How can you have frequently asked questions? Your book only just came out?
True, but I talk to myself a lot. These are the questions my alter-ego asked me most frequently. They will be updated as new questions come up because, as I said, I talk to myself a lot.
Can I talk to you?
Sure, I’m friendly. You can email me, message me on Facebook, officially I tweet, but I’m extra lazy about checking it and don’t tell me I should have it linked to my cell phone. If I had all my social media accounts linked to my phone I’d never write another word. See Facebook related questions for more info. I’m also on Goodreads.
Where do you live?
Somewhere in cyber space. Catherine Green is not my real name. I’m trying to be anonymous.
So where do you really live?
With my husband and multiple kids in a house that could do with more cleaning. I usually write instead of cleaning. My kids get that college dorm dingy-ness without having to leave home. And as thankfully I married the right man, my husband doesn’t care.
How many kids?
More than three and less than seven.
Seven! That’s a lot of kids.
I said less than seven. Seven kids would be too many kids. Six on the other hand is quite manageable.
That means you have six kids, right?
I didn’t say that. I really just want to give myself leeway in case I feel like having any more and am too lazy to change my website.
Are you trying to make everyone a believer?
No, I don’t really care whether you believe or not. I just got sick of people looking at me funny when I said I was religious. Their eyes would glaze over and they’d give me that ‘uh huh’ look you’d give someone who’d just recounted how they got abducted by aliens while on the way to 7/11 last Wednesday evening. I’d be all, ‘No wait. I really am cool. We can still be friends. Just pretend I never told you I talk to God.’
Are you sure you’re not trying to get me to convert?
Really not. G-d has His own people for that. I mean, seriously, my books are good, but they’re not the road to Damascus. It’s just a story. I just got sick of looking like a loser when I ventured out of my own community. Also, now I get to tell people I’m a fantasy writer which is cool in itself.
So I can safely read these books without risking any lifestyle changes?
You’d be more likely to become gay from watching Glee. If it makes you feel better, I tested the books out on some of my non-religious friends, and they are still the same alcohol guzzling, chain smoking, foul mouthed bunch of bitches they were beforehand.
Are you saying that Spike is based on a real person?
All my friends think Spike is based on them. They might be right.
Is the Palace real?
Both yes and not at all. The yes is that the Palace is based on the real religion I practice. I took out all the bits that would make it identifiable because I don’t want this to be about any one specific religion. It’s supposed to be about the experience of living with faith and why a person might choose to do that. But the theology depicted in the books is accurate.
The No is that I’ve never seen inside the Palace. We understand that our actions affect our connection with the Divine, but anything that happens inside the Palace realm in the books is a work of my imagination.
There aren’t really swords and the forces of the Adversary attacking as animals?
No, I made that bit up. I did base some of the dynamics of the Palace on our mystical teachings, but basically it’s something I imagined.
But I’ve been there and seen it.
Please seek medical attention.
I read the books and it’s clear that you’re a Catholic/Muslim/Ba’hai/Jew/Methodist/Mormon/Jain….
I’m glad the Palace spoke to you. I’m still not telling you which religion I practice. Feel free to post your theories in the comments section or on my Facebook page.
You made up Jain.
No, it’s a real religion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism. You learn something new every day.
What’s this Facebook thing? Seth really has his own page?
Seth, Chloe, Jen, Bret, Stacy, and Spike all have their own fictional character Facebook pages based on the events in the books.
But let’s just get this part clear. Seth and Chloe don’t really have Facebook pages. I have more Facebook pages than any normal person should admit to, and I, Catherine Green the writer, update the pages pretending to be Seth and Chloe and co. Seth and Chloe are not real people – they are not coming to your birthday party and cannot take you to prom.
But it’s like, kind of, Seth right?
Right. I respond as though I’m Seth, or Chloe or whoever. If you’re going to talk to them you’d better know who you’re talking to; Seth is an easy going guy and will respond to most comments, but Spike will let you know if she thinks you’re an idiot.
Do you respond to everyone?
I try to. I’m online checking in at least once a day. I turned off the private message function on all of the pages except for mine (Catherine Green) I’ll respond to you privately if you don’t want our messages to be public.
What made you start the Facebook pages?
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I seriously dented my coolness ratio by becoming religious, having a bunch of kids, staying home to raise them, and filling my day with info such as three ways of getting rid of pinworms (PM if you really want to know). I thought about having a blog to publicize the books and realized blogging my life would defeat the point. As I was thinking ‘Seth and Chloe are just so much cooler than I am, why can’t I blog as them?’ it occurred to me I could blog as them. Then I got really excited about the characters having their own web presence and wondered why everyone else wasn’t doing it. Facebook was a better way to go than blogging because it’s easier to maintain and lets the characters interact between each other.
Is the timeline accurate?
As much as possible. I’d finished Life in the Palace when I started the Facebook pages so I worked out according to the story on what date everything happened and posted statuses accordingly. To Call Your Name I wrote and updated the statuses as I went along. Any Facebook related references in the books are found on the pages plus as huge amount of other material.
Life in the Palace starts in July 2012 and ends November 2012.
To Call Your Name starts January 2013 and ends September 2013.
The as yet untitled Book 3 starts September 2013 and runs until August 2014.
Does that mean the Facebook pages are full of spoilers?
I try to avoid any posts that give away major plot points. There are some spoilers so if you rather read your books totally unspoiled, read first and then check out the Facebook pages.
If I comment on an old post from months ago, which Seth responds?
I always respond as the character where they are in the present. So if you reply on January 2014 to a status from August 2012, then Seth as his character stands on January 2014 will respond. I won’t give any spoilers, but his attitude and response will be based on everything that happened in both books
When’s the next book coming out?
Book 3 is due to be released September 2014. Jen’s story, a companion novella giving more detail of what was happening in Jen’s life in the books (aka how she got together with Sven) is due to be released May 2014.
Can you come speak at my youth group/ prayer meeting/ high school?
Only if you want to pay my exorbitant speaking fee plus long distance airfare from my very distant city. (It has to be really worth it for my husband to watch the kids alone.)
How do you know it’s a long distance airfare? You don’t know where I live.
No, but I know where I live and I promise you it’s far away.
Oh, so you live in Canada?
Something like that.
Is the weather in Montreal really that bad?
Totally. I loved living in Montreal but the weather sucked. A guy at a party once told me that Montreal had four distinct seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and the Summer. I ‘borrowed’ the quote for the book because it’s the most accurate description of Montreal weather I’ve ever heard.
Do you usually steal lines from other people?
No and when I do, I own up to it. See my acknowledgements page