Cat Patrick is an author of books for young adults including Forgotten (June 2011), about a girl who remembers the future instead of the past; Revived (May 2012), about a girl in a top secret government trial to test a drug that brings people back from the dead and The Originals (May 2013), about three clones living as one person in order to hide their past. Cat lives outside of Seattle with her husband and twin daughters, and is both obsessed with and afraid of zombies and America’s Next Top Model. To learn more, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
From my agent: When you finish a novel, set it aside for at least one month before re-reading or sharing it with anyone else. Unfortunately books aren’t born perfect—at least mine aren’t—and weak points are a lot easier to spot with a clear head and a little distance. It’s sort of the whole “forest through the trees” thing, only applied to writing books.
When was the last time you were nervous?
Yesterday? I get nervous a lot. In fact, I would go ahead and classify myself as a Nervous Nelly. My top two nervous-making things are flying and speaking in public. I’m always nervous before book signings and author panels, but my excitement about meeting readers/booksellers/librarians/fellow writers always seems to make it go away.
When you have 30 minutes of free-time, what do you do?
I read, or watch a funny TV show. Right now, I’m reading the third in Holly Black’s Curse Workers series, Black Heart. Some of my favorite funny shows are New Girl, Parks and Recreation and Modern Family.
The best part of waking up is?
Greeting my kiddos. I have three-year-old twin daughters and they (typically) wake up in adorably sunshiny moods, telling stories about what the day will bring. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when they’re smiling at me and saying, “Mommy, I love your hair!”
What piece of advice would you give the younger you?
Channel more of your self-confident preschooler. In high school, I definitely bullied my own reflection quite a bit. Now, as a parent of young children, I see how amazingly self-confident they are…and I want them to retain it. They tell me, “I look beautiful today!” “I’m the fastest runner!” I think it’s really wonderful to be able to see your own strengths like that. I’d love to tell Teen Me to smile at the mirror a bit more.
If you were reincarnated as an ice cream flavor, what would it be?
Well, I don’t really want to be eaten, so maybe something disgusting like black licorice? I guess if I’m choosing based purely on flavors I like, I’d be mint chip or vanilla with crushed Heath bar. Yum.
Outliner or Seat-of-the-Pantser?
Seat-of-the-Pantser. I’ve been much more successful with books that started as mental vomit on the page, and were fine-tuned from there.