Reader Behind the Author*** Catherine Fisher

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
 Reader Behind the Author Presents 
 Catherine Fisher

Catherine is an acclaimed poet and novelist, regularly lecturing and giving readings to groups of all ages. She leads sessions for teachers and librarians and is an experienced broadcaster and adjudicator. She lives in Newport, Gwent.
Catherine has won many awards for her work, including The Cardiff International Poetry Prize. The Oracle was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book Prize. Incarceron was The Times Children's Book of the Year.

What is the last book you purchased?

The last book I purchased was Christopher Priest's The Dream Archipelego. I am a big fan of his and like everything he's written. His books are hard to define, being fantasy but not by any means the usual sort. I like his book The Prestige most of all. I only buy books I really like, and get most things from the library.

What was the first book you remember reading and totally falling in love with?

The first book I remember reading for myself was a Rupert Bear annual. (Did Rupert  make it to the US?)  He was and is very popular here, and the stories are strangely mysterious and have quite a few fantasy or surreal elements.I also loved Alice but had to have that read to me as a very small child.

Where you always a reader?

I was always a reader, and went to the library weekly for my three-book fix.

The Little FriendWhat book are you currently reading? 

At the moment I am reading Donna Tartt's book The Little Friend, because I so enjoyed her first The Secret History. This one is very good too.

Do you have any books on pre order? if so would you like to share what they are?

I don't pre-order books. I tend to buy on impulse. 

If you could meet an author alive or dead who would you pick?

If I could meet a dead author it would be Shakespeare because there is no other poet as amazing, and because he lived through some very interesting times. I could also solve some eternal mysteries by asking him who he wrote the sonnets to, and where is his missing play Cardenio....

How many books do you think you read in a year?

I don't know how many books I read in a year- I would estimate maybe a hundred as I get through about two a week. Not counting poetry, articles, newspapers etc.

What are some of your favorite books in the genre you write?

The Invisible Man (Signet Classics)In the fantasy genre I really rate the following HG Wells, Christopher Priest, Alan Garner, Robert Holdstock, Tolkien, Arthur Machen and whoever wrote Sir Gawain and the Grene Knight. A bit of a mixed bag!

If you could save one person from dying in a book who would you pick?

Too many people die in books, but if I had to chooose one to save it would be Anna Karenina.But of course it would wreck the book.

Favorite book couple?

Favourite book couple - Holmes and Watson of course. Though not exactly a couple...

Mythago WoodIf your best friend asked you to recommend a book, what would you pick for them?

I would recommend, for my best friend, Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock. A stunning novel.


Short  Questions.

Hard cover or paperback
Hardback if I can afford it.

Book or some form of e reader

Vampire or Shifter 

YA or Adult

Books stored on bookshelf or wherever there is room
Bookshelves. Books must have respect!


IncarceronIncarceron and its sequel are certainly the most complex books I’ve written. They were a wild roller-coaster ride of fun, invention, despair and worry. Sometimes I thought I would never get through it; other times the book seemed to write itself, the characters took over, things happened I hadn’t even foreseen. I had a really mixed bunch of characters, the austere, dangerous Warden; feisty Claudia, arrogant, vain Keiro; Finn who never quite tells the truth. And Jared, Claudia’s gentle, clever tutor. There are lots of relationships of various sorts going on here which I tried to imply more than state. Also there are a few mid-blowing twists in the story that seriously jolt the reader into amazement. At least I hope they do!

SapphiqueAs I neared the end of Incarceron I realised there would be a sequel, but I didn’t think it would make a trilogy. A pair of books was something I hadn’t done before, so I was happy with that. Sapphique picks up a few months after the earlier book ends, and I can’t say too much about the plot without giving things away. But maybe escape is not the same thing as freedom, and inside the prison a crazy magician claims to own Sapphique’s Glove, an object of great power that everyone, including the Prison itself, desperately wants.

May 2011     June 2011     July 2011     August 2011
The Dark City   The Lost Heiress   The Hidden Coronet   The Margrave

I'm delighted that Dial Penguin are about to publish the Relic Master set (known in the UK and elsewhere as The Book of the Crow) in the US. I wrote these books a while before Incarceron, and many people have pointed out that many of the ideas and images of the later book began here. Penguin have created a stunning sales campaign, and will publish the four books monthly, in May, June, July and August of 2011, so that readers won't have wait too long to collect the set. With amazing covers and a great map of the planet of Anara, these could become collectors items!!
I'm really pleased that readers in the Us will at last meet Galen, Raffi, Carys and the Sekoi, some of my favourite characters out of all those I've written about. And I hope the books will be re-issued in the UK and Europe as a result.

Crown of Acorns Find Out More about Catherine Fisher and see a complete list of her books (there's a bunch) HERE

CorbenicAlso make sure you check out info about Incarceron being made in to a movie!! And there are already rumors Taylor Lautner might play Finn. Like I said rumors, according to Catherine's Page nothing has been set and the script is just about finished.   

** Note: Reader Behind the Author Will be a New Weekly Wednesday Feature @ AwesomeSauce Book Club (as long as we have authors who sign So please come back every Wednesday! Button Coming Soon!!


  1. Great interview! I think it's my favorite one so far.:D I love her answers, they're very complex and interesting. Wow, meeting Shakespeare would definitely be something.
    I still have to pick up Catherine's books, but they seem awesome!

  2. Great feature and great interview! I'm excited to see that she has other books coming out in the US!
    Truly Bookish

  3. Thanks girls!! I was surprised when she wrote me back with all these answers and with so much thought to them! I had to make sure I made it I actually just won The Dark City and can't wait to read it. I thought Sappique and Incarceron were really awesome. Just so unique.

  4. I am a fairly huge fan of Incarceron and Sapphique, even with the loads of unanswered questions I was left with. As I always insist, Claudia should've run away with the tutor, just because theirs is by far the deepest and most affectionate relationship in the whole series. Jared is a very proper, thoughtful, and upright gentleman, and with Claudia's often unbridled fury and passion and recklessness, they provide good counterbalances for each other.

    Although Fisher purposely left romance out of the story, which I can respect as it can get in the way of the action, I did feel that subconsciously Claudia and Jared really were beginning to fall in love by the end. Of course, if you've read it, I'd love to hear any thoughts on the subject.


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