#LoveOzYA Interview: Cath Crowley – Blog Tour
It was always hard finding book that represent where I live or even by author that live in the same country as me, especially in young adult. So I created a feature called #LoveOZYA Interviews, where I find those Aussie YA authors. As this series has gone on I have been introduced into some fabulous authors.
I thought it was a fun way for everyone around the world to get to know these authors and maybe make them want to pick up their books. And that is what I am aiming to do, spread the word about #LoveOZYA and get everyone reading it.
Today is a very special edition of my #LoveOZYA Interview series, not only have I had the honour of reading Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley early, but I had the chance to include her in a series that highlights the fantastic authors we have in Australia.
Cath Crowley is the author of Graffiti Moon (2010, Pan Macmillan) Chasing Charlie Duskin/A Little Wanting Song (2005, Pan Macmillan), the Gracie Faltrain trilogy (2004, Pan Macmillan) and Words in Deep Blue (2016, Pan Macmillan).
Hi Cath, welcome to Angel Reads! Firstly could you introduce yourself to everyone and tell us a bit about your background?
Hello, it’s lovely to be here. Thanks for having me. My name is Cath Crowley, and I write Young Adult fiction (mostly). My books include Graffiti Moon, Chasing Charlie Duskin (A Little Wanting Song), the Gracie Faltrain trilogy and now, Words in Deep Blue. I find myself writing about the arts a lot. And love.
What has your writing journey been like? When did you start writing and why?
I didn’t start writing seriously until I was thirty. Before that, when I was about 24, my eldest brother, Anthony, turned my letters into a musical called The Journey Girl. The process of people hearing my work made me think about writing, but it wasn’t until 2000 that I quit my teaching job to study Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. I loved the course. I loved meeting other writers, learning about their process, learning about structure and characterisation.
While studying at RMIT, I had some pieces published in The Age, and then Pan Macmillan offered to publish the first Gracie in 2003. The journey has been wonderful, but not easy. I love writing but I find it difficult – I find structure quite challenging – but even still, I love that part of writing.
Can you tell us about the process of getting your first book published?
I wrote The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain while I was studying at RMIT. That meant I had a lot of support. I had a wonderful class full of writers who workshopped it for me. I had a brilliant teacher, Clare Renner, who had a lot of good advice. I sent the manuscript in on the slush pile to publishers, but was rejected.
Then I went to Sydney to interview Markus Zusak. He was about to win the CBCA for The Messenger. He mentioned Anna McFarlane in passing. He said she was a wonderful editor and publisher. So I sent Gracie in on the slush pile to Pan Macmillan and they picked it up. They were brilliant at guiding me through the editing process.
Was it a different experience when your subsequent books were published?
It was different in that I suddenly realised I didn’t actually know anything about writing a book – I’d had all this lovely confidence before because I was just writing for my workshop group and myself. That began what will be a life long thing – learning how to write, trying to get better, challenging myself with every book.
Words in Deep Blue tells a story of a second-hand bookshop with a Letter Library. It’s a beautiful concept – can you tell us where you got the inspiration for this?
Thank you. The idea for the book came from a lot of different places, but I can’t remember exactly when the idea of The Letter Library came to me. I remember wanting to write a story about books with letters in them. I remember buying an old typewriter and tapping out letters to strangers.
I couldn’t work out how the letters would arrive to a specific person. How would that be possible, logistically? The next thing I remember is telling a friend about The Letter Library. I could see it – a wall of loved books –where people were free to love lines in them. I expect it arrived one night – after looking at all the things that were left in books, after sleeping on it. But I can’t be certain.
You are an OZYA author, can you tell us what are some of your favourite Aussie YA books are?
Some of these are older titles but these are ones I’ve adored over the years. These are the ones I re read.
The Other Side of Summer by Emily Gale All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield
The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard Clancy of The Undertow by Christopher Currie
Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood Notes from the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell
Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams The Astrologer’s Daughter by Rebecca Lim
Finding Cassie Crazy by Jaclyn Moriarty The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Five Parts Dead by Tim Pegler Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
Love, Ghosts and Nosehairs by Steven Herrick
I could actually go on to make this a very long list. There’s so much brilliant Aussie YA.
Have you read any of Cath Crowley books? If you haven’t you need to get on it. My review for Words in Deep Blue will be up on the 11th of September – hint – I really enjoyed it. You can find Cath on twitter at @, her website and don’t forget to add her books to your goodreads.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets.
It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.
Now, she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal and looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind
Thank you Cath for joining me at Angel Reads and sharing your journey. Have you read any of Cath’s books? Did you like them? Are you going to read them? Let’s Chat! Also don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour – because it’s pretty awesome.
Come back next week for some more Aussie fun. If you want to know more about the #LoveOZYA movement check out the website for all the details.