Catherine Linka is the author of A Girl Called Fearless, a page turning, chilling prescient story about a Avie Reveare, a teenage girl, contracted to marry a wealthy aspiring politician in a country recovering from deaths of fifty million women. Can she escape her fate as a biological commodity in a male dominated society.
Daring escapes. Political intrigue. And true love.
I've known Catherine via SCBWI for several years. She's a gracious, generous, giving person and all around swell gal. I knew her when she worked for Flintridge Books; she assisted our modest blog with a few posts.
I've seen her at conferences and workshops, and she's been most kind to this Foreign Correspondent.
So read on MacDuff!
After writing the book, did your attitude change about "opportunities" for young ladies like beauty pageants, modeling careers and reality shows?
Hmmm. That’s a tough one. Not every young woman has the access to higher education I did. So while I am concerned about young women being exploited by people who do not have their best interests at heart, I’ve also met women who have used these avenues to further their careers using the poise, savvy, scholarship money and interpersonal skills they developed in the public eye.
At any time during process of selling or editing the book, were you told "This book is going to get banned. How about a massive plague affecting cats?"
When I first started working on the series, I was sure it couldn’t get published, because gay marriage was accepted in my story, but that just goes to show how quickly attitudes, and thankfully, laws have changed. My editor was nervous about one aspect of the politics I can’t tell you about, but I was more worried about getting sued by Cartier for making their iconic Love bracelet into a symbol of enslavement or Sotheby’s for showing them auctioning off young women. Fortunately, no one at Cartier or Sotheby’s has read the book yet.
Publishing a book is no longer just a book. There's ancillary promotions like author playlists and separate character stories. Is this more work or a greater outlet for your work?
Right now in the publishing world, most YA’s get a week of attention, if that. As authors we can spend years writing and editing our book so if there’s a way to extend its life and reach, we need to take advantage of that. I worked with my publisher, St. Martin’s Press, to put a novella, Sparrow’s Story: A Girl Defiant, up on wattpad.com so that I could reach more young readers. I don’t know if that has turned into readers for the series, but it’s been an interesting experience.
Who arranged your appearance at the Bay Area Book Festival Teen Stage?
I believe St. Martins pitched me, although I had hired a private PR person to work on festival appearances. It’s competitive to get into festivals, so you need to have someone promoting that for you.
Who designed your Media Kit?
I did my own media kit after carefully looking at what other authors have on their websites, and reading online articles about how to prepare one. I made a list of the things that were included in media kits and made sure I had them in mine. It’s not hard, but a writer might try doing it as a project with a friend who’s read their book and knows them well, and can keep them from being so humble that they downplay their accomplishments.
“A deftly plotted portrait of the evolution of a teenage girl into a dystopian heroine. Linka weaves a believable, disturbing dystopian future and never shies from violence or tragedy. Avie evolves into a bold protagonist at a brisk but authentic pace... the revolution and the tense escape plot shine.”
In your website FAQ you wrote, "But the inspiration for the story came from asking what it would be like for an American girl to deal with the limits on her freedom of choice and movement that affect girls in many Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries today." Care to comment on contemporary political, social limits threatening American girls?
While American girls benefit from living in a country that offers free, universal education and has a constitutional separation between church and state, we continue to allow politics to dictate health policies that should be decisions between young women and their health care providers.
How did the college boys react when thirteen year old Catherine helped them use an axe?
Oh, that did not go well. I’m not sure who was more embarrassed--me or them-- when my dad sent me over to chop their firewood.
The Management thanks Catherine Linka for this interview. We wish her fame, fortune and flawless syntax. For more about Catherine visit www.catherinelinka.com
Run, don't walk, to your nearest independent bookstore and buy a copy of A Girl Named Fearless and the sequel, A Girl Undone.
We're tracking you.