Interview with Kate Scott (author of Counting to D) for Katie’s Clean Book Collection:
-You are a licensed engineer. What made you decide to write a book?
I like being well-rounded. Engineering is a very analytical profession. While I like the technical nature of the job, I also enjoy being creative. I want to be both. So I’m an engineer who writes books in her free time. Or I guess, now, I’m an author who cleans up super-fund sites in her free time.
-Did you base any of the events from your book from your real-life experiences?
Most of the flashbacks to Sam’s elementary school days are autobiographical, and a lot of the academic aspects of the front story are reflective of my high school experience. That being said, this is still very much a work of fiction. All of the supporting characters and plot details that make this story fun to read (and write) are entirely made up.
-Do you have a normal writing routine? For example, is there a certain time of day? Music or no music? Any special foods, etc?
If I could answer this question, I would probably be a much more prolific writer. Sadly, I still function in the “write whenever I feel like writing” camp. I hear other writers talk about their set routines and get a little jealous. If I made more of an effort to write every day, my second novel would be done by now. But I love the rush of being full on assaulted by my muse and needing to stop whatever I’m doing to write. I kind of live for that feeling, and I almost never write when I don’t feel like I have to.
-What gives you inspiration for your characters and story lines?
In a way, I feel like all of my characters are an extension of myself. When I’m trying to get a character out of a scene—or into one—I always think about what I would do in that situation. I have a lot in common with Sam, so she was really easy to write. But even characters who I have very little in common with, I try to empathize with them as much as possible. I hope it makes them seem more human, and it definitely makes them easier to write.
-What is your favorite genre? Any favorite authors?
I really enjoy reading young adult, which is the main reason why I write it. While there are way too many great authors to name, a few of my favorites are Sarah Dessen, Maggie Steifvater, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Laurie Halts Anderson, and John Green.
-What is the scariest thing about writing a book? What's the best thing?
When I started writing, I never fully believed I’d ever get to the publication point. I mainly just wrote as a creative break from engineering. So there wasn’t any fear in it. I’ve never thought of writing as anything but a fun hobby. Now that other people are able to read my writing and experience joy because of my words, that is definitely the best thing. Publication is like the icing on an already delicious cake.
-If you could go back in history (recent or far) and could have written any book, which book would you have written and why?
Counting to D. It may be a cheat of an answer, but it’s true. I love a lot of books written by other people, but the fact that they were written by other people is one of the things I love most about them. Counting to D is my story, and nobody else could have told it exactly the way I did. I’m proud to be its author. I’m sure I’ll be proud to be the author of other books in the future, but as for the previously published, I’m glad those books were all written by other creative people.
-If you could have any career in the world, which one would you have and why?
A mom. I don’t want to get to super personal here, but I can’t have children for medical reasons, and I wish that I could. I’m currently in the adoption process and looking forward to the day that I can add “parent” to my resume. I don’t expect to stop the rest of my life when children come into it, but I also know that, even if kids are in school and/or daycare, being a parent is always a full-time job. And I’d very much like to have that job.
-What song or movie best describes you or your life?
Hmm, it’s a pretty cheesy song, but I think I’m going to go with “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. I love the lines, “Say what you want to say / And let the words fall out.” That’s what writing feels like to me—letting the words fall out. And I hope honesty and bravery are themes, not only in my writing, but also in my real life.
Now, for some split second decisions:
-Chocolate or vanilla?
-Salty or sweet?
-Night or Day?
-Hot or cold?
-Summer or winter?
-Horror or romance?
-Paperback or e-book?
You can read my review of her book, Counting to D, here. You can also enter to win an autographed copy of Counting to D here.
**I would like to thank Kate for taking the time to answer these questions so we can get to know her a little bit better. I loved her thoughtful answers and comments and wish her the best of luck!!**