I’m thrilled to welcome Catherine McKenzie to Lit, etc! Her current release is Hidden and this is one of those books that you’ll be thinking about for days. In fact, I’m still thinking about it (especially the ending) and dying to talk to someone about it. I’ve reviewed it here.
Giveaway details are located at the end of the interview along with a synopsis of Hidden. Good luck!
Q. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I often write in front of the television. I find it helps not overthink what I’m writing.
Q. You studied history as an undergraduate. Any plans to write a historical fiction novel?
Nope. As my nephew might say: I lazy.
Q. What’s your method for laying out the plot of your books? Do you have an organizing system or do you just write?
I have a semi-organized system. I need to know what the big plot lines are and how it will end. Then I need to hear the voice clearly in my head. And then generally I just write. With Hidden, however, I needed to have more of an outline because of the complexity of the story.
Q. Your novels are about life and how complex relationships can be. Are you more interested in the relationship dynamics in your novels than in the story?
No, I think both are important. It’s important for a book to have a story.
Q. Hidden weaves together three narratives, all with different viewpoints and yet tells one story. How difficult was it to write three separate narratives? Did you focus exclusively on one narrative then move on or did you work on them consecutively?
I did different things along the way. At one point I put all the chapters by each character together so I could read it through for consistency of voice. I also used Scrivener, which helped me break down each scene and made it easy to move things around. I restructured the entire first half of the book at one point.
Q. Where did you get the idea for Hidden and what were some of the challenges you faced while writing?
It was really several ideas coalescing at once. I think the big challenge for me was writing from three points of view, and writing as a man for the first time.
Q. The definition of infidelity now includes having an emotional affair. Readers of Hidden have to grapple with the possibility of an affair. In your opinion, what’s worst: a physical, an emotional affair, or both?
Honestly, and I don’t mean to be morally relativistic here, but I think these things mean different things to different people. They are all betrayals on some level, but I suspect some could live with one and not the other, and some could live with neither.
Q. Trish and her daughter Zoey are poets in Hidden. Zoey’s poem, the one Seth reads at Jeff’s funeral brought tears to my eyes. Do you also write poetry and might we see a future collection of poems?
Aw, thanks. I did start out writing poetry but no one would publish it! It was fun coming back to it in this book, especially writing from another’s perspective. I joke that I had to write a book to get a poem published so I doubt there will be a poetry book in my future, but who knows.
Q. Finally, and on an entirely unrelated note, who would play you in a film of your life?
Who would want to make a film of my life? 🙂
01. Superpower you wish you had?
02. Dream city vacation?
London without a budget.
03. Favorite Old Hollywood movie?
Love the Thin Man movies.
04. Favorite song on repeat?
Varies. As I write I am listening to Phillip Phillips “Home.” On repeat.
05. Favorite season?
I like parts of all of them, but right now I am hankering for Spring bigtime.
06. Beach or Mountain?
Both. A good climb that ends on the beach.
07. Favorite TV show?
The Wire is the best show of all time. Also love Gilmore Girls because I’m eclectic like that.
Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of McGill University and McGill Law School, Catherine practices law in Montreal. An avid runner and skier, she’s the author of the international bestsellers SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN and HIDDEN. Hidden will be released in the US April 1, 2014. Catherine is currently searching for another one-word title so she can start work on her next novel.
Connect with Catherine
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
One copy of Catherine McKenzie’s Hidden is up for grabs courtesy of . The copy being offered by New Harvest can only be won by those in the US and no POBs. Good luck!
Synopsis: While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son as well as contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members, and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother, who was her ex-boyfriend. Tish volunteers to attend the funeral on her company’s behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff’s life.
Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish, and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, the repercussions of our personal choices, and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.