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.