Thursday, June 26, 2014

Erin McCahan

Erin McCahan's first YA novel, I Now Pronounce You Someone Else, was a 2010 Cybils Finalist and a 2011 RITA Awards Finalist in two categories -- Best Young Adult Romance and Best First Book. It was also named one of the Best 100 Books of 2010 by Librarians' Choices.

Her new novel is Love and Other Foreign Words.

Recently I asked McCahan about what she was reading. Her reply:
I realize it is impossible to read more than one book at a time. It’s not like I’m sitting at my desk with two books open, reading one sentence in the one on the left followed by one sentence from the one on the right. So technically, I should say I always have several books around the house in various states of incompletion. But the simpler truth is I read more than one book at a time.

On my nightstand, I have at least one work of non-fiction – usually Victorian or Colonial era history – and one work of fiction. And I say nightstand because I read for pleasure at night. I write YA, so part of my workday includes reading YA novels. And it’s a great part of this job!

Lately at different times during the day – usually when I’m completely stuck on my own work-in-progress – I am reading E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, because I didn’t think enough people had heard about this one, and I really wanted to help boost sales. On deck is The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier, which is middle grade and looks eerie and fabulous.

And at night, I’ve just started Death of an Empire: The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America's Richest City by Robert Booth. My forebears settled in Salem in 1629, so anything about that city fascinates me. I actually think it’s in my blood. (Probably not a good idea to get me started on the topic of the Salem Witch Trials. I have issues with the “afflicted” and the “judges.” My husband will only agree to take guided tours of certain Salem houses with me if I promise not to argue with the docents.)

For bedtime fiction, I’m reading The House of Mirth, which I like, but which I’m not loving the way I loved The Age of Innocence.

And at the moment, I am 6 chapters into a fourth book I pick up sporadically – Outsmarting Cats by Wendy Christensen. It’s subtitle is How to Persuade the Felines in Your Life to Do What You Want, and I’m learning lots of interesting things, but I can’t say I am yet entirely in charge of Simon, my 3-year-old giant red and white cat. I’m trying to get him to play more, but most of the time playing is just my performing a floorshow for him. And he’s never terribly impressed. But I have lots more chapters to study, so maybe by the time I finish this one, I will have reversed the power imbalance that is my relationship with my cat.
Visit Erin McCahan's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue