Applause

~ Catherine gave a very interesting, informative and fun talk at a recent seminar of the Tuolumne County Genealogy Society.  Catherine is a gifted speaker and we had many great comment from those attending. Pat Perry, President, Tuolumne County Genealogy Society (10-14-17)

~ I hope someone out there in Hollywood can see that your memoirs are perfect for a screenplay, either as a TV series like “The Waltons” or a movie! Jonathan Farrell

~ Catherine, when you started your Web Serial, I read the first entry and decided to wait a while before reading more. Today, with 1.6 ready to go, I finally jumped in. I wanted to have a decent chunk of writing to enjoy all at once. And enjoy I did! The specifics of your life and family are very different than my story, but the straightforward way you write somehow makes me connect to my own history with almost every sentence I read. That makes the reading somewhat slow, but decidedly delightful. It is truly a joy for me to experience. Your family story is intriguing, and I can’t wait for the rest of it!  Jeff Elliott

~ Catherine is a storyteller, an entrancer, a free spirit, a poet, and like a butterfly going from flower to flower. Her first book “Behind These Doors” When I first got it I was going look at it for a minute since I was watching the PGA golf tournament, but once I read the first few pages, I could not put it down. I’ve been reading “Queen Bee” a few stories each day and they entrance me. I hate to put it down but it is like good ice cream, you want to enjoy it and make it last. James Chatfield

~ Both books are wonderful. You are my hero.  Janene Luders

~ Handwritten card sent in care of Readers’ Books, from a Realtor I’ve not seen in 25 years:
Dear Cathy, You were always my favorite real estate LADY, now you are my favorite writer.
A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY. GOD LOVE YOU. Carl Borgeson, age 92

ursula-gardiner-feb-2106~ I took your Queen Bee to Houston with me and finished every word. Love all your family memories. Because I’ve known you for so many years, whenever you speak in your stories, I can hear your voice and I can picture your body language, which brought the stories to life. Two of your stories touched me deeply, “Sam: A Dog Story,” and “Elegy to My Father.” I too am not an animal person, but Sam brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. Ursula Gardiner

~ I am re reading Queen Bee and finding so much wisdom, then downright hilarity, then “a Lesson” …. what could be better ??? Thank you Sistah. Joanie Bourg

~ I love your posts so much. They remind me of who I am and what’s important. I hope you know the impact your writing has had on people, most importantly this family. You remind me so much of your dad, and I’m so grateful for you. He was such a guiding influence, and now you have taken the roll he always would have wanted you too. Love you lots. From my niece,  Jennifer Rhode Braun

Leo SN~ My mind skips, and your writing skips right along with it. It’s like reading on skates! You are funny and fast and I found myself careening through story after story—ah those one-liners you are famous for! This is just plain fun stuff, I am still in the process of the pleasure of this good read (fun, engaging, entertaining) and I am grateful and delighted that I can just pick it up, open a page and start reading—and get a wonderful thought perfect for shifting the climate in my chaotic mind. You rock, m’dear… and were aptly born a Leo. Long write the Queen. Love You and THANK YOU, what a wonderful gift!!!!” PJ Tyler (my friend and astrologer extraordinaire)

~ My sister Kim and my aunt Judi gave me your books, Queen Bee and Behind These Doors, for my 58th birthday. I loved them! The older I get the more appreciation I have for the closeness that I feel on my mother’s side of the family—and my father’s for that matter—given the fact that, as you point out, we (the extended clan) have issues about relationship. We have an inclination to cut people out that we have issues with. The cutoff relationships and alienation are not surprising given our story—it’s the love and closeness that survives that is remarkable! Your labor of love has helped me look at the cup being half full rather than half empty. Isn’t it amazing how the familial patterns and inclinations that you describe get transfused throughout the extended family—constellations that don’t even know each other! That realization is only one gift to all of us from your writing —along with such a poignant sharing of your personal impressions and historical recollections. I loved your sense of humor and honesty. It is obvious that you combed over the essence of what you wanted to say many times and the final product produced a complex emotional and intellectual experience for me. I wanted to keep reading beyond my MUNI ride or lunch break—both books were wonderful page turners. Todd Mangini

