Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Interview with K.L. Going, author of Saint Iggy

Please welcome K.L. Going, author of SAINT IGGY, to the YA Authors Cafe.

Marlene P.: Do you remember writing the first words of your books? Are they still the same?

K.L. Going: Oh yes! I remember writing the first words of each of my books, and they are practically the only parts of my novels that remain intact. Those first lines always set the tone for the book and establish the character in my mind.

Marlene P.: What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Honestly, the hardest part is putting my work out there and hearing what people think. I’ve mostly heard great things, but it’s tough when people say stuff that’s mean spirited. I thought I’d get more used to it when I had more books out, but instead there’s just more to hear! My first novel, Fat Kid Rules the World, has been challenged in a couple school districts and that is difficult.

Marlene P.: What one question do you wish an interviewer would ask you but never has?

K.L. Going: How much ketchup would be too much? Answer: Is there such a thing as too much ketchup? I really don’t think so.

Marlene P.: What are you working on now?

K.L. Going: I have a lot of projects going on at once. I’m finishing up a how-to book for Writer’s Digest called Writing the YA Novel which is due out in spring of 2008. Plus, I’m also finishing up a new teen novel for Harcourt called King of the Screw Ups, which will also come out in 2008. I have a picture book under contract which is waiting for an illustrator, and I am contracted to write a short story for an anthology. *phew*

Marlene P.: What kind of research have you done for your stories?

K.L. Going: Fat Kid Rules the World was the most fun to research because I got to explore the world of punk rock. For Saint Iggy, most of my “research” came from my time living in a housing project in New Orleans when I did volunteer service. With my middle grade novel, The Liberation of Gabriel King I researched the 1970’s since it’s a historical novel, and for my upcoming novel, The Garden of Eve, I researched apple orchards.

How’s that for variety?

Marlene P.: Tell us something about you that no one knows.

K.L. Going: I’ve attended a very odd list of concerts. They range from Huey Lewis and the News, to Motley Crew, to John Mellencamp, to Pete Yorn.

I’ve also studied three different martial arts: Tae Kwon Do, Goju Ryu, and American Kempo.

Marlene P.: How did you become a writer?

K.L. Going: I started writing as a kid and never stopped. I became published when, years later, I finally worked up my courage to submit my work to publishers and one of my books got accepted!

Marlene P.: What is your favorite line, passage, or chapter from your book?

K.L. Going: I’m going to answer this question using my newest YA novel, Saint Iggy. My favorite passage from this novel is the scene where Iggy stands in the circle of color created by the church window. I loved writing this scene and still appreciate what it stands for.

Marlene P.: Have you ever wanted to quit writing? Why?

K.L. Going: Oh yes. I fantasize about it often, even though I know I would never go through with it. Writing is hard. Being published is even harder. Having a published book requires you to do a lot of things that are contrary to an introverted nature such as mine. Like giving speeches. The whole marketing piece of being an author is counter-intuitive for me.

Marlene P.: What are your hobbies?

K.L. Going: I work part-time at a local gym. I know that doesn’t sound like much of a hobby, but I do it for fun because it’s social and I like to work-out. I also love independent film. I like watching them, creating them, and supporting them in any way I can.

Marlene P.: What’s on your nightstand right now?

K.L. Going: I’m reading Orson Scott Card’s Alvin Maker series. He’s such a great writer, and these books are pure fun and escapism!

***** I’d love to invite any of your readers to visit me on my forums as well: www.klgoing.com/forums. We have great discussions and I’m always looking for new participants!

~~Cafe Note~~ As a regular part of our interviews, featured authors will pop back in for one week after their interview is posted to answer any other questions blog readers may leave for them. So if you have any questions or comments for K.L., send them now! She'd love to hear from you!