Author Spotlight: Katherine Center

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Katherine Center is back today to talk about #literarycrush, #literaryconfessions and more! Be sure and check out the Interview with Katherine (1. It’s great! and 2. You can #win a copy of The Lost Husband!)


Author Spotlight: Katherine Center

Who are some of your favorite authors?

This is a tough question for me, because I don’t read like a reader—but like a writer.  I try to read for fun when I can, but I often wind up studying the books I read.  If I like them, I wind up underlining and trying to get at what I like about them.  It’s hard to turn it off and just enjoy the story!!  Lots of different people for different reasons. I’m kind of all over the place.  Jane Austen is always my #1.  Then, after that, it varies a lot depending on my mood.  I love fiction, but I also love non-fiction.  I read in my genre, but I also love others.  It’s hard to name names because I never want to leave anybody out!


When you are not writing, what are some of your favorite things to do?

I love to goof around with my kids!   I love to mess around with the butterfly garden in our backyard.  I love to fantasize about re-decorating my house.   I love to sew and make things.  I am always happiest when I’m making things—whether writing a book, or sewing a skirt, or making a collage.   We also crank up the music in our house and dance around a lot.  And sing goofy songs.


What are some of the books you are looking forward to reading in 2013?

I’ve just ordered Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys.  I heard a fantastic interview with her on NPR, and she’s now next on my list.  Also on my list for the next few months:  Elizabeth Berg, Lisa See, and Geraldine Brooks.


Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

I tried to read Moby Dick last year and could not get through it.  There it is.


Do you have a #literarycrush?

Maybe Captain Wentworth from Jane Austen’s Persuasion.  You’ve gotta love that kind of loyalty.


What books will you always make room for on your shelf?

Anything I love even one line from.  Even if the rest of the book’s a disaster, if it’s got something redeeming to it, it stays!  I have a hard time parting with books.


Is there a book that has already been published that you wished you had written?

I have tons and tons of pieces of other people’s books that I admire: snippets of dialogue, great lines, even whole story concepts.  I have characters I adore, turns of phrase that catch my breath, surprises I wish I’d come up with.  I am awash with all kinds of admiration for other writers’ work in all kinds of ways.  But I don’t think there’s an entire book by someone else that I would love to have written.  I guess other people’s books feel too much like other people…


*Special thanks to Katherine Center for agreeing to this author spotlight!


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Katherine Center is the author of four novels about love and family: The Bright Side of Disaster, Everyone Is Beautiful, Get Lucky, and The Lost Husband.  Her work has appeared in Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and Real Simple—as well as the anthologies Because I Love Her, CRUSH, and My Parents Were Awesome.  People magazine calls Katherine’s first novel, “cleverly told and uncommonly appealing,” and USA Today calls her newest one “heartwarming.”  BookPage named her a new writer to watch, Varsity Pictures optioned the movie rights to her first novel, and the Houston Press just named her a Top Ten writer in Houston.  She is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program.  Katherine lives in Houston with her husband and two sweet children.


Interview with Katherine Center, author of The Lost Husband

the lost husband amaxonToday Katherine Center, author of The Lost Husband, stops by to talk about her new book (which made Deep South Magazine’s Summer Reading List 2013!)

Katherine will be back on Thursday to discuss #literarycrush and #literaryconfessions- among other things!

Interview with Katherine Center

What was the inspiration for The Lost Husband?

I have a childhood friend who lives on a goat farm.  He and his wife actually quit their city jobs and moved out to the country to raise goats, make cheese, and live the good life.  Several years ago, we took our kids out to visit them and see the farm, and I was totally amazed at how charming it was.  By the end of the weekend, I knew I wanted to try to set a book on a goat farm.

Are any of the characters in The Lost Husband based on people in real life? Or are they just characters you imagined?

The people in The Lost Husband are all fictional.  Writing stories is kind of like making a collage.  You take bits and pieces from everywhere—something you dreamed, a story your mom told you, something your son said, a haircut you saw on somebody in the grocery store—and you mix them all together in the service of your story.

That said, some of my characters do have traits of people I know.  The way that Aunt Jean is such a great listener and can find a way to care about whatever Libby’s talking about?  That’s my awesome mom, right there.   My husband is a volunteer firefighter, so I snagged that piece of O’Connor’s character from him.  And Libby reminds me of me in certain ways—especially when she’s worrying too much.  Need to work on that.

Can you describe The Lost Husband in 10 words or less?

A woman finds a new life after losing her husband.

(Exactly ten!  Whew!)

Will you be going on a book signing tour?

PEOPLE Magazine invited me to a book party they had up in New York (and gave The Lost Husband a great review) right after the book came out, so I went up to NYC for that.  And I’ve done lots of events around Texas.  Luckily, I’m able to do a lot online (YES—I will Skype with your book club!!), which is great for me, since I’m a mom, and it’s always so hard to leave my little ones!

Do you have a writing space? A writing routine?

If I could conjure a perfect writing routine, I would wake up, make coffee, and sit right down to write (preferably in a gorgeous historic estate with a sunroom overlooking a river).  As it is, I get up and scramble around in the mornings, getting everybody off to school.  Once that’s done, I take a deep breath and, on a good day, sit down to write.  (On a not-so-great day, I wind up doing laundry or dealing with a broken dishwasher or driving to drop off a forgotten lunch box).  I have a laptop, so I work at the kitchen table a lot, or in a big comfy chair on our sun porch. And then I just write like crazy until it’s time for afternoon carpool.

Would you want The Lost Husband to be made into a movie? If so, do you have a cast in mind?

I’d love to see it as a movie!!  I’d especially love to see the scene where Libby gives O’Connor a haircut and shaves off his beard.  It would be fun to see that transformation on the screen.  As for who to cast, it’s a fun game to play!  It’s always kind of hard for me, for some reason.  But I’ve heard some great suggestions from readers: Ryan Gosling for O’Connor. Amy Adams for Libby. Kathy Bates for Aunt Jean.

Katherine- what are you working on next? Can you give us any hints?

I just got a three-book deal with St. Martin’s Press, and I’m working to finish the first of those three this summer.  It’s about a woman who goes on a wilderness survival course with her little brother’s irritating best friend.  I am 2/3 of the way through the first draft, and I’m having a great time with it.

*Special thanks to Katherine Center for agreeing to be interviewed!

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Katherine Center is enjoying life (as you can tell in this pic (taken at the People magazine party!)- she’s got a big smile on her face!) Not only is The Lost Husband a Deep South Magazine Summer Reading List selection– she’s recently signed a three book deal with St.Martin’s Press. When not writing, Katherine can be found on her website, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.


*Giveaway: Comment for a chance to win The Lost Husband! Be sure and include your email (you may use the AT and DOT). Giveaway is open to US only (sorry!) Giveaway is open from August 20- Aug 27th at 11:59pmEST. Winner announced Aug 28th.