Interview with Catherine Adel West, Author of 'Saving Ruby King'

Feb. 24, 2021

I was privileged to invite Author Catherine Adel West for an interview to discuss her latest book Saving Ruby King. Enjoy!


What's your book about, and what inspired you to write it?
SavingRuby King is about two friends and the lengths one of them will go through when a murder upends their tight knit church community. I originally wrote this as a way to dissect my relationship between my father and I and how the black church played a role, for better or worse within it. 

Who is your target audience, and why do you think this book will appeal to them?
I don't have a target audience as I believe the themes and issues can touch people from all cultures and backgrounds. We all seek a means of redemption for the sometimes bad things that happen to us during our lives.

What message do you wish to pass across to your readers with this book?
I want the beauty of black female friendships to shine through first and foremost. I want people to recognize that forgiveness for themselves and the ability to bestow it on others is a perpetual possibility. 

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Learning how to pace my book, make it a true page turner was something I had to truly learn how to do. I think I had to learn to kill my darlings if in the end they didn't serve my story. 

As a writer, is there anything you've learned about yourself while writing this book?
I've learned I'm pretty good and crafting dialogue and it was something I used to dread doing. 

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books, and why?
I prefer hardcover/paperback books though my cocktail table is currently straining under the weight of my TBR pile. 

What is your niche genre, and if you were to write in a different genre, what would it be?
I don't have a niche genre. I just tend to tell stories that are true to me and my experience in some part. I'm open to write in other genres and actually am part of a YA anthology (EVERY BODY SHINES, 2021). 

What books and authors have most influenced you?
Great Expectations (Charles Dickens); Kindred (Octavia Butler); A Little Life (Hanya Yanagihara)

Is there anything you'd like readers to know about you?
I love to travel and have a HUGE sweet tooth!

Do you have any more books in the works?
The prequel to Saving Ruby King will be published in 2022. Becoming Sara King follows Ruby's grandmother as she navigates her new life in Memphis, Tennessee and finds a new community and unexpected love. 

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I've learned to stop reading my reviews. The bad ones, I mean people are entitled to their opinions and I can't change them. I'm just happy way more often than not. People love the book and I focus on the fact I was able to accomplish something so creatively frustrating and fulfilling as writing a book and the fact I plan to keep doing it, means I have to learn to embrace the good and the bad that comes with making your dreams come true.

Your favorite quote/saying to live by:
One of my favorite quotes is by James Baldwin. "I can't believe what you say when I see what you do."

Last book read:
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers 

One book that changed your life:
Kindred by Octavia Butler

Any advice to new/aspiring authors:
Write the story you want! Don't write for the market or write what's popular because that constantly changes. Be true to your talents and the book you see in your head.

How can readers get in touch with or follow you?
Twitter: @cawest329
Instagram: @cawest329


Catherine Adel West was born and raised in Chicago, IL where she currently resides. She graduated with both her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois - Urbana. Her work is published in Black Fox Literary Magazine, Five2One, Better than Starbucks, Doors Ajar, 805  Lit + Art, The Helix Magazine, Lunch Ticket and Gay Magazine. In between writing and  traveling, Catherine works as an editor.

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