Happy Labor Day!
I hope you're able to enjoy some time for yourself today, get in one last taste of summer - or, if you're reading this in the Southern Hemisphere (and I know a few of you are!), I hope your return to spring is all you wanted it to be!
Today we have another new author kicking off our interviews, Catherine Manett! Catherine is a graduate of Hofstra University where she studied creative writing. Since then, Catherine started a career as a caseworker for Adult Protective Services. In her position, she assists her community’s most vulnerable adults with connecting to services that meet their essential needs. Through her work, Catherine has found a passion for helping those in need. Catherine has volunteered with and supported a myriad of non-profit organizations including Habitat for Humanity and The Alzheimer's Association.
Catherine has always had a love for writing and was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta in 2015. RUN AWAY HOME: TEMPERED is Catherine’s debut novel and passion project. It will be the first of a series of three.
Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/CatherineManett
Her website: https://catherine-manett.mailchimpsites.com
Reboots- a great idea or a lack of creativity?
I want to say a lack of creativity because I think there are so many indie authors out there with new and raw material that deserve a shot! Though I have to admit, I am a sucker for certain remakes! I’m very much looking forward to Wonka! I know it’s not technically a reboot, but it will be a prequel to an already famous story.
Favorite hangover recovery recipe?
Hair of the dog. Just kidding. I’m from Long Island, so I have to say baconeggandcheesesaltpepperketchup. Yes, that’s one word. Put it on an everything bagel from a local deli. It’s legitimately the cure for all that ails you.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think I realized I wanted to be a writer when I first learned what that meant. As a kid, I loved playing pretend and creating story arches for the characters I created. This passion continued throughout adulthood, and of course changed form into writing stories. I took creative writing classes throughout high school, and now have a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Hofstra University. I don’t think I would get throughout daily life without my sense of imagination. It’s a gift as much as it is a coping mechanism.
What does your family think of your writing?
You may or may not have seen my post on Twitter about my mom… She was offering customers in Barnes and Noble a fresh dollar bill in exchange for buying my book! I have a very supportive family. They’re all huge fans of me and my work. My book, RUN AWAY HOME: TEMPERED is dedicated to my cousin and best friend.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I’ve always had a passion for helping others, and from a young age, I had an interest in the foster care system. I think this all started with watching Peter Pan as a child. The idea of a found family intrigued me, and became something I wanted to explore in both writing and in my career. This is the reason why the main character of my novel was ultimately named Peter.
When I applied for a position as a caseworker in 2019, I hoped that I would have the opportunity to work in the foster care unit, however, I was placed in Adult Protective Services. I absolutely love my job! I get to help people every day by connecting them to services that meet their needs.
My book is completely fictional, but when writing it, I knew I wanted to create a story that both entertained and educated its’ audience. Growing up on Long Island, as well as through my career, I’ve noted various challenges that our community members face. The RUN AWAY HOME series is my passion project. I hope that it will motivate readers to take a closer look at big issues, such as unaffordable housing, addiction, and mental illness.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I have a lot of hobbies, and I do consider myself a beer snob. I enjoy rating beers on Untappd. I’m also on a bowling league with my family (we are horrible, it’s not competitive), and I compete in pageants! I held the titles of Miss Long Island Teen 2012, Miss Queens 2015, and Mrs. American Woman of Service 2021.
Is there a trope you find yourself going back to in multiple works? Or one you avoid?
It’s not a trope, but I HATE perfect characters. You know, the love interest who is handsome, genuine, kind, and rich? YUCK!
The characters I write are flawed, at least to some degree, because who isn’t?
What is the first book that made you cry?
I remember throwing OF MICE AND MEN into the wall when Candy kills his old dog. Thinking about it right now makes me furious… and I cry when I’m furious. It’s not a good look.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Can I say both? Sometimes the thought of writing exhausts me…but once I get going I feel like I could rule the world. Daydreaming about my work in progress always gets me through the day.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Hurt. I’ve seen many authors react inappropriately to bad reviews. Dude, there is not one single thing that everyone on this planet can agree on, why would your book be the first?
I’m always surprised when people enjoy my book. And although imposter syndrome does get to me from time to time, I think humble is the way to be.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book?
My book RUN AWAY HOME: TEMPERED is the first of what will be a series of three novels. It’s such a large and nuanced story that it just couldn’t be condensed into one book.
I feel like TEMPERED can stand on its own, but it does end on a huge cliffhanger (sorry readers!). You’ll learn much more about the main character’s past in the subsequent two novels. I hope the cliffhanger will keep you excited and coming back for more in the next installment!
What do you have coming next?
I’m currently writing RUN AWAY HOME: SHATTERED. It’s the second installment in the RAH series. I’m hoping it will be available for purchase in 2024.