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Inky Awards Shortlist: Interview with Cath Crowley

Sep 11,2017
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Interview questions for Cath Crowley, proudly provided by 18-year-old Inky Awards judge, Vivien. Cath Crowley has been shortlisted for the 2017 Gold Inky Award for Words in Deep Blue, a book about books, letters and writing; it tackles some harder (and sweeter!) subjects, too. It's also predominantly set in a bookshop so... it rocks.

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Q: What is your book about?

A: Words in Deep Blue is about a group of characters working in a secondhand bookshop called Howling Books. Into this bookstore returns Rachel. While she’s been away, her brother, Cal, has died. While she’s working in the bookstore, her job is to catalogue the Letter Library, a set of books that customers can write in and on. So the book is about how we overcome grief through friendship, through memory, through books. It’s a love story, too: the love story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie.


Q: The writing in Words in Deep Blue is beautiful. Who or what has the greatest influence on your writing style?

A: Thank you J. That’s a great question. Authors like Karen Russell and Kelly Link and Jandy Nelson inspire me. But I think I’d have to say that the thing I’m most interested when writing a book is what inspires me most. So, for Graffiti Moon, it was street artists and glass artists. For Words in Deep Blue it was secondhand books. I love taking a thing, and looking at it from all sides, to try to capture how it looks and feels with words.


Q: What is your favourite book store memory?

A: Ruth Gamble, who works at Alice’s Bookshop in Rathdowne Street, Carlton, Melbourne, told me that ‘there’s an archaeology of soul in a bookshop’. I love that line. And that conversation with her about books is my favourite memory.


Q: If you were to communicate through the Letter Library, which book would you leave your letters in and why?

A: I’d leave a letter in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I’d love to write to someone who loved the book as much as I do. And someone who admires Jane’s strength of character and determination and grace.


Q: If you won the Gold Inky Award you would…

A: Be very surprised, but very honoured and incredibly happy.



Over to you, reader. Have you voted?

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