Interviewing authors is one of the most enjoyable things I get to do as a blogger. Kate Larkindale is one of many Musa Publishing authors I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during my time as an intern with Musa. Her debut YA novel, An Unstill Life is near the top of my to-read list.
Please give her a warm welcome and leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below this post.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your novel, An Unstill Life?
It’s a contemporary YA novel about a girl who feels left out when all her friends start getting boyfriends. They try to include her, and set her up on all kinds of awful blind dates, but she’s not interested in any of them. And when she discovers she is interested in a girl, all hell breaks loose…. Oh, and her sister is sick, her mom is going a little round the bend about it and she’s asked to make some difficult moral decisions.
2. When did you decide you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?
I’ve always written. Think I had my first story published in the ‘Kid Stuff’ section of my local paper when I was six. But it wasn’t until about 2008 I started being really serious about it.
3. How has your career as a cinema reviewer influenced your writing?
I get a lot of inspiration from films. Not plots, but a line of dialogue or a single shot can sometimes spark the idea for a book. Documentaries especially. Sometimes a single idea or phrase can be enough to set a story into motion.
4. Can you give us a brief rundown of your writing process?
I’m kind of a weirdo. I very rarely start writing a story from the beginning. I usually have an idea for a single scene to start with, and write that. Then I work both ways to fill in the scenes leading up to and away from that starting point. I don’t outline because if I do, I know where the story is going to go and I’m too bored to write it. But I usually write the ending pretty early on so I have somewhere to aim for. And I usually have a pretty good idea of the shape or arc the story is going to take.
5. What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you and how do you make it easier for yourself?
I don’t really enjoy revising. I love the rush of pouring a new story onto the page, but going back over it again and again, shaping it and polishing it doesn’t give me the same rush. But it’s necessary, so I tend to write the outline after I’ve written the first draft, to make sure everything fits where it needs to and that the character and plot arcs make sense. I’ll often cut out 10K at this point, or add the same.
6. You’ve published many short stories but now focus on novels. When did you realize this was your true love—and how?
Novels have always been my true love. I wrote three before I even really thought about being published. Writing shorts was a way to learn my craft and practice being concise or writing to a deadline. But shorts are so…short. You can’t explore the character or the situation in as much depth as you can in a novel. A short story is like a snapshot of a moment or a character, whereas a novel is more like a feature film.
7. Why did you choose an ebook publisher over a traditional publisher?
Because they accepted my book! I’ll admit, it wasn’t my first choice, but what the editors had to say about the book really spoke to me, and after having pursued agents for years and years without success, this felt like the right choice. And e-books are becoming more and more popular. I only recently got an e-reader and now do more than half my reading on it!
8. What was it like to work with an editor for the first time?
I loved it! My editor, Jeanne, is awesome. It’s like she could see what my book should be underneath all the extraneous stuff, and pointed out where things could be tightened or changed. And the book is so much better as a result. I can’t wait to work with her again.
9. If you could give an aspiring writer only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Keep writing. Rejection hurts, but if you give up because of it, you’ll never make it. And read. A lot. In your genre, but outside it as well.
10. What are you working on now that readers can look forward to?
I’m working on a book about a sixteen-year-old amputee who really wants to lose his virginity. I’m totally in love my main character because he’s so funny and so totally a boy.
About The Author
Having spent a lifetime traveling the globe, Kate Larkindale is currently residing in Wellington, New Zealand. A cinema manager, film reviewer and mother, she’s surprised she finds any time to write, but doesn’t sleep much. As a result, she can usually be found hanging out near the espresso machine.
You can purchase a copy of An Unstill Life here.