Q & A with Kit

What inspires you to write?

Writing is a natural outpouring of expression for someone who has always been an avid reader. It helps me to process things, even if I’m not writing about whatever is stressing me. I’ve learned that I need to make time for myself to write regularly; it’s a release for me, and without that outlet I start to feel a bit like a dry spring. The orchids in my den window are on board with this. When I can’t make time to write, their blossoms fall off and they go dormant; but when I’m on a roll, they bloom like crazy.

How did you come up with The Gatherer?

I dreamed Peregrine one night—just her, and maybe some vague connotation. She stuck with me, and the idea of who she was and why she was important grew in my head over the years. Ultimately, I’d have to say The Gatherer is the book I wished I could read—but it didn’t exist, so I had to write it myself!

What challenges did you face in writing the book?

Politico-military strategy is hardly my sweet spot, so coming up with the larger connotation of the story stretched me. My second son is a history buff, so he offered surprising insights that were a huge help with world-building and plot development. And certain characters gave me trouble because they could so easily have ended up as caricatures. I had to get to a point where I really saw them as people, understood what drives them and why, in order to feel my way through what they would do or say in a given situation. Also one of them is quite clever, and I’m not particularly, so that was daunting.

What is The Gatherer’s target audience?

This is an introspective, coming-of-age fantasy adventure/romance with some fairytale overtones—not at all your typical YA ride. It’s hard to say who its main fans will turn out to be.

My 10yo daughter read it in serial format as I finished writing it, and though it was not intended for children, she had a gripping, life-changing relationship with the story. Watching that unfold was a profound experience for me as a mother and an author.

On the other hand, a lot of adults love it, and I think this is because some of the themes are profound. People who have been through a lot, gaining some wisdom along the way, enjoy the deeper elements of the tale.

Will there be more books?

Yes! The Powers of Moran was always intended to be a trilogy, with The Gatherer as Book One. I have a prequel planned (with characters referenced as historical figures in The Gatherer), and a vague idea for a sequel—all three of which could be stand-alone reads. However, I have surprised myself by starting a direct sequel that picks up where The Gatherer leaves off. Basically, I missed spending time with my Gatherer characters and decided to hang out with them some more and see where that leads. It might be published one day, or it might just end up as “fan fiction” for those (like my daughter) who can’t get enough of Peregrine.

Do you listen to music when you write?

Yes. Music is arguably even more essential to me than writing. My writing playlist contains songs by Two Steps From Hell, Animadrop, Lindsey Stirling, 2CELLOS, Imagine Dragons and Sia, just to name a few. Actually, The Gatherer has its own soundtrack of songs that match to a character or specific scene from the book. I can’t make that public without giving away some spoilers, but that might be a special “extra” for fans down the road.

What’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever done?

Though I’ve led a very blessed life, I have done some hard things. I mean… I’ve had three kids! I’ve been through Black Belt Testing twice, which in our taekwondo school is no mean feat. The windows are blacked out, doors are closed to outsiders, and the Testing Board ensures that after six or seven hours of confronting challenges both expected and surprising, you have left everything on the mats. It’s a stretching experience, in a positive way. But by far the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done was care for my mother during the last eight months of her life, when she lay paralyzed in a hospital bed in our living room.

If you were quarantined indefinitely, whom would you pick as your sole companion?

We’ve all had occasion to ponder that one, haven’t we? The usual answer is “my best friend,” and mine is my husband. My dad calls him “a prince among men,” and he is—the kindest, most honorable and caring person I’ve ever known. And he makes me laugh.