Author Archives: Catherine Fisher

Sensory Detail.

Firstly, I'd like to say that I love your work. I've read a ton of your novels and I always blaze through them because they read so fluidly. The way your writing catches me up in  its current and sweeps me along reminds me of being on a waterslide. 

My question: In my opinion, part of what makes your writing so great is the use of concrete sensory detail. For example, in the Obsidian Mirror series you frequently refer to heady scents when Summer is present, and describe the different textures of plants like mosses and lichens. When writing a paragraph of sensory imagery, how do you know how much is enough? Too much? I'd love to be able to write imagery like yours, but I'm always worrying that I'm including too much or not enough. 

Thanks for your kind comments. You are right in that I make a real effort to include all the senses, especially texture and scent, which is the most evocative. Nothing worse than reading a story that’s only seen through the eyes. It feels half empty.

Obviously you need to avoid overkill. The rule is the same as any other sort of description really- not too much, a sentence or maybe even just a phrase but whatever is there has to be powerful. Something like lavender, for instance is very strong..a language bomb- so just one mention of it is enough for the reader. So I would say don’t use paragraphs of description, just a sentence, not too many adjectives, just a few powerful words…lemon, velvety, metallic, icy…. they are all extremely good at causing the reader to feel exactly what we all know about how those feel/smell/ taste.

Having said that I get carried away sometimes…!

Thanks for your question.

The Bramble King launched.

The Bramble King launched.

Last Thursday I had the great pleasure of reading from The Bramble King at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, alongside my old friend Sheenagh Pugh, who was launching her own latest collection Afternoons Go Nowhere. Both are now available from Seren Books. Sheenagh lives in Shetland these days so I haven’t seen her for a… Continue reading

Clockwork Crow event at Hay Festival

Clockwork Crow event at Hay Festival

It was great to talk to an interested and enthusiastic audience at Hay on Sunday about the Clockwork Crow. I had the chance to read an excerpt and field plenty of challenging questions. Thanks to everyone who came! My next event is at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff this Thursday where I will be reading… Continue reading

Seren Poetry Gala at Hay Festival

Seren Poetry Gala at Hay Festival

I took part in an excellent event at the Hay Festival on Monday night- the Seren Poetry Gala, with poets Jonathan Edwards, Rhiannon Hooson and Elizabeth Parker, launching the Borderlands pamphlet from Seren’s new series, and also reading a few poems from The Bramble King. The event was made even more special because the great… Continue reading

Clockwork Crow wins the Tir na n’Og Award.

Clockwork Crow wins the Tir na n’Og Award.

A lot of things seem to have been happening lately! Perhaps the most important is that THE CLOCKWORK CROW has won the Welsh Books Council’s Tir na n’Og Prize, awarded from a shortlist of four, for a children’s book with an authentic Welsh background. The prize, an amazing wooden book, was awarded last week in… Continue reading

The Bramble King published

The Bramble King published

My new poetry collection, THE BRAMBLE KING, is published from Seren books later this month. There’s a glimpse of the cover below. It’s my first collection for a few years, so the poems are fairly varied, through time and subject. Lost rooms, locked castles, many places in Wales and beyond, a lot of weather… and… Continue reading

End of year news

End of year news

It’s been a great end of year, with a lot of success for The Clockwork Crow. It’s been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Prize, and will be judged by schools, along with two other fabulous books. The result is announced on World Book day in March. there have also been lots of gratifying reviews. I… Continue reading

Clockwork Crow on Blue Peter longlist.

Clockwork Crow on Blue Peter longlist.

I’m delighted to be able to say that The Clockwork Crow has been named as one of the 10 books on the longlist for the Blue Peter Prize. www.booktrust.org.uk/what-we-do/awards-and-prizes/current-prizes/blue-peter-book-awards/ The shortlist will be announced on March 6th, and then schools will judge the final winner. Their decision will be made public on World Book Day,… Continue reading

Dear Catherine, my name is Helga Nyírő.I’m from Hungary.Love all of your books.You are on my list of favorite authors.  I still remember discovering your books at my local library and reading all the books they had of in yours in a  month…  Terrible emotions and emotions occur in your books and I suffer together… Continue reading

The same worlds

Is Relic Master in the same world as Incarceron (the realm)? because it seems that it would be in the future and “the Crow” is a hint to Sapphique. That’s an intriguing notion, but I’m afraid I have never linked these worlds. The Relic Master set was written before Incarceron and Anara is a different… Continue reading