This week’s interview is with Catherine Wallace Hope whose book ONCE AGAIN releases tomorrow! Congratulations Catherine! Read below about ugly crying over books, the story behind her title, the in-depth research she did for the book, and more!
Catherine Wallace Hope grew up in Colorado, the setting for her thriller Once Again. She earned her degree in creative writing at the University of Colorado. She also delved into dance in New York and art and psychology in California. When she returned to Colorado, she became an instructor at the renowned Lighthouse Writers Workshop, offering creativity workshops for writers. Currently, she and her family are living on an island in the Pacific Northwest where they serve at the pleasure of two astonishingly spoiled dogs.
Tell us about a book that made you cry.
The ugliest crying I’ve ever done over a book was when I got to the scene in Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD when the man and the boy found the bunker full of food. I wept with such joy and relief that I couldn’t pull myself together to keep reading until later that day. The rest of the book was a series of encounters with the horrific, the poetic, and the inevitable, but nothing brought me to tears the way that bunker scene did.
Tell us about the title of your book. What is the story behind it?
The title of my novel is Once Again. Achieving agreement on this title required one of the longest email threads in the history of communication. My publisher, my agent, my editor, my publicist, and I went back and forth for days, through every possible permutation, every twist, tweak, and play on words with the names and themes of the story, only to end up choosing a title that is one word away from the working title. It was fun though, and we thought we should make the whole endeavor into a drinking game.
How long did it take you to write this book and what kind of research did you do for it?
It took me about two years to write this book, and that includes research, which was a massive and daunting undertaking. All of the quantum mechanics in the story is based on real scientific inquiry that is racing forward at this very moment. The things I learned were confounding and astonishing, and I was often amazed by moments when gifts of synchrony just seemed to fall into place, small coincidences that worked for the story. Those are some of the things you can’t anticipate as a writer. You’re just grateful to the core for them.
Are your characters based on real people?
Most of the characters started out with a basis in someone real, but during the writing process, they became their own entities—more complicated, more horrible, more courageous—and sometimes in ways I would never have expected.
What are you most looking forward to with the release of your book?
For so long now, this story has been in the heads of only a few people. I’m excited about the idea that soon many people will create their own versions, that the story and the people in it will live all these new lives that look different depending on who is reading. The story will acquire a range of meanings created by future readers. I find that fascinating, and I can’t wait to hear about it.
WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING
“Simultaneously a suspenseful and action-packed thriller, a meditation on grief and loss, and an examination of time and memory, Hope’s debut is not to be missed.”
“Though any mother would wreck the world to save her child, Erin must literally obliterate time to rescue hers. A chilling and visceral thrill ride that will both break your heart and lift your soul.”
—Janet B. Taylor, author of Into the Dim
“Gripping, gut-churning, and heartfelt—full of lost and last chances.”
—Max Gladstone, co-author of This is How You Lose the Time War
— The Debutante Ball (@DebutanteBall) October 5, 2020