Catherine Gilbert Murdock biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Photo: Greg Martin

Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Catherine Gilbert Murdock Biography

I grew up in small-town Connecticut, on a tiny farm with honeybees, two friendly goats, and a mess of Christmas trees. My sister claims we didn’t have a television, but we did – only it was ancient, received exactly two channels, and had to be turned off after forty-five minutes to cool down or else the screen would go all fuzzy. Watching Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds was quite the experience, because it’s hard to tell vicious crows from a field of static; this might be why I still can’t stand horror movies to this day. 

My sister Liz, who is now a Very Famous Writer and the author of Eat, Pray, Love & many other great books, was my primary companion, even though she wouldn’t even try to jump off the garage roof no matter how much I taunted her. Now she travels all over the world collecting stories and diseases, while I stay at home scowling over paint chips and trying to keep my kids off our garage. So the cycle continues. 

For the record, I did not play football or basketball in high school. I ran cross-country and track, badly, but I have absolutely no skill whatsoever with ball sports. Nor did I write much – Liz was the anointed writer – but I read my little eyeballs out. I was the empress of our library’s four-shelf YA section. I still read YA and middle-grade fiction far more than any other genre. When someone recommends a book, I immediately ask, "Is it for grownups? Because I don't read those." Followed by "Does it have dragons?"

Dairy Queen was my first stab at creative writing since high school, not counting several years as a struggling screenwriter (which followed several years as a struggling scholar). I unabashedly recommend screenwriting for mastering the art of storytelling; just don’t pin any hopes on seeing your work on the big screen. But you’ll learn so much in the process that this won’t matter. I also recommend, you know, living. I've been passionate about food pretty much my whole life – first eating it, now preparing and then eating it. And so it plays a pretty big role in my writing, and adds so much flavor . . . not literally, of course, but the more you can add that's true, whether it's emotion or geography or gardening, then the stronger that story is.

Reproduced from the author's website with permission of the author.

Catherine Gilbert Murdock's website

This bio was last updated on 10/22/2016. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Interview

Catherine Murdock discusses Dairy Queen, her first novel for teens about a football-loving 15-year-old who takes over running her family's small Wisconsin dairy farm when her dad is injured.

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

It always sounds goofy, but I really did have a dream about a girl playing college football against a boy she loves passionately. When I woke up, my first thought was "What an amazing premise for a story!" Followed by "Babe, you don't know one thing about football." But that kernel stayed with me, just kept growing in me for days, as I thought about it and worked it — dream or no, the story idea was just a lump, and I had to do a lot of shaping. I immediately tossed the college notion — that was ridiculous — and I spent hours trying to figure out where to place the story: Texas was out of the question because football is so important there, D.J. might get killed. I toyed with western Pennsylvania and California and then finally came up with Wisconsin. I say finally because I have family in Wisconsin — I have cousins who played football there, in schools about the size of D.J.'s. So I was leery at first of writing about Wisconsin self-consciousness combined with obstinacy — but I'm so pleased now. Then of course I had to develop the characters . . . The heart of the story, its essential moment, if you will, ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Catherine Gilbert Murdock at BookBrowse
Front and Center jacket Princess Ben jacket The Off Season jacket Dairy Queen jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Catherine Gilbert Murdock but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

We recommend 5 similar authors

View all 5 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    by Isaac Blum
    That irreplaceable feeling of everyone knowing your name. The yearning to be anonymous. Parents ...
  • Book Jacket: Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    by Kevin Wilson
    The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with ...
  • Book Jacket: Foster
    Foster
    by Claire Keegan
    Irish author Claire Keegan is experiencing a surge in popularity, thanks to the selection of her ...
  • Book Jacket
    Dr. No
    by Percival Everett
    Percival Everett's novel Dr. No follows Wala Kitu, a professor of mathematics at Brown University ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Honor
by Thrity Umrigar
Set in India, a tender and evocative novel about love across a cultural divide, familial devotion and betrayal.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Our Missing Hearts
    by Celeste Ng

    From the author of Little Fires Everywhere, the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

W N, W Not

and be entered to win..

Who Said...

Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.