If you're aren't already aware, Words in Deep Blue is one of my absolute favourite books I've read this year and overall! See my gushing review here.
Hence, I was mega excited when Pan Macmillan Australia asked me to be on the blog tour AND I got to interview Cath yeehaw!
"This is a love story.
It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets.
It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.
Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal and looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind."
Date Published: 30th August 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Buy Links: Kinokuniya | Dymocks | Booktopia | A&R Bookworld
Interview with Cath Crowley
1. Have you ever written a letter to a stranger and slipped it in a book? Or opened a book a found a message from a stranger? If so, what’s the most memorable one?
I have written a letter to a stranger and slipped it into a book. I left quite a few around Melbourne while I was writing Words in Deep Blue. I rented a post office box so I could safely leave my address. I didn’t get a single reply. But that doesn’t mean a stranger didn’t read them. Or maybe they haven’t been found yet.
The most memorable thing I’ve found in a book was a letter I wrote to my father when I was overseas. I sent it twenty years ago, and he’d kept it all this time. I found it in one of his books after he’d passed away. It made me incredibly happy and incredibly sad to find it there, tucked into a book he loved.
2. What are your thoughts on writing on the pages themselves? Are you the type of person who believes a book shouldn’t be marred by a pen?
If a book is mine, not a library book or a book that belongs to someone else, then I do write on the pages. I love seeing lines marked in book I’m reading. It’s as if someone has loved those exact words before me.
3. There’s something about handwriting a letter that adds sentimental value – do you still write letters to people?
I love receiving handwritten letters. I have a couple of close friends who still write to me that way. I can hear their voice on the page, in a way that I can’t hear in an email. I do still write letters to people, although not as much as I did. I have hundreds of letters in a box, mailed to me by friends and relatives when I was overseas. It was before email took off, and so my only contact with home was the written posted word.
4. Rachel grieves for her brother Cal and looks back on his death frequently. What advice can you provide on moving forwards, but at the same time preserving someone’s memory?
Grief is very personal, so I can’t give advice. I think it’s different for every person. After my father died, it took me a long time before I could even look at his books, because they reminded me of him. After a year, though, those things stopped being a source of new grief, and started to be a comfort. I’m not sure what changed in me, but now I love that I can hear his voice on the pages. He left himself behind in the things he loved – words, poetry and books.
5. If you could choose one thing you love most about second-hand bookstores, what would it be?
I love the history of them. Ruth Gamble, who works at Alice’s Bookshop in Rathdowne Street thinks ‘there’s an archaeology of soul in a bookshop’, and I think she’s exactly right.
2. Your favourite second-hand bookstore?
I have two – The Known World Bookshop in Ballarat and Alice’s Bookshop in Rathdowne Street.
3. A song (or playlist) to go with Words in Deep Blue?
I have playlists for my other novels, but for Words in Deep Blue the backing track is a book list – T.S. Eliot, e.e.cummings, Charles Dickens, David Mitchell, Jennifer Egan, Junot Diaz – and all the books that were playing in my head while I wrote.
4. Coffee in bed or at a café?
In bed, definitely.
5. Short stories or novels?
I love them both, so it depends on mood. But if I have to choose, I choose novels.
Thanks for joining me on the blog Cath (:!
Thanks so much for having me, Jaz x
I hope you all enjoyed Cath's insightful, lovely and at times, bittersweet responses. I think the style is a reflection of Words in Deep Blue.
Haven't got your hands on it yet? GO.