Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome MG/YA and Thriller author Catherine Stine.

Welcome, Catherine !


Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?



MG/YA/Thriller Author Catherine Stine

Hi everyone!

My name’s Catherine Stine and I write YA and kid’s novels. In YA I’ve written a futuristic thriller with a generous dash of romance called Fireseed One. It is set on a changed earth in 2089 and asks the question, What if only your worst enemy could help you save the world? Varik, the son of a murdered marine biologist, must travel to a lethal desert with his enemy, Marisa who’s destroyed the world’s crops, for a mythical hybrid that may not even exist.

fireseed oneJPG

Now, I’m writing its sequel, Scarlet’s Fire**, set eight years later. I ask the question, If Everything About You Changes, What Remains? Fifteen year-old Scarlet, long-pledged to the much older Stiles from the Fireseed desert cult, escapes with only a change of clothes, a pouch of Oblivion Powder and her mute little brother, Thorn. I’ve also recently completed a YA horror-laced fantasy. I love writing speculative fiction!

For middle graders I’ve written fun adventure stuff like A Girl’s Best Friend for American Girl about kids who volunteer at a pet-sitting place, where a feisty Husky dog named Pepper keeps escaping! It’s a choose-your-own adventure with over 20 endings.

a girls best friend stine

These two distinct genres appeal to the two sides of my personality: adventurous and fun, yet futuristic and ever-curious. I’m also an illustrator, and for Fireseed One I did nine original drawings.

Here’s one of Flyfish, a hybrid of fish and sea-grapes, allowing the fish to grow up on vines in floating warehouses!

FlyfishRGB (1)

I teach creative writing and literature part-time as well. I love teaching almost as much as I love writing and drawing.


On Workspace

I write in three different places—at home, at a communal writing space and in the country—again, a testament to the various parts of my personality.

My small home office in New York I call the Rabbit Hole. Here are pictures of it.

K's desk wall view

The Rabbit Hole has a welter of illustrations, photos and Xeroxes of checks from various jobs, which I find motivational. Perhaps it’s the Capricorn in me. I pin up photos of my characters, which I gaze at, imagining what each might do and say.

studio wall w- hedgehog painting

I also belong to a writers’ space in downtown Manhattan, where I work in a cubicle to the sound of other writers typing. It helps me stay serious and focused to hear other people work too!

On some weekends, I work in the Catskills, in an old cow barn. My writing beverage is black coffee in the morning, and black tea all day. No milk, no sugar in either, but I do like a sugary treat in the afternoon.

 Kitsy's 1st grade pig lovers pix

Catherine’s first grade art (pig lovers)


On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?  Who inspired you to write?

It’s impossible to say who my favorite author is! In adult fiction I like Don DeLillo and Justin Cronin. In YA, I’m enjoying Franny Billingsley. I’m reading some great indie YA, and I love to find new authors of this type. My latest indie fave is Alison DeLuca.

2. Do you write everyday?  How many hours a day do you spend writing?  What are some of your worst writing distractions?

On a good day, I spend up to 3 or 4 hours writing. Most days it’s more like 2. If I write consistently, it adds up. I did 45K words in November, which I was happy with. My worst distraction hands down is Facebook! I love to check in on my writing friends and also read what’s up in the news.

3. Why do you write?

Why do I write? To entertain! To thrill, to discover, to creep myself out and explode verbal and visual pyrotechnics all over the place. I write for the love of my characters, and to describe this crazy, lyrical dance called life.

4. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us?  How about a favorite writing quote?

Favorite writing quotes? Oh, many. DeLillo is good: “What we are reluctant to touch often seems the very fabric of our salvation” and “I don’t want your candor. I want your soul in a silver thimble.” How’s that for sliding-off-the-tongue spectacular?

If you like funny, Oscar Wilde is the man: “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.”

Writerly advice: Chop the first ten pages off your manuscript, and then revise, revise revise! After that, get a trusted beta reader to edit, and shampoo, rinse, repeat!

