Interview with Catherina Hill
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I’ve got an active monkey-mind with a need for order. Hence, I’m a plotter and outliner who
can’t relate to people who can write by the seat of the pants. Pantsers, I salute you. I follow the
three-act structure ensuring I hit all major plot points.
For my characters, I learn what motivates them. What do they want more than anything? I ask
myself through what lens do they see the world, which determines how they relate to people and
circumstances and affects their decisions.
Tell me about your protagonist. What’s your favorite trait and/or weakness?
What I love about my protagonist, is she is an un-ashamedly sexually active, unmarried woman
who rejects gender norms on sexuality. Unfortunately, that’s what got her into the mess she’s in. I
wanted to explore discernment of sexually active women. I want the reader to ask them selves if
they’re judging my protagonist, and women today, for overt sexuality. Why is slut-shaming a
thing, and are we, as women at least as guilty as men when it comes to degrading other women?
How does your antagonist create conflict?
My antagonist’s fatal flaw mirrors the protagonist’s flaw. Deep inside, The antagonist thinks he is
unlovable and needs to conquer and own his love interest. He’s very needy. The protagonist, on
the other hand, thinks she’s fine on her own and can do without the help of others. Antagonist
attacks her sense of self-sufficiency and undermines her confidence to reach her goal, but that’s
what makes the protagonist realize she must change if she’s ever to return home and rebuild her
Do you have a routine you follow when you’re writing?
I write four to five hours a day, starting sometime between 8 and 9 in the morning, with a giant
mug of green tea. About 11 am I enjoy a double shot cappuccino which I make in my Tuscan
moka pot. If I think I need to write into the afternoon, I take a short lunch break. Creating takes a
lot more time for me than editing, especially if research is involved, so my word count goal
varies day to day depending on the task at hand.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
I wish I believed this advice sooner. Write the first draft for yourself. As Hemingway famously
said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” I got into a terrible habit of editing what I wrote the day
before, stalling progress and making me forget the flow of the story. When I finally decided to
write, then revise, the process went quicker and had a more natural progression of character
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
The dreaded writer’s block, who hasn’t been there? About my fourth draft (out of many more) I
realized that when I thought I was suffering from a good old bout of writer’s block, I had the
story going in the wrong direction. I couldn’t continue because the premise of the scene or
chapter was wrong. My advice is, when you’re stuck, look back on your story before you try to
move forward. More times than not, you’ll find the blocking obstruction.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?
Email: Mayorchill@gmail.com or through my website: CatherinaHill.com