Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Interview with Catherine McKenzie and book giveaway



**Giveaway is now closed**

Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, and now practices law there. Her first novel, "Spin" (HarperCollins Canada, January 2010) debuted at #15 on the Globe & Mail Canadian Bestseller list. Her new novel, "Arranged," is now available on Amazon and !ndigo. Catherine also runs a campaign on Facebook to turn relatively new novels into bestsellers. (Read our interview for more details.)

If you like what you've read here, you can become a fan on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Also, enter her massive giveaway to win one of her books or a grand prize of a Kindle or Kobo e-reader. (US/Canada only. Ends January 31st.)

Along with answering all our questions, Catherine has offered to give away one copy of "Arranged" to a lucky reader in the US or Canada. (In the meantime, we can all turn this novel into a bestseller!)

MP: You practice law in Montreal, how did you get into writing fiction?
CM: I've always written poetry, and one day I just got this idea for a book that wouldn't go away, so I sat down and started writing it without any idea of what I was doing, whether I could write a whole book, whether I could write at all. That book is sitting in a drawer, but I did keep writing.

MP: Were there any challenges you faced while writing "Arranged"?
CM: The same challenge I face with any book I write: getting it finished. I find the space between 20,000-70,000 words the hardest - that's where the real work comes in.

MA: What was your inspiration for "Arranged?"
CM: I'm not sure why the exact idea popped into my head, but I'm sure it was a mix of knowing a few people who had "traditional" arranged marriages, and watching too much of "The Bachelor." I was always wondering what would lead to someone going on that kind of reality show; Arranged is just an extension of that idea.

MP: How do you like to spend your time when you are not writing or practicing law?
CM: I run. Hang out with friends and family. Watch TV. And read. I'm always reading.

MP: Do you ever suffer from writers block? If so, how do you remedy it?
CM: I don't think I've ever suffered from "real" writers block, though I've certainly had fallow, unproductive periods. For me, learning to write when I wasn't feeling inspired is how I ever finished a book in the first place.

MA: You've been running a campaign to make books into bestsellers. Do you feel it has been successful?
CM: It depends how you measure "success", but yes, I think it has been successful. Literally thousands of people who had not heard of the books I started out championing - "Jessica Z." and "Two Years, No Rain" by Shawn Klomparens (both really excellent) - have now heard of them, and hundreds have read one, or both of them. The group keeps growing and we're adding to the reading list (we just added "The Day the Falls Stood Still" by Cathy Marie Buchanan, and "The Last Will of Moira Leahy" by Therese Walsh). Hope your readers come check it (and the books) out on Facebook

MA: If you could have either of your books made into a movie, which would you choose and who would you want in the lead roles?
CM: I'd obviously love to sell the movie rights to both my books :)! As to who should play who, I try not to think about that because I have my own idea of what the characters look like in my head. In the unlikely event that this happens, I'm probably better off not having any preconceived notions.

MP: What is your favorite place in the world to visit? Or is there somewhere you would like to go that you haven't yet?

CM: I've loved Greece both times I've been there. It would great to explore Africa.

MA: What is your favorite thing about the month of January?
CM: Snow. It gets dark here early, and snow makes it better. Snow makes everything better, really.

MA: What are you looking forward to most in 2011?
CM: A ski trip I'm taking in March with my Dad. See my answer to the previous question.

Special thanks to Catherine for answering our questions and for providing the book for the giveaway.


How to win "Arranged":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page if you can receive messages there.)

1. Please tell us: What is the most outrageous thing you've ever done for love? Was it successful?
2. Please tell us: What are you looking forward to most in 2011?
3. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends Sunday, January 16th at midnight EST.

83 comments:

Barbara said...

The most outrageous thing I've done for love was to completely move my life to another state. The relationship didn't last but was successful in that it produced 2 magnificent daughters and a lesson well learned.

In 2011 I'm looking forward to a New Year and new experiences. Looking forward to trying my hand at writing.

I am now a follower of this blog. Along with having joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

Barb @ zookeepernmi@gmail.com

Barbara said...

Sharing this interview on Facebook and sharing Chick Lit Central on Facebook as well.

Barb zookeepernmi@gmail.com

CarolNWong said...

Well, I quit my job and moved from Indiana to California but as like Barbara, it didn't last. We divorced but now have a great son.
The people at my job wanted me to stay and not go with my husband! The reasons were that I had a lot of great friends and the house was almost paid off!!!! It was a 15 year mortage and had just three more years.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

CarolNWong said...

Hope to vist my brother in Indiana and see some of the old familiar places. I live in Texas but my heart is in Indiana.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

CarolNWong said...

I am a Google Friend Connect follower of this blog.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

CarolNWong said...