~ (Amazon.com review) Catherine Clemens Sevenau’s Queen Bee
I was reminded of the work of Mark Twain when I picked up this work by Catherine Clemens (ah, she shares his name) Sevenau for two reasons: the episodic nature of the writing and the laugh out loud humor one finds scattered throughout the book. But there is much more to it than those aspects: there is passion, insight, philosophy, history, and heart-wrenching honesty. Sevenau bares her soul in this work, revealing a person who has come to terms with what life had done for her and not done to her. Each of the lessons she learned through a long engagement with the troubles of life led her to this point—to share what we all have experienced in the troubled nature of family. No family goes unscathed by trouble—it is the nature of family, the nature of life itself. Sevenau captures this beautifully in very fine, readable prose that jumps out at you when you read it. The themes of her book are universal: love, compassion, learning, regret, and sorrow—the list reads like a Faulknerian novel. The depth of loss in her life also struck me, almost Poe-like. It is no wonder she has a fascination with the dead. The death of friends and family by several means becomes a major elevator of her consciousness—something she reveals to us in bulb flash moments of writing that rivals the best of essayists. I highly recommend the read.  Richard Sinay

Queen Bee Mandala by Sarah Niebank

Queen Bee Mandala by Sarah Niebank

~ The collection of writings in Queen Bee are uplifting, lighthearted, and deep with wisdom gained only thru living life to its fullest… no matter how it unfolds.  Sarah Niebank

~ Happy Earth Day! (April 22, 2016) I chose Catherine Sevenau’s book cover “Queen Bee” because we all need to read a good book and bees are so important to our Earth. Make good for Mother Earth!  Judy Mikeska

~ Dear Catherine: I had some quiet “me” time to read Behind These Doors. It was wonderful! I loved it and felt very connected to it all, and I don’t think that’s just because we’re related. You are an exceptional story teller and writer. When I read what your life was like as a child, I’m amazed at the woman you’ve become. I can tell by your writing that it didn’t just “happen”—that you’ve worked very hard and had some wonderful and not so wonderful experiences growing up and as an adult. You are an exceptional woman and it comes thru in your writing. I am proud to know you and can’t wait to read Queen Bee.  Love,  Judi O’Brien

~ Loving the stories of your childhood in Behind These Doors. Sharing the sadness and poignancy of your childhood angst with your indomitable strength and humor, you have bared your soul for all to see. Thanks for sharing and showing us that being human is OK.  Jeanne C. Neal

~ What a sweet read! A natural storyteller, Sevenau’s rich blend of seemingly effortless humor and searing insight will drive your blues away one moment, suck your breath away the next, and touch your heart the whole time. Whether you know a Queen Bee, or are one yourself, once you’ve sampled this special nectar you’ll be sure to go back for more.  Ed Davis, author of Road Stories and In All Things

PhotoFunia~ Maybe at some point, Broadway or Hollywood might be calling you. If they do, no doubt there will be an appreciative audience there to enjoy the experience with you. It’s fun and uplifting to see your writing reach out to so many people and the impact it makes on their lives. That’s a very special gift you have.  Jonathan Farrell, journalist for Digital Journal

~ Catherine, I can’t always find the words to convey how deeply felt many of your posts are to me. They just enrich my spirit and validate me somehow that other things I have read do not.  Linda Troolin

~ Within the first few minutes of reading Behind These Doors, I had smiled, frowned, was surprised and complimented Catherine verbally to my empty room. Her wit, sly phrasing of emotions and portrayal of situations happily kept me on my toes.  Laura Szykowny

