Q and A with author Catherine McKenzieCatherine McKenzie’s debut novel “Spin” is already an international best seller and now the Montreal native is ready to conquer the states with her witty tale of an aspiring music journalist and how far she’s willing to go to land her dream job. The novel is a witty tongue-and-cheek look into the world of celebrity driven gossip reporting.
We caught up with the writer just as her new novel “Arranged” is sizzling up the book charts and she gears up to release her third novel “Forgotten” this fall.
Sinister Girlz: What was the inspiration behind your novel “Spin”?
Catherine McKenzie: It came to me one day during a time when a lot of celebrities were going in and out of rehab. Paparazzi were surrounding some rehab center likes hoards, trying to get a shot and I wondered “why don’t they just follow them in there?”
Sinister Girlz: Since “Spin” is an international best seller was there any nerves surrounding the US release?
Catherine McKenzie: Of course! You never know how a book is going to be received, even if it’s done well elsewhere.
Sinister Girlz: Your protagonist Kate Sandford is well versed in music are you a big music fan yourself?
Catherine McKenzie: I am. Kate and I don’t have much in common, but we do have similar tastes in music.
Sinister Girlz: Who are some bands or singers that you listen to?
Catherine McKenzie: Dylan, Matt Nathanson, Sarah Bareilles, Sarah Harmer, Indigo Girls, MoZella – too many to name really, but those are the first that come to mind.
Sinister Girlz: I know that you practice law in Montreal, how do you find the time to write fiction?
Catherine McKenzie: I find little moments when I can. Mostly at night and on weekends.
Sinister Girlz: Do you have a writing process? Generally how do you come up with your storylines?
Catherine McKenzie: I should have a process! To date, I’ve generally gotten an idea, let it marinate for a while to see if it goes anywhere or goes away. If it doesn’t, then I start plotting out main characters, main plot points, where it’s going to end. And then I start writing. Have been trying to move towards be more organized with outlines. Maybe with the next book!
Sinister Girlz: You have two new novels “Arranged” which was just released this summer and “Forgotten” releasing in the fall what can you tell us about those novels?
Catherine McKenzie: Arranged is about a woman who uses an arranged marriage service after a long series of failed relationships. Forgotten is about a woman who goes to Africa for what she thinks is a month-long trip, but turns into a six-month ordeal. When she returns, she learns that everyone thought she was dead. Her life, is, obviously, turned upside-down.
Sinister Girlz: What advice would you give to aspiring writers looking to get published?
Catherine McKenzie: Make sure that you put your best product forward. Good writing takes time and requires input from others. Be patient. Grow a thick skin: there’s a lot of rejection on the road to publication and even more once you get published. But I’m not complaining! I’m very lucky.