Friday, 7 May 2010

Interview with Kate Walton

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.

First, thank you so much, Dorothy, for organizing this interview. It is my first blog interview of all time. About me, well, I taught middle school language arts for ten incredible years and loved every single moment. Now I am an instructional coach for teachers, coaching them on how to make their instructional practice the best it can possibly be. It's a cool job. I'm 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 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?

Carving out time to actually write. Working full time and having two boys and a husband certainly has a way of getting in my way. In a good way. :) However, a fellow blogger named Weronika shared the most brilliant idea of typing one page a day. It has worked for me this past week, and I'm thrilled beyond belief.

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! 

You're welcome!

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:

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.


Matthew MacNish said...

Great interview, thanks for sharing Dorothy and for giving it Kate. This book sounds very intriguing. It's nice to see some boy focus in YA. Looking forward to this getting sold and published.

Today's guest bloggers are Lisa and Laura Roecker!

Shelli said...

Great interview, as always! I like the premise of this book. I hope it makes it to press, because I'll be looking for it. Best of luck!

Doreen McGettigan said...

I read some of this book and it is really good! Great interview, thanks for sharing.

Christina Lee said...

YEAH Kate!! You already know I think you and your writing rocks!!

Eeleen Lee said...

great interview, and your other site too

Christina said...

Interesting interview, looking forward to seeing this and many others on the shelves at Borders, Barnes and Noble and every little book shop across the globe!

Unknown said...

What a great interview! The book sounds incredibly interesting. I love the idea of alternating points of view. Good luck to her!

lisa and laura said...

Kate is crazy talented! I predict big things for her soon!

JournoMich said...

Great interview and introduction to someone who has talent all across the spectrum. Math and psych drama/YA? Wow.

I came here through Patricia Stoltey's Twitter! Woohoo for links...Glad to have found your blog.


Dorothy Dreyer said...

Thanks, everyone, for the great comments. Your input is just the reward I need for putting this blog together.

And I agree, Kate is headed for big things soon! :)

India Drummond said...

Great interview... I always enjoy learning about authors and their planning and plotting process!

K. M. Walton said...

If the interview wasn't enough to make me beam...well, the comments too - WOW. I dream about having one of my books out there in print even more now.

We'll see. I just a new full request for EVERYTHING'S NOT

Thanks, Dorothy & everyone else.