Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cathy Webster's Week - Interview

Understand why the fuss, HERE.
Picture credits on this post.
It's time to collect the rewards! 

My first knight to shine at Randomities is the lovely Cathy Webster, whose blog Life on the Muskoka River features not only her wonderful stories but also funny and curious life anecdotes.

During Cathy's Week you'll read an interview with her (below) and a story featuring no one less than herself

Now, since this is the first knight interview, I think some explanation is in order. I've send a bunch of questions to all interviewees, the same to everyone. Since there were too many to post in a single interview, I chose the ones which answers I liked the best. This means that in future interviews you might find repeated questions or not. So each interview will be a surprise for you and the interviewee. *grin*

Additionally, the stories that I wrote based on the collected information are also a surprise to the subjects of my inspiration. *wicked grin* 

Now, I'll let Cathy speak. My throat is sour of too much babbling, and my face hurts. 

Silly questions:

1. What's your favorite color? 

Pink! Baby pink! 

2. What else is a favorite to you that you feel is relevant? 

James Durbin is my favourite contestant so far on American Idol. Dexter is the coolest show on TV but I miss Tony Soprano (I was in love with him - love, I tell you). I love my convertible and I love my laptop (MacBook Pro) and I love living "up north" on the river. I do not love dishes.

3.     What's your worst fear?

Someone breaking in the house when I'm here by myself. Something horrible happening to my husband or my children. Losing my mother. Being in a car accident. Being eaten by a bear while we're camping… there are so many. I am SUCH a chickenshit!

4.     What do you do for a living, besides writing? 

I've worked for newspapers all my adult life; for 20 years as a reporter/photographer and then editor; since then as a graphic artist.

The writer:

5.     Why did you start to write? 

Because I suck at math.

6.     Who the most influenced your writing?

Rolling Stone magazine. When I was in my early 20s I really took a shine to the honest, detailed, well-crafted writing being done by the mag's feature writers. Incredible stories. Their tone, their dedication to original, accurate writing clicked something in me that made me want to write like that.

7.   When/where do you write the best?

The thing I learned about being a reporter is there is no best time to write. I had to write several stories every day and I had to write them in between covering other events. It didn't matter if it was 8 o'clock at night or 6 a.m.; didn't matter if I was sick as a dog; I had to write every chance I got. The very best time to write was as soon as you returned from an interview. Write when the idea, the information, is fresh - that freshness will show in the writing. If the info is stale, your story will be boring and, um, stale.

8.   Which part of writing do you like the most?

I don't do drafts. I write it once, editing as I go. Then I read it out loud to my husband, to see how it sounds (I find a ton of mistakes that way), I do a spell check, and then I send it out. Yes, I know rewriting would make a more polished story… well, I think it would. But, again, newspapers don't allow you the luxury of rewrites. You write it. You send it. And then you're on to the next thing. I honestly think spending too long on one story will make it mediocre. It takes all the 'you' out of it. But you know what? I am certainly no expert. In competitive contests, my work rarely is chosen and I've never been published. Maybe if I did rewrites, that would change… however, I rarely submit anything, either. (Rejection is another big fear.)

9.   What's your favorite genre? Which other(s) genre(s) do you write in?

Slice of life. Anything that illuminates the human condition. 

10.   Which is the favorite character you've ever wrote? Why?

I like the old ladies in Why Mabel Stopped Going to ChurchMabel and Olive are the only characters I've written about in more than one story. I also really like Gretal Hoffenmeir  because she was just crazy and funny and well, crazy. And I really liked Stinky, I CAN'T CHOOSE! Those guys are all crazy...  but I also have a soft spot for a sad cook named Olezhka; Bella, a woman who loses her children (based on a true family story)And I liked Gordon Kilbride, too, a widower who returns to the ghost town that was once his home. Sorry, Mari! 

The story:

11.   If you were to be written as a character in a story, which genre would you like the story to be? 

Meh.. doesn't matter. Humour, I guess. Anything but science fiction. 

