moment,
The single word or move,
That pushed two strangers
To merge into one route?
When did a pair of eyes
Lining up across from mine
Launch a new compelling vision
And boldly reset time?
Where did we finally uncover
The truth behind the smile
To beckon each heart forward
And abandon myth or guile?
Both simple and complex
Romance is to deftly dissect.
Often ignored and rarely planned,
Love arrives when you least suspect.
So I thank you for flirting back,
First a stranger, now a friend.
How great is a returned advance,
Where lives can change, hearts can mend.
Thanks again gang for visiting us downunder it was a real honour and pleasure! Can’t wait to read the next Book “The Muse Unguarded“, which is to be released in the USA Summer of 2014!