You guys, I am so incredibly excited for this interview! Kate is one of the loveliest, wisest, and most fabulous writers I know, and I am giddy about sharing her with you guys today! Below you can read an interview with Kate about her writing and about her upcoming book HOW WE FALL which (spoiler alert) I absolutely adored and will be reviewing here in a month or so.
Q1) Describe your writing process in three sentences.
I spend a long time concepting the story–living in the story mentally, churning scenes around, and figuring out the focus– before I actually start drafting it. Once I start drafting, I try to fast-draft the first act so I can see how things work out when I write them into the situation and the environment, and then I go back and heavily revise that first third to get all the layers in place and make any changes to the plot/characters that I thought of along the way. After I have the first act solidly drafted and revised, then I finish drafting the rest of the book.
Q2) What’s the best and worst writing advice you’ve ever received?
Worst advice? Just keep writing– practice makes perfect. I really don’t believe that, because you can keep practicing the same problems forever and not get rid of them. We can definitely teach ourselves, but making more words come out of our fingertips is not always the best way to do that. We need to focus our writing practice to learn specific skills and break down what works and why.
Best advice? Don’t hesitate to cut what needs to be cut. If you write a great line, trust yourself to write another. If you came up with a great idea or moment, trust yourself to be able to create another.
Q3) what’s one thing you hope to accomplish in your writing career?
The books I get most excited about are the ones that challenge me and make me see something differently or make me experience something. I tell my friends, I tell strangers, I give that book away for gifts, because that story gave me something I loved so much I wanted other people to know about it. I want to write a book that does that for someone else.
Q4) What has surprised you most about your book or writing in general?
How much I love it. Yes, it’s work, and it’s a lot of frustrating, intentional, put-in-the-hours work, but it’s also just a crazy wonderful thing that gives so much back to me that there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.
Q5) What was the hardest scene to write and why?
The ending sequence was the most difficult, because Jackie has to have changed to make the choices she does. She wouldn’t have made those choices in the beginning of the story, and several of them change her life, so showing the difference between who she was and who she is now was really important to me.
Q6) What’s your favorite part of the book?
The scene at night on the couch, because of how vulnerable they both are. Readers will probably know it when they see it. 🙂
Q7) What’s one thing you hope readers take away?
Anything. That’s the thing. To me, the story is about bravery and boundaries and obsession. Maybe that’s what the reader engages with, or maybe it’s something else. Either way, if a reader came away from the book with something they didn’t have before, that’s wonderful to me. To have someone who engaged on a level where they participated in the story and got an experience or a thought or enjoyment from it, then I am thrilled. 🙂
Fast and fun: What’s your-
Dark chocolate, in any form. Milk chocolate is a substitute at best and white chocolate is just a trick. 🙂
I grew up on musicals! (You’d need to meet my mother.) Footloose, maybe. I love that one.
Favorite dance step:
I’ve always wanted to learn to dance, but I’ve never put in the time. Too busy writing!
Favorite breakfast food:
Fresh fruit smoothies.
How can you ask?! Um. Top 5? Harry Potter (if the series can count as 1!), Gone Girl, Pride and Prejudice, TFiOS (of course) and The 5th Wave.
It’s one from The Deathly Hallows and the great J.K. Rowling, courtesy of Kingsley Shacklebolt:
“We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
Thanks so much for having me, Jamie, and great questions!
Isn’t she super awesome and lovely? Yes, she is. Here’s a little more about her, and don’t forget to preorder HOW WE FALL because it will rock your world!! Also, keep an eye out for my review 😉
Kate is the author of HOW WE FALL, a YA contemporary suspense coming this fall from Merit Press at F+W Media, and she’s represented by Carlie Webber at CK Webber Associates. She’s a compulsive traveler, cake-baker, and music lover, and she loves bright colors, fall leaves, unusual people, and all kinds of music. She’s written novels since she was a teen, but it wasn’t until she studied literature in college that she fell in love with young adult books. Kate now works in publishing and pursues her lifelong dream of telling stories she’d want to read. Visit her online on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.