The Backseat Writer reads Katherine Catmull

If you’re reading my personal blog at, then you’re familiar with my new Backseat Writer series. In it I invite you to read along with me as I satisfy my fiction addiction. The basic idea is that I will periodically post about what authors do that works well. In other words, I’ll read like a writer and write about it. I encourage you to join in the discussion so long as you keep your comments positive. This series is not about bashing anybody. It’s about delving into what authors are doing right, so that we can all learn how to write better.

This is my second post aboutKatherine Catmull‘s debut novel,Summer and Bird. I’m now about a hundred pages in to this middle-grade fantasy and I continue to be amazed by her use of language.  In particular, near the beginning of her tenth chapter she employs a wonderfully apt metaphor to describe the thoughts of one of her protagonists: “She pushed and dug at the pain in those stories over and over, the way you dig at a loose tooth, tasting the blood.” Nice. Visceral. Even without knowing the context, you get a pretty good idea of what the character’s feeling.

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