One of the first ARCs I received when I started blogging was A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka. I really enjoyed the first novel, and was super excited for the sequel, A Girl Undone (you should definitely check out my review, I basically reviewed it with the author!). I ended up corresponding with Catherine, and invited her to be interviewed on Confessions of a Book Geek. To celebrate the release of A Girl Undone, the eBook of the first novel in the duology, A Girl Called Fearless, is currently on offer on Amazon US / UK.
R: Hi Catherine, introduce yourself to Book Geek readers, and tell us a little about you – what do you do when you aren’t writing/blogging?
C: Right now my life is dedicated to keeping our Labrador puppy, Carter from destroying the house, but when I’m not saving carpets and table legs, I love to travel. The places I love the most are Svalbard, Iceland, and Antarctica. The landscapes are stark and dramatic, the light is constantly changing, and seeing killer whales and polar bears in the wild is amazing.
R: Sounds pretty magical! So, what made you want to become a writer?
C: I’m not sure I had a choice. For me, writing is like a compulsion, and if I don’t write, I’m miserable. Words and stories have been part of my life since I was little, and every job I’ve had was connected to some form of writing (publishing, advertising, book-selling).
R: A Girl Called Fearless and A Girl Undone are YA dystopian novels set in a patriarchal society, where did you get the inspiration for your story, and what were you hoping to explore?
C: I was a big fan of speculative fiction when I read a book that so stupidly portrayed how Americans would behave after a population catastrophe that I got really annoyed that the author had wasted such a good idea. So I started thinking about what would really happen if millions of adult women died suddenly in the US. There were two forces I imagined would wreck havoc in the country: politicians who would exploit men’s fears to capture political power, and American consumerism, which would treat teenage girls as if they were the next luxury good.
R: It really is such an excellent idea to explore! Which character in the Fearless duology do you think is most like you?
C: That’s a tough one, because like most writers, there are parts of me in almost all my characters. I don’t think I could write a character if I didn’t have an opening into their emotions. But one thing I share with Avie is a willingness to try and fail and try again. She makes mistakes, but she doesn’t give up easily, and neither do I.
R: That’s very motivational! What is your most favourite, and least favourite, part of the writing process?
C: My most favourite part is when the writing is going well, and my least favourite is when it’s not–but mostly I love writing. It’s expression, it’s puzzle solving, it’s living vicariously. Yes!
R: Introduce the Fearless duology to Book Geeks in one sentence.
C: On the run from a forced marriage to a multimillionaire politician, Avie must be fearless as she carries secrets that will either take down America’s political leaders or get her and the ones she loves, killed.
R: Weigh in on the eternal debate – eBook or hard-copy?
C: Prefer to cozy up with a hard-copy, but if I travel someplace where the total weight limit for luggage is 40 lbs, I love my e-reader.
R: What is your favourite word?
R: What is your favourite non-fiction book?
C: Confession: I’m obsessed with memoirs by misguided urban farmers, so one of my faves is OINK: My Life with Mini-Pigs by Matt Whyman.
R: Do you prefer the hero or the villain?
C: Villains are much more fun to write, but the time you spend writing a hero means you two develop an intimate relationship.
R: What are you currently working on that we can look forward to?
C: Can’t tell you, because I haven’t told my agent or editor, but it’s really different!
Links for readers to find out more about Catherine Linka and her work:
Massive thanks to Catherine Linka for agreeing to be interviewed. Have you read A Girl Called Fearless or A Girl Undone? Share your thoughts in the comments, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!