Me: For the writers out there - Can you describe how THE GUY NEXT DOOR came into publishing existence? (Writing, looking for a publisher, acceptance, editing, etc.)
Kate: In the fall of 2008, I began studying how to write because I’d just read a series of books that completely immersed me in its world. I wanted to know how the author had done that. Studying led to trying it out, and suddenly I was writing this book.
From the outset, I knew I didn’t have the time or money for writing conferences so I would have to learn from the best. I determined to follow the writing advice of authors who were making a living at writing and study the books they recommended.
Using those resources, I polished my manuscript and sent it in to Deseret Book in October of 2009. In December of 2009 I sent it to Covenant. In January 2010 I received a rejection from Deseret Book. In September 2010, two weeks after my sixth baby was born, Covenant emailed an acceptance. Lots of happy tears ensued.
I read Scene and Structure by Jack M. Bickham in January 2012 and knew I could improve my manuscript. I contacted my editor and he agreed that I should edit it on my own before he looked at it. I submitted those edits in early March.
I didn’t hear back about until the last week of June. Then the serious editing deadlines hit. By the end of July THE GUY NEXT DOOR had gone to press.
Me: How do you balance being a mom with writing? How do you handle deadlines and kids! :)
Balance suggests that all this happens serenely. Controlled chaos best describes our household.
A time and a season is my mantra. It reminds me that my children have such a short season for childhood and I need to be present. My mom always said that people talk a lot about spending quality time with their children, but to children quantity is quality. My parents gave me an amazing childhood in that way, and I hope to do that with my children.
I squeeze in consistent writing time during naptime and after they’re in bed. I know my children and husband are the stewardship my Heavenly Father will ask about first—not my writing.
Deadlines are another story! This summer is the first time I’ve had to deal with strict deadlines. I was mom until after lunch each day, and then I disappeared into our home office until dinner (prepared by my husband and daughter) and bedtime. Then I was back in the office until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
Me: What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
Kate: I’m working on another romantic suspense that switches viewpoints between the man and woman. I’m hoping it works—the part about writing from a man’s perspective. It deals with witness protection, a Ponzi scheme, cowboys, and forgiveness.
I’ve also sketched out characters for a middle grade book because my children are begging me to write something interesting to them. I love the characters, but I have no plot. So lots of work there.
Me: Favorite books?
Kate: I’m all over the place with genres, but if it’s YA or adult it has to have a good romance to win me over.
1. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
2. The Books of Bayern Series by Shannon Hale
3. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (her Gregor series is also good.)
4. The Kiss of a Stranger by Sarah M. Eden
5. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
6. Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens
7. Fanny’s Dream by Caralyn Buehner
Me: Who is your biggest writing cheerleader?
Kate: My husband Nate. At one time I was contemplating quitting. This was after THE GUY NEXT DOOR had been accepted. He said to me, “You’re happier when you’re writing.” I hadn’t noticed that.
Me: What is it like seeing your work in print -- in a bookstore, library, watching someone read it, etc.?
Kate: I can’t stop smiling when I see my book. Seeing people I know read it is hard because it feels like I’ve invited them to come play inside my head. Will they think I’m crazy?
Me: Most important question -- Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Kate: This is the hardest question. I love mint chocolate chip unless there is something with nuts. Anything with nuts.
Me: What books are you reading, what's in your to-be-read list?
Kate: Until my canning is done, I only have a to-be-read list. This is part of it.
Erasing Time by C.J. Hill (Janette Rallison)
After Hello by Lisa Mangum
Friends and Foes by Sarah M. Eden
A Banner is Unfurled by Marcie Gallacher & Derri Robinson
Feedback by Robison Wells
Reached by Ally Condie
Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale
The Peacegiver by James L. Ferrell
Shadowed by Stephanie Black
Thanks, Kate, for dropping by! Can't wait to see what she comes up with next.