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Kids' Q&A

Cathy Vickers

Describe your latest project.
A mess.

It's sort of my diary, in which I discuss important personal questions like, "Should I stay with Boyfriend #1, or does the fact that he is immortal mean I should stick with someone a little more human?"

It's sort of an evidence locker, with Chinese coins and incriminating pictures and Suspicious Forged Documents I've grabbed while on the run from a bunch of Very Scary People.

It's sort of an address book, because it has the phone numbers of my friends (and a few of my enemies) and you can call them and leave messages and stuff like that.

And it's sort of a sketch book, because I am a compulsive doodler, so all my ramblings end up illustrated, like this:

Cathy's Key


  1. Cathy
    $17.95 New Hardcover add to wishlist

    Cathy's Key: If Found 650-266-8202

    Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman
    "Cathy is as lovable as ever, and her deadpan, smart-alecky voice and sketches should draw new readers to the series. Perfect for gaming fans, reluctant readers and manga enthusiasts." Kirkus Reviews
  2. Cathy
    $1.48 Used Trade Paper add to wishlist

    Cathy's Book: If Found Call (650) 266-8233

    Sean Steart and Jordan Weisman
    "A surprisingly lyrical addition to the teen-lit genre." The New York Times

    "[A] beautiful meditation on life and death (that doesn't take itself too seriously)." KLIATT


What is your favorite literary first line?
"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
—George Orwell, 1984

What was your favorite story as a child?
The Winnie-the-Pooh story "In Which Piglet Is Entirely Surrounded by Water." I always loved it when my dad read the first sentence — "It rained, and it rained, and it rained." Pooh gets stuck in a flood and finally has to jump into the water on one of his empty honey jars, and it says, "Sometimes you're on top of the jar, and sometimes the jar is on top of you." That's pretty much been my experience of life.

Nobody gives you the straight truth about life like Winnie-the-Pooh.

P.S. Oops! Also, add another: Mercer Mayer's One Monster after Another. "Over the sea of Bubbly Goo/ The Letter-Eating Bombanat flew." You can't beat that stuff. And the funniest illustrations ever.

What do you do for relaxation?
I draw. I paint and I collage and I take photographs, too, but mostly I draw. I'm a compulsive doodler (something that has gotten me in trouble with quite a few teachers over my time...).

Cathy's Key

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My dad was a painter, so I always wanted to be an artist. Actually, when I was really little I just wanted to eat all the little tubes of paint. I think I had the idea they were full of cake icing. I got over the disappointment with a few tears, a quick trip to the emergency room, and a stomach pump.

Right now my life is a shambles because I met this girl on a bus who basically stole my phone and my diary and is trying to steal my life. Back when we first met she said a funny/sad thing about that question: "When I grow up, I want to be so famous they write about my divorce in People magazine."

Yikes.

Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
Because my phone number was on the front of Cathy's Book, thousands of people called up and left messages. They had all kinds of advice on how to deal with the whole Immortal thing, but they also were just cool, talking about regular stuff. Like, when I was going through a tough time with Victor, I got literally hundreds of calls from girls telling me about their boyfriend issues. I guess I mentioned my birthday in the book, and every year on that day I get tons of "Happy Birthday" messages on my phone and on my MySpace page.

Cathy's Key

What's your favorite holiday and why?
Easter, hands down. My parents do a scavenger hunt every Easter morning, with clues leading to chocolate eggs. At first it was just for me, but ever since eighth grade my friend Emma has come over every Easter to do the treasure hunt with me. Halloween is a close second, just for the dress-up factor. Obviously a lot of people would choose Christmas, but... I like getting stuff; but I like doing stuff even more.

Make a question of your own, then answer it.
Q: What makes your books different?

A: Most books are something you read by yourself. I hope mine are like that, too, but I also want them to be something you can do with your friends. They're made to be shared, and in a perfect world we do them together. That's why there's stuff like A Prestigious Gallery (check out www.CathysKey.com and click on "Gallery"). You can submit your artwork there, as well as see mine — and the coolest stuff that gets submitted will actually be published in the next version of the book.

I want this to be our book — not just mine.

Cathy's Key

÷ ÷ ÷

My name is Cathy Vickers. Having failed spectacularly at a wide variety of entry-level jobs — pet-shop assistant, telephone solicitor, waitress at a fondue restaurant — I decided there was only one career path left for me: writer.

[Curtsies, trying to look Distinguished and Authorial and is glad you can't see her hair, because today is not a good Authorial Hair Day.]

I grew up an only child in a quiet suburban neighborhood, from which I learned an important lesson: being lonely sucks.

I love books. Books give you someone to hang out with even when there is nobody else around. But Cathy's Book and Cathy's Key are built on the principle that, as fun as a book can be when you read it by yourself, it's even more fun when you do it with your friends.

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