We're pleased to have Catherine McKenzie back at CLC to celebrate the pub day of her fifth novel, Smoke. Since the last time she visited, she also published a novella companion to her debut novel, Spin, called Spun. We love her writing style and all the support she gives other authors, even outside of the chick lit world. Visit her at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Today, she's sharing some new and interesting information about herself, as well as FIVE e-books of her previous novel, Hidden (reviewed here), for some lucky US readers.
Synopsis of Smoke:
After a decade-long career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in her former life for a quieter one with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce and a fire in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed.
For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who has lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation.
As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved. (Courtesy of Amazon.)
What guides you through the writing process as you are writing any given story?
When I start writing a book, the characters have been with me for a while, as has the story. So what guides me is the story that's trying to push out of me and the idea of the finished book that I have in my head. It never ends up quite like what's up there - in my head, I mean - but hopefully it's close enough.
When you write a novel, do you know how it's going to end or is each twist and turn a surprise to you?
I have to have an idea of the beginning, middle and end when I start writing. There are definitely surprises along the way, or sometimes I might have two potential endings in mind, but so far there isn't an end that's taken me totally by surprise.
I can't pick between my children! But I have only ever revisited one set of characters - those in Spin.
The first concert I ever attended was:
The first adult concert was the Amnesty International show in 1987: Springsteen, Sting, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel - pretty awesome. I believe the first concert was Sharon, Lois and Bram (a Canadian kids group).
You have the whole day to yourself, how do you spend the time?
I watch TV, write, listen to music, read a book - sometimes kind of all at once. Maybe I make a big meal somewhere in there.
What is the greatest life lesson you've learned?
That the world spins on without you, so it's okay to take time out for yourself once in a while.
Thanks to Catherine for a wonderful interview and for sharing Hidden with our readers.
~Interview by Tracey Meyers
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US only. Giveaway ends October 25th at midnight EST.