Quick Q and A's with Catherine Gilbert Murdock!!

Over the past few years Catherine Gilbert Murdcok has captured teen girls ( and boys!) interest and hearts with her Dairy Queen Trilogy featuring the funky heroine D.J.! Though, as they say all good things come to an end, because the last Dairy Queen book was officially released today. It's name being Front and Center. Luckily for you all, I have Catherine here today to answer some burnng questions I had.


1) With Front and Center being the last book in the Diary Queen Trilogy, what are your thoughts on closing this series?

I have to say that mainly I feel relief. I really do love these characters, and it's been a wonderful, joy-filled roller coaster ride with DJ, but I'm looking forward to meeting new characters, creating new communities . . . My biggest regret, now that I muse on it, is that I never got to read the books. Oh, sure, I wrote them and edited them and revised them, but I never got to read them as a READER gets to, where every page is new and you don't know what's going to happen next. Which saddens me, because I think I would have enjoyed them quite a bit, and I normally don't like sports stories at all.

2) Since all the D.J. books have a big focus on sports, what is your favorite sport to play? Why?

Oh dear. I don't "play" sports. I never have. I've lacked from birth whatever combination of intellect, coordination and perception it is that makes one gifted at moving balls. And this is unfortunate. Actually, it's a terrible reflection on our culture, because it turns out (this I learned in my 30s) that I'm rather fit, and not that bad at events such as Pilates and cycling and triathlon, these activities that instead of team work, fast-twitch muscles and coordination require patience and solitude and training. All those horrible years suffering through volleyball in gym class . . . If I ever become supreme ruler of the universe, my very first task will be to dramatically revise gym.

That said, my favorite current "sport" is Pilates. Which I do almost every day, and just adore. Too bad I can't get graded retroactively . . .

3) Is there one specific thing that you hope readers of Diary Queen trilogy will take from it?

There so many lessons woven into the trilogy: the power of determination: the necessity of tolerance: the importance of communication . . . I think the lesson that matters most to me is not jumping to conclusions. You cannot make conclusions about what other people are thinking, or what they intend, or what their value systems are, until you get to know them. And then you will doubtless discover that your initial conclusions were based far more on your faults than theirs.

4) If you could meet anyone of the characters in your books in real life, who would you choose? What would you talk about with that person?

As much as I enjoy Dale and Bill, I'd probably want to meet DJ. Ask her how college is going. Watch a couple of her games.

5) Some authors tend to listen to music or TV while writing while others prefer silence. Which is your favorite type of atmosphere to write in?

Silence. I can't write if anyone else is in the house, though oddly I'm quite good at writing in public – put me in an airport lounge with a bottle of water and I'm creative as all get-out. But kids in the house suppress absolutely any possible impulse to compose.

6) What made you pick YA as the genre you wrote in? Do you ever see yourself branching out into other genres?

I still, four years into this, don't see myself as a "YA author." I see myself as someone who writes books that appeal greatly to young adults, but that also speak to other readers and ages. I know I've said this before, but a good book transcends its intended audience . . . which I guess makes it sound like I'm boasting about my own work, which is not my intent at all. I'm just trying to say, very ham-fistedly, that I'm not a big fan of labels. Princess Ben I wrote as a fairy tale, and it wasn't until my agent read it and called me that I realized it was actually "fantasy," with all the labeling and baggage that this term carries. That said, I do toy with the idea of writing a cookbook, which would be far more appealing if the planet weren't already swimming in cookbooks – do we really need any more? So I think I'll stick to making stuff up, because books aimed for a YA audience have always been the stories I love the most.

7) Are you currently working on any projects?

At the moment I'm in the very early stages on a quasi-sequel to Princess Ben – for all its baggage, fantasy really is my true love, and to judge from my bookshelves I far prefer it to contemporary coming of age. But I'm not comfortable saying more than that, because it is extremely tenuous right now and I don't want to jinx anything.

8) Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks for the great questions!
Thanks so much, Catherine! I enjoyed reading your answers. You guys can all go visit Catherine on her website here if you would like, now, or maybe go and buy one of her fabulous books! ;)


  1. Hi Lauren & Catherine :)
    Thank you for the great interview.
    I loved learning more about Catherine. Thanks for sharing Catherine.
    All the best,

  2. I've absolutely adored the Dairy Queen trilogy. Those books are simply fabulous - and each one made me cry and think and call up my sister and talk her into buying (and reading) a copy so we could discuss it with each other. Great interview - it answered some questions I had, and provided a little bit of a window into Ms. Murdock's writing world. Thanks!


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