Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Interview with Catherine Linka for What I Want You to See

What I Want You to See

by Catherine Linka
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: February 4th 2020
Genre: Young Adult
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Winning a scholarship to California’s most prestigious art school seems like a fairy tale ending to Sabine Reye’s awful senior year. After losing both her mother and her home, Sabine longs for a place where she belongs.

But the cutthroat world of visual arts is nothing like what Sabine had imagined. Colin Krell, the renowned faculty member whom she had hoped would mentor her, seems to take merciless delight in tearing down her best work—and warns her that she’ll lose the merit-based award if she doesn’t improve.

Desperate and humiliated, Sabine doesn’t know where to turn. Then she meets Adam, a grad student who understands better than anyone the pressures of art school. He even helps Sabine get insight on Krell by showing her the modern master’s work in progress, a portrait that’s sold for a million dollars sight unseen.

Sabine is enthralled by the portrait; within those swirling, colorful layers of paint is the key to winning her inscrutable teacher’s approval. Krell did advise her to improve her craft by copying a painting she connects with . . . but what would he think of Sabine secretly painting her own version of his masterpiece? And what should she do when she accidentally becomes party to a crime so well -plotted that no one knows about it but her?

Complex and utterly original, What I Want You to See is a gripping tale of deception, attraction, and moral ambiguity.

Can you briefly describe WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE and its characters?

Sabine is a first year art student getting back on her feet after a horrible year. She lost her mom in the spring and after months of living in her car, she got new friends, and a scholarship that even covers a cozy rented room. But Sabine’s painting instructor, Collin Krell, critiques her work so viciously that she’s terrified she’ll lose her scholarship. Then she meets Adam, a grad student who wants to help and he seems to have the access and insights she needs to deal with Krell. But Sabine makes a not-so-great choice that pulls her into a situation that could demolish the new life she created. 

Who would you say is your favorite character from the story and why?

Sabine, of course. After I spend so much time in a character’s head, I can’t help loving her. She’s smart and determined, and knows she’s talented, but she’s barely holding it together after losing her mom and their home. She’s aching for friendship and love, but she holds herself back because she doesn’t want people to know she was living in her car. She knows they’ll label her that “homeless girl,” and the only label she wants is “talented painter.”

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

I wanted to write a story set in the art world, and I’m obsessed with art crime so it had to be twisty. I remembered a book I’d read where a grad student did something borderline illegal to help a guy she loved, but it took her life apart. I thought what if my character was young and desperate so she crossed a line, but what she was doing wasn’t really hurting anyone….until it sends her world crashing.

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

I always freak a little when I hear the perfect song for the first time. As soon as I heard the opening bars of Smoke by Lucie Silvas, I had to stop and listen because this was Sabine’s song. When Sabine meets Adam, “she knew right from that moment he was too good to resist” and then, “Somebody stop me. I am a danger to myself.” Perfect, right?!!

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

Sabine’s in her first year at the art institute, so I’d team up with Ariana Grande to produce and play Sabine. Then I’d beg her to cast Avan Jogia to play Adam, because he’s got Adam’s smoldering intensity—and she’d need to cast Matt Bennett as Kevin because he’s got the smile and the curls.

What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

For a perfect book date, you’d want to go to The Broad art museum—or any museum of contemporary art, and contemplate a few pieces that really speak to you. Then you’d want to find a grapefruity drink—maybe with vodka—maybe not and soak up some sunshine on the patio of a nearby restaurant while you dip into guac and WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE. 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE?

Art lovers who yearn to live in NYC should check out Piper Perish and Art Boss by Kayla Cagan. LGBTQ readers will fall in love with Kelly Loy Gilbert’s Picture Us in the Light. And if you like your stories twisty, dive into Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart.

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

Figuring out why a story isn’t working. It can be painful!!

What’s next for you?

Getting my newest protagonist out of the mess she’s gotten herself into.

Catherine Linka is the author of the young adult novel WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE as well as the dystopian series A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS and A GIRL UNDONE. A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS was an ABA Indie Next Pick and won the Young Adult Novel Award 2014 from the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association. A frequent speaker at writing and teen conferences, Catherine received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and worked as a young adult book buyer for an independent bookstore for seven years. Prior to pursuing a career in publishing, she studied international politics at Georgetown University followed by a master’s degree in business at the University of North Carolina. Catherine is married and lives with her husband in the San Gabriel foothills. Visit her at

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🖌 G I V E A W A Y 🖌 . . Happy Wednesday, Beautiful Bookish People! Do you have any hidden talents or what talent do you wish you would have? . . Today I am super excited to share with you about an original story about belonging and deceptive expectations. After some tragedies in her life Sabine Reye's has won a scholarship to California’s most prestigious art school. However, things don't turn out to be the way she hoped and she finds herself meeting someone and doing things that could be seen as questionable. Full of passion, attraction and complexity, this story would keep you up all night! . . I have partnered with @letstalkya and @mbc_books to give you the opportunity to win a copy for yourself . . Entries for the giveaway: ▪︎Follow @theffbc & @whatmakespatri ▪︎Follow @catherine_linka ▪︎Follow @letstalkya & @mbc_books ▪︎Comment - Answer my question above ⬆️ #qotd . . Extra entries: ▪︎Tag a friend (each friend will be an extra entry). ▪︎Share on your stories about the giveaway (remember to tag me @whatmakespatri and @theffbc) ▪︎Follow @michellesulk & @artsyreadergirl ▪︎Follow any other FFBC team member participating in the tour (let me know who did you follow): @booking_belle @savingsinseconds @bookishgeekig @ya.its.lit @l.m.durand @sometimesleelynnreads @sincerelykarenjo @bookablereads @shalini_g26 @moonlight_rendezvous @twilightreader1 @adreamindream @kaitplusbooks @kagunderman @laurensliterarylibrary @amysbooketlist #whatiwantyoutosee #letstalkya #catherinelinka #bookshimmy #bookgiveaway #bookgram #yabookstagram #ireadya #booksatgrammer #bibliophile #bookphotography #booknerd #booklover #amreading #yalit #booksofinstagram #bookcommunity #booksbooksbooks
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1 comment:

  1. The cover is gorgeous! This book will be so much fun to read as the premise sounds amazing.