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Author Interview: Kate Scott

Author Name: Kate Scott
Book Title: Counting to D
Length: 228 pages
Publisher: Elliott Books
Release Date: February 11, 2014

Have you always been a writer? If not, when and why did you start?
No. I’ve always had an active imagination, but I’ve also always been a very bad speller. For a long time, I didn’t believe writing was something I was capable of. I started writing fiction seriously in my mid-twenties. As for why I started, I think it comes back around to always having an active imagination. I love making up stories. It just took me a while to realize writing them down was something I could do.

How did the idea for Counting to D come to you?
I am dyslexic, and I knew that I wanted to write a book with a dyslexic main character. It took some time for me to figure out how to write that book, but the general idea has been with me ever since I was a teenager.

Do you have a particular writing schedule or routine? Could you briefly describe it?
No. I write when I feel like it, and I don’t write when I don’t feel like it. Now that I’m working on my second novel—and know it will be published as soon as I finish it—I feel like I should probably start following a schedule. I haven’t figured out exactly what that routine looks like yet, though.

Where do you write? Why?
I have a home office where I do most of my writing. It does have a desk in it, but I prefer to write sitting in a comfy chair with my laptop on my lap.

What is the hardest part of drafting for you?
Setting. Dialogue is really easy for me, but I suck at setting. I tried writing speculative fiction a couple years ago, just for kicks. Oh man, it was awful. I cannot world-build. Most of what I do during revisions is add exterior details, but even my final drafts are sparse on setting.

How did you originally come to be published? (long road or short?)
I had a literary agent for about two years, but we decided to part ways in the spring of 2013. Instead of looking for a new agent, I chose to submit to small presses on my own. Once I started researching small presses, I realized being a small press publisher would be a super fun job. So I started one: Elliott Books. Currently, Counting to D is the only title on Elliott Books’ roster, but my plan is to start accepting submissions from other authors this summer. I just wanted to make all my mistakes on myself before I took on other people’s manuscripts.

How do you handle criticism/rejection/bad reviews?
Fortunately, I haven’t had any super critical reviews yet. Some people enjoyed my book more than others, but the people who didn’t love it have been courteous. There are lots of hugely popular books that I didn’t enjoy. Everyone has different taste. I don’t expect everyone to like my book. I just want to make it available for the people who do love it. And thankfully, a lot of people do, which is all around fabulous.

What is one part of writing craft every aspiring author ought to thoroughly understand?
Voice is probably the most important thing to understand, in my opinion. It’s also the hardest to explain. I think the simplest key is to know your characters. As a writer, it’s critical to understand exactly who your characters are, so you can make their voices authentic.

Do you read other authors’ books while you have a work in progress? Why or why not?
Absolutely. I believe understanding what works in other great stories is a key aspect of knowing how to write one yourself. Also, reading is fun. Why would I abandon all books by other writers just because I want to write one of my own?

What is the most rewarding part of writing?
I enjoy getting to know the characters as they come to life in my mind and on the page.

Are any of the characters or MC modeled after real people?
I modeled the main character, Sam, after myself. Everyone else is fictitious.

What has been your favorite part of the book release?
The amazing feedback I’ve gotten from readers. I actually got my first fan letter a week before the book came out. Not sure how the fan got a copy of my book, but his thank you note to me was priceless. I wrote this book because it’s the story I wanted to read as a teen, and it didn’t exist. Knowing at least some of today’s teens are connecting with it is all kinds of inspiring.

“Funner” Questions

PBJ or ham & cheese? Ham & Cheese
Coffee or tea? Tea
Summer or Winter? Summer
Typing or longhand? Typing
Which comes first: plot or character? Character

Emails or letters? Emails
Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke (I’m addicted)
Sugary or salty treats? Sugar!
Dogs or cats? Neither – allergic
Indoors or outdoors? Outdoors – when it’s not raining

Beer or wine? Wine
Mac or PC? PC
Outline or fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants? What’s an outline?

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