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Interview With Catalina Dubois: Book of Matthew II

Reading is a series of human emotions. Writing is the gift of sharing these emotions.


1. What is the first thing you prepare for before starting a new book?

Research because I write historical tales. No fiction book will be perfectly historically accurate, but you should try to capture the heart of the era in which you write.

2. Book of Matthew II has mind-boggling backstories. How do you create such a dark past for the characters?

These are slave era novels, a period in history when dark and terrible things happened. I will never sacrifice historical accuracy for the sake of political correctness. There are too many antebellum and Civil War novels that romanticize slavery. That sickens and infuriates me to my core. I feel that the only way to truly honor these victims is to tell the truth about their experiences. In conducting my research, I read some truly awful experiences.

3. What are the historical references to this book if there’s any?

The biggest historical reference is the Andersonville Deathcamp. As Americans we teach and discuss the atrocities committed by other countries while we ignore, cover up, and lie about the atrocities we committed on our own people. Andersonville was a concentration camp that was running decades before the tragic events of the Holocaust, but if you make references to Fort Sumter, the average American won’t have a clue what took place there. I felt the victims deserved more respect. They deserved to be remembered.

4. For me, Book of Matthew II has a more complex storyline than the other Infinity books. Have you ever experienced a plot hole and had to re-write or fix that?

My Infinity books are censored and toned down for younger readers as well as older people who prefer not to read a lot of violence, foul language, and sexual content. The Book of Matthew stories are written for readers who loath censorship and value a more complex and well-rounded novel. Human beings are complicated and composed of many layers. We experience a rainbow of emotions. Whether it’s love, lust, anger, depression, or joy, some readers feel that it all belongs on the page, that the characters are more genuine and relatable that way. I write complex stories like Book of Matthew II, for readers who value that sort of thing. As for plot holes, if something doesn’t quiet line up, I’ll rewrite it as soon as I notice.

5. Would you agree with me that Book of Matthew II is the darkest and most intense book from the Infinity series? If yes/no, why?

I agree that it is the darkest Infinity book because I refused to shy away from the ugliness of the war and I refused to romanticize slavery. But, in my opinion, it’s not the darkest book I’ve ever written. My darkest book was Revelations.

6. Aside from Sarah and Matthew, which character do you think the readers will find very interesting in the Book of Matthew II?

Emanuel, because this book takes a closer look at some of his internal struggles and it humanizes him.

7. The way you wrote the erotic moments in this book is different from what I normally read in other romance novels because of its artistry.

The flow and phrasing are almost poetic. Did you take time and effort in writing them, or did they just flow naturally?

I treat my erotic scenes like any other scene and I don’t shy away from the descriptions or make them awkward. I describe them the same way I would talk about a waterfall or a sunset. It’s just another book scene to me.

8. How do you keep your creative juices flowing when you’re working on a new book?

I don’t look on social media nor read the news. That drama rots my brain and it’s hard to think of anything original. Instead, I draw pictures or listen to music that reminds me of the scene I’m trying to write. I recommend Epidemic Sound because they have original songs that aren’t mainstream. These tunes will only inspire thoughts of your book rather than mainstream songs that make you think of everything under the sun because you have heard them everywhere. I also travel to places with beautiful scenery which helps my descriptions. Most importantly, I’ve learned to walk away when I’m spent. If I got nothing left for the night, I leave the computer and rest.

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9. Who is your favorite character from the Book of Matthew II and why?

Montressor is very devious and calculating. I love a smart villain who is meticulous in his attacks and not easily apprehended.

10. Some authors write their stories based from their own experience even if the book is fiction.

Is there a personal reference in this book? If there is, would you mind sharing it?

The most personal reference was the scene where Sarah was being insulted by a nurse. The combative nurse felt that she should have the position even though she wasn’t qualified for it. I have an education and a career, but I am often underestimated due to my gender and the color of my skin. I lost count of how many times I’ve gone to the grocery store and been asked if I was paying with food stamps or WIC even though I make more money than the cashier who is insulting me. I was pregnant with my daughter when a woman leaned forward and spoke to me like I was a toddler with a mental disability, “Do you live with the baby daddy?” To which I replied, “I’ve had my HUSBAND for years longer than we’ve had this baby. Not that it’s any of your business.” The ironic part was that she considered herself a Christian and had the nerve to invite me to church after she’d just insulted me. I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but it wasn’t. Weeks later, I was eight months pregnant filling my shopping cart with baby items when a second idiot approaches me with anti-abortion literature and she says, “Jesus loves your baby even if the daddy doesn’t.” My response was, “This condescending, self-righteous, racism is the very reason people are leaving the church.” It’s infuriating to know that when I leave my house people don’t see a successful educated author who is happily married with a beautiful daughter. What they see is an impoverished, uneducated, single mother. That’s why I wrote that scene because even as a successful doctor, Sarah was looked upon as less.

11. What do you think is the most dominant emotion that readers would feel after reading this book?

I hope that they feel some sense of patriotism. A lot of people died for us to remain one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

12. Which of your books took the most time and effort in writing?

Book of Matthew took three long years to write because I grew up poor and attended crappy underfunded schools. I took a typing class in middle school with forty students and twenty computers. We were paired up at every computer pecking the keys with one finger. I hadn’t the slightest clue how to type by the end of that class, but I passed with an ‘A’. The same exact thing happened in high school. I passed another typing class without knowing how to type. Thank you, Flint schools for such a quality education! I was smart enough to know that I would fall behind everyone at college if I didn’t learn how to type. I begged the college advisors semester after semester to enroll me in a typing class, but they wouldn’t because my manuscript says I already passed typing twice. I refused to give up because I have faced challenges my entire life and met them with ferocious determination; this book would be just another seemingly impossible task that I triumph over. I handwrote the first draft of Book of Matthew, 90,000 words! Then I logged into the computer lab on campus to peck my manuscript one letter at a time. My husband, God bless him, purchased my first computer and taught me how to type. Without him I’d still be working on my first novel until the day I died.

13. How long did it take for you to write Book of Matthew II?

Six lovely months, a sharp contrast to the three years it took to write part one.

14. What were the challenges (if any) while writing Book of Matthew II?

As you said, it’s a very dark book and writing something of this nature can leave you feeling very drained and overwhelmed. It was an emotionally draining six months, but I’m happy with the results. My readers loved it and that makes it well worth the trouble.

15. Can we expect a Book of Matthew III in the near future?

Only if I can think of a creative idea that would be worthy of my readers.

16. Thank you for letting me have this interview with you! Please let your readers and future supporters know what to expect from Infinity: Book of Matthew II.

Matthew and Sarah are embroiled in another murder plot as America is ravaged by Civil War. Matthew is captured by a vindictive and brilliant enemy with a grudge against the Colburn family. The only way to survive is to relive a dark and painful past, discover the killer’s motivation, and beat him at his own murderous game. Strap in for an explosive ride in this much anticipated sequel.

Thank you so much for being an inspiration to readers and writers! Stay well and safe!

© 2022 Shey Saints

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