Straight from the Authors mouth.

My friend had just had her début novel published, you can read about it here
I put a few questions to her & she sent a personal interview for me to share with you. 

Thank you Cat for the interview & good luck with your next novel. 
I’m on the list for a copy already!

Ness:- When did you 1st realise you had a gift for writing?

Cat Pieterse:- 

  • I was fifteen when I wrote my first poem. I am not even sure why I suddenly wrote something, words had been my enemy before that. I was never somebody who had a pretty handwriting and I sometimes made the oddest mistakes by skipping words and changing letters where there should be others. Dyslexia, I know that now, but in primary school it was not discovered. It made a girl who was never sure or found of herself, dislike herself even more.

    In math class while I was chatting with a classmate about a friend who had died, I wrote that first poem. And I cherished that poem for a long time. I never fancied myself a writer at that time, or a poet, but I did ‘discover’ that words were no longer my enemy as I could put them in an order that made them pretty. I wrote many more poems in the years following, and I even started a story or two, but I didn’t call myself a writer, or thought it was a gift. I was just me, and nothing I did or said meant anything. 

    Ness:- How long did it take for your dream to be realised & where did your inspiration come from? 

    Cat Pieterse:-  
    It wasn’t until I was much older, in my early twenties, that I started to say I was a writer, and it hasn’t been until the last three years or so that I can say it without blushing, and even acknowledge, that for better or for worse, I have a gift for writing. I am a writer.

    I started The Last Lord’s Wife about three years ago. I woke from a dream where a girl in an old-fashioned dress was running over a field. Somebody was chasing her. I took the notebook I kept near and started to write. As usual after those kind of dreams, I simply wrote in short words, details I remembered still before they faded away, and things I came up with on the spot. The girl would be called Lily, a name I have always adored. And she was young, highborn and living in some year in the middle ages. Her mother had been murdered when she was very young. The rest … well I don’t want to spoil the whole book. 

    I write my stories out on normal paper, then I type it out and edit it some. My dear friend Nat takes out all the typical Dyslectic-Dutch-girl-writes-in-English mistakes and sends it back to me. After that, I don’t touch the chapter anymore. I am not allowed; otherwise I will never think it good enough for anyone to read. I often feel like whatever I write is boring, and it isn’t until Nat tells me its not or what I can change, that I find the courage to post it on my private forum for a few select friends to read. I have to fight myself to tell people not to buy the book sometimes, for I don’t want them to waste their money on something I think is horrid, but then other times I simply look at the picture and cant help but be proud for getting TLLW published for all the world to see. The main hurdle for getting published was therefore not finding a publisher and getting the deed done, but it was me. I was sure nobody really wanted to read it, or at least not when they would have to pay for it first. And perhaps some people don’t, but that’s what libraries are for and sharing with friends. And maybe it isn’t such a half bad story, cause it made me laugh and cry and smile at times while I was writing it. 

    Ness:- Have you got any advice to unpublished authors?
    What were the main hurdles you had to overcome to get this published?

    Cat Pieterse:-

    The point is, you never know until you try. The manuscript for this book was on the shelve for nearly a year before I send it off to this publisher, and low and behold, they accepted it. The first publisher I ever send anything too actually accepted it. After that, it was a whirlwind of two months with editing and sending in things. The waiting before I actually held the book in my hands seemed endless, when in reality it was barely 1/10 of the time the book has waited for me. I am not saying you will get your book, poems or whatever it is you made published immediately too, but you will definitely never publish it if you don’t send it in. I had a good reason for sending it in now, I felt I was ready. Also my mother threatened to break into my house and steal it. I believed her. Anyone who knows my mom would believe her too. My roommate would have helped. 

    Ness:- Will your next novel be in a similar style? 

    Cat Pieterse:-   
    My next novel, ‘Touch’ is written in a similar style, this is the style I write all my stories in. part dialogue, part thoughts, rich on details and some humour, romance, drama and mystery. However the setting is completely different. Where TLLW was a story in the Middle Ages, Touch is a present time story, with a supernatural edge. My writing style is the same; I don’t hold myself to one genre though. I write whatever comes up in my mind. 

    Ness:- Does being in the Netherlands make it harder for you to find a publisher & will you try to get the next book published internationally? 

    Cat Pieterse:-  
    Being in the Netherlands doesn’t necessarily make it more difficult for me to find a publisher, except that I write in English. I have no Dutch version of the manuscript yet. A lot of people find that weird, seeing as Dutch is my mother’s tongue. I think the Dyslexia somehow makes it easier for me to write in English first. It does make it more difficult to sell it to Dutch people who are not at home in the English language, on the other hand several of my friends that I have met over the internet could directly purchase a copy. Of course I would like to get published internationally, with this one or the next, but I don’t know if that’s possibly. I suppose I won’t know until I try. 

    Ness :- Not only have you got an amazing talent for writing but also for art, is the front cover 1 of your own designs? 

    Cat Pieterse:- 

    The front cover of the book was done by a fantastic artist and my best friend Natalie. The same Nat that helps me out in so many ways. I did do a drawing of an old-fashioned carriage myself, but I never send that one in to the publisher. I thought Nat’s drawing hit the nail on the spot for the front cover. She made one for Touch too, even though the story is only at chapter 12, the front cover image is ready and waiting. (And no, you can not see.) (Ness spoilisport!)

    Ness:- Your book has been sent all over the world as requested by friends, how proud do you feel that your name is on our book shelves? 

    Cat Pieterse:- 

    It’s hard to believe that several copies of the books are now spread over the world. I am quite eager to know what everyone will think of the story and whether or not they would recommend it to their friends. I have a couple of paintings hanging in different houses over the world, but this book is another thing all together. I think it’s a good thing I can’t just pop over to Canada or Australia for a minute, I am not sure if I would cry or smile if I could see my book there. Probably both. Anytime I see it come up now, even as a picture, I can’t wipe the stupid grin of my face. 

    Ness:- Where do you see yourself in 10 years? & What is your long term goal? 

    Cat Pieterse:-   
    Since roomie and I just moved into this house two months ago, I am kind of still hoping I will still be here in ten years. I like this house a lot. It is home. Playing with my cats is something I want to continue doing the rest of my life. Simply living would be nice. Being happy. Perhaps with several of my books being published God-willing… and write. There will be a pen in my hands until the moment I blow out my last breath. And hopefully, a stupid grin because I see my books proudly standing on your shelves. 


    E. C. Pieterse

Posted on January 2, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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