I tweeted:

My Twitter name is Carolee 888
http://chicklitcentraltheblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/interview-with-catherine-mckenzie-and.html Giveaway of 'Arranged'.

CarolNWong said...

I liked 'Chick Lit Central' on Facebook.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I moved away from my friends and family only to break up a month later! Ugh! The things we do for boys/love! :)

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I am a follower of your blog and also like on Facebook

amber_johnson2004 at yahoo dot com

Sarah Marquez said...

The most outrageous thing I have done for love, was to give in in having a long distance relationship. It worked out pretty well for a couple of months before the reality of what I had really gotten myself into, came crashing down on me. Like in all things, you live and learn from your mistakes.

I am looking forward to hopefully good changes in 2011. I plan to do things I have never done before and have many adventures!

I am recently a member of this blog and I am going to join Chick Lit on Facebook.

I posted this contest on my mothers Facebook page. Like me, she is an ardent reader.



My email: Sarah2231@hotmail.com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I am most looking forward to finishing up my classes and starting my externship in 2011!

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via google friend follow

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via email

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via twitter

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via facebook

Kim said...

Most outrageous thing for love...got on stage at a kareoke bar and sang a love song to my crush (and I'm not a very great singer so it was very ballsy of me!!)

walker03@telus.net

Kim said...

What do I look most forward to in 2011? Spending quality time with friends and family, but also taking time for me -- TO READ!

walker03@telus.net

Kim said...

I am a follower of this blog!!

walker03@telus.net

Kim said...

I have posted this contest on Facebook

walker03@telus.net

Kim said...

I am already a member of Chick Lit Central

walker03@telus.net

Colleen Turner said...

Hello! I don't know if I have done anything truly outrageous (wow, theme song to Jem just popped in my head :)), but if I had to pick something it would be climbing a very high tree and literally going out on a limb for my husband (then boyfriend). He was feeling very romantic at the time and thought it would be a great show of love to tell me he loved me for the first time by climbing this tree and branch in a show of how much he really loved me (since he is afraid of heights). He made me climb up with him before he would tell me anything and, since I am one of the clumsiest people I know, I nearly broke my neck before he could declare his love for me. Great memory and story now, but I was terrified at the time!
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I;m looking forward to spending some more quality time with my family this year. It can be hard to find the time with everyone so busy, but it is just so important I am really making an effort to do so.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a GFC follower (Colleen Turner).
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a Facebook friend of Chick Lit Central.
candc320@gmail.com

Cathy Marie Buchanan said...

Just want to say nice interview (love knowing Catherine loves snow!) and thanks for covering Catherine's facebook intitiative for which I am (as the author of The Day the Falls Stood Still) very grateful.

Cathy
---
http://cathymariebuchanan.com/
http://www.facebook.com/cathymariebuchanan
http://twitter.com/CathyMBuchanan

missreneer said...

The most outrageous thing I ever did for love was pick up everything and move from Florida to Utah, which was a place I knew nothing about and knew no one. It was the best decision I ever made. We are married and he is my bestfriend in the entire world.
Thanks for the great giveaway, I am dying to read this :)

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

missreneer said...

What I am looking forward to most in 2011 is the birth of our fourth child in March :)

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

missreneer said...

I follow with GFC. Username: missreneer

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

missreneer said...

I joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.
Username: Renee Richardson :)

mrsjohnson1982 at yahoo dot com

PoCoKat said...

Belong to Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

I am looking forward to a new job in 2011.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

I follow on GFC

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

PoCoKat said...

The most outrageous thing I've done for love is get on a motorcycle for the first time at the age of 39....10 years later you cannot get me off.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

karenk said...

would love to read this book...thanks for the chance...i don't think that i ever did anything 'outrageous' for love...or at least not yet ;)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm looking forward to reading many excellent novels in 2011...

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i' a follower :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Mary (BookHounds) said...

No need to enter me -- I just posted this to win a book!

Mary

http://winabook.westofmars.com/2011/01/11/arranged-by-catherine-mckenzie/

Bri said...

1. Please tell us: What is the most outrageous thing you've ever done for love? Was it successful?

I took a chance with my exboyfriend's roommate. Ex and I ended on a very bad note and the roomies were best friends so it could have been very messy. It worked out perfectly in the end though, because now we are engaged :)

brianne(dot)libby(at)maine(dot)edu

Bri said...

I am most looking forward to graduating from college in 2011!

brianne(dot)libby(at)maine(dot)edu

Bri said...

I am an old follower of this blog :)

briannd(dot)libby(at)maine(dot)edu

4. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
5. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Bri said...

I am already a member of Chick Lit Central on Facebook!

brianne(dot)libby(at)maine(dot)edu

Linda Kish said...

