Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Interview with Catherine Clark!
Catherine Clark is the author of many young adult titles, including The Alison Rules, Picture Perfect, and So Inn Love. Her latest release, Better Latte Then Never, is out today!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I can't pin it down exactly, but sometime in high school. Maybe earlier. I liked taking whatever given assignment there was, and doing something different with it. Sometimes I'd get credit and rave reviews; sometimes I'd get a C- and have to rewrite it.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about being a writer?
Favorite: making people laugh. That includes me.
Least favorite: the solitude. That's why I almost always have a part-time job at a bookstore.
What was your favorite school subject and why? Worst and why?
In school, I liked English, of course, but also French and German. And Math, until I got D's in Geometry. I hit the wall there and it was never the same.
Do you like to listen to music when you write? If yes, what kind?
Loud? No particular artist, but I do put favorite songs and new songs on my iPod to listen to, but I also like the radio. I like to have background noise, at coffee shops or on headphones - it helps when staring at the blank page in front of me, to take to pressure off what I'm trying to do. Sometimes certain books have certain songs associated with them, so those I'll play over and over.
Have you ever based a character on someone you knew in real life?
Yes, but often it's the "secondary" characters, who are based on people I run into and create characters around. Offhand comments they make that inspire a certain scene or interaction.
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
Wow. This reminds me of watching a quiz-bowl show on public TV last year. The host asked one high-school team this question and one boy said, "to fly." Then the guy next to him had the same question and got sort of flustered and said, "to fly. Also. But, uh, higher than him."
What is your favorite book?
That's such a hard question! I have many. Off the top of my head, I think of "Emma" by Jane Austen.
What is a day in your life typically like?
Cold. In winter, anyway. (As I write this it's March, and snowing.)
I get up around 6 and try to write for a while before our daughter wakes up. Then I spend time with her, then after she's off for the day, I write again, often going someplace so I can get more done, whereas at home there are so many distractions.
I love lunch.
Some days I go to work at the bookstore in the afternoon (the Red Balloon Bookshop, in Saint Paul) after my morning of writing; some days I spend answering emails and working on promoting my books, or talking to my editors or agent, things like that. Or, if I'm on a deadline, still writing!
What advice do you give to teens who want to be authors?
To write, whatever you can, whenever you can. To look for opportunities to do that. It takes a long time to find your style, your voice, so you need to practice, basically, like in any other profession. When you're ready (but not before), show your work to others, but only trusted friends who are also interested in writing, or teachers who will give you worthwhile feedback.
Is there anything you wanted to say that I haven't asked yet?
Write to me!
Thanks so much, Catherine!
How to Contact Catherine:
Her Blog. (She just started it a few weeks ago, so lets go visit!)
Her E-Mail Is: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to chat.
Also, check out The Story Siren's blog for a contest to win a signed copy of Frostbite by Richelle Mead!