I had the great fortune of being able to read Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock, and I absolutely adored it. Here is an interview with the writer behind this incredible book, which is to be released May 8th by Katherine Tegan / Harper Collins books.
Me: When did you first get the idea for Hemlock?
Kathleen: I first had the idea several years ago. A scene of Mac, Jason, and Kyle popped into my head one morning while I was walking to work. I wasn’t writing at the time (I had given it up after high school), but when I did finally decide I wanted to try my hand at a novel, those were the characters I wanted to do it with.
Me: If you can choose to be any YA book character who would you be and why?
Kathleen: Probably Sophie from Hex Hall. I love how witty she is. Plus, she gets to kiss Archer Cross AND has Jenna (coolest vamp sidekick ever!) as a best friend.
Me: Where is your favorite place to read a book? For me I read everywhere because I have to steal moments throughout my busy day, but if I could choose a favorite place it would probably be curled up on my bed.Kathleen: I totally read almost everywhere. I always have a book with me to flip through in stolen snatches while waiting in line or for the bus. My favorite place to read is a tossup between my living room couch and this great little deli that has awesome sandwiches and terrific music.
Me: Did you always want to become an author? At what point did you say to yourself “I want to become a published writer?”
Kathleen: I have a very clear memory of saying I wanted to write and illustrate books when I was four or five, and it was a goal I had until my senior year of high school. I’m not sure what happened that year, but I got it into my head that I would never have any success at writing and ended up going to art school to study graphic design (because art was the only other thing I was passionate about).
It wasn’t until several years after college that I started writing again—first blogging, then short stories, and finally Hemlock.
Me: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Kathleen: Don’t do what I did. I look back on those years when I wasn’t writing and cringe. I don’t regret going to art school—it led to a successful career that I enjoyed and that paid the bills when I did start writing again—but I do sometimes think I would have continued to write (even while pursuing other things) if I’d had more confidence in myself.
Also, the importance of reading often and reading widely cannot be stressed enough. My high school didn’t offer a creative writing class while I was there, and I went to art school instead of university. I almost always have, however, read voraciously.
Kathleen spent most of her teen years writing short stories. She put her writing dreams on hold while attending college but rediscovered them when office life started leaving her with an allergy to cubicles. Hemlock, her first novel, will be released on May 8th by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
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