I moved from Los Angeles to San Diego for love and a brief marriage. But I loved San Diego and stayed.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Heather said...

The most outrageous thing I did was quit my job and move to another state! He's my husband now, so it was worth it ;)
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

Right now I am most looking forward to the Cricut Stampede in March!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a follower!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I am a member of Chick Lit Central!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I shared on facebook!
ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Lisa said...

I'm looking forward to going on a family trip to Disney World in 2011. I am a fan on Facebook.

mad29joeATGmailDOTcom

Kat said...

Sounds interesting!

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I don't think I've ever done anything outrageous for love... other than staying in a relationship far longer than I should have because I believed that "love could conquer all." And to answer your question... it didn't work out so well. :/

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

What I'm looking forward to in 2011 is simply getting myself back on track and becoming an even better version of myself.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I am a follower of this blog.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

I am a member of CLC.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Kat said...

Posted on FB.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Bonnie said...

I actually have never done anything outrageous for love.
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie said...

In 2011 I am definitely looking forward to my Mom having better health, I hope.
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie said...

I am a loyal follower!
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie said...

I follow on facebook.
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie said...

I follow on Twitter.
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bonnie said...

Tweeted sweepstakes on Twitter.
http://twitter.com/?status=#!/intrepid9923/status/25278842792837120

Bonnie said...

shared sweepstakes on Facebook.
intrepid9923(at)yahoo(dot)com

Pia Bernardino said...

The most outrageous thing I did for love is I remained committed to my marriage. I am still married =)

piabernardino [at] bermillion [dot] com

Pia Bernardino said...

This 2011 I look forward to travelling more.

piabernardino [at] bermillion [dot] com

Pia Bernardino said...

I am a follower, member and will post in fb and twitter.

piabernardino [at] bermillion [dot] com

Cindy L said...

Well, since I met my hubby in High School, this will have to be a High School story...was very crazy for a bunch of Seniors to do this. My now husband was working as a Life Guard at a NYS Park. He lived there for the summer. My friends and I decided to drive there and surprise him, only problem was that we didn't know how to get there or that it was 1.5 hrs away. We started driving and asking directions...eventually made it and the rest is history.

cbandy10(at)hotmail(dot)com

Cindy L said...

In 2011 I'm looking forward to running my first 5K in memory of my sister.

cbandy10(at)hotmail(dot)com

Cindy L said...

Already a follower

cbandy10(at)hotmail(dot)com

Cindy L said...

Already like on FB

cbandy10(at)hotmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

The most outrageous thing you've ever done for love? It didn't seem outrageous to me, it just seemed the thing to do because we were in love, but I married my late husband even though he was terminally ill when we met and fell in love. We had seven years together, years I'm grateful to have shared with him.

This year, I'm most looking forward to paying off the last outstanding loan I have (apart from my mortgage), so I can then get a new car. Boring, but o so adult.

jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com

Jane Cook said...

I'm already a blog follower

jane cook said...

and I'm a follower on FB

jane cook said...

AND, since I can't remember my stupid Google password, my first post with my email address jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com, doesn't have my name on it. duh!

Tiffany said...

hmm not sure its outrageous per say, but I seduced my husband. I got his attention, asked him out, showed him who I was, flirted etc... I won him ( :

schlarmette[at]gmail[dot]com

Tiffany said...

I am a GFC follower!
schlarmette[at]gmail[dot]com

Tiffany said...

I am a member of CLC on facebook
schlarmette[at]gmail[dot]com

Tiffany said...

I shared the giveaway on my facebook blog fan page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=144689614408#!/pages/A-Cozy-Readers-Corner/152514161454295

schlarmette[at]gmail[dot]com

Tiffany said...

hmm.. 2011 holds my daughter's 5th Birthday, a possible new job and tons of NEW BOOKS... I think the books has me really excited...

schlarmette[at]gmail[dot]com

shanaelyse said...

I haven't done anything too outrageous for love...yet. In 2011, I'm looking forward to enjoying a life with more energy and more love!

I'm a fan on Facebook and I'm a blog follower.

Shanaelyse@gmail.com

vampireprincess said...

This sounds great. Enter me in the giveaway

Looking forward to doing more reading and getting organized in the new year
vampireprincess2468@yahoo.com

Tiffany said...

I am DYING to read this book!!!

jaidahsmommyATcomcastDOTnet

Tiffany said...

I follow on GFC :)

jaidahsmommyATcomcastDOTnet

Tiffany said...

I am a Facbook follower :)

jaidahsmommyATcomcastDOTnet

Tiffany said...

The thing I look forward to most in 2011 is my new niece that will be arriving in a few weeks! I can't wait to meet her :)

jaidahsmommyATcomcastDOTnet