Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.
Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Nerve.com. Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is out now from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins. 99 DAYS will follow next spring.
The great loves of Katie's life include child's pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston with her husband, Tom.
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1. Tell us about 99 days.
99 DAYS is a smart, sexy summer romance about a girl who comes back to her hometown the summer before college to face the mess--and the boys--she left behind. Molly spent her senior year at boarding school after she confessed to her mom, a novelist, that she'd cheated on her longtime boyfriend Patrick with Patrick's broither Gabe--and her mom turned around and wrote a bestseller about it. Now Molly's got 99 days, the length of one summer, to try and make things right, but it's definitely not going to be easy. The novel explores first loves, second loves, girl friendships, betrayal, and the double standards we hold guys and girls to when it comes to sex and romance.
2. Who inspires you?
My sister. My best friends. My mom. Shonda Rhimes.
3. Who are some of your favourite authors?
I have so many! I love Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Hoffman, Tana French, Michael Chabon, Nina LaCour, Sarah Dessen, and I'm sure I'll think of a dozen more as soon as I send this. I like all kinds of different things.
4. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I've always wanted to be a writer, but for a long time I told myself it was something I'd do on the side--I thought about editing, or working at a magazine, or starting a baking business. For some reason that was more realistic to me than being an author, even though I don't really know anything about baking.
5. Do you have any advice for people who want to become writers/authors? And how to get past writers block?
Read everything. Write everything down. Don't let anybody make you feel dumb about the stuff that's important to you. Don't let anybody shame you for watching too much TV.