‘Meet the Author’ with Catharine Bramkamp | TheUnion.com
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‘Meet the Author’ with Catharine Bramkamp

The Union staff

Local author and professor Catharine Bramkamp has released a new book called, “After I’m Buried Alive.” We snagged a few minutes of time with Bramkamp and asked her some questions about her latest book and her life.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a book coach, an adjunct professor for JFK University and Sierra College’s OLLI program focusing on writing and 19th century art and history, and an author. I’m a published poet, podcast producer (Newbie Writers Podcast) and arts advocate. I’m married to my original husband and we managed to launch our two grown sons off the living room couch and out into the world.

What brought you to this area?

I grew up in Nevada City and like so many, left for college, UCSB. My husband and I raised the boys in Sonoma County, then realized what we wanted next was to live in an interesting, creative town populated by interesting, creative people. Nevada City fit the bill and we are back!

How did you get into writing?

I’m one of those writers who have always written. On everything, on anything. The orange crayon did wash off the walls, that was relief. My two degrees are in English (UCSB) and Creative Writing (SSU). I’ve never not written!

What is your favorite book or who is your favorite author?

Virginia Woolf, Terry Pratchett, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Peters, and frankly whomever I’m currently reading.

What is your book about?

“After I’m Buried Alive” is a senior adventure about a second chance to make more bad choices.

As the only single woman in the family, Victoria Gardner was always expected to drop everything in her unconventional life to rush home and take care of conventional family emergencies.

But when her best friend and former lover mysteriously dies, all of Vic’s colorful, and some would say, regrettable past rushes in to claim her back. She must return to Venice, the city of her best and worst times.

Just short of sixty, is it still possible to experience love? Can she throw herself into a new adventure without throwing out her back? What if all her bad choices were the right ones all along?

What inspired you to write this book?

I teach four-day intensives workshops all over Northern California. Two years ago, in Tahoe, a client introduced herself as just finishing her family caregiving years and for the first time in her life, she could do what she wanted. That inspired me to imagine, what would a woman do once she was finally untethered by family obligations? Then my character Vic Gardner starting to talk to me and demand I tell her story.

What did you find most challenging about writing a book?

It’s an endless list. Clients have challenges starting, they have challenges dragging the plot through the middle of the narrative to achieve the big finish, which was written first, and after three weeks of work, doesn’t resonate. Writing the book is the fun, creative part of the process, what can be the most challenging is publication and promotion.

What is your key takeaway or message you hope readers find in your book?

It’s not too late for the grand adventure, we are not too old, no one is too old.

Where can people find your book?

Amazon of course, and I have a few copies at The Bookseller in Grass Valley. You can access all my books through http://www.Catharine-Bramkamp.com

Please describe what you’d consider your perfect day

Right now? Boarding a plane to Spain, sleeping in a strange bed, eating in a café, talking to strangers and touching everything with my bare hands. I would settle for a ride in the car with the windows down.


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