I met Katherine Center about seven years ago in Houston at a book reading…her book reading. She was introducing her first book, and as she read it, I envisioned fireflies and s’mores and watermelon and twinkle lights on a warm Texas evening by Lake LBJ. That is not what her first book was about at all, but that was the vibe I remember. I walked up to her afterwards and said, “Hi, I’m Laura, I think we’re going to be friends.” Which, what? Total stalker move. Only I wasn’t a stalker because I was just introduced to her work for the first time and also, it didn’t seem weird at all. Because that’s the kind of approachably cool warmth that Katherine gives to everyone. She seems like your best friend, because she probably is. Just like your best friend, or at least the one you imagined you’d have one day. You get the same feeling about her characters in her many books.
And don’t even get me started on her house. It is a haven for creativity and conversations. An old-school Texan, she oozes the perfect blend of welcome, warmth and acceptance with a dash of no-bullshit irreverence. And she can tell a story like no one else. So when Katherine agreed to join us at The Queso to talk about stories and celebrate storytellers, I felt like we’d won the lottery. Because I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have around my kitchen table. I know you will love her too. Welcome Katherine!
If you like to get to know people, here are few get-to-know-you questions that I stole from a number of get-to-know-you memes.
What are your greatest creative inspirations? People who try really hard. People who do the right thing. Books that turn their own pages. Great fonts. Vintage signs. Acts of love, self-sacrifice, and care-taking. Hand-sewn embroidery. Goofiness. Banter. Tina Fey. The way people pick themselves up after life knocks them down.
If you had a free hour, what would you do? Read in the bubble bath.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Grateful.
From James Lipton, host of Inside the Actor’s Studio:
What is your favorite word? Astonished.
What is your least favorite word? Bulbous.
What is your favorite curse word? Fuck, for the shock value.
From JL’s Uncle Jessie Meme:
A song/band/type of music you’d risk wreck & injury to turn off when it comes on the radio? That theme song from the 50 Shades of Grey movie. Nope.
Favorite movie? When Harry Met Sally. I have it memorized.
Favorite restaurant? Anything Tex-Mex
Favorite room in your house? The kitchen. It’s bright and sunny with a fire-engine red table. The radio is always on. The kids do their homework and I cook and chop things and sing along.
If you could have anything put on a t-shirt what would it be? I wish I owned a t-shirt shop.
Nightmare job? Anything involving math.
Dream vacation? Driving up the East Coast, stopping at historic towns.
The best part about being your age? Being over it. Whatever it is.
What’s on your nightstand? Three different stacks of books piled 13 high. Next read will be JoJo Moyes’s ONE PLUS ONE.
From the famous “Weird Things” blogoshpere meme:
Tell us 3 weird things about you:
- I once spent an entire day driving around singing Beatles songs with the guy who played Booger in Revenge of the Nerds.
- My mom has a steak knife that was a wedding present from the George and Barbara Bush.
- My grandmother was an identical twin, and she danced in a show in the 1930s with Clark Gable.
From Smith Magazine’s Six Word Memoirs series:
What is a six-word memoir that captures your life:
Always look for the good stuff.
We’re looking forward to all kinds of good stuff from Katherine…and mainly that comes from just hanging out with her. This is going to be good.