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Words in deep blue by Cath Crowley: 23 Feb, 2017

"A second-hand bookstore, a love story, and a letter-library: all of these things are mentioned on the blurb of Cath Crowley’s new book, Words In Deep Blue. Really, why wouldn’t you want to read something that has these as offerings?" – Katherine Dretzke

Cath Crowley is an award-winning author of Young Adult fiction. Her novels include The Gracie Faltrain trilogy, Chasing Charlie Duskin, Graffiti moon and Words in deep blue. In 2011 Graffiti moon won the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction, the Ethel Turner Award for Young People's Literature, and was named an honour book in the Children's Book Council's Book of the Year.

Crowley will join us for a Q&A on Thursday, 23 February between 8 and 9pm. Please leave any questions you have below. (And discuss the book at your leisure!)

Want to buy Words in deep blue? Receive 10% off when purchasing it from Readings at State Library Victoria. To receive the discount online, enter the promo code BOOKCLUB in the promo code box during online checkout. To receive the discount at our State Library bookshop, simply mention the Thursday night book club at the counter.

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Hi Cathy,

How did you go about choosing the literature that would be included in the book?
And how did the book's audiences influence these choices?

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Hi Matthew, mostly I chose books I loved - that was one of the best parts of writing the book. The only book I picked deliberately for the overall theme was Cloud Atlas. I love the idea of transmigration.

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Hi Cath,

Thanks for your response! (I wish I'd waited til AFTER the discussion this afternoon before asking my question :)

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Hi Cath,

YA seems to be one of the more experimental genres around at the moment (if you can really call it a genre). What do you think makes the YA scene so vibrant?

Thanks! 😊

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Great question. I think it's vibrant because there are so many great writers telling stories incredibly well. I love that there's play in the books for this age group. I love that people are mixing genres. I know when I read I love it when someone tries something new and hard and doesn't mind the risk - they don't care if it doesn't work.

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Hi Cath 👋🏼 Great to hear 'Words in deep blue' is on the Inky Awards Longlist this year!

If you could write one love letter to one book, what would it be and why? ❤️

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Hi Sarah - thank you! That's a great question. I think I'd write it to A Visit From The Good Squad. I love that it plays with time and narrative structure. I read it and felt overwhelmed by nostalgia.

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Dubliners - I always pick it up and read a story when I feel homesick, no matter how many times I read it, it reveals something new about my home town 💛

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Hi Cathy, what's the best and worst writing advice you've received?

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Hi Jen, the best is definitely from Fiona Wood - finish it! So many great books half finished in drawers. The worst advice is someone telling you your idea won't work before it's writtten! Someone also just gave me the advice that I should start journaling again and I'm going to take it. Also, feed your creative self - see films, listen, look, read.

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Hey Cath! I know this is a big question but I'm sure aspiring and emerging writers would find it immensely helpful... did you have a specific writing process when you were writing this novel? And if so, could you give us a rough idea of what that was? ☺️

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Hi Jen, I'm not sure my process for this novel will help - but maybe what I learnt from that process might. I tried to plot first - basically I tried to fight my natural process, which is to think and dream and journal and then when I have a larger work, plot it, and then go back and rewrite. I need to let the ideas come before I plot. I'm going back to that even though it takes longer.

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Hey Cath, how do you maintain your discipline to write when there are so many distractions?

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Hi Eoin, great question. With Words in Deep Blue and before, I was only writing at home, and the problem tended to be that I couldn't stop writing. Bit obsessed with it! But now I'm working full time I make sure I journal every day. So at least if I'm not writing a lot. I'm still writing. Do you find it hard to maintain a routine?

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Hi Kath,
You mentioned that this book took you six years to write as you put it down for a while. Do you have a usual timeframe for writing novels or has each one been different for you?

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