Ontario Teen Book Fest 2017: Spotlight on Catherine Linka

Hello! Welcome, visit once again, buy more about to the Ontario Teen Book Fest blog tour. I am in awe of how long I’ve been a part of this event (this will be my fifth year!) and I’m so insanely grateful to go from attendee to blogger to moderator to author! Its been such a journey and this event remains one of my favorites of the year. There is so much fun to be had and there is so much passion for books and readers and all of that. I love an event that is all about the passion for something and less about the making money or that sort of thing. Ontario Teen Book Fest is all about the authors and the readers and celebrating YA and I’m 100% for that.


Saturday, symptoms March 25th, 2016

9:30 am to 5 pm


Colony High School Branch Library
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, CA 91761

This event is a completely free and un-ticketed event! Priority seating WILL be given to teens, but come one, come all! There will also be giveaways and raffles at the Fest, also free! Also, keep scrolling to find a giveaway held by us bloggers!

You can visit the website, to see the full schedule of the day by visiting the official Ontario Teen Book Fest website.

Books WILL be available for purchase at the event, available from Once Upon a Time Bookstore :) They are an amazing company so definitely bring your books from home, but try and support Once Upon a Time by purchasing a book!


Catherine Linka

Now let’s jump right in with an amazing author that I wholeheartedly adore, as both an author, mentor and friend, Catherine Linka!

Catherine Linka has been immersed in books her whole life, most recently as a writer and bookseller. She’s the author of the young adult duology A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS and A GIRL UNDONE. Catherine lives in Southern California and watches hawks and hummingbirds when she should be writing. 

Her Website / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Twitter

Her Books


Avie Reveare has the normal life of a privileged teen growing up in L.A., at least as normal as any girl’s life is these days. After a synthetic hormone in beef killed fifty million American women ten years ago, only young girls, old women, men, and boys are left to pick up the pieces. The death threat is past, but fathers still fear for their daughters’ safety, and the Paternalist Movement, begun to “protect” young women, is taking over the choices they make.

Like all her friends, Avie still mourns the loss of her mother, but she’s also dreaming about college and love and what she’ll make of her life. When her dad “contracts” her to marry a rich, older man to raise money to save his struggling company, her life suddenly narrows to two choices: Be trapped in a marriage with a controlling politician, or run. Her lifelong friend, student revolutionary Yates, urges her to run to freedom across the border to Canada. As their friendship turns to passion, the decision to leave becomes harder and harder. Running away is incredibly dangerous, and it’s possible Avie will never see Yates again. But staying could mean death.

Find Her Books at Your Local Bookstore or At the Following Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Book Depository


The Interview


Nerd Girl: Before you were an author, you had quite some experience with bookselling. Did that experience have an affect on what you write? Do you pay attention to trends in the market, or do you just write the story you want to write?

Catherine: When I was a bookseller, I read new releases constantly and talked about them with the teens on our advisory board. It helped me as a write learn what readers expect, and what they think makes a story great or disappointing. (And made me work even harder to make A Girl Called Fearless satisfying!) I really believe you have to write the story that means something to you. You’re going to live with those characters for a long time, and the journey of writing your novel has to be fulfilling for you, because you can’t control if your story will find its readers.

Nerd Girl: How important was it for you to tell the kind of story you did in A Girl Called Fearless? What do you hope readers, especially girls, take from it?

Catherine: For me, one of the most important things about telling Avie’s story in A Girl Called Fearless and A Girl Undone, was to show how a girl goes from regular teen to kickass. All these books I read with kickass heroines, especially “chosen ones” were telling readers that either you’re a born kickass or you’re not. But that’s just wrong. A lot of us don’t realize we are fighters or survivors until we’re trapped in a situation that could take us down physically or emotionally. Until we’re tested, we don’t know the heights we can climb.

Nerd Girl: What can you tell us about any books that you are writing for the future?

Catherine: The book I’m writing now is about a freshman at an art institute who sneaks into her instructor’s studio to paint a copy of the painting he’s working on. When she discovers her copy has been swapped for his original, she has to choose between telling the truth about her role in what she now realizes is a million dollar art theft or hoping no one will discover she’s the forger. So much is at risk: her scholarship, boyfriend, prison. I love when bad things happen to my characters.

Nerd Girl: Which book is harder to write: the first or the second? Why?

Catherine: Every book is hard to write in its own way. To think you’ve nailed how to write a book after you’re written one or two is delusional.

Nerd Girl: What are some books or authors that have inspired you in your own writing?

Catherine: I’m not one of those authors who gush a lot of emotions all over the page, so when I read Jennifer Niven, Jandy Nelson or Nicola Yoon, I’m inspired to dig deeper into my characters.

Nerd Girl: What writing advice would you give to aspiring writers, especially teen writers?

Catherine: Read. Read. Read. Learn what you love to read whether it’s fantasy, thrillers or contemporary, and think about what makes those stories work. Imagine how you could take that kind of story in a new direction so it becomes unexpected. Write fanfic or original stories, write on wattpad.com, or TeenInk. Do it!

Nerd Girl: What are some of your favorite memories from when you were teen?

Catherine: I went to a girl’s boarding school so my favorite memories involve my friends and I sneaking around campus or the town at night. One year I had a fire escape right outside my room which was right above the housemother’s bedroom. It took ninja skill to get down that ladder without being caught.

Nerd Girl: And, as always on this blog, I have to ask: who is your fictional crush?

Catherine: My fictional crush always changes, but today it’s a boy named Neruda from Carrie Arcos, CRAZY MESSY BEAUTIFUL. He’s named after one of the greatest love poets and he’s trying to understand how love works. He’s vulnerable and artistic. Swoon!


Don’t forget to check out the rest of the spotlights and interviews with the amazing authors appearing at TBF by following the tour below!

Blog Tour Schedule

March 15th:

Spotlight on Romina Russell – The Consummate Reader
Spotlight on E. Katherine Kottaras – Book You Very Much

March 16th:

Spotlight on Catherine Linka – What A Nerd Girl Says
Spotlight on BT Gottfred – My Fangirl Chronicles

March 17th:

Spotlight on Elana K Arnold – Read Now Sleep Later
Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana – Starkiller Readers

March 18th:

Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil – Adventures of a Book Junkie
Spotlight on Charlotte Huang – A Traveling Book 

March 19th:

Spotlight on KM Walton – Recently Acquired Obsessions
Spotlight on Jeff Garvin – Reading Over Sleeping 

March 20th:

Spotlight on Jessica Brody – A Reader’s Antidote
Spotlight on Aditi Khorana – Read Now Sleep Later

March 21st:

Spotlight on Ann Stampler – Movies, Shows and Books
Spotlight on Nicole Maggi – My Fangirl Chronicles

March 22nd:

Spotlight on Julie Buxbaum – A Traveling Book
Spotlight on Cindy Pon – Book You Very Much

March 23rd:

Spotlight on Martina Boone – Movies, Shows and Books
Spotlight on Mary Weber – What A Nerd Girl Says

March 24th:

Spotlight on Jessica Love – Nite Lite Books
Spotlight on Lilliam Rivera – Starkiller Reads
Spotlight on Robin Reul – I Read What I Want 2

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