Incarceron Author Catherine Fisher on Writing Her Prison Novel

By Maryann Yin Comment

Catherine FisherUK children’s author/poet Catherine Fisher has published 3 volumes of poetry and several fantasy fiction series in her native country. Now, she is preparing to make her mark in the United States with the YA book, Incarceron. We caught up with her to learn more about what she has in store for her stateside reading public.

Q: Incarceron was conceived from your design to write a book about prison; did you do any research into that topic in preparing to write this book?
A: None at all, because Incarceron is like no prison on earth. I was aware from the beginning that the world of the prison would be fantastical and strange, so I didn’t feel I needed experience of real prisons. That said, I have visited a prison, so I did know something about the atmosphere.

Q: What is your writing process? Is it different for prose versus poetry?
A: My writing process varies. With the novels I try to write a few pages a day–it doesn’t sound much but it can be difficult, if I’m not sure where the story is going. I often write in pencil on paper and then type up later. It’s much quicker than using a keyboard. Poetry is quite different; just a few snatches of lines here and there, and then an hour or so working on a batch of poems.

Q: Can you give your fans any details about the forthcoming Incarceron film adaptation?
A: I’m afraid I know very little. The screenplay is being written (not by me) and there is talk that Taylor Lautner is to take the part of Finn. But nothing is completely certain as yet. I’m sure a few things will become clearer in 2011.

Q: How do you feel about some of your books having their UK titles changed when they are published in the US?
A: I’m ok about this as I appreciate that the US is a very different market to Britain. However I’m pleased that Incarceron and Sapphique kept the same titles, as I can’t imagine them being called anything else!

Q: Your resume is incredibly interesting and varied: broadcaster, adjudicator, primary school teacher, archeologist, poet, and novelist. Why made you decide to go with the writer route?
A: I always was going to be a writer. The other jobs were just to keep me in food. Though I enjoyed the archaeology.

Q: Did those different job experiences help you imagine the stories for your novels?
A: Only archaeology, which helped me with my novel Darkhenge among others. But mostly things come from within, rather than work experiences.

Q: What’s next for you in terms of books, poetry, or other projects? Maybe you’ll add another career onto your amazing resume?
A: I don’t think I have time! I’m very busy preparing the four Relic Master books for their US launch next summer. Also I’m working on a new novel, which I can’t say much about as its still in the early stages. But watch this space!