Today we have the lovely opportunity to get to know Kay Honeyman a little better with an interview!
What made you give the main character, Kate, a political background?
I find politics fascinating. And somewhat omnipresent in life. On a large scale there are the politics that decide the leaders in a country, but on smaller scales there are politics in small towns, politics in high school, and politics in families. I’m always looking for a way that people can relate to my characters’ stories. For Kate, I hope people can relate to different degrees to the politics she has to navigate in life.
Kate loves photography, where did the inspiration for her photography skills/love come from?
Like a lot of people at 17 (or earlier for some), It probably started as an escape from politics and something that could be uniquely hers (there is no way her father is going to stand behind a camera). Eventually, it helps her find truth or at least reality. While she is an expert at the political world, she struggles to find her way outside that political game. Photography gives her a chance to study bits and pieces of real life from the safety of her dark room.
What made you decide to go the route of a modernized “Emma” as opposed to another Jane Austen classic?
I like using mentor texts when I start writing. Sometimes they stick as a structure, sometimes they don’t. This one really worked. The themes went well with the story and the characters, so the structure of Emma held true throughout the writing process (My first novel, The Fire Horse Girl, has some of the elements of Pride and Prejudice in it.) I think the strongest ties between Emma and Kate are their good intentions. It is the quality that redeems both of them and makes good people like Ana and Hunter (and hopefully the reader) see the potential in them.
What are the top things you need (snacks, drinks, music, etc.) in order to write?
If only it was that simple. Most of all I need courageJ. Writing takes a lot of work and a little blind faith. I also need time to escape in the story, and the self-control to create some headspace amongst the chores and to-do lists.
I also wouldn’t turn down a caramel latte if I was writing.
Salty or Sweet? And list your fave salty or sweet snack!
Both? I love popcorn – the really buttery kind, or white cheddar. Being from Texas – tortilla chips with anything (guacamole, salsa, bean dip, queso…I’m getting hungry). I also like candy corn at this time of year.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
A place on the beach sounds great. I’ll just go to Paris or Rome or Hong Kong during hurricane season.
Where is your favorite spot to read and write?
It depends. If I am drafting, I like a little background noise, so my favorite spot is usually a coffee shop or somewhere I can do a little writing and a little people watching.
If I am revising or editing, I like silence – a quiet spot in a library or at home if the house is empty and all the laundry and dishes are done (so I won’t have any excuses to stop).
What is your favorite season?
I like how seasons cycle. It might be the teacher in me, but I find that I am excited when a season starts, and I’m ready for the next by the time it is over. During the summer, I have so much fun waking up late and eating lunch at the pool. I how it stays light later. But when fall starts, I look forward to wearing my boots and jackets, pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider, and Thanksgiving dinner.
What are the last 3 books you’ve recently read and enjoyed?
I am reading the middle grade book The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey with my son. I enjoyed Farrey’s other books – The Vengekeep Prophesies (I am a sucker for criminals saving the day), but this one is beautiful and interesting. It’s about friendship, secrets, and sadness. I just finished Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. It is a modern re-telling of Pride and Prejudice, and I loved how Elizabeth sounded as a modern American woman. I am about to start The Magic Words by my insanely talented editor Cheryl B. Klein. It’s her advice on writing and publishing in the children’s and ya world (but probably applies to all writing). I’m really looking forward to reading it.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Kay and for letting us get to know you a bit more!
Interference by Kay Honeyman
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on September 27th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
As a Congressman's daughter in Washington, DC, Kate Hamilton is good at getting what she wants -- what some people might call "interfering." But when her family moves to West Texas so her dad can run in a special election, Kate encounters some difficulties that test all her political skills. None of her matchmaking efforts go according to plan. Her father's campaign gets off to a rough start. A pro tip for moving to Texas: Don't slam the star quarterback's hand in a door. And whenever Kate messes up, the irritatingly right (and handsome) Hunter Price is there to witness it. But Kate has determination and a good heart, and with all her political savvy -- and a little clever interference -- she'll figure out what it takes to make Red Dirt home.