12.   Would you like to have any special trait, ability?

I'd like to have good hair.

13.   Is there anything, any kind of being, you'd like to see in a story featuring you, or the character of your choice?

A river. There has to be a river.


Cathy Webster lives on the sunshiny banks of the Muskoka River near Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. She shares her rustic, 131-year-old log cabin with her new husband, Dave, two good-looking sons, two cats, one smallish dog and some squirrels in the attic. When she's not blogging at Life on the Muskoka River or coveting her new Kindle, she's designing magazines, camping at one of Ontario's gorgeous provincial parks, or fishing on the riverbank. Some day she thinks she might try writing a novel. Some day ... but you're not holding your breath, are you?


  1. Cathy, owner of the most fabulous hair on the planet, is one of my favorite people and this is a great interview. What a joy to read.

  2. What a great interview! Pssst...I don't do drafts, either. I prefer to edit as I go. Whatever works, right?
    Cathy, write that novel! You are such a talented writer!

  3. Cathy is a total sweetheart. I hope she doesn't spend too much time worrying about people breaking into her home - of course she wouldn't have time to write multiple drafts.

  4. What a great interview. Of course I'm a little bit biased, as she is my daughter. And Cathy people would die for your hair!!!

  5. Aw gee shucks, thanks Mari! And thanks all you commenters! (Mom, I'll pay you the five bucks I owe you this weekend, is that ok? What? You want it sooner? My own mother, a hardass! Sheesh!)

  6. Great interview, Mari & Cathy. And Cathy, what have you got against science fiction? :-)

  7. Um, nothing? *checking the ulster-flap on the bio-rocket thrust gadgets in case KjM gets crusty and I need a quick getaway...*

  8. You have beautiful hair. And you create the best characters. So colourful and Canadian. I love that. And as for you - I think colourful and Canadian fits. And awesome.

    Mari, this was such a good idea. Excellent interview.

  9. Cathy DOES have great hair. Lots of it and lovely waves. This from the one who sits kitty corner to her at work who can only wish for hair like that. I love her stories and slices of life. Stinky was one of my favorite characters. Cathy can put a funny twist on anything so I agree that comedy would be the genre for her character in a book. Just wish I could hear half of what she says though. I have to admit it always makes me chuckle to myself when I hear her from the opposite side of the room giggling away at something or other. The days she's not at work get pretty dull and quiet. Fun interview to read.

  10. Thanks everyone for your amazing comments!

    --Dot: Thank you for your visit. I'm honored! You must be proud of your daughter. She's one of the most generous and loving persons of our writing community.

    --Optomistic: You're lucky to work with Cathy! I can picture how different are the days with and without her.

    --Cathy: See how many people are interested in a novel of yours? Count me in with them!

    I agree that your hair is fantastic. :P

    As to your answer to question #8, I feel more or less like you. If I rewrite too much a piece, I get bored, and I feel it gets dull, as the first creative spark gets too muddled with. Or I'm just lazy, lol.

  11. Cathy, submit more. Your stuff is great. And, you have great hair and live by a river, so you are a character in your own favorite story!!!

    Great interview, Mari!

  12. Ahem, *people* not persons, *people*.

    Had a bad day, am deadly tired. :P

  13. So nice to meet Cathy! *waves*

    Good hair is a wonderful ambition! I shall join you! :)

  14. --Jemi: How wonderful that you've met Cathy through a knight-post! You've made my day. :D

  15. Nice! James Durbin is my favorite too. Too cool that you've worked with newspapers and that you edit as you go. I wish I could do that. Oh, and your hair is fantastic. You're a great gal, Cathy. <3 Nice interview, Mari. I like your personal style.

  16. --Jodi: Thanks, darling. This is actually a collection of questions thrown away to collect info on the subjects (victims) of my creativity for the stories they'll be written in. What shines in the end is their personal style, me thinks. :)

  17. Thanks for dropping by, everybody! My head swelleth over!


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