Author Spotlight: Catherine Arguelles

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Oct. 14, 2022

We are pleased to feature author Catherine Arguelles and her debut middle grade novel, FLIP TURNS (North Star Editions), out now! Enter to win a copy!

© Carl Pearce

Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for children.

I’m a mom of two, and I’ve always loved books. My college major was English with a minor in Women’s Studies, and I worked for a bit in counseling for middle school-aged kids. I started writing for kids because I was inspired by my own children’s interests and little quirks. Then the middle school counseling really gave me an awareness of middle school issues and personalities. 

Congrats on your debut MG novel, Flip Turns! Tell us about the story and what inspired you.

Thank you! Flip Turns is a middle grade mystery featuring Maddie, a 13yo with anxiety who is struggling with the unwanted attention of a boy at school. When her family's community pool is vandalized, threatening Maddie's swim team, Maddie and her best friend search for the culprit while dealing with friend and family dynamics, competitive swimming, and first crushes. It came out September 13!

Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?

Long and winding! Flip Turns is the 4th novel I wrote, 3rd book on sub, 2nd agent. I tried querying a couple of PBs and an adult novel before getting my first agent with a middle grade novel. That agent left the business mid-sub, and I found my current amazing agent with another middle grade that ended up not selling. Very grateful to be with that same agent.

What projects are next for you?

I’ve been working on a middle grade mystery/adventure about a geocaching and a missing girl. I hope it gets out in the world someday! 

What are your favorite classic middle grade? New ones?

Ronia the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren is my favorite classic. I was also a big fan of her Pippi Longstocking books. I have a few new favorites too. I love Annie’s Life in Lists by Kristen Mahoney. My daughter actually just read this for about the 6th time. It’s a comfort book for her! I also love Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly, and I just read and loved Jennifer Chan is Not Alone by Tae Keller.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

I’m big on finding something tangible outside of writing that you can watch grow. Like a garden or even just a single plant. Or maybe a new activity that you can learn and get better at. I think it’s really important for authors to recognize that the road to publishing can be long, and time passes strangely. It’s nice to have a non-writing-related reminder that things (including you) can change and grow.

What is one thing most people don't know about you?

I’m a huge fan of musical theater, and my favorite musical is the somewhat little-known 80s masterpiece CHESS. It’s got fabulous music and a complex female lead. I’m hoping to work my musical theater love into a book someday!

Where can people find you online?

I’m on Twitter the most - @arguellescath, but I also do Instagram @arguellescath, Facebook arguellescath, and TikTok @arguellescatherine. And a website! And here’s my linktree!

Catherine has worked as a counselor with middle school students, a fundraiser for non-profits, and is the proud parent of two feminist readers and three regal cats. She lives in Northern California.




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  1. Great interview! Can’t wait to check out this book, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for your future books too! Geocaching and musical theater both seem like great topics for a middle grade book.

  2. I have this book on my TBR. I enjoy reading mysteries and this one sounds excellent.

  3. I have had this book on my "to read" list on Goodreads for quite some time. I am always in search of mysteries for my readers. I also have two grown sons that spent many years competing on swim teams. Any book which involves swimming gets me excited. I can't wait to read and share this book with my students.


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