~ Catherine, I just read your  letter to your Dad. Your ability to express yourself amazes me. I never thought I had missed out on anything by not having any relationship with my father, and since I didn’t, and I still don’t, your letter shows me another side of what maybe could have been… who knows? I’d hate to miss out on these memory jolting posts. You’re the best, my friend.  David Patrick

10325713_10201906890234060_6384395466863344107_n~  My friend Catherine Sevenau hosted what I thought was the best book launch gathering ever. It wasn’t just because I had the honor of introducing her, that was fun, it was because Catherine, (a graceful dancer) choreographed an evening that included all the right stuff. She spoke from her heart, fearlessly. She invited her handsome grandson to stand by her at the mic and read portions of the text from her family memoir, “Behind These Doors.” She acknowledged the many circles of friends and family and peers who are a part of her life and contributed to the project. And she was funny. We love to hear someone tell us heartfelt, true, soul full stories, it is a precious offering in today’s cyber/techno media mash up. <3 to Catherine for her courage and perseverance in completing “Behind These Doors.” Lin Marie DeVincent

~ Catherine Sevenau’s work projects a feeling of directness and honesty to it that carries the narrative beautifully. She tells a woman’s tale, and she tells it well… highly recommended!  Joan R. Brady

~ If you read only the poem, titled ‘Teller of Tales,’ it is worth buying the book. However, read the book and you may not need your therapist anymore. It could be called a well-written guide to thriving sanely in a seemingly insane world!  Bill Swindle

~ I absolutely loved “Behind These Doors!” As always, I enjoy your subtle sense of humor and wisdom glimpses into our human nature. I gave it to my mom to read, not only because she knows you, but she also had quite a mother whose love she hoped to win till the day my grandma died. Thank you for writing this book, and I look forward to your next one!  Barbara Mitchell

PhotoFunia rave reviews~ I thoroughly enjoyed reading the stories in Behind These Doors and found them simultaneously witty and moving. Your writing is funny, compassionate, and very, very honest—a rare and wonderful combination.  Alison Tinsley,  co-author of “Meditation: If You’re Doing It, You’re Doing It Right.”

~ The book is about my great-grandparents, grandparents, and my mom and her siblings. Catherine has a great writing style that’s very wry and so funny! Deborah Albertson (my niece)

~ When you read at the library last week I realized how courageous you are as a writer and friend. Your book contributes to the path of knowing ourselves through the stories of our families. Your humor and determination show in your writing and help us connect to our hearts! Congratulations! Love,  Daphne Matthews

~ Catherine, Happy New Year to you. I thought you might be pleased to hear that your book was Readers’ Books bestselling book of 2014: we sold 143 copies! Not too shabby. Andy Weinberger, owner of Readers’ Books, Sonoma

~ I just finished your book. I heard your voice in every page. You are amazing. I loved it.  Nancy Johnson

~ These are brave and tender stories of the cracks that lie in our own hearts and our families of origin. Sevenau dares to peek behind closed doors to reveal the wild truths of what happens in families and, in this case, her own childhood. Her details are vivid enough to invite us there. The hopes, the sorrows, the puzzling truths are told with her determination to make some sense of it all and amply served up with her robust humor and wit. Her voice rings clear and carries us. Sevenau’s writing style is totally compelling and she includes snapshots of that era. She reminds me of my own trail of moments growing up and the photos with our clothes and hair styles that complete the picture of those times. You’ll land in your heart. You can’t help it. Carole Peccorini, blogger of Conversations That Matter

~ What a roller coaster ride THAT was! Just as I caught my breath on one family turn, the train dropped out beneath me and I had to hang on tight for the next one. By the end, I could feel my energies shaking from being whipped about. You have multiple page-turners of crazed, depraved and saved sinners… with nary a saint in sight. Oh, they’re there; but, as you note, they aren’t nearly as interesting to read about. Cindy Craig, in response to my blog piece, “Bless This Mess”

~ We have no say in the kind of hand we are dealt but we do have some say in how we play the cards. You do it beautifully and with grace, transforming your experiences into personal assets that not only contribute to the quality of your own life but to all with whom you come into contact, including me. I thank you for that!  LeRoy Chatfield, publisher of Syndic Literary Journal

