Sunday, 24 June 2012

Fortnight of Guests 2012: Cat Clarke

It's a huge pleasure to have the amazing Cat Clarke here today for an interview.  I love her books and so it was awesome to be able to interview her!!  Anyway, enough about me, here's the interview... :D

Q&A With Cat Clarke

Hi Cat!  Could you please tell us a little about yourself and your incredible books?
Hi! Thanks so much for having me on your lovely blog! A bit about me: I mostly write about teenagers being vile to each other. My first two books, Torn and Entangled, were published in 2011, and my next book, Undone, is due to be published in February next year. I like cheese, sharks and wearing beanie hats.

Your debut novel, Entangled, came out in 2011 - how did you come up with the idea for the book?
I came up with the basic premise in an English Language A Level exam a looooooong time ago. The idea stayed with me for years but I was too lazy to actually get on and write it. The idea changed beyond recognition over the years, but that’s where it all began.

I cried many times while reading Entangled, and loved every second of it.  So I must ask: How, how, how do you make your writing so raw and emotional? 
Thank you! Making people cry is one of my very favourite things... sorry if that’s a bit weird. As for how I do it, I’m not entirely sure! I find the emotional stuff quite exhausting to write, to be honest. It’s definitely worth it in the end though.

Your newest book Torn came out early 2012 - what inspired you to write it?
Torn came about from an overheard conversation at work one day. I thought I heard the words ‘bus crash’, which got me thinking about something tragic happening on a school trip. A few days later that idea had evolved into something else entirely – without a bus crash!

Do you have set writing habits?  Do you need music, tea...?
Always tea. ALWAYS. And there *has* to be music. Sometimes I listen to the same song on repeat for days and days. As long as the mood of the track is right, I won’t get sick of it. I don’t really write at a set time or on set days – I just try to get on with it whenever I can. It’s a constant battle against the evil forces of procrastination!

When you start writing, do you have a specific plan or do you just go where the characters take you?
I didn’t plan Entangled or Torn. I was very lucky that I didn’t take any wrong turns, because that’s the danger when you’re flying by the seat of your pants. I’m currently planning a new book though – which is a new experience for me. I’m not sure which method will win out in the end.

Other than writing and reading, what else do you like doing?  
I like hanging out with my pets (two cats, one dog), cooking (today’s task is to master flatbread), going to gigs and watching DVD box sets.

You work in publishing - did that make the process to being published any easier or more difficult?  
It wasn’t necessarily easier or harder, but I think it meant I knew what to expect. I knew how the system worked, so I knew the timescales (publishing is S-L-O-W) and I knew that rejection was to be expected. It also meant that I had friends and colleagues I could talk to about it, which was definitely a good thing!

Random Question Time!
Did you ever have an imaginary friend as a child?  
Nope. This makes me feel sad.

The Giver (The Giver, #1)
If you read them, which dystopian novel do you find scariest?
The Giver, by Lois Lowry. Lois Lowry was writing dystopian before it was called dystopian. A terrifying book with an utterly brilliant ending. READ IT!

If you could live in any fantasy world ever created, where would you go?
I think I’d fit in very well in the Shire (Lord of the Rings). I could definitely get onboard with the whole ‘second breakfast’ idea. Hobbits are awesome.

Back To Sane Questions!
What is your favourite book of all time and why?  
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Perfect setting, perfect characterization, perfect EVERYTHING.

Have any authors really influenced you?
Christopher Pike and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Are you working on anything else right now?  If you are, could you please give us a teaser!
I’m in the middle of edits for Undone. It’s about revenge. The main character is called Jem, which happens to be the name of one of my cats (and a character in To Kill a Mockingbird!). The book that I’m planning right now is about a house party. Sorry for being cagey!

---!/cat_clarke  @cat_clarke

Thank you so much for taking part, Cat!  It's been great having you!  And I can't wait for Undone!!

Everyone, if you liked this post, make sure you follow all the FoG events on Twitter at #FortnightOfGuests


Cat was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people. 
Cat has written non-fiction books about exciting things like cowboys, sharks and pirates, and now writes YA novels. She lives in Edinburgh with a couple of cats, Jem and Scout, who spend their days plotting to spit up furballs at the most inconvenient times. She likes cheese A LOT, especially baked camembert.

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