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Teresa's Reading Corner: Author Spotlight: Katherine Center

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Author Spotlight: Katherine Center

 I recently had the opportunity to chat with Katherine Center who has written three books.  I've read two of them and can tell you that they are absolutely outstanding.  The only reason I haven't read the third is that I haven't been able to find it locally.   Her most recent work, Get Lucky was just released at the beginning of April.  Her two previous works are The Bright Side of Disaster, and Everyone is Beautiful.

1. Is there an author that has inspired you?  If so, who?

Many, many, many. Too many to count! I get infatuated with authors and gobble them up--really almost like trying to absorb them into my cellular structure. In college, I was crazy for Lorrie Moore. In graduate school it was David Sedaris (and still is). I am totally fascinated by the intersection of comedy and heartbreak, and I'm always drawn to writers whose work is both funny and bittersweet.

2. What are you currently reading?

I am working my way through a non-fiction book about whales called The Whale, by Philip Hoare. But this month has been off-the-charts busy, so it's very slow going!

3. What is your favorite part about writing books?

The writing itself (as opposed to the publicizing) is always, always a happy thing for me. I do not suffer from writer's block. I have a list of at least 30 ideas for stories just waiting in line for their turn. Holding a story in your head and watching it come to life is so magical it actually gives me a butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling sometimes. In fact, writing a novel is very much like reading a novel that you're really into--you do that same thing of reading at stoplights and setting the book open on the kitchen counter while you're chopping dinner so you can steal a few more pages. Except with writing, you're stealing time to write, not read.

4. When someone asks you for a book recommendation, is there one that you always recommend?

It depends a lot on what people are looking for when they ask, but Jane Austen's Persuasion, Richard Ford's Independence Day, David Sedaris's Naked, and Anita Diamant's The Red Tent come up over and over. Within the genre of contemporary women's fiction, I love to recommend Sarah Dunn's The Big Love, Laura Zigman's Animal Husbandry, Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed, Lolly Winston's Good Grief, Marisa de los Santos's Love Walked In, and Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife. I'm sorry--did you ask for just one?

5. If you aren't enjoying a book do you finish it anyway or put it down? If you put it down, how much time do you allow before making that decision?

I put it down! But that's a new thing since I had kids. Before that, I felt duty-bound to finish. Now, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I have a 50 page rule. If it's not happening for me by page 50, I move on. Too many books in the world to waste time!

6. How long did it take you to write Get Lucky?

It takes about a year. I am actually a very fast writer, and also very obsessive when I have a project going. If that pesky thing called real life didn't need attention, I would just eat and sleep the story until it was done. As it is, I have to work my imaginary friends in when the real people in my life don't need me!

Anything else that you'd like to share?

Well, I have a fancy new website that we just redesigned to celebrate Get Lucky coming out, and it has a page with gorgeous blog buttons. We're about to do a new batch, too. I love them, and I wish I could get them as tattoos.

Also, in addition to writing novels, I've started making video essays. I feel very proud of them, and I'm always hoping people will discover them and share them with friends!

A big thank you to Katherine for taking the time to answer my questions.  I hope you will go and check out Katherine's website, its pretty cool!

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At May 6, 2010 at 10:05 PM , Blogger Kathy said...

That was fun! You asked some really good questions! Had you ever interviewed an author before?

At May 6, 2010 at 10:20 PM , Blogger Julie P said...

Very nice interview! I have two of her books on my TBR shelf.

At May 6, 2010 at 11:01 PM , Blogger Katherine Center said...

Thank you so much for featuring me here! What fun!

At May 7, 2010 at 8:04 AM , Blogger Teresa said...

Kathy, this was my first interview. I'm excited to do more if the opportunity ever comes up again.

Katherine, thank you for the opportunity. I hope to be able to read Everyone is Beautiful soon.

At May 7, 2010 at 10:17 AM , Blogger Reading Allowed said...

So cool that you did an author interview!

Everyone is Beautiful is available at the library if that's the one you haven't read yet.


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