Interview with Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Today I am pleased to host an interview with the lovely author Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Catherine is the author of the Dairy Queen trilogy, which I adored (Dairy Queen, The Off Season, and Front and Center) and Princess Ben.


Since you never expected to write a sequel to Dairy Queen (let alone a third book), do you still feel like there is more of DJ’s story to tell or are you ready to bid the Schwenks a fond farewell? Could you see yourself returning to write a book about, say… Curtis (hint, hint)?

I really need to revise that mention of Curtis on my website! I’m fielding several emails a day begging for a book on him, or another book on DJ. I love them both dearly, and I feel they definitely have more story in them, but I need to try some other stories first. For several years.

I’ve seen you mention before that you yourself are not much of an athlete. I’m wondering if you are a sports enthusiast– or perhaps did you become one after spending so much time with DJ? Do you have specific teams you regularly cheer on? or is DJ’s athletic ability something unique to her?

After writing three books about high school sports, I have far more sympathy for athletics generally, but I’m afraid I don’t cheer on any specific teams. Though if the Eagles ever make the Super Bowl, I’ll be watching.

One of the major themes of DJ’s story seems to be communication (or lack thereof on DJ’s part). Is this something you struggled with yourself as a teenager? How do you see DJ’s experiences impacting teenagers?

The moral of Dairy Queen, that communication is imperative – a message that applies across the board, not just for teens. Certainly her parents needed to learn it! That said, I’ve heard from many teens who really seem to respond to this, in a very positive way. That’s wonderful.

Along with DJ’s story, you’ve written a fantasy book, Princess Ben. Would you like to return to that genre in the future or stick to more contemporary settings as in the Dairy Queen trilogy?

I’m really a fantasy gal; give me a talking cat and magic wand and I’m set for life. The hard part is going to be controlling that impulse, and exploring other genres!

Since your background is actually in screenwriting, how would you feel if DJ’s story were made into a movie? And as a screenwriter, would you be able to allow someone else to transform your books into a screenplay?

Obviously I’d love to see the Dairy Queen movie; I’d love to read the screenplay! As a very wise writer (whose name I can’t remember) once said, selling your story to Hollywood is like selling your house. You can’t then tell the new owners what color to paint it. So, yes, I could allow someone else to transform the book, and who knows, it might end up far better than the book. With movies one just never knows.

Is there a particular book (or movie for that matter) you wish you had written?

Ocean’s Eleven (the George Clooney one). I love that whole effortless-suave effect, so different from anything I could ever write.

What books do you find yourself recommending over and over and over again?

Lireal by Garth Nix. The Straight Dope by Cecil Addams. Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex.

Are there any books to be released in 2010 that you are particularly looking forward to?

Let’s see . . . The sequel to Leviathan . . . The final Monster Blood Tattoo book, which I cannot wait to sink my teeth into. D.M. Cornish is amazing.

What project are you currently working on?

Another fantasy novel! Beyond that, my lips are sealed.

Thank you so much for stopping by today! It was wonderful to have you.


Angiegirl said...

I have DAIRY QUEEN in my stack and can hardly wait to get acquainted with these characters so many have fallen in love with. Thanks for this great interview, Catherine and Michelle!

Holly said...

Cool interview! I've read both Dairy Queen and Princess Ben. I LOVED DJ, I need to pick up the sequels. Thanks Catherine and Michelle!

Michelle said...

Angie- you will love Dairy Queen! It's one of the few contemporary ya's that I adore.

Holly - I'm glad you liked her too. Sad to say I haven't read Princess Ben yet, but it is next on the list.