Thanks, Nutschell, for inviting me over for this visit!

 **Catherine is still debating on whether to use Scarlet’s Fire or Ruby’s Fire for her sequel title. Maybe you can help her out by casting your votes below. 



Thanks, Catherine, for giving us a glimpse into your writing life.

You can learn more about Catherine on her website – and on her idea city blog

You can also purchase Catherine’s books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.



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24 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Catherine Stine”

  1. Brinda says:

    Catherine’s artwork is amazing.

  2. DEZMOND says:

    love the cover for Catherine’s book!

  3. Another great workspace post. Thanks for sharing Catherine. As a former first grade teacher it warms my heart to see your framed pig art <3

  4. Kelly Hand says:

    Both the downtown and Catskills workspaces sound like good places to escape from the distractions of daily life. I wish I had a real workspace of my own other than my lumpy living room couch. I do get the house to myself during the day as I work from home–both for my “day job” and for my writing–but it is not quite the same as the “room of one’s own” Virginia Woolf considers essential for writers. Yet my laptop is a workspace of its own, and it lures me in.

  5. Nice to learn more about you, Catherine. My daughter is a huge American Girl fan and I loved Chime by Franny Billingsley.

  6. mooderino says:

    I like the chaotic but organised workspace. Didn’t think it was possible, but apparently it is.


  7. Catherine,
    I LOVE your covers. They’re so colorful. Fire Seed One is beautiful.

    For The Writing Nut: Please send your email (can’t find it on your blog) to me at as I’d love to be on your blog as a Guest…author of 17 novels, Kathryn Meyer Griffith

  8. Thanks for interviewing me, Nutschell! Yes, my space is a tornado. BTW, the photo on my wall that looks like Abe Lincoln is my great, great uncle Charles who wrote children’s stories.

  9. Beverly says:

    Great interview. Your office looks a lot like mine. I do vision boarding posters for my stories with pictures of the characters and other things that are in the story. Your illustrations add to you book. Love them.

  10. I like Ruby.
    And that is a lot of stuff on your writing desk wall…

  11. Shelly says:

    Interesting lady. Your little writing hole would drive my Sweetman into a coma of some kind.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  12. Alex, I’m stoked that you prefer Ruby! What do others think: Ruby or Scarlet?

  13. I’d love to work in a writer’s shared space! I get a lot done on Tuesdays when I write with a group at a coffee shop. Love her writing space! I always feel more drawn to the word “scarlet” than “ruby,” but I have no idea why. It seems more exotic.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  14. Allison says:

    Fireseed One looks good! Haven’t heard of it before.

  15. Lydia K says:

    Great interview! I like Franny Billingsly too. :)

  16. I really love your work space… looks so much like mine:) Great interview.

  17. ML Swift says:

    My office looks a bit like yours…but soooo much messier! I’ve had to move to another room to get any work done. It’s a clean-up job that’s been put off too long.

    Fireseed sounds intriguing and your illustrations are wonderful! Did you design the cover as well? Very nice.

  18. Morgyn says:

    Catherine, thank you for the peek into your writing life. What book(s) did the quotes from DeLillo come out of? They are so intriguing, I would like to read them.

  19. To answer some of your Qs, I did nine interior illustrations but not the cover. Don’t know which DeLillo novel that particular quote from, but he’s one awesome writer. I teach his novel Point Omega in my lit class. Any more folks like the name Ruby? Associations to it?

  20. Tonja says:

    I love the picture with the fish!

  21. Wow! Awesome interview! I think my daughter would LOVE that American Girl book, if nothing else than because she’s obsessed with huskies. 😀 I wish I knew what to say on the sequel title, but they both sound good to me!

  22. I think I like Ruby’s Fire better. And loved seeing the workspace. Really cool about the writer’s space thing in Manhattan. I’d never heard of that, but it makes sense!

  23. Thanks for the feedback regarding those names!

  24. henya says:

    Love your work space. Amazing writing is created there….:)

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