Catherine Linka

Catherine Linka

Catherine Linka has been immersed in books her whole life, most recently as a writer and a bookseller. Her debut novel is A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS, a young adult romantic spec fiction/political thriller. Catherine lives in Southern California where she watches hummingbirds and hawks when she should be working.

We met her a the ALA Conference in Las Vegas and asked her to answer some questions.

MACI & ZOE:
What’s your favorite bookstore?

CATHERINE LINKA:
I work in at the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse and I guess that is my favorite, but I visit bookstores whenever I travel. I’ve been to bookstores all over the United States and in London, Paris, Oslo, and Reykjavik (Iceland).

MACI & ZOE:
Do you read books on an electronic device or a real book?

CATHERINE LINKA:
I read both print books and e-books. I read a lot of young adult in print books, but when I want an adult book, I often read an e-book. I love to travel and some of the places I’ve been don’t let you bring a lot of luggage (Galapagos, the Amazon, the Arctic circle) so e-books let me bring all the books I need for a long trip.

MACI & ZOE:
What is your favorite genre?

CATHERINE LINKA:
Memoirs by misguided urban farmers. My favorite is OINK by a man in London who thought he’d raise a mini-pig in his yard. I don’t know why I love these stories so much. Maybe I have a secret desire to have my own mini-farm in the backyard.

MACI & ZOE:
How did you get started writing?

CATHERINE LINKA:
I’ve always been a writer. If you’re a creative person, the impulse to create lives inside you, but you have to find the time and courage to let it . I used to write mostly for business, because I worked in marketing and advertising. I was experimenting with writing fiction when my dad died really suddenly, and I knew I needed to follow my dream.

MACI & ZOE:
What books are you reading right now?

CATHERINE LINKA:
I am reading Alone in Antarctica, the memoir of the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica. When I’m writing, I try not to read anything too similar to what I’m working on so I don’t accidentally copy someone else’s book. Plus, I might be going to Antarctica!

MACI & ZOE:
How many books do you read a year?

CATHERINE LINKA:
I read every night. At least one book a week, maybe two. And I rotate genres so if I read contemporary fiction, then I might read speculative fiction next. I don’t want to not like a book, because I read too many books in one genre. I want to give each book a chance to wow me. So even though I’m reading a memoir today, yesterday I read a funny, smart young adult novel called SWAY by Kat Spears about a high school con man who’s surprised when he falls in love.

MACI & ZOE:
Do you read during meals, if so a book, newspaper, or other?

CATHERINE LINKA:
My family won’t let me read during meals, but I get up super early and have breakfast and read the newspaper. I used to get in trouble in boarding school for bringing a book when I had to sit at the housemother’s table. They got really mad at me.

MACI & ZOE:
What bookmark do you use or what do you use for a bookmark?

CATHERINE LINKA:
I have gorgeous bookmarks people have given me, but a lot of the time, I use ticket stubs. It’s fun to open the book and remember a movie or concert I went to.

MACI & ZOE:
What’s your favorite dessert?

CATHERINE LINKA:
That depends. I love pie: blueberry, boysenberry, peach, apple–especially for breakfast. BUT, I cannot resist dark chocolate drizzled caramel corn. I mean, who invented that! It’s genius.

MACI & ZOE:
How long does it take you to write a book?

CATHERINE LINKA:
Every book is different. I spent 3 years writing A Girl Called Fearless, but my publisher only gave me a year and a half to write the sequel.

MACI & ZOE:
What was your first book you wrote? Was it any good?

CATHERINE LINKA:
The first book I wrote was terrible. I rewrote it six times. It got better each time, but doing that convinced me that I wanted to take more classes in writing. I ended up going to Vermont College of Fine Arts to do a masters in writing.

MACI & ZOE:
What are you working on now?

CATHERINE LINKA:
I am writing the conclusion of Avie’s story in the sequel to A Girl Called Fearless. Things get worse and Avie struggles in a different way than she does in the first book. I hope readers like it.

MACI & ZOE:
Do you miss your characters when you finish writing a book?

CATHERINE LINKA:
Wow. I don’t know. I’ve spent almost five years with Avie working on the two books, so we’ll see how I feel.

MACI & ZOE:
Do you have a special procedure that you do when you write?

CATHERINE LINKA:
A lot of times I’ll start thinking about the book when I’m just waking up. I’ll drift in and out of sleep, imagining the scene I’m working on. Bits of dialogue will come to me, or new insights on who the characters are. When I’m not fully awake, I’m more in tune with to my unconscious self.


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