~ “… neglect doesn’t leave a scar, it leaves a hole.” Catherine Sevenau knows of what she speaks, and in “Behind These Doors” she leads us through a childhood where she sometimes had to “… sneak a look in the mirror to see if I really existed.” More than a memoir, Sevenau’s book resonates because growing up is a solitary journey; a path we tread by ourselves through the only territory we know. Written with skill, tenderness and humor, Sevenau’s engrossing new book looks back, not in anger, but with understanding, and by example invites us to do the same. Ed Davis author of Road Stories and In All Things

PhotoFunia-5d26106~ WOW!!!!!!!!!! Catherine, just finished reading Behind These Doors, couldn’t put it down, and it was AMAZING! I felt all the emotions reading it! Thank you for sharing it! Great job! People, if you have not picked one up, GO GET YOURS!!! And buy a few for your friends, every age from teen on up will love it and it is a quick read! Nicole Abate Ducarroz

~ I’m so impressed by Catherine’s honest look at a difficult childhood—shared with siblings whose love she writes into nearly every page—and the way she’s carried its lessons into a successful, happy life. She is strong, candid, insightful, vulnerable, and admirable. Any writer wanting to understand and write memoir, and any reader who loves delving into true tale-telling, should spend time with Behind These Doors. Sad, funny, inspiring, and poignant. Rebecca Lawton, author of Steelies and Other Endangered Species: Stories on Water and 2014 WILLA award-winning Junction, Utah.

~ Love what you write, how you write, why you write, and for sharing it my friend. Bob Rice

~ Your stories not only allow the reader to imagine a character’s surroundings, but glimpse their inner landscape as well, and you do so with such humor and compassion. You are a natural storyteller, and are really telling on yourself, which is why your writing is so compelling. David Gray, author of Synergy

Spectacular! I knew I liked you, but didn’t know I’m exactly like you. It’s not easy, but I wouldn’t be anyone else, and I wouldn’t want you to be anyone else either. Lisa Murray

Yikes– if this doesn’t say it all, it surely hits a nerve or two!  Barbara Wenner Conway

Your writing style is so compelling. It’s easy to read, I hear your voice, almost feel your “Catherine-ness.” I smile at the way you poke fun at our human condition. Your sense of humor is so delightful, particularly in your playful, gentle, loving use of sarcasm to highlight the quirky affliction of being human. It’s wrapped in love and I feel more accepting of myself and my own shortcomings as a result of reading your work.  Chell Atchley

I gave myself a Catherine fix last week, a writing festival of your work. I loved it. Your pieces lead your readers into wanting more. Especially enjoyed your piece on your mother. Lots of talent, and I thank you for sharing. Elaine (Conway) Selmier

Catherine, cheering for you and your brave, honest, funny and tender stories that have blessed us by showing the cracks in our hearts. Love, Carole Peccorini, blogger of Conversations That Matter

PhotoFuniaHeartfelt, touching, raw, honest, irreverent, and funny. Your stories are wonderful! Your personal journey, set around the backdrop of growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, makes me relate to those times and my own experiences.  Madeleine Wild, author of Radio Magic – How to Be a Voice Over Success

Your eulogy to your father made me cry. So honest and poignant, sweet and sorrowful… You are so talented. I wish I had the writing skill you posses to tell my own family stories. All I can say is WOW.  Linda Jane Troolin

So excited for you – and your readers!! I remember not being able to catch my breath I was laughing so hard when you would read some of your excerpts! Hooray for you! Tara Sullivan

Wow, so this is what you have been up to for the past several years. Nice work Catherine; we can’t wait to download your eBook. Best wishes! Your cousins, Terry and Peg McCarty, authors of The Chatfield Story: Civil War Letters and Diaries of Edward L. Chatfield of the 113th Illinois Volunteers

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