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Catherine Drake, is the Author of The Treehouse on Dog River, which is out now.
Catherine lives with her husband in Stowe, Vermont. The Treehouse on Dog River Road is her first novel. Here’s the synopsis:
Twenty-eight-year-old Hannah Spencer wants nothing more than to change everything about her life. After ten years of living in cities, Nathan Wild has just moved back home to Vermont and doesn’t want to change anything about his.
Recently laid off from her depressing job in Boston and ready for a challenge, Hannah heads to Vermont for the summer to take care of her sister’s kids and do some serious soul searching. There, against the stunning landscape of the Green Mountains, she embarks on an ambitious project: building a treehouse for her niece and nephew. As she hammers away, she formulates a plan to jump-start her life with a new job out West. But will Nathan-next-door complicate her desire to change course? A witty, romantic, and inspiring story of a young woman taking control and making tough choices about love and work to build the life she wants, The Treehouse on Dog River Road will have you rooting for Hannah every step of the way.
Let’s get to know Catherine as she talks favorite novels, writing inspirations, the Vermont setting and more!
What are some of your favorite novels?
There are so many great books out there, my list is very long. But a couple of standouts are Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, along with Ishmael by Daniel Quinn and The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky by Jana Casale. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins-Reid was terrific.
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I never dreamed of being an author, but I always wondered if I could write a book. As a voracious reader all of my adult life, I frequently asked myself if I had the imagination, patience, and intellect to create my own characters and tell a story. When I finally had space in my life to give it a try, I did and now I am an author!
What inspired you to write The Treehouse on Dog River Road?
I had been witnessing smart, energetic, creative young people heading to cities across the country after college with their friends and then ending up unhappy yet paralyzed with indecision about what to do next. I decided to write about a woman who recognized this was not the path for her and tell the story of how she rebooted her life.
Can you talk about the setting in Vermont?
The list of things I love about Vermont is long – billboards are illegal and there is only one area code. Montpelier is the only state capital without a McDonalds. There are absolutely no skyscrapers in the whole of the state. The scenery is beautiful and Vermonters care deeply about their neighbors and communities.
Before I had any other characters clearly defined, I knew the story would be set in the town of Waterbury, Vermont. In the book, Hannah is on a quest to search for a new job and a new place to live and she commences that search while living in Waterbury for the summer caring for her niece and nephew. Hannah not only falls for the boy-next-door, but for the town of Waterbury – it’s people, the landscape, the vibe.
What do you hope are some of the key takeaways of the novel?
I hope readers are inspired to contemplate their own choices about where they live, their careers, and who they bring into their lives. I hope they notice all the things that make Hannah fall in love with Nathan and vice versa – things such as Nathan giving Hannah space to make her own decision and Hannah recognizing that Nathan is a great guy, not because he is a rich, famous, or a handsome character trope, but because of the choices he makes, the things he does and the respect he shows her.
Are you able to meet with book clubs?
Yes, I am looking forward to book clubs and already have several lined up.
What are you currently reading and what’s on your TBR (to be read) list?
I am currently reading A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost because I needed something that would make me laugh out loud this week. I am also listening to an audiobook, Barkskins by Annie Proulx which is not making me laugh, but is a fascinating with such an important environmental message.
My TBR pile of books is high: How Strange a Season by Megan Mayhew Bergman, Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman, They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera, Zorrie by Laird Hunt are a few.
Click here to order The Treehouse on Dog River on Amazon.