Cat Clarke, author of debut novel ENTANGLED, a stunning piece of contemporary young adult writing. Stay tuned to the end of the post to find out how you can get your hands on a copy of ENTANGLED. Look at it. You know you want it. By the end of the post you will want it even more.
(Why am I typing the book's title all in CAPS like that? Just because I want to. I think it looks cooler that way).
As long-term readers will know, I generally prefer fantasy and science fiction, or even historical novels. It takes something a bit special to lure me into reading contemporary.
In the case of Cat's book, I admit that I was first attracted by the gorgeous colours on the cover, and by the fact that Cat is an agency buddy of mine, represented by MSCLA. But once I picked ENTANGLED up I was utterly captivated. The story has it all - excellent writing, complex, knotty characterisation and an unexpected plot. I love it when authors can make me empathise with and understand characters who make terrible choices, and Grace, the POV character in ENTANGLED, is one such character (oh, boy, is she!).
Having established just how awesometastic Cat was as a writer, I followed her about on Twitter begging pathetically until she graciously agreed to do an interview. Actually, she was too nice to make me beg. But I totally would have.
ME: When writing Entangled, who or what was the core of the story for you, the element you loved the most or which was most important?
CAT: For me, the core of ENTANGLED is the idea that sometimes good people do bad things. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems and no one is ALL good or ALL bad. The characters are just people, muddling along, trying to make the best of their lives and making mistakes in the process.
ME: Oooh, good answer! Okay, next - you used to work for a major publisher. Do you think your editing skills and your experience of the publishing industry made it easier to become a writer, or are the skills completely different?
CAT: My job as an editor (now freelance) means I’m used to analyzing text, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, so that definitely helps. I’m able to edit my own writing up to a point, but I still need an editor just as much as every other writer out there.
Working in publishing meant that I had access to lots of good advice about how to get published. I knew which agents I wanted to approach and which publishers would be a good fit for my books. But at times I had too much information – there’s something to be said for blissful ignorance!
ME: What is your writing process like? (ie. Do you type straight onto a laptop or use pen and paper? Where do you normally work? Are you a planner or a pantser?)
CAT: Writing process? Hmm. *strokes chin in pondering manner* I don’t really have one! I write sporadically, despite my best intentions to become a Writing Machine this year. I type straight onto the computer – sometimes desktop, sometimes laptop. And I take a notebook everywhere I go. This is filled with random scribbles and questions like ‘What colour hair does Miss X have?’ and ‘Should Miss X die soon?’
I’m just about to move house so I’m planning my dream work space as we speak. The desk is going to be huge, facing a window. I’m going to get a whiteboard for all those ‘important things I absolutely must not forget’. And I think I might frame a poster of the ENTANGLED cover because it’s so purdy.
Oh, and I’m a pantser, through and through. Go, Team Pantser!
ME: Can you tell us something - any tiny little intriguing detail - about your next novel TORN, which we are all squeeingly eager to read?
CAT: There’s an upsetting scene in TORN that made me nauseous when I was writing it. I came perilously close to throwing up. Every time I read it, I can’t help thinking, ‘This came out of MY brain? REALLY?’
Also, there’s a yummy boy called Jack. He has scruffy hair and is in a band. That’s all you’re getting for now!
ME: If you had to pick a song to listen to right now, what would it be?
CAT: NA NA NA, by My Chemical Romance. In fact, I’m going to go listen to it right now! (N.B. If you choose to listen to this song (and I really think you should), make sure the volume is turned WAAAAY up.
Thanks for having me on your marvellous blog, Zoë!
Thank you for answering all my nosy questions, Cat!
I have in my hands a copy of ENTANGLED which I will send to one lucky reader. That reader will also win assorted pieces of mystery swag (Oooh! Aaaah!). In order to enter the giveaway you must:
1) Spread the word about this giveaway somewhere. Twitter, Facebook, your own blog - it doesn't matter where.
2) Leave a comment on this post with a link to wherever you talked about the giveaway.
If you decide that you want to spread the word in more than one place, that's great - make sure that you leave each link in a different comment on this post. Please don't leave comments unless you ARE entering, as this will muck up the random number generator's work.
The competition is open to everyone, everywhere, for for ONE WEEK. The winner will be picked at random next Wednesday. Good luck everyone!