the Australian author of the bestselling
Secret Lives of Emma series…
Six Sharp Questions
1. Congratulations, on completing your new book. What is it about and what does it mean to you?
Thanks. Unmasked is the final book in The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy. At the end of book two, Distractions, I was a bit mean and left readers hanging right at the point where nothing was going right for my heroine, Emma Benson. In geekspeak – it was my The Empire Strikes Back.
I can’t say much about Unmasked. I don’t want to spoil it. What I can say is Emma ends up on the southern coast of Italy in midsummer.
Unmasked is my favourite of the three. It’s a happy ending. But only those who know Emma well can possibly predict what a happy ending for Emma means.
The past year has been completely bizarre. The best moment was getting a publishing deal. The worst moment was not being able to tell the whole world I finally got a publishing deal. For the sake of my family I decided to publish under a pseudonym. I was the tenth highest selling Australian novelist in 2012 and my proud mum can’t tell any of her friends!
3. Do you have a favourite quote or passage you would be happy to share with us?
Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness – Bertrand Russell.
4. Writers have often been described as being difficult to live with. Do you conform to the stereotype or defy it?
I work full-time so all my writing is done at night, in the early hours of morning and on weekends. This can put a strain on relationships but thankfully, when I am writing I write quickly, in intense bursts of inspiration and so far have hit all of the brutal deadlines set by my publisher. (I’ve had three books published in under a year)
5. Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Would you please describe how the marketplace affects your writing (come on, tell the truth!).
The marketplace did not influence the writing of The Secret Lives of Emma but the publication of it was very much influenced by it. After the sudden initial success of Fifty Shades publishers worldwide were scrambling to publish other erotic novels as fast as they could. Luckily enough for me at that precise moment my agent had just read the draft of an erotic story I had written. The rest is history!
6. Unlikely Scenario: You’ve been charged with civilising twenty ill-educated adolescents but you may take only five books with you. What do you take and why?
If I really had to take some books with me I’d take – The Philosophy of the Bedroom by The Marquis de Sade, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss. Though I think very soon they would be used to fuel the fire we made to cook the smallest of the group.
Natasha, thank you for playing
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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