Dear Alison and readers,
Have I got a surprise for you...Guess who stopped by to chat? Any guesses? No peeking at the title. Wait, I guess it's too late. Okay, I'll tell you anyway, KM Walton, the YA Author of all of these books...
Thanks so much for stopping by to talk to me. Care for a chai latte or a glass of wine?
It’s Friday. Let’s go for the wine.
Excellent choice. I’ll have one as well. So tell me, when did you become a writer?
Despite my debut novel releasing when I was 44, my stacks of journals from childhood onward prove that I’ve always been a writer.
Yeah, it took me a while to figure out what I really wanted to be when I grew up. The bulging folder filled with scraps of paper and napkins of all my “book” ideas and “story” ideas didn’t make me realize my true calling until six or seven years ago. So tell me, what do you love about writing?
Possibility. I’m a wildly anticipatory person, always have been. A dreamer for sure. Writing, with all of its glorious possibilities, fuels me, especially through the rough times.
Inspiration strikes me all the time. Usually when I’m working on something else. Do you ever get writer's block and how do you get over it?
I’ve never suffered from writer’s block. When I start something, it tends to fly out of my like wildfire. I start with a nugget, brainstorm a bullet-point list of plot and character ideas, and then write. I don’t know the nitty gritty of my plot until I’m writing – the discovery is my favorite part of my process.
Ah…, a pantser. Me too. Or are we plantsers? Or an almost plotser? I’ve been known to write some pretty lengthy plot arcs—At which time I decide to shift the story to accommodate my mood rather than my plan. Do you have a special way of going about writing?
Sitting in the chair and typing is the only way for me. It’s not special, it’s work, but it’s work that I love doing.
Silly question I know, but your fans are dying to know…Do you have any works in progress?
Many. A few MG novels, a few YA novels, a few picture books, essays, articles.
When you’re not working on your next book, what do you like to do?
I love going to the movies. Love reading. Love cooking. Love travel.
I’m still in post-Star Wars Bliss/PTSD because the next one isn’t out yet. Rey’s my favorite Star Wars character. You know me and my love for strong females. Finn is pretty fantastic too. He’s gone through the most change. Speaking of change, who’s your favorite character in Ultimatum?
Since Ultimatum features two main characters, brothers who don’t understand each other, I absolutely must say both boys. Watching how they grew and learned about themselves and each other was quite powerful for me. At the book’s start, the reader sees how Oscar and Vance have mastered anger and assumptions, but when they’re faced with watching their father die in hospice they must decide if they’re willing to act like brothers.
Inquiring minds what to know, where did the idea for Ultimatum come from?
I got the idea for Ultimatum as I watched my husband and his younger brother experience the death of their father in hospice.
I sat in the corner one night and thought: what if two teen brothers, who didn’t understand each other, pretty much despised each other, had to go through watching their father die in hospice?
I jotted it down on a post it as soon as I got home. Luckily, my husband and his brother are best friends and they used their strong bond to get through their father’s death.
My characters in Ultimatum aren’t based on my family, but the hospice reality is. To anyone who has experienced hospice with a loved one knows, it is something that leaves an indelible impression.
What was your favorite part of writing Ultimatum?
I’d have to say how I developed my characters, how I plotted, how I revised—it all deepened while writing Ultimatum. I applied what I’d learned since my debut novel, and it turned out to be a wildly satisfying writing experience.
Rapid Fire Responses…
Far too many to count, but the Harry Potter series lives in my heart.
Big fan of Jandy Nelson and Lev Grossman
Napoleon Dynomite. It’s cinematic genius.
Favorite TV show?
Game of Thrones. I’m on my third re-watch.
Chocolate or ice cream? Both. Preferably ice cream with chocolate chunks.
Paperback or ebook? Paperback. There’s nothing like holding an actual book.
Dogs or cats? Cats. I love how self-sufficient they are.
Go out or stay in? Stay in. Nothing beats a raging fire, a glass of wine, and a toasty blanket.
Summer or winter? Summer. I love being able to grill outside every night.
K.M., thanks for stopping by! Can’t wait to see you again at the YAFEST in Easton on Saturday, April 21.
Hey readers, did you know that K.M. Walton, Katherine Locke, myself and dozens of other YA authors will be there? Well, we are. Come visit us and tell your friends.
Thinking about becoming a writer yourself? I’ve got just the workshop for you. My first writing workshop was at the Highlights Foundation with Harold Underdown and Eileen Robinson in 2012. Harold (he’s awesome) and Leah Henderson (she’s great) will be teaching a crash course in publishing called…Everything You Need To Know About Book Publishing: A Crash Course
You should check it out because it’s awesome, I learned so much, and the friends I made??? Well, Harold and I still hang out, Dave Kane and I meet up sometimes, Deb Aronson and Judy Forney still keep in touch via Facebook. I even got to see Millie last year, so yeah, I made some great writer friends and I learned a whole bunch out writing, as you can tell from my impeccable grammar;) My witty personality is all me.
Oh my gosh, I almost forgot, it’s STARR LOST’s BIRTHDAY MONTH! (I need more than one day.) To celebrate, STARR LOST is only $.99. I’m having a massive eblast on Tuesday, January 16th, so buy it now if you’d like or buy it on TUESDAY, JANUARY 16th and help me get on a bestseller list…I got dreams baby.
Enjoy your weekend, read some books, and get ready for Tuesday, January 16th. You might already own a copy of STARR LOST, but for 99 pennies, maybe you can buy another one or two or three or give them as gifts! Books for thought;)