Friday, July 22, 2011

Author Interview: Cat Patrick

I was able to snag an interview with debut author, Cat Patrick! I was excited to interview her because FORGOTTEN was such an unforgettable book. The concept of waking up everyday with a wiped clean memory is fascinating. And if you haven't read the book yet, get right on that! So without further delay, the interview:

We'll begin with a little biographical information. Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Wyoming, and have lived in Boston, San Francisco, and now outside Seattle. My husband and I have twin preschoolers. I love to write, travel, do crafts with my girls, go to movies and drink good wine; I’m afraid of flying and zombies…and flying zombies.

I'm totally with you on the zombies. 
Have you always wanted to be a writer when you grew up?

YES! I wrote my first “book” when I was about seven. It was about a dolphin and was self-illustrated (drawing is not my forte). My mom had it laminated and bound; I was so proud.

That's awesome! I hope you still have it. It would be great to show kids at school visits. 
Did you hold other less glamorous jobs while waiting to be published?

I worked in public relations for 13 years, so I spent a lot of time promoting other people’s successes while waiting for my own.

I hear many times that the first book published by an author isn’t the first book they wrote. Tell us about your first book.

The first book I wrote was an awful fiction novel that will never see the light of day. That said, it was a necessary experience for me. When I got the idea for FORGOTTEN, I never questioned that I could do it. I just wrote.

People always want to know about the writer lifestyle. How much do you write each day?

It really depends. As my girls have gotten older, my writing time has diminished. I usually have about two hours before Hubby goes to work and another two at naptime. Usually, I work Saturdays when he’s home and can hang out with the girls. I also have help one or two mornings a week. I never write in the evening. I’m worthless after about 4 p.m.

Now let’s jump into the book:
How did you come up with the idea for London’s memory issue? Is it a real condition or fictional?

It’s completely fictional. My daughters were five months old when I came up with the idea: I was incredibly sleep deprived. I was doing something in the kitchen and forgot what I was doing in the middle of the activity. My brain wandered to thoughts of amnesia…and thoughts of amnesia in high school. Then the idea of “remembering” forward instead of backward just struck me. FORGOTTEN was born.

It seems like it would be hard to keep up with some of the events London remembered and some that she didn't. Like London, did you have a lot of notes too while writing this?

Definitely. I made timeline after timeline. That said, often when writing a scene that started on a new day, I’d deliberately not read my notes so that I forgot what happened last in an attempt to try to walk in London’s shoes. I think those passages were better for my not knowing.

I get a kick out of those outtakes on DVD releases of movies. Were there some interesting scenes that you liked, but had to take out during the editing process? 

I’m a fairly drastic editor so there are too many deleted scenes to count. Nothing stands out, which I guess is why those scenes were cut. :)

Where did the name London come from? 

I believe it came from my baby name book. Naming characters is such a big deal to me: I obsess over it and can’t start writing until the main characters’ names feel right. I wanted something unique but not over the top, and felt that London fit the bill. More than that, it fit her: the character coming to life in my brain.
Australian Cover - love the tag line
(click to read it)

I agree. It totally fit her. 
I’m so blown away by the concept of this book that I can’t wait to read your next book! Can you give us a little teaser about the plot? 

I wish! I’m dying to share news about my second book because it’s finished, but alas, I can’t…yet. Please stay tuned on Facebook/Twitter and my site as I’ll announce details as soon as my publisher gives the green light. I can say that it’ll be out June 2012, and it’s also about a teen girl in a normal town with an abnormal life.

Finally, I won’t ask your favorite book, because I know how tough that can be. But tell us who some of your favorite authors are.
I have so many favorites! Here are just a few: Neil Gaiman, John Green, Suzanne Collins, Jay Asher, Lisa McMann and Carolyn Mackler. I’ve also read nearly every book by Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly. I love crime novels!

Thank you so much. Congratulations on your success! My readers and I look forward to your next book. :)

Thank you for the opportunity. Very best to you and your readers!

For more on Cat Patrick, check out her website.