CHARACTER AND AUTHOR INTERVIEW: The Letting by Cathrine Goldstein
TITLE: The Letting
AUTHOR: Cathrine Goldstein
PUBLICATION: Expected publication: December 15th 2014 by The Wild Rose Press
GENRE: YA > Dystopia
PAGES: 335pages (paperback)
SOURCE: e-arc via tour host
BLURB FROM GOODREADS:
What if the Devil doesn’t know he’s the Devil?
This is the question Veronica “Ronnie” Billings poses to Phoenix, her sworn enemy, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution, and the one she loves.
Kidnapped by Phoenix’s rebels, Ronnie learns how wrong she has been. She had no idea that her patriotism was wasted on a corrupt government. Ronnie was proud to be a Leader; taking hundreds of harvested girls to the Letting facility. After all, she was saving them from future Couplings and bringing them to the safety of the New World. Or so she thought…
Confused, Ronnie realizes the only way to discover the truth is to trust her heart. Together, Phoenix and Ronnie devise a plan to stop their corrupt government and preempt the dangerous rebel coup which is approaching. But when their plan goes awry, will Ronnie be strong enough to save Phoenix, her country, and herself?
An interview with Cathrine Goldstein, author of THE LETTING, published by The Wild Rose Press, release date, December 15, 2014, and the main character of THE LETTING, Veronica “Ronnie” Billings.
First up, Veronica.
Or do you prefer Ronnie? I do prefer Ronnie—as long as you’re a friend. It’s warmer, I think. But there are…people in my life who call me only Veronica, and it’s better that way.
You must be referring to Principal Leader Farnsworth? Yes. But if it’s okay with you, I’d prefer not to talk about him.
Of course. So, where are you from? I was born in the city, but I’ve lived at camp for seven years now.
What’s camp like? We live in small cabins in the deep woods. I work with another Leader, Gretchen, my best friend, and together we prep young girls for the Lettings.
What are the Lettings I’ve heard so much about? The time the young girls in our care are brought in for their mandatory blood donations.
Tell us a bit about The Letting. It’s the story of my journey and my realization about… well, about a lot of things…but most importantly, my discovery that I’ve been working unknowingly for the wrong cause for many years. I also discover love… and, surprising to both of us, I fall in love with my enemy.
You fall in love with your enemy? Oh, yes. Of course I never knew he was my enemy. But I was his.
What did you think the first time you saw him? He was the leader of the dangerous band of rebels who had kidnapped me and tortured me. He was different from the two men who physically hurt me—Gunnar and Buzzcut. I could tell Phoenix was kind, his eyes had intelligence and compassion in them, but I also knew I stood for everything he hated.
To be completely honest, I was struck by how incredibly handsome he was. Dark tousled hair, a slight scruff on his chin which grew in black as night, and eyes…well I described them as “…his eyes are the color of a moment. That fleeting moment when the summer sky is so perfectly blue you know everything must be right in the world.”
What was your next thought? I want to be with him. I want to stand for whatever he stands for. I want to go wherever he goes.
Those are deep thoughts considering you just met. Yes, but there is something about Phoenix that just pulls me to him. It’s like getting caught up in white water, but not wanting to swim against it. You know there’s a waterfall ahead, but you trust that you’ll end up okay.
With all this going on, was it was love at first sight? Is there any other type?
Sure. Lots of people take time to fall in love. I don’t believe that. Not if they truly listen to their hearts. In my world, girls who are old enough to be with a partner are assigned a match based on blood type. There is no “dating” in my world. There are only arranged Couplings.
But yet you still believe in love? Love is the only thing I believe in. The love my mother had for me is the reason I am alive today. The love I feel for my girls, Raven, Lulu, Lilly, and Violet, is what makes me able to tackle insurmountable odds. The love Phoenix shows me makes me feel protected and like I have a real, safe home—for the first time in my life. I mention it in THE LETTING, “Then I look at Phoenix standing protectively close to me, and I know exactly where my home is, with him.” The love I feel for Phoenix is the reason I want to try to save our world and change it for the better.
What is it you like most about him? His compassion. His intelligence. His devotion to the Peaceful Revolution. His calmness. His power. His self-assurance. His whole being. His protectiveness towards me. All of him.
Is there anything you don’t like about him? I worry he puts himself last, over and over again.
How would he describe you? I wish I knew! I think he would say that I’m strong. Strong willed, strong in body and mind. Sometimes, a little too strong headed. I also hope he understands the breadth of my loyalty.
What clued you in that he may be in love with you? There was something in the way he looked at me…I saw something in his eyes and it wasn’t hatred, no matter how hard he tried to cover it.
At only seventeen, you are a strong, independent young woman. Are you afraid of anything? Not being there for the people I love. And thunderstorms. Despite everything, I’ve never been good in a storm.
If relationships aren’t allowed in your world, how can you and Phoenix survive? It’s not just our relationship I’m worried about surviving—it’s also us and those around us, especially my girls. And I should probably check in on them now.
Ah! Looks like we’ll have to read the book to see what happens to you and Phoenix and your fight to survive and change your world.
Now we turn to author Cathrine Goldstein. THE LETTING has been called a “pulse-pounding thriller” which is a “chilling vision of the not-too-distant future.” Where ever did you get the inspiration for the story?
I am a city girl at heart, but deciding to be a good sport, I packed up my husband and my girls to spend a month in a summer camp in the deep woods of upstate NY. I stretched waaaayyyy out of my comfort zone, ended up loving camp…and, thanks to mosquitoes performing what felt like daily bloodlettings, I had the inspiration for THE LETTING!
THE LETTING is a dark and gritty dystopian novel, but is there anything specific you think people can relate to? Sure. For one thing, I think that most people can relate to Ronnie’s realization that she thought she was doing something positive, and in fact, it turns out she had been working tirelessly for the wrong cause. That’s why she asks: “What if the Devil doesn’t know he’s the Devil?”
Was there anything personal you brought to this story? Absolutely. Ronnie’s fear of dying—not because she is afraid of death—but because she is afraid of leaving the little girls behind in a world without her. Although Ronnie is a caretaker, and a big-sister type, I think every mother feels this to some degree.
You’re a mom of two little girls and a bestselling author. How do you find time for everything? I don’t sleep much! I work whenever I get the chance, even if it means jumping on the computer and working for ten minutes at a time or while waiting in carline at school pick-ups. I work nights mostly, after the girls have gone to bed. And I love my work. It’s a wonderful escape. I always say I write because I’m a mom of two little girls and my characters are the only people who do what I ask without whining or protesting!
What’s on the horizon? Book 2! Although I can’t yet release the title, I will tell you Book 2 of THE LETTING series puts Ronnie into a situation she never expects. Book 2 tests her love, convictions, and strength, over and over.
How about your publisher? THE LETTING is published by the Wild Rose Press. They have been a dream to work with, with a supportive and knowledgeable team. I have a spectacular editor, and my cover art is incredibly beautiful. The cover is designed by the very talented Angela Anderson.
What’s next? Launching THE LETTING, sending Book 2 to print, and waiting for Santa, of course!
Given my love for cities and all that is gritty, my new obsession with trees really has me stumped. (Sorry.) Maybe it’s because trees are the inspiration behind my new YA/NA novel, THE LETTING.
Whatever the reason for my new infatuation, some things remain constant — like my love for: coffee (although sadly, it’s now decaf); yoga; Luna bars (I am petitioning for them to bring back Chocolate Raspberry!); running in my neighborhood; Hemingway; Bukowski… and, above all, my husband and my girls.
I am the author of the bestselling novel, Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress, and I’m also a playwright. I have my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Theatre.