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Authorial Intrusion - Kate Messner

Welcome to Authorial Intrusion! To read any of the previous interviews, just click on the tag “authorial intrusion” on the left side of the page.

For those just tuning in, here’s the history behind these posts:

I love reading about the Publishing Journeys of my favorite writers.

I love the long, soul-searching interviews that reveal every obstacle and triumph: the author whose agent made her do three revisions before signing her … the author who gets up at 4:30 a.m. to write, because it’s the only time she has to herself … the critically acclaimed author who spent nine years trying to get published … I never tire of this stuff!

Long, luxurious interviews aside, don’t you sometimes find yourself wondering: “But do you like Thai or Chinese food better?”

Reader, I asked them.

I assembled a grab-bag full of random questions and emailed them to some of my favorite writers.

They answered!

And now, without further ado, please welcome Kate Messner!



Kate Messner – kmessner – is the author of the middle grade historical novel Spitfire, a fast-paced Revolutionary War adventure. Whenever I read good historical fiction, I wish I could go back in time and hand it to my younger self, who was bored to tears by history. SPITFIRE would have made 1776 come alive for me!

Twelve-year-old Abigail has been orphaned, so she sets out to find her Uncle Jeb, her last living relative. He is serving with the American Fleet on Lake Champlain. Abigail, nicknamed Spitfire by her father, cuts her hair and dresses as a boy to join the fleet, making friends with the cook’s helper, Pascal De Angelis. Together they are sent to the SPITFIRE, where they face combat, end up assisting the ship’s surgeon, and serve bravely under General Benedict Arnold’s command, whose role in this book is much more sympathetic than we normally think of him.

I loved this book, and hope Kate will write many more historical novels.


What are you reading right now?
THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan -- and loving it!

What's the last song you listened to?
Springsteen - "For You."

If you couldn't write in your current genre, what would you write?
Hmmm...probably YA, since one of my middle grade novels is already flirting
with it.


Thai food or Chinese?
Definitely Thai. Spicy green curry...mmmmm...

Where did you go on your first date?
To the zoo.

Do you speak a foreign language?
I took four years of high school French. Twenty years later, enough remains
so that I can effectively order pastries at Montreal bakeries.


Ever wish you'd studied a different subject in college?
Yes - I have so many interests that I wanted to major in everything. I
still have a thing for archaeology, which is one of the reasons I love
writing historical fiction.


First job?
Arts and crafts supervisor for little kids at a village park when I was 16.
I went home with finger paint on my clothes and glitter in my hair every
day.


Pick three words to go on your tombstone.
Lived. Loved. Laughed.

Furthest you've ever been from home.
Europe, on a youth orchestra tour the summer after I graduated from high
school. We visited 9 countries in 20 days, and I learned to wash my own
clothes in a tiny little sink.


Tell us something weird about you.
I got a Barry Manilow cd for Christmas last year and really, really liked
it.


If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Magenta.

Early bird or night owl?
Both - I don't require a lot of sleep, so I write from 9-midnight after my
kids are in bed and get up at 6 so I can run before school.


Rain or sun?
Sun -- unless it's one of those great storms at night with lots and lots of
lightning. Then, bring on the rain.


Advice for writers in 5 words or less.
Sit back down. Try again.

Write a spam subject line for us.
The Existentialist Hedgehogs Have Arrived!

Bach, Beethoven, Bon Jovi, or Bono?
Bono.

What's your favorite childhood Halloween costume?
Anything that I got to wear without a winter coat over it. Growing up in
western NY, we had snow on Halloween half the time, and I hated -- HATED --
covering up my costumes with winter coats.


Beach or mountains?
Beach!

Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Kate!



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Comments

( 7 inscriptions — Inscribe a note )
literaticat
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
look, two of my clients together, how cute. don't gossip about me!

also, lisa, ask me questions on here! even though i am not an author!
lkmadigan
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
Rly?

K.

What should your clients call themselves?

Team Literaticat

Jennifer's Little Shop of Authors

Laughran's List



xo
kellyrfineman
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
I like the "Little Shop of Authors" idea. Too funny!
ex_kmessner
Jan. 21st, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Interestingly enough, Lisa asked me to do this interview long before either of us were your clients. Kinda spooky, huh?

And put down my vote for a "literaticat intrusion" some time soon! I'd love to hear your answers.
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Great interview, ladies. And I would SO click on the Existentialist Hedgehogs email to learn more.
ex_kmessner
Jan. 21st, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Lisa! And thanks for such a lovely note about the book - I'm so glad you liked it!
( 7 inscriptions — Inscribe a note )