Meet the Mesdames, Catherine Dunphy ~ by Joan O’Callaghan

Joan O'CallaghanAuthors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…

Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.

A National Newspaper Award winner for feature writing, Catherine Dunphy was a staff writer at The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, for more than 25 years.

She is the author of Morgentaler, A Difficult Hero, which was nominated for the prestigious Governor General’s Award in 1997. As well, she has written two books of young adult fiction related to the much-heralded Canadian television series, Degrassi High, which has been shown throughout the world.


Catherine DunphyJoan O’Callaghan interviews author Catherine Dunphy:

JO: What have you written?

CD: Morgentaler, A Difficult Hero (a biography nominated for a Governor General’s Award in Non-Fiction); BLT, a Young Adult novel; Caitlin, a Young Adult novel ( both feature characters from the Degrassi Classic television show); contributed to the Degrassi Talks series about Alcohol, Depression, Sexuality.

With Eve Crawford, wrote Fallaway Ridge, four-part mystery for CBC radio.

With Eve Crawford, wrote two episodes of Riverdale, a CBC television series.

Many, many articles for magazines such as Chatelaine, Readers’ Digest, Toronto Life.

JO: When did you start writing?

CD: A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. (In other words, started writing for money at a small weekly newspaper in early 1970s after university, travelling Europe and North Africa and a horrible job for Dun & Bradstreet.)

JO: Why write mysteries?

CD: Because I love to read them.

JO: Why do you think people like to read mysteries?

CD: Mysteries present life ripped wide open. Great, unforgettable characters. A way to express social outrage and mete out social justice. ( Nothing like a body to get even with a boss in a former life.)

JO: Is there a favourite place you like to write or ritual you go through when writing?

CD: Other than procrastination, nope.

JO: How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family?

CD: I wish I could say I get up EARLY in the morning, have one cup of coffee and do not look at either my emails or the newspaper until I have written 4.000 words. I can’t.

But that is what I aspire to do.

JO: What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing?

CD: The aforementioned nomination for a Governor Genera’s award. A National Newspaper Award for feature writing. A nomination for a National Magazine award. A nomination for a B’Nai Brith award.

JO: What are you working on now?

CD: Am determined to be part of the second Mesdames book. A plot is brewing, albeit on the back burner.

JO: As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

CD: BUM IN SEAT

JO: What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ? One for all, all for one.

CD: Not a slogan; we are living it.

JO: Is there anything you’d like to add?

CD: Nope…..

Catherine is the author of Morgentaler, A Difficult Hero, which was nominated for the prestigious Governor General’s Award in 1997. As well, she has written two books of young adult fiction related to the much-heralded Canadian television series, Degrassi High, which has been shown throughout the world.

She has also written screenplays for the Canadian television series, Riverdale, as well as created a four-part CBC radio mystery series called Fallaway Ridge. She currently writes for magazines and teaches print journalism and magazine writing at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.

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