I just love doing interviews with writers at every stage of their writing career.  Last time, I interviewed the amazing Michelle Zink.  This time, I am talking to up and coming author, Katie Anderson.

CF: Why did you begin writing?

KA: I have always been a movie fanatic and frequently could be heard saying (when referring to whatever I was doing at the time), “This should be in a movie.” Or, “I’m gonna write this scene down.”  And then one night while at a cocktail party with some friends, I announced that I was going to do it. I was going to write a movie. Of course no one believed it would stick – that I would actually do it.  But, Sarah Frances Hardy loved the idea and wanted to do it with me. So, I went home, bought a “how to write a screenplay” book on Amazon and started writing on a yellow legal pad. SF and I met for coffee at least once a week and laughed about our screenplay. That was the start. Novels came much later.

CF: How long have you been writing?

KA:  Six years. First came the movie, then came books. I started with a few pic books, then a graphic novel and finally, my masterpiece… a novel. The novel is the only thing besides the movie that has been able to hold my attention.

CF:  Tell me a little about your personal writing process?

KA:  Since I had never attempted a novel before KISS & MAKE UP, I didn’t have a “process” but now I can say that by God’s grace, I come up with a killer premise first. From there, I usually envision scenes like in a movie. I write whatever I wake up and feel like exploring. It might be my MC in a class at school. Or, it might be some emotion I want my MC to feel. It’s sometimes out of order and all over the place. The next day I wake up and revise what I wrote the day before, and then, attempt to add to it.  I constantly revise as I write and then after I get a good draft, my mother reads it. She’s incredible. She finds anything I’ve missed. She’s great at continuity editing and grammar. I fix her comments and then finally send to my agent. This obviously takes many, many, many, months.

CF: What is the hardest part aspect of being a writer?

KA: For me, it’s trusting the process. I don’t outline – I can’t. So I always get a little panicky when I don’t know where the story is going. But, if I commit to working on it every day, it eventually works out.

CF:  How do you manage to balance writing with other real-life things (like children, etc)?

KA: I should have said that this is the hardest part of being a writer because it’s true. THIS is the hardest part. Writing can be addictive and you really have to watch it. I am still trying to figure this out. I try to write during the day when the kids are gone. But, sometimes I have to write late at night.

CF: Where do you find your inspiration?

KA:  Everywhere. I am always inspired by other artists, chefs, writers, singers. And I know I’m on the right track with a project when I start waking up with ideas in the middle of the night. I take notes frequently in a half-asleep coma.

CF:  How did you find your agent?

KA:  In the midst of my querying for my novel, an adult agent heard about my premise and referred me to her friend – who referred me to my agent. I had never heard of her so I didn’t think much about her but as soon as we talked on the phone, I knew. She was “the one.” I was talking with several others at the time and she was the only one who really energized me. I adore her. Also, I think the query HAS to be short and sweet and have a killer hook. THAT is what ultimately got me noticed. I wasn’t getting any bites and my friend suggested that my query wasn’t strong. She was right. As soon as I changed it, I had an almost 100% request rate.  So my advice is to make sure you have a really strong query as well. I highly recommend Elana Johnson’s From the Query to the Call. It has great advice for how to pitch your project to an agent.

CF: Now that you have an agent, has anything changed?

KA: Yes. I feel validated. And strangely, it gave me a HUGE jolt of creativity. I rocked my coolest revision EVER right after she signed me. Her confidence in me really made me blossom creatively.

CF: Tell us one random fact about you.

KA: I used to want to be a Laker Girl.

CF: Is there anything else you would like my readers to know about you or your books?

KA: I can’t WAIT until they can read KISS & MAKE UP! I am so proud of this book! It took 2 1/2 years to write and looking back I am so thankful it took that long. Don’t despair if it’s taking a long time. You will get there. I promise. 

Thanks Katie for such an awesome interview. For more information on Katie Anderson and her journey towards publication, visit her blog, Plot This, or her website.


12 thoughts on “An Interview with Up and Coming Writer – Katie Anderson

  1. OMG. I was just reading Katie’s query in Elana’s query book this morning. All I can think was, “I so want to read this book!” Fingers crossed I’ll get to some day soon. 😀

    I’m linking your voice post from last week to my post tomorrow (Wednesday). You had some great advice.

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