Friday, May 11, 2018

Dreamer, Katherine Locke

I love Katherine's Twitter feed. Kathrine is funny, interesting and just plain fun! I love how she shares her journey with her followers. She also shares some of her favorite books on her feed, so be sure to follow Kathrine! My words are failing me today, because I feel like I'm not communicating all of Kathrine's awesomeness, but believe me when I say she is awesome. 

Dani: Why YA? 

Katherine: I love the precipice of change, liminal spaces. And adolescence is one of the best liminal spaces: you're not a child, not quite an adult. You're forming your own independent opinions about the world, but you're usually reliant on your family for basic needs. It's a really neat time in which you're growing and expanding really rapidly, but everything can feel like you're just holding your breath, waiting for real life to begin. I remember feeling that way and I love writing characters who feel that way too. The other reason is that teen readers (and really all kids) are the most open-minded about what they read. Whereas adults sometimes struggle with the types of books I write because they don't fit neatly into one category or another, teen readers just care if you're telling them a good story. I love that. 

Dani:  What are the most important aspects of your job as a writer?

Katherine: To me, the most important aspects of my job as a writer are to tell a good story, and to always be growing. First, I don't have an audience if I don't tell a good story. I'd be failing at the most basic part of being a writer! But I also want to be growing as a writer. I never want to tell the same story twice. I never want to dip my toes into the same pond. I want to learn as I go, and I want my writing to improve as I go. 

Dani:  How did you know your agent was right for you?

Katherine: I'm represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency. She challenges me to always be improving and leveling up with each book that I send her, which is great and definitely what I need. But I knew she was the right agent for me because I'm a flighty, anxious, dreamy sort of person/writer, and she's very grounded, no-nonsense and business-focused. She makes sure that I don't get too carried away with my emotions and that my dreams are always grounded in reality. Publishing can be a rough industry on one's emotional and mental well-being, so I appreciate that she's there to support me. 

Dani:  Do you prefer coffee or tea, and what are your thoughts on the other?

Katherine: I drink a lot of chai tea lattes. Like, a lot. It's a problem. (Says my bank account AND my kidneys.) Coffee's too acidic for me, so I end up putting tons of milk and sugar in it, and that defeats the purpose. And I do drink regular tea, especially if I'm just looking for a hot drink and not necessarily a ton of caffeine. 

Dani: What's one book you can read over and over?

Katherine: Emery Lord's Open Road Summer. I bet that comes as a surprise to people because it's a straight, contemporary YA romance but everything about that book is my catnip. I love the enemies to lovers, I love the fierce female friendship at the heart of it, and I love prickly girls in YA books. Reagan is prickly. 

Dani:  How much research do you have to put into "Girl with the Red Balloon" and "The Spy with the Red Balloon"?

Katherine: A lot of research. For GIRL, it was a lot of internet research--listening and watching interviews, movies, TV shows, using all sorts of different resources on the web to research East Berlin and the Holocaust (which I had a great deal of background knowledge in.) For SPY, I read a lot of books about Nazi science programs, the Manhattan Project, spies in WWII, parachute troops in WWII, etc. People often ask me if I research before or after, and the answer is I'm pretty much always researching. I do a surface level dive, then begin to map out and sketch out the book's main plot/conflict and characters, and that as I'm writing, I'm also reading and tweaking and researching and checking. I really like the research though. I'm a Ravenclaw through and through. 

Dani:  What's one thing that readers should know about your books? 

Katherine: Hmm, this is a hard one! I guess readers should know that I trust my readers, completely, to think and carry and question, and to be comfortable with being uncomfortable sometimes, to be open-minded and hopeful. Though my books deal with fairly dark times and topics, I like to think that they're ultimately optimistic and hopeful books. 


Katherine Locke lives and writes in a small town outside Philadelphia, PA, with her feline overlords. She writes about that which she cannot do: ballet, time travel and magic (though not yet all in the same book.) She secretly believes most stories are fairytales in disguise. When not writing, she can be found horseback riding, tweeting, or browsing the aisles of a bookstore, buying more books than one person can reasonably read in a lifetime. The Girl with the Red Balloon was her Young Adult debut and a 2018 Sydney Taylor Honor Book. The Spy with the Red Balloon releases October 2, 2018 and is available for pre-order now. Katherine can be found online at 

Follow Kathrine:

Twitter: @Bibliogato


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