Les Mondes de Clèm: Interview with Cat Clarke

samedi 3 mai 2014

Interview with Cat Clarke

This interview was done for the French Maze Magazine. If you want to read it in French, click here

Thank you so much to the very talented and kind Cat Clarke for answering my questions about Undone and A Kiss In The Dark, her last two books. I really liked both of them and I hope you (will) like them as much as I did!

 Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she’s learning to live with it.

Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online… and he kills himself.
Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down.

When Alex meets Kate the attraction is instant.
Alex is funny, good-looking, and a little shy – everything that Kate wants in a boyfriend.
Alex can’t help falling for Kate, who is pretty, charming and maybe just a little naive…
But one of them is hiding a secret, and as their love blossoms, it threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their lives.   
So, where are you right now?
Unfortunately I'm on a bus right now! On my way out for dinner!

I wanted to ask you about Undone, which is a very intense book, how did you come up with the idea for it?
The idea for UNDONE came from a news story about a young man named Tyler Clementi, who sadly committed suicide after being 'outed' online. Suicide (and attempted suicide) is far too common among LGBT youths, so I wanted to explore it, and hopefully show that suicide is not the answer, no matter how bad things seem. It gets better.

And do you know if this book helped some readers to feel better about themselves?
I've received a number of emails from teenagers, saying that the book has made them think twice when they have felt suicidal. Hopefully the book shows the impact on those people who are left behind, as well as the tragedy of a life lost so young.

So, is this why you began the book after Kai died?
I knew the book was going to be about grief and revenge, so I was always going to start the book after Kai died. I like the way the reader still gets to know him through the letters he leaves for Jem. Even though he's dead, he's still very much a character in the book.

Yes, he is one of my favourite characters... I don’t think I have ever loved a book character as much as him!
Thank you so much! I'm really glad you like Kai.

Did you know from the beginning what story you wanted to write? Did you already know the ending of the book ?
I had a fairly good idea of the story I wanted to tell. But I never start with an in-depth plan, which means I can be more flexible when the characters surprise me (as they often do!). I knew the ending too, but when it came to writing it, I had second thoughts. As I was writing that final scene, I really wasn't sure which way it was going to go, but as soon as the words were down, I knew I had the right ending for Jem's story.

In France, your new book A Kiss In The Dark will be published in June. What can you tell us about it?
It is a romance! I think it's quite different from my other books - in a good way, hopefully. What else can I say without spoiling it? It's set in Edinburgh, my hometown. It has a dual narrative, which is something I haven't done before. I think that's pretty much all I can say for now!

Why did you choose to write the book with a dual narrative? Was it difficult for you?
It wasn't really a conscious decision to use a dual narrative. A story in the news initially gave me the idea for the book, and I felt you'd HAVE to see both sides of the story. It's the first time I've tried dual narrative, and I really enjoyed it, although it was a challenge. Seeing readers' responses, I can't help wondering how people would feel about Alex and Kate if they read Kate's point of view first.

I think the book would have been very different, but I think what you did was the right thing to do. In the book, you are telling the reader about the secret at the beginning. Was it your choice not to write it on the back cover and to keep the future reader in ignorance of what is the most important thing of the book, even if he (the reader) is going to know it immediately when he starts reading the book?
I talked it through with my editor, and we both agreed that we wanted readers to go into the book with an open mind, without any preconceived ideas. In a way, it puts the reader in the same position as one of the characters, in that you're unaware of the other character's 'secret'.

Do you think that anything has changed, in your writing or in the way you write, since your first published book?
I think my writing has probably improved since I wrote my first book. I think it's like anything - playing sport or a musical instrument - you get better with practice. I also read more widely than I did when I started writing Entangled, and I think that helps too.

Are you already writing another book? What are your projects for the future?
I've already finished my next book. It's a psychological thriller called Safe & Sound, and it was SO much fun to write. It will be released next year in the UK and in France too (I think). I'm also working on another project which is very different... But I can't say anything else about it right now. Sorry!

Good news!! One last thing, to finish this interview... Can you give futures readers five reasons NOT to read your books?
Ha! Wow. OK...
1. There are no vampires in them.
2. They might make you cry. Crying can give you a headache.
3. They have swearing in them. Swearing is naughty.
4. There are sex scenes. You might blush.
5. You might become so engrossed that you read one of my books while walking down the street. You forget to look both ways before crossing the road and get run over by a bus. Reading is dangerous, folks!

4 commentaires:

  1. Superbe interview !!! :) J'avais bien aimé Revanche, et j'ai trouvé très intéressant d'en apprendre un peu plus sur la façon dont Cat Clarke l'a écrit, et comment elle a eu l'idée de ce livre ! Quant à A kiss in the dark, il faudra que je le lise, obligatoirement !!! =D J'ai également beaucoup aimé la dernière question de l'interview. ^^ Et ses réponses ! :D
    Merci pour cette interview !!! =)

  2. Très intéressant comme questions et Cat Clarke a l'air très abordable, c'est une super occasion que tu as eu là ! Bravo pour cet interview !


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