Today I have an interview with Catherine McKenzie, author of the recently released book Forgotten.
What kind of research did you do to write this book?
I did both cultural and geological research on Africa to invent the fictional country where part of the book is set. Also, a friend of mine lived there for five years and I spoke to him a bit to get a feel for the place. I also read a few books (non-fiction and fiction) set in Africa.
Did you base any of the characters on real people?
I got the idea for writing the book because I heard about someone who had gone to Africa, gotten sick and returned home six months later to find someone else living in their apartment. I don’t know the person’s name or anything else about them so that’s as close as I came to basing anyone on a real character.
What’s the hardest part of writing a book?
For me it’s the middle third. The space between 25,000 words and 65,000 is always the hardest.
What’s your favourite part of writing a book?
Taking an idea that’s in my head and turning it into something substantial.
When everyone thinks you’re dead, how do you start your life over again?
Emma Tupper, a young lawyer with a bright future, sets out on a journey after her mother’s death: to Africa, a place her mother always wanted to visit. But her mother’s dying gift has unexpected consequences. Emma falls ill during the trip and is just recovering when a massive earthquake hits, turning her one-month vacation into a six-month ordeal.
When Emma returns home, she’s shocked to find that her friends and colleagues believed she was dead, that her apartment has been rented to a stranger and that her life has gone on without her. Can Emma pick up where she left off? Should she? As Emma struggles to recreate her old life, everyone around her thinks she should change – her job, her relationships, and even herself. But does she really want to sacrifice everything she’s working so hard to gain?
About Catherine McKenzie
Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of McGill University (B.A. ’95 in History (Hons)) and McGill Law School (BCL & LLB ’99), Catherine practices law in Montreal. She is the author of the international bestsellers SPIN and ARRANGED. ARRANGED will be released in the US on May 15, 2012, and her third book, FORGOTTEN, will be released on May 1, 2012 (Canada) and October 16, 2012 (US).