Happy Friday, everyone! Are you all ready for the weekend? Me too!
And in that celebratory state of mind, let's welcome a wonderful aspiring writer to We Do Write.
Welcome, Kate! Tell us a little about yourself.
also a writer (big surprise). I write a variety of things from picture books and middle grade to young adult and research books. The research book I co-authored on Numeracy mathematics instruction just got picked up by Corwin Press and has an April 2011 release date!! It was THE HARDEST thing I have ever written in my life.
Sounds intense. Let's talk about what you're writing now. What is the name and genre of your manuscript?
My fiction manuscript that seems to be getting the most attention at the moment is EVERYTHING'S NOT LOST.
Aha, sounds familiar. I may have spotted your entries on a contest or two. Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?
Two sixteen year old boys, Victor and Bull, who are mortal enemies, find themselves in the same psych ward...in the same room. If they don’t realize how broken the other is and how similar their pain is, they may not survive.
They each tell their story through alternating chapters in their own heartbreaking and humorous way.
Wow, psych ward drama. Very cool How did the idea of the story come to you?
I was actually in NYC at the 2009 SCBWI Winter Conference, and the idea of having a book with two alternating points of view came to me at one of the breakout sessions on character development. I went back to my room and wrote five pages of ideas and plot points out for the book. One character is the bully and the other the victim. It was really fun to get inside each of their heads.
Is your manuscript complete or still a work in progress?
It's as complete as I can get it. But every single time I go back in I make minor changes.
And what is your next step?
I am currently in agent query-land. However, this manuscript was one of the winners of the Sourcebooks TeenFire competition, and it's out with one of their editors as I type.
Awesome! Congratulations. Speaking of editing, do you usually have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I have a small army of readers/writers who read and crit my manuscripts. I started a tri-ad crit group which went well for a while, and then sort of drifted away. The other two writers were/are super talented, and I learned quite a bit from their critiques.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first (and completely awful) middle grade novel back in 1993. But I didn't start querying hard until 2007 for my other (way better) MG suspense novel titled, THE END OF NORMAL.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Sounds like a great concept. Any other tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?
Take advantage of the internet. Enter contests, join groups, visit writing forums, read everything you can possibly read from the experts, get as much solid feedback from fellow writers as you can. Immerse yourself in all things writing.
Exactly the advice I would give. There's so much information out there. So, do you have an idea of your book’s cover art?
No, I've actually never thought about that. Now that I have, I'm envisioning a black, white and red cover with the silhouettes of both boys.
Sounds great. Who are your inspirations?
Favorite book inspirations:
The ENTIRE Harry Potter series with the last book being my absolute favorite
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and An
Abundance of Katherines by John Green -- both books contain brilliantly written dialogue and wicked humor
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho -- inspiration times infinity. Not a YA book but spectacular if you've ever doubted your destiny.
Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Is there anything you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
My big, ear-covering headphones with classical music blaring through them. They are the perfect family-blocker-outers.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?
Again, thank you to you for offering to interview an aspiring author like me!
Next, thank you to my blog readers who have cheered me on during my most boo-hooey moments. Finally, thank you to anyone reading this interview about plain-old-me.
And finally, where can people find you online?
Writing site: http://kmwalton.weebly.com/index.html
Book Trailer for EVERYTHING'S NOT LOST:
Thank you again, Kate, for letting us get to know you and your book. I wish you all the best on your publication journey, and please let us know when your book is available.