Arranged (my review) and the recently re-released Spin to The Book Chick today! Catherine has been a guest here before, right after her debut novel was released, and I'm thrilled to have her back today. She has graciously agreed to answer a few questions for me:
The Book Chick: What was your inspiration for Arranged?
Catherine McKenzie: My inspiration came from various sources. I’m actually acquainted with two men who had “traditional” arranged marriages. And then of course there is the plethora of dating shows (The Bachelor, etc.) that I’ve sometimes been sucked into. I’m not sure what tipped the scales, but I do remember the premise—what would lead someone to use an arranged marriage service if something like that existed?—plopping into my brain and being immediately really excited by it.
TBC: How long did it take you to write it?
CM: I’d say the first draft took about 6 months (I wasn’t really keeping track back then) from the fall of 2006 to the spring of 2007. Since then I’ve been through many, many drafts of the book, along with periods when I wasn’t working on it all.
TBC: You are the founder of the online movement "I bet we can make these books bestsellers" (on Facebook), which encourages people to purchase a specific book that you feel hasn't gotten enough attention. What are your plans for the group for the new year?
CM: My plans for the new year are to introduce some new books! Up till now I’ve been focused on two books by Shawn Klomparens – Jessica Z. and Two Years, No Rain – which I obviously love and highly recommend. I’m going to keep those books up on the site, but add new ones as I come across them, hopefully about once a month. The next two books I’ll be promoting are The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan, and The Last Will of Moira Leahy, by Therese Walsh. You can check out the Facebook page here.
TBC: What books are on your nightstand right now?
CM: Too many! As I write this I’m reading The Accidental Billionaires about the founding of Facebook, and the ARC of Tim Sandlin’s latest book, Lydia. I’m also about half way through a dozen other books including Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars and The Complete Sherlock Holmes.
TBC: Do you have a new book in the works? If so, would you like to share a little about it?
CM: I do have a new book that I’m working on, but since my agent is about to take it to market, I have to keep the premise close to the vest right now, sorry. If I’m lucky enough to sell it, I’ll tell you all about it.
TBC: Well I, for one, can't wait to read whatever you come out with next. Thanks for stopping by Catherine!
Now for the giveaway: Courtesy of HarperCollins Canada I have one copy of Arranged to give away. Due to publisher's restrictions, this one is open to Canadian residents only. Sorry, my American and international friends! To enter:
1. *Mandatory Entry* What are your thoughts on arranged marriage? Would you do it yourself, or encourage a friend to do it? Leave me a comment on this post with your thoughts and include your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win. No e-mail= no entry!
2. *Bonus Entry* Become a follower of this blog through Google Friend Connect and let me know in a separate comment that you now follow. Already a follower? Thanks! Leave me a comment to let me know that you already follow this blog.
3. *Bonus Entry* Spread the word about this contest in some way. Blog about it, post it on your sidebar, Tweet it or Facebook it, just leave me a separate comment to let me know how you chose to spread the word.
This contest runs until January 28, 2011 at midnight. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond. The publisher will be sending out the prize.This contest is open to Canadian residents only. Good luck!