Interview with Catherine Linka, author of A Girl Undone
18 Sep 2015
Tell us a little bit about your new release, A Girl Undone.
I love what CC Hunter said about the series, “An ordinary girl become extraordinary.” A Girl Undone concludes the story of Avie whose dad sells her into marriage to a billionaire as part of a business deal. The two books are set in LA in a twisted version of now, but it’s ten years after hormones in beef killed four generations of American women, so teenage girls are very valuable and protected.
In A Girl Called Fearless, Avie goes on the run and discovers that she’s strong, she’s a survivor. But in A Girl Undone, Avie must bargain for her life and the lives of the two young men she cares about. She’s trying to do the best she can under impossible circumstances, but is devastated when she realizes she’s become the enemy.
I wanted to write about a real girl, not a superhero, and I’m so proud that Avie goes from sheltered and powerless to being a young woman who finds her voice, her will, and her inner strength.
Who was your childhood hero?
African-American runner Wilma Rudolph who overcame polio and went on to be an Olympian. She pushed herself to become one the fastest women in the world. Oddly, my daughter fell in love with Wilma, too, when she found the picture book, Wilma Unlimited in the library.
What’s the last book you read?
This wasn’t the last book I read, but I have to tell you about it, because I loved it so much: Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas. The chapters are letters between Ollie and Moritz. Ollie has a life-threatening allergy to electricity and Moritz has a pacemaker so they can never meet. It’s sci fi that reads like contemporary fiction. Totally unique.
Where is your happy place?
A ship called Explorer which I’ve taken to both the Arctic and Antarctica. Polar landscapes are stark and yet amazingly beautiful. In the summer, the sun never sets, but as the clouds shift they create dramatic color changes. And the wildlife? Imagine watching polar bears, or penguins, or killer whales in the wild.
Where did you write A Girl Undone? (your couch, a coffee shop, a bar… hey – we won’t judge)
In a cozy chair the size of a love seat. I curl up with my Mac or stretch out, and watch hummingbirds in the jacaranda tree outside.
How do you like to spend a rainy day?
Rainy day? What’s that?
Just joking. We haven’t seen rain in So Cal in a really long time. But if it did rain, LA drivers would freak out, so I’d cocoon in a bath with a great book, and crack open the window so I could listen to the patter of the raindrops. Bliss!
What’s your favorite song lyric?
I love this by Death Cab for Cutie. So romantic it just kills me.
If there’s no one beside you
when your soul embarks
I’ll follow you into the dark.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Butt in chair.
It reminds writers that if you want to write a book, you have to actually sit down and do it. But I think the advice is pretty universal, because no matter what dream you want to make a reality, you need to work to make it happen.
What’s your favorite line from A Girl Undone?
“We are monsters!” It’s a turning point, because Avie realizes how far she’s fallen, and she must decide who she really wants to be.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Catherine Linka is the author of the new book A Girl Undone.
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