What: Ontario Teen Book Fest
When: Saturday March 21st , 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Colony High School, 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761
The Ontario Teen Book Fest is a FREE AND UNTICKETED EVENT! Meet 20 YA authors, hear them speak about their books and writing, and meet other book lovers like you. Books will be available for purchase on-site from Once Upon a Time. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase.
Official Blog Tour Schedule
February 28th: Spotlight on Kasie West -- Adventures of a Book Junkie
March 1st: Spotlight on Melissa Landers -- What A Nerd Girl Says
March 2nd: Spotlight on Brad Gottfred -- Recently Acquired Obsessions
March 3rd: Spotlight on Catherine Linka -- Read Now Sleep Later
March 4th: Spotlight on Debra Driza -- Read Now Sleep Later
March 5th: Spotlight on Katie Finn -- Fearless Kurt Reads YA
March 6th: Spotlight on Claudia Gray -- A Bookish Escape
March 7th: Spotlight on Shannon Messenger -- People Like Books
March 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller -- The Thousand Lives
March 9th: Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross -- Kid Lit Frenzy
March 10th: Spotlight on Anna Carey -- The Reader's Antidote
March 11th: Spotlight on Sherri Smith -- Movies, Shows and Books
March 12th: Spotlight on Mary Elizabeth Summer -- What A Nerd Girl Says
March 13th: Spotlight on Jessica Khoury -- The Consummate Reader
March 14th: Spotlight on Maurene Goo -- The Windy Pages
March 15th: Spotlight on Cecil Castellucci -- Nite Lite Book Reviews
March 16th: Spotlight on Jessica Brody -- The Romance Bookie
March 17th: Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil -- Movies, Shows and Books
March 18th: Spotlight on Aaron Hartzler -- Fangirl Feeels
March 19th: Spotlight on Michelle Levy -- The Consummate Reader
Spotlight on Catherine Linka
Today's stop on the tour is a spotlight on Catherine Linka, author of A Girl Called Fearless.
About A Girl Called Fearless
Avie knows her life is over when her dad “Contracts” her in marriage to millionaire Jessop Hawkins. Hawkins has bought Avie to be his first lady as he runs for governor of California on the Paternalist ticket. But Avie’s lifelong friend, Yates, believes she has the strength to flee to freedom in Canada. As Yates draws her into the secret world of Exodus, their friendship turns to passion, and freedom means leaving Yates and hoping they can reunite over the border.
This romantic spec fiction/political thriller is set in a contemporary America upended by the deaths of millions of women from a hormone in meat. Teenage girls are a valuable and restricted commodity “protected” by guards, gates and Paternal Controls on phones, internet and media. After Avie leaves the mansions of LA and Malibu, she learns dangerous truths about who controls the US government. Pursued by federal agents as she heads for the border, Avie must find the courage Yates always believed she possessed.
About Catherine Linka
Catherine Linka was almost thrown out of boarding school for being “too verbal.” Fortunately, she learned to channel her outspokenness and creative energy into writing. She is the author of the romantic spec fiction thriller, A Girl Called Fearless.
Catherine has traveled to such out of the way places as the Arctic circle, Iceland, and the Amazon and her personal goals include seeing penguins and orcas in the wild. She doesn’t believe in fate, but she did fall in love with her husband on their first date when he laced up her boots after she broke her hand.
Q&A with Catherine Linka
RNSL: When you started writing A Girl Called Fearless, did you think your book was going to be a YA novel, or did that develop later on the road to publication?
Catherine Linka: Avie is sixteen, almost seventeen, and she tells her story as she’s experiencing it. She’s dreaming of going to college and falling in love, and bam!--universities shut out women and her dad signs a contract for her to marry a guy twice her age. Avie has to choose whether to be fearless and run for freedom, or submit to a marriage she doesn’t want. I knew when I heard her voice in my head that this was YA, but I didn’t know that older readers would love her story, too. What’s been great is that some readers get swept away by the action and romance, while others dig deeper for the political undercurrent.
RNSL: What project are you actively working on at the moment?
CL: We’re finishing the final copy on A Girl Undone which is the sequel and conclusion to A Girl Called Fearless, and that comes out in June. Plus, I am super excited to be working with St. Martin’s Press and Wattpad.com to feature my novella, A Girl Called Defiant: Sparrow’s Story. Everybody loved Sparrow in A Girl Called Fearless, and so I wanted to share her story. It’s sexy and tragic, and you don’t have to read A Girl Called Fearless to enjoy it, but you might want to later.
RNSL: You have worked in the book industry apart from being an author. How has that influenced your writing life (or not)?
CL: Buying YA books for an indie bookstore is an amazing education if you want to be a writer. You’re reading all the time, seeing what books sell, and learning about different publishers. And I was really lucky I ran a teen board for 7 years because it was like watching a focus group every month about what teen readers love and hate. The one thing I had to learn was to not let what I know about the business keep me from writing what I need to write. I have to say, “Shut up!” to my evil inner voice that tortures me by saying, “Oh, that will never sell.”
RNSL: Are you able to read other books while writing your own? Why or why not?
CL: I read every night even when I’m writing. I had to read constantly for my job at the bookstore, and it was easy, because I had tons of advance copies. When I was writing A Girl Called Fearless, I avoided reading dystopian, because I didn’t want to accidentally steal from someone else. It’s funny, but readers tell me that the characters in A Girl Called Fearless express much more emotion than they do in most spec fiction and I think that might be because I read a lot of contemporary fiction.
RNSL: Your series is rather frightening to me in that Margaret Atwood sort of, something-like-this-could-possibly-happen-within-our-lifetimes kind of way. What makes you the most afraid? (Or are you fearless?)
CL: I wanted to write a story that when a reader put it down, they would say, “Oh my God, I could totally see that happening.” As I wrote A Girl Called Fearless, I kept thinking about how people act when a country has been through a horrible loss, and how fear or anger can be manipulated for political gain. We saw the Tea Party soar to power, and I don’t care what your political beliefs are--that was an amazing display of how emotion can be turned into political might. One teen reviewer talked about how the rise Paternalists reminded her of the rise of Hitler--which shocked me, because that had been in the back of my mind, too.
RNSL: Cake or pie (or both)?
CL: Pie, absolutely. And when it comes to ranking pie: berry (any kind!!), lemon meringue, pecan--oh wait, did I forget chocolate pecan pie!!!