Today I'm interviewing Katherine Fleet and featuring her new novel, The Secret to Letting Go.
Hi everyone! First I’d like to thank Connie for inviting me here. I’m Katherine Fleet, debut author of “The Secret to Letting Go” from Entangled Teen. It’s a YA contemporary set in a fictional town on the Gulf Coast of Florida during that magical summer after high school graduation where the whole world is out there waiting for you. It’s the story of two teens, Clover and Daniel, who are both dealing with tragedies from their past and discovering what it means to forgive themselves and truly move on. But while life keeps throwing them together, their secrets keep them apart.
1. What do you do when you're not writing?
I have three kids and I live on a Caribbean island, so I have a pretty busy, but fun life. I spend a lot of time chauffeuring my kids, but I also like to do yoga, and to bake, cook and have adventures with an amazing group of ladies. Of course, I also love to read and binge watch my favorite TV shows!
2. What would your fans be surprised to know about you?
Hmmm…I have two fun facts. First, I learned how to fly a glider and a plane before I finally learned how to drive a car. Second, I love over-the-top, Hollywood-explosive, kick-ass, cheesy-one-liner action movies. I don’t even care if they are bad. I will still go and see it, because then I get to make fun of it for years to come.
3. What inspired you to write your first book and how did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve always been an avid reader, and I’m a romantic at heart, so I love a good love story. Growing up in the 80s, there wasn’t much in the way of YA literature, so I graduated to my mom’s Harlequins pretty quickly. When I hit my 30s, I felt like I’d read the same tropes so many times and I was looking for something different. That’s when I first started thinking, “I should write my own book.” So, I tried writing an adult contemporary romance. I also tried writing an adult paranormal, but adult books were becoming steamier and darker, which wasn’t a great fit for my voice. Then I discovered YA and everything seemed to click. Authors like Rainbow Rowell and Gayle Forman were writing these beautiful, emotional stories, and I knew I wanted to do the same.
4. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
My road to publication was very long! I wrote my first novel in 2003, submitted it and was rejected. At that time, I was really busy with a career and young kids, so I put the writing on hold. In 2007, we moved to Curacao, and with more free time, I committed to the goal of becoming published. I wrote an adult paranormal, a YA paranormal, and then the contemporary YA that is debuting today. But even after finishing “The Secret to Letting Go” in early 2013, it took a solid two years of querying, rejections and revisions, before attracting the attention of my agent and Entangled Publishing in late 2014.
5. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
My book released last week, and so far, with the help of my publisher, I’ve done a blog tour, some giveaways, and several guest posts with various book bloggers. I’m not sure yet which of these avenues will work best, but I know that I enjoy connecting with readers through twitter and instagram.
6. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
My debut book is the third book I wrote, but I can honestly say that it was the first book that was ready to be published. So I feel lucky as a writer that so far I’ve been able to publish the first book I really believed in.
7. How did you come up with the title?
The working title for the book was “Crimson and Clover.” I’d known it by that name for so long that it was really tough to agree on a new name when it was signed to Entangled Teen in early 2015. My editor and I probably went through ~30 options before finding a name we both loved! A main theme of the book is secrets and letting go of regrets, so the final choice is a play on both of these aspects.
8. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Writing is a craft and a skill, and like any other skill, it gets better with practice. Your first book probably won’t get published, but if you keep writing, you will succeed. Oh, and if you are serious about being a writer, tell people you are a writer. Saying these words out loud to family, friends and even strangers makes it real, and it makes you accountable. It will help you hang in there, even when you are feeling discouraged.
9. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
For me personally, there are several messages in The Secret to Letting Go, but I’d prefer readers to discover their own meaning in the story. I think for any writer, the best outcome is to write a story that sticks with readers even after they finish the last page. So, if this book makes a reader feel happy, sad, angry or emotional in any way and that emotion lingers, then I’ll feel successful.
10. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Not often, but at least once in each book. When I get in a writing slump, I usually step back from the book for a couple of days. Then I re-examine the conflict. If the story doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it’s often because there’s not enough conflict. My final step is normally to talk to my daughter! She’s great at brainstorming ideas and helping me add in additional conflict or plot twists.
11. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I am an anti-plotter. Before I start writing, I’ll write a one-page summary that highlights the main plot points, the main characters and the main conflict. Then I start writing. I love letting the characters and their conflict tell me where they need to go next. For me, that’s part of the fun of writing. I tried plotting a book once. I took a plotting course and spent a few weeks figuring out all the scenes. When I was done, I realized I had no interest in writing the book anymore. It was like all the magic was gone, and it just felt like work. I still haven’t written that book! Hopefully one day I can go back and pick it up again.
One summer can change everything...
Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble.
Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.
Entangled Page: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/the-secret-to-letting-go/
Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26877648-the-secret-to-letting-go
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1682810704
Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-secret-to-letting-go-kathleen-fleet/1123170247
iTunes Buy Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-secret-to-letting-go/id1073591332
Kobo Buy Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-secret-to-letting-go
Originally from Newfoundland, Katherine Fleet gave up the cold winters of Eastern Canada for the year round warmth of the Caribbean. The slower pace of island life has given her time to pursue a long-time goal—becoming an author. When she’s not writing, she spends her time baking, chauffeuring her three amazing, talented kids around, and having sun-filled adventures with her husband and wonderful friends in Curaçao. She is also a very thankful breast cancer survivor. In 2007, she joined RWA and has enjoyed the support and camaraderie of the YARWA and OIRWA writing communities. She’s participated in NaNoWriMo since 2012 and is an active supporter of the associated Young Writers Program. She is represented by super-agent Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. The Secret to Letting Go is her debut novel. You can connect with her atwww.KatherineFleet.com.
Book Title: The Secret To Letting Go
Author: Katherine Fleet
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary
Author Website: www.KatherineFleet.com
Author Twitter: @KatherineFleet
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKatherineFleet/
Author Instagram: @katherine_fleet
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14439407.Katherine_Fleet