Catherine McKenzie

How did you become a writer?

I’ve always been a writer — I wrote poetry from an early age. I started writing novels kind of by accident. I had an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone, but I didn’t know what it was. So I sat down and started writing. Six months later, I had something resembling a novel, but I knew I could do better. So I put it in a drawer and wrote another one. That book eventually sold and became Arranged.

Name your writing influences (writers, books, teachers, etc.).

I'm an avid reader - have been all my life. I grew up reading detective fiction - Rex Stout, PD James, Dick Francis and Agatha Christie. I had a couple of great English teachers in high school who instilled some rigour in my writing. I love Jane Austen and Nick Hornby, and I think from the beginning, I was trying to write something that was in that space — character driven stories.

When and where do you write? 

I write anywhere really, but often in front of the TV - it helps me to have something distracting me when I write. I most often write on the weekends.

What are you working on now? 

I’ve just turned in my fifth novel, SMOKE which will be releasing on October 20, 2015.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?

I wouldn’t say I’ve suffered from writer’s block. Writer’s fatigue sometimes. Idea block for sure.

What’s your advice to new writers?

Read, read, read, read. If you don’t love books, why do you want to write one? And then write. Learn to write whether you’re feeling inspired or not because you’re not always going to feel inspired but you’ll have to write nonetheless.

Bio: A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine practices law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. An avid skier and runner, Catherine's novels, SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN and HIDDEN, are all international bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages. Her most recent release is SPUN - a novella sequel to her first novel, SPIN. HIDDEN was also a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Digital Bookworld bestseller. Her fifth novel, SMOKE, will be published in the US by Lake Union on October 20, 2015. And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, the answer is: robots. Visit her online at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at @cemckenzie1.