10 Questions with Author Catherine McKenzie

From what’s on her bookshelf to what’s on her dinner plate, Montreal author Catherine McKenzie gives us a glimpse into her daily life.
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10 Questions with Author Catherine McKenzie

Growing up, poetry was Catherine McKenzie’s chosen mode of creative expression. Book writing? Not so much.

“I never had an aspiration to be a novelist,” she says. “I would sometimes read an amazing book and then think, I could write a book like that. Only to realize after a page or two that I was nuts, and writing was work.”

Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Catherine graduated from McGill University and went on to practice law. Then, in 2006, she had an idea that wouldn’t leave her alone.

“I didn’t know what it was,” she says. “Only that I had to write it down.”

So she did, and that idea gave way to her first book. Inspiration struck again, and from it her novel Arranged was born. Three years later she had a book deal, and today, she has nine published novels under her belt (with more on the way) including the national bestseller The Good Liar.

Here’s what else Catherine shared with us:

1. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Take a deep breath.

2. When you’re writing, where do you write? What is the setting?

I can write anywhere, but most often on my couch at home.

3. What’s on your bookshelf?

I’m an eclectic reader. Lots of detective fiction (which is what I read a lot of growing up), the classics (from Anne of Green Gables – which I love – to the Brontes – which I am not fond of), and contemporary novels. I’m currently reading a book called Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi.

4. What does a typical day in your life look like?

I still practice law, so my typical day is get up, put on lawyer clothes, and go do law. A typical writing day (weekends mostly) is get up and sit on the couch with my laptop until I complete my words for the day.

5. What would people be surprised to know about you?

I’m much funnier in person.

6. What’s your go-to meal or recipe?

Spaghetti with meat sauce, I could eat it daily.

7. What helps you get in your flow/zone?

Good music or a good TV show on in the background.

8. When do you feel most alive?

Running, skiing, and being outdoors.

9. How close is your offline life to your online life?

Quite different; I’m a private person and so what I post online is really only a small slice of me.

10.  In real life, face-to-face interactions are on the decline as the world becomes more and more virtual every day. What are some ways you connect with your tribe? What do you do to ensure you’re having authentic face-to-face interactions regularly?

Attending writers’ conferences or other book events where I can meet with my peers in person.


Be on the lookout for Catherine’s ninth novel, I’ll Never Tell, coming out June 4th, 2019 in Canada. In the meantime, you can visit her at CatherineMcKenzie.com or keep up to date by following her on Twitter and Instagram.

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Shannon Hodgen is a lifelong writer, DIY enthusiast, and homebody. She satisfies her need to put pen to paper–or, more accurately, fingertips to keyboard–as an agency copywriter, blog contributor, and freelance editor in Toronto.

Favourite Book: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Favourite Brunch Spot: Dirty Food Eatery in The Junction


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (440 pages)


Bookshelf Etiquette