Cat Clarke was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire. She worked in children’s publishing before becoming a full-time writer after her debut Entangled became a worldwide bestseller. Cat lives in Edinburgh.
Why did you want to write LETTING GO?
I fancied writing something with a very different setting to my previous books, and I’d been reading a lot about hiking and mountain climbing. Something really appealed to me about the idea of a teenage girl completely out of her element, just trying her best. I really enjoyed writing about Agnes and the promise that turns into a nightmare.
Was it very different from writing your other books?
Letting Go may be shorter than my other books, but the writing process is the same. Every story I write starts with a few weeks or months of brainstorming, trying out different ideas. It’s mostly just me scribbling questions to myself in a notebook. Then I come up with a pitch of a few paragraphs, summing up the basic premise. After that, I just start writing! It usually takes me a while to figure out who the characters are. I have to write my way into the story – finding things out as I go. It feels like a process of discovery more than one of creation.
What do you hope readers take away from the story?
I never think it’s my place to say what readers should or should not take from a story I’ve written. It’s one of the joys of stories, that different readers can take away completely different things… but if you pushed me, I’d have to say CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST BEFORE YOU CLIMB A BLINKING MOUNTAIN!!!
Is there an art to “letting go”?
I’m still learning! Letting go is something I struggle with on a daily basis. Past grievances, disappointments, rejections… it can be tough to let go and move on. I think I’m getting better at it though–I hope so anyway. It can be very freeing to just *decide* to let go. To say the words out loud, even if there’s no one there to hear them.
What would you want to ask your readers?
I would like to ask my favourite question of all time: Would you rather have muffins for hands or squirrels for feet?
(My answer is always, always squirrels.)