If you’ve read my review of Arranged by Catherine McKenzie, then you know how much I loved the book and how much I adore the author. Catherine is one of my favorite Canadian authors for sure. And I’m so happy that I get the chance to do a Q & A with her! Oh, and I also have one finished copy of Arranged to give away to a lucky Canadian reader. And tonight is the official launch party for Arranged. Congrats Catherine!
Thank you so much for stopping by today Catherine! I loved Arranged and I’m so glad to get the chance to pick your brain. :0)
LL: As you were writing Arranged, were you at all worried that some cultures that still have arranged marriages might not embrace the book?
CM: Sure, I always worry about that a little since both of my novels, though comedic, deal with issues that are serious (addiction in Spin, arranged marriages in Arranged). But I also try to keep in mind that you also can’t please everyone, and I try, as much as possible within the confines of the story, to be respectful.
LL: Anne’s mom is pretty much obsessed with Anne of Green Gables (which I loved, being from PEI). I take it that you yourself are a fan of the red-headed heroine?
CM: I am a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables and have read the Anne series of books more times that I can count. Having red hair and green eyes myself (and a tendency to gab a bit too much), Anne is someone I’ve always related to. If you haven’t read these books, please do so!
LL: Arranged has a scene that is a tad bit, well, steamy, at least compared to your first novel, Spin. Is it awkward or weird for you to write lovey-dovey (aka sex) scenes?
CM: It’s both! Honestly, when I wrote the first sex scene, I was worried about trying to get the balance right. But I thought it was important to the story that those scenes be realistic and more than a simple kiss-and-cut-to-the-next-morning moment. It was certainly awkward having friends and family read it for the first time though!
LL: Arranged had a very rom-com movie feel to it. If it was ever turned into a movie, who would your dream cast be?
CM: I generally don’t think about what movie actors might be good to play the characters in my books, and so, no one immediately comes to mind for Anne. I did always sort of imagine Jack as a James Tupper (Men in Trees) type, though.
LL: I’m always curious about what music writers listen to when working on certain projects. Were there any songs or artists that helped make Arranged what it is?
CM: Wow, that’s a tough one because I actually wrote the first drafts of Arranged in 2006/2007. I do often write to music, and at that time I was likely listening to a lot of Ryan Adams, David Gray, Matt Nathanson, John Mayer and the Counting Crows. During revisions I was listening to a lot of Mozella. I also tend to get really into a song and play it on repeat with my headphones on as a way to get energy from a song and tune it out at the same time. True story: I have sometimes thought of keeping notes of what I was listening to when when writing a particular book to be able to answer questions just like this. But I never did it. Guess I didn’t really believe I’d ever get published
Thanks again Catherine! Thank you, Colleen! And so glad you enjoyed the book.
As I said, I have one finished copy of Arranged to give away to a lucky Canadian reader. Hmm, what question should I ask you guys to answer? I know! Have you ever met somebody in an unusual way that you ended up dating/marrying? If you haven’t don’t worry: you’ll still be entered. Since I met the hubs through a personal ad and my folks met when the girl that was supposed to go out with my Dad chickened out and bribed my Mom to go I like hearing about how couples met.
The contest will be opened until January 25th.