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sapphique: interview with catherine fisher

Catherine, welcome, and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.

1. What are the top five things you’d like readers to know about you/your writing?

The five top things I’d like people to know about my writing? Tricky.
How about

1. I often write with opera playing loudly.
2. I like to write poetry even more than prose.
3. I often read passages aloud ( to myself) to see if they work.
4. I never show anything to anyone until I’m sure it’s finished.
5. i never know much about the end of the story till I get there.

2. For me, some of the most intriguing parts of INCARCERON were the little snippets of the songs, legends, and laws at the beginning of each chapter. Does this multi-genre approach come naturally to you? Is it something you do often in novels?

Thanks. Yes I like the idea of having lots of different things-diaries, poems, songs, etc, rather like some of those Victorian novels all told in different letters and voices. (Dangerous Liasons is a great example.) It breaks up the writing process and gives me a bit of fun. It’s also a really useful way to get the back-story across to the reader in interesting snippets rather than long boring chunks.

3. Claudia is a fantastic heroine—flawed, feisty, and nuanced. Can you tell us a bit about how it was to write her character?

I’m very glad you liked Claudia. She was one of those characters who just walk right in and take over! She was very natural to write- her problem (the marriage) was clear to me and I knew she would be very determined about getting out of it. Her relationship with her father was more intense and tricky than I’d anticipated though.

4. Can you share with us one of your favorite passages from SAPPHIQUE?

Perhaps my favourite part is where Jared has an interview with the queen. He’s very wary of her, but he’s stunned by her cold cruelty. I really liked writing both sides here. And I enjoyed writing the duel scene, and the trial of Finn, where he is interrogated. I like dramatic scenes!

5. And finally, what are you reading right now?

As usual I’m reading a few things. I’ve nearly finished Pompeii, by Mary Beard, a Cambridge academic. It’s a really readable account of life in the ruined Roman city. I’m halfway through a new book of poems by Seamus Heaney, And I’m rereading an old favourite, The Third Man by Grahame Greene. I’ve also got Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel ready to start- a historical novel that was shortlisted for the Booker prize here.

Thanks for the questions Ally and I really enjoyed reading MATCHED!

Thank YOU for the answers, Catherine! It’s been lovely to have you on the blog.

To win one of two hardcover copies of SAPPHIQUE, please leave a comment on this post by midnight New Year’s Eve (MST). I’ll announce the winner on Monday, January 2. Sorry, this contest is open to US only. Many thanks to Penguin for providing the books!




+ comments (28)
  • jpetroroy
    December 30, 2010

    Great interview. I love getting input into writing processes



  • ConnieDunn
    December 30, 2010

    Great interview. I play opera and orchestra music to my kindergartners during writers workshop time and they love it!



  • Sarah
    December 30, 2010

    Great interview:) Thanks for the chance to win!



  • Nicole Sobon
    December 30, 2010

    Lovely interview. As an aspiring writer, I love hearing about an author’s writing process…its always interesting.



  • Jennifer (Book Noise)
    December 30, 2010

    Great interview.

    Incarceron was totally awesome. I can’t wait to read Sapphique and see what happens next. 🙂

    Matched was awesome too! Looking forward to reading Crossed!



  • Christina G
    December 30, 2010

    Very interesting that the endings are not a foregone conclusion.



  • tnlibrarygal
    December 30, 2010

    always enjoy author inerviews. give good insight into how they came about to write the book.

    thanks for sharing.



  • April X
    December 30, 2010

    Very interesting interview 🙂 I can’t wait to read Sapphique 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!



  • Amanda
    December 30, 2010

    So excited for Sapphique! Great interview!

    -Amanda

    amandatheaker@gmail.com



  • RachelSearles
    December 30, 2010

    Interesting interview! I bought Incarceron on my Kindle last week and am looking forward to reading it!



  • Lucia Hua
    December 30, 2010

    Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!



  • Shari
    December 30, 2010

    Interesting interview. The books sound intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway!



  • Kate Coursey
    December 30, 2010

    Great interview! I’m about halfway through Incarceron and I love it so far! Thanks for the chance to win.



  • McKennaDrew
    December 30, 2010

    Cool interview and Very Cool give away!



  • ina
    December 30, 2010

    Wonderful interview! Can’t wait to read Sapphique.



  • Heather
    December 30, 2010

    Great interview! You are both amazing writers. I love hearing what authors are reading too, I may have to pick up Wolf Hall.



  • Cindy Beach
    December 30, 2010

    This was a great interview. Incarceron and Sapphique are both excellent books. I love interviews with authors when they talk about the real life of writing.



  • Lindsey
    December 30, 2010

    I would love to win this!



  • Rose Green
    December 30, 2010

    I always like hearing what kinds of music people write to, especially when I’ve read their books. (I can’t write to any music, alas.)



  • Vivien
    December 30, 2010

    Loved Incarceron. Can’t wait for Sappique. Great interview.



  • KM
    December 30, 2010

    I also really enjoyed the snippets at the beginning of each chapter. They really helped us understand Sapphique without having to read long descriptions about who he was. Very nice!



  • Steph
    December 30, 2010

    Thanks for the interview! I loved Incarceron!



  • Karen_St_Louis
    December 30, 2010

    I loved Incarceron – that first chapter blew me away.

    (Loved Matched too, Ally. I’ll send you my thoughts sometime.)



  • Shallee McArthur
    December 30, 2010

    Thanks for this interview! I’m reading Incarceron right now, and am excited for Sapphique.



  • Kim
    December 31, 2010

    This interview was awesome! Loved it!



  • Minas
    December 31, 2010

    Great interview! I can’t wait to read Sapphique!

    Thanks for the giveaway!



  • Jessica
    December 31, 2010

    It was interesting to get an insight into another author’s writng process. I haven’t started the series yet, but it sounds interesting and I would love to read it.



  • Emy Shin
    December 31, 2010

    Great interview! It’s always interesting to learn of authors’ writing processes; reading passages aloud is definitely something I plan to do in the future. Thanks for the interview!




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