Welcome to another Book Squirrel Author Interview, in which Book Squirrel meets Catherine Weaver, the author of the Island of California books, which are fantasy books set in the present day Silicon Valley area and the magical Island of California.
Thank you, Book Squirrel. It’s lovely to meet you!
Tell us, Catherine, what kind of audience you write for.
My books were written for middle-grade readers and have absolutely nothing in them that is not family-friendly. Kids who have read the books so far really like them, and most adults who have read them like them, too.
That’s great! It’s true that the best kids’ books are loved by adults as well.
Yes, there’s a child in all of us.
Or, at least, a very cute little squirrel.
Yes, of course!
Are your books all in a series, or are they single titles?
The novels, Gold Dust and Phoenix Down, and I am currently working on the third in the series, Dragon Oil.
I also have two books of short stories: Tales From the Island of California, and More Tales From the Island of California.
What inspired you to write?
I come from a family of writers. My mother, Jane Blue, is a poet, and her mother wrote articles for newspapers in San Francisco, so I grew up with the idea that writing was something people do. But what really inspired me to actually start writing books was my huge love of reading, plus my love of the San Francisco Bay Area. I read lots and lots of books that I loved, but noticed there was a distinct lack of fantasy books set in the SF Bay Area and Silicon Valley, which I feel are among the most magical places on Earth, and I wished I could read a book like that. Since I couldn’t find them, I decided to write them.
What’s your favourite thing that you have written?
I like them all, but have a special place in my heart for my first book, Gold Dust.
What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?
Ask me this on a different day and I will give you a different answer. I am a voracious reader and I have a lot of favorites. Right now I’m reading Ready Player One, which I am enjoying very much. I just finished Anansi Boys, which I feel is a perfect book. I also think most of the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett are perfect. I completely loved The Martian and can’t wait for the sequel. The Thin Man is one of the best books ever written. The Harry Potter books are likewise amazing. When I was a kid, I read and re-read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy to a point where I had them memorized, and the same goes for the Chronicles of Narnia. There are many more.
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
Today I have to say Ready Player One.
What are you working on writing now?
The third book in my series, which is called Dragon Oil.
Do you have any books planned that feature… you know… squirrels?
Uh… no. Sorry.
It’s okay. It’s never too late, you know.
I’ll keep that in mind.
What’s the best vacation you’ve had?
When I went to Switzerland and stayed with friends in Yverdon near Lausanne, rented an Alpha Romeo, and drove all over the french part of Switzerland, then down the Rhone Valley in France to Marseille, staying in Valence on the way.
What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing?
I really hate prejudice, greed and the way artists are devoured by the machine. I also hate religious, cultural and gender discrimination. These things are addressed in my writing, in a way that is palatable for kids. My books are full of humor, so the things I hate are not hit over anyone’s head.
What movie can you watch over and over again?
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What’s your favourite season? Why?
I like autumn the best because it’s sunny but not too hot, the air smells of wood fires, and the low sunlight slanting through the turning leaves is beautiful.
And all those lovely nuts!
Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?
Terry Pratchett, Dashiell Hammet, JRR Tolkien
Where can we follow you on social media?I’m on Facebook and Twitter and I also have a webpage.
You’re also welcome to check out my Amazon author page, which has all of my books on it.
Just click through on the links.
Thanks for being here today, Catherine.
Thank you for having me!