I have the happiest of posts for you today! Let's give a big hand and warm welcome to Katie M. Stout, author (who is ONLY 24, btw, and making me feel incredibly behind on my non-existent writing life) of Hello, I Love You, which was released on June 9.
But first, let's set the mood with one of Katie's recommendations (a band rec, I have no idea about songs, but I listened to quite a few and really liked this one). It had me dancing with myself in the library room in my building:
First, we'll do a quick run down of what the book is all about. Grace is a rich kid running—she wants away from the mansion her record-producing father bought, her famous country singer big bro, and the mom who blames her for pretty much everything. So she runs to a boarding school in Korea.
She wants literally nothing to do with the rich music world she ran from, but her roommate's twin brother just happens to be the hottest new KPOP star out there. Of course, we all know what's coming...
Katie was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself, so thank you, and enjoy!
What does your daily life look like as a writer?
Well, I have a day job, so my writing days never look the same. Sometimes, I’ll sneak in some writing or editing time at my desk when my boss isn’t looking (shhhhh don’t tell!), and other times, I write at night or on the weekends. I don’t have daily writing goals. I’ll go like five days without writing, then add 6,000 words to my manuscript in one night. So basically, I have no way to answer this question. Hah!
What are three things you can't live without while writing?
1. Music or background noise
2. Caffeine of some kind
3. My computer (most of the time; sometimes, I like writing on my iPad mini)
Are you a big K-Pop fan? What are your favorite songs/bands we should listen to while reading Hello, I Love You?
I love KPOP! Old school CN Blue was my biggest influence while writing, so I’d say definitely listen to that. Also Shinee, because that ends up being one of the bands my main character really loves.
You've traveled and lived in many countries, can you tell us about your favorite places?
Sure! I’ve got a lot of favorite places, and I recommend different places to different people, depending on who they are and what they like. But my personal favorites are Scotland, Thailand, and South Africa.
When I lived in England, I was only five miles from the Scottish border, so I spent a lot of time visiting there. Edinburgh is one of my favorite European cities, and the Highlands are gorgeous. I lived three months in Thailand right after college, but I’ve been there nine times total. The culture is warm, and the food is amazing; it’s also gorgeous, from the mountains in the north to the beaches in the south. And South Africa just has amazing people, a laid back atmosphere, and LIONS (in game parks, but still); it was my introduction to Africa, and I still love it.
Why do you choose YA to write & read?
I’m one of the few YA authors who actually read YA as a teen, since it was already an established genre when I was in high school (I’m only 24). I loved it then, and I still love it now. I like that everything is new and exciting as a teen. Also, my teen years were hard, and I’d like to offer a little hope and a break from real life to my readers who may be struggling through high school now.
I had so much fun reading the answers to these questions, and I hope you did too! Make sure to visit Katie out on the interwebs (and tweet at her if you like).
Katie has a blog she regularly updates—and it's super adorable. She talks about her travels, her book, and her life.
And you can win your very own copy of Hello, I Love You. You must be 13 years or older to enter and must have a US mailing address. Address will be shared with publicist from St. Martin's Press who will be handling the mailing.