My Interview with Catherine Healy
Second Run Reviews: Blood Entwines has a paranormal element. It’s not vampires (that I can tell), how do you describe the book and its paranormal elements to potential readers?
Catherine Healy: I would describe the book as urban fantasy. I think this differentiates if from otherworld, medieval, game of thrones type fantasy. Living in a mythical forest in medieval times is not something young readers have first-hand experience of, however, going to school and hanging with your friends at the weekend, this is something that everyone can relate to. The fantasy element of Blood Entwines is where you let your imagination take hold, where you suspend belief for a time. I suppose Cassandra Clare did it well in her Mortal Instruments books and Stephanie Meyer in Twilight. They placed the paranormal, the fantastical in the real world, right under our noses.
Second Run Reviews: What was the inspiration for The Faceless Man? How did you find his voice?
Catherine Healy: I wanted to have a character that wasn’t a character! So to clarify, I wanted more of a presence, a feeling and dis-ease in the background, menacing…the faceless man is just that, an entity, a force that is faceless and in turn bodiless…the scary part is that at any time he can take over his minions. So he is limitless in his ability to cause problems, to inflict harm, pain and suffering on people. That idea is pretty terrifying and I wanted to get that idea across in the flippancy of his voice, the way he speaks…the faceless man is really blasé about his powers to destroy…as if it’s just another day in the office for him, killing another pesky human. He was fun to write. ☺
Second Run Reviews: Other than writing the sequel to Blood Entwines, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Catherine Healy: Spare time…what’s that? I am writing another book for children at the minute as well as working on an arts and literature project with young people. In my spare time you will catch me on my yoga mat…usually at 5.30 in the morning, or having tea and cake with my friends at this little café near where I live. I read of course…every spare minute I can get….Sarah J. Maas at the moment! Loving this series.
Second Run Reviews:What three books do you most often recommend?
Catherine Healy: I read The Rosie Project recently and laughed and cried and found myself loving the flawed nature of the character and all this books says about society and what is ‘normal’. For younger readers I loved Geek Girl…that made me laugh out loud. Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously and it’s good to remember that it’s ok to giggle.
Classics are great. They are kind of a revelation. You realise that something so old…like from the 1800’s still rings true today…people and stories are ageless and as a writer this is reassuring to be reminded of. My favourite classics are Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights.
Second Run Reviews:If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
Catherine Healy: I would probably write another five to ten books, make all my mistakes, do all my learning until I had a perfect book…then I would publish it…but then I would never publish anything because I am always looking to improve, always thinking that I can do better…and if you wait till everything is perfect…then realistically I would probably never send anything out into the great unknown. I am really glad I published when I did as I learned a huge amount….I can take all this forward to my next project.
Second Run Reviews:What else would you like to say to your readers and fans?
Catherine Healy: I am so excited about the next book, Blood Betrays…I was really mean to my main characters but it was such fun to write.
To any readers or fans I would say keep reading, keeping talking about books, keep loving book and encouraging writers and readers. It’s a tough job and I’ve received some lovely messages from fans who really enjoyed the book Blood Entwines. That type of support makes the hours spent at the computer worthwhile. If someone, even one person, connects with a part of what you have written, then the hard slog is worth it.