Today we are delighted and honored to have author Katherine Locke on the blog for a quick Q+A. Self described as a cat herder and lady knight, we’ve been a fan of Katherine’s for some time — and hope you are too! Their writing and commentary has long been a fresh breath of candor for us so we hope you enjoy getting to know them a bit more as we sit down for a bowl of questions (and answers).
The Girl with the Red Balloon is a Young Adult novel about a 16-year-old girl who goes back in time to 1988 East Berlin. When she lands in the middle of a Cold War conspiracy of history and magic, the only way to stop people from dying may be to destroy her only way home…
What comes to mind when you hear, “Serial Box”? First, a box of serial killers. Because my brain is weird and I’ve watched way too much Criminal Minds. Secondly, my new favorite busy-brain friendly way to read 😀
Can you describe your most recent project in one sentence? Magic-wielding science protégé girl is recruited to work on the Manhattan Project but discovers a spy in the lab. (YA, untitled, second book in my Red Balloon series
Where are you a local? Philly area! But more specifically, Kennett Square, PA. The Mushroom Capital of the World. Seriously. That’s true.
If you could live in one fictional world, which would it be? Tortall (Tamora Pierce)
Who would be the 5 people (alive, dead, or fictional) at your dream dinner party? Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie, Connie Willis, Noor Inayat Khan, and Calpurnia Tate (I learned about the latter from author Mackenzi Lee’s Friday twitter events: Bygone Badass Broads, where I learn about all sorts of cool ladies/gender non-conforming people of history).
Who is the author or book you will always recommend? Elizabeth Wein, CODE NAME VERITY
Favorite quote or line? My favorite lines change all the time. I’m currently obsessed with “We love each other like poppy and recollection” from Paul Celan’s Corona. From the aforementioned CODE NAME VERITY, I love, “It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.” I also think that the opening line of Maggie Stiefvater’s THE SCORPIO RACES is one of my favorites in literature: “It is the first day of November and, so, today, someone will die.”
Who is your favorite writer outside your genre? I write across so many different genres and categories this is a little hard to answer. BUT: I really loved Hannah Kent’s BURIAL RITES as a dark literary fiction book with a crime bent, and I’m currently working on my second Ron Chernow book (nonfiction, historical). The first was ALEXANDER HAMILTON and the second is WASHINGTON. Both are mesmerizing. I’ve also enjoyed a lot of comics that are new to me in the last few years. This past year, GIANT DAYS and PAPER GIRLS both blew me away.
First Love: Book edition. What was it and when? (i.e. what book made you love reading?) A WRINKLE IN TIME. Forever.
If you had a nickname for your writing persona, what would it be? Squirrel!
You now have a time machine — to where and when do you go? Oh god, four years from now. In a heartbeat.
If you could have one magic spell up your sleeve, what would it be? To make a Timeturner? Yes.
Where is your happy place? I’m writing this in bed, with my seventeen year old cat asleep on my chest, and another one of my cats purring next to me, so here is one. I also love a mountain cabin where I write once a year, and my grandparents’ farm where my cousins and I all congregate for Fourth of July.
Last thing you read that made you think, “Well damn, that was cool…” Railhead by Philip Reeve
If your soul was manifested outside of your body in the form of an animal (like in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series), what would it be? A cat. To no one’s surprise.
Katherine Locke lives and writes in a very small town outside of Philadelphia where they’re ruled by their feline overlords and their addiction to chai lattes. They write about that which they cannot do: ballet, time travel, and magic. When they’re not writing, they’re probably tweeting. They not so secretly believe most stories are fairy tales in disguise. Their Young Adult debut, THE GIRL WITH THE RED BALLOON, is the story of a sixteen year old girl who accidentally time travels to 1988 East Berlin. How she got there, and the magical conspiracy she uncovers, is related to how her grandfather escaped death camps forty five years earlier. It arrives 2017 from Albert Whitman & Company. Add it to your Goodreads now! Katherine can be found online at www.katherinelockebooks.com and @bibliogato on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.