I wanted to be one of those writers, typing away in the morning at a coffee shop. But that’s not me. I can only write at night from my home office.
Kate Hickey – 2 September 2017
The Back Flap
Underneath the comical surface, the book contains undertones that lap at the deeper and more complicated aspects of the human existence. The desire to fit in and also stand out; love, both requited and not; financial strain; the cringe-worthy hilarity of coming into one’s sexuality; and above all, the misunderstood and untreated mental anguish that plagues so many of America’s young and old alike.
About the book
What is the book about?
It’s Me follows the main character, Perry Walsh, as she awkwardly (and humorously) navigates her college career and life as a young adult in the real world. It’s a coming-of-age story that grows deeper and more complex as the character grows.
When did you start writing the book?
I started writing the book in August 2015.
How long did it take you to write it?
It took me about a year and a half to write. Editing took about six months.
Where did you get the idea from?
It sounds cliche, but once I starting writing the book kind of wrote itself. The story developed in a way I hadn’t planned for.
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
The biggest struggle was in the beginning when I was narrowing down the story I wanted to tell. It started out as a completely different book. About halfway through I cut the first forty pages.
What came easily?
The ideas came easily, it was getting them on paper in the way I wanted them to be portrayed that took time.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
My characters are fictitious, though the humor of the main character mirrors my own.
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
Surprisingly, my biggest influence is not an author. It’s a photographer. Vivian Maier was a street photographer in Chicago for many years starting in the 1950s. The best way to describe her work is to say she was the original Humans of New York. She took haunting photographs of people going about their everyday lives. Her ability to paint a picture of life as deeper than meets the eye, with imperfections, mystery, and beauty is something I strive to create in my writing. My writing style is simple, but if you’re paying attention there is much more to it than meets the eye.
Do you have a target reader?
This book is for anyone who has ever made mistakes or has ever struggled secretly with depression or any type of mental illness.
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
I wanted to be one of those writers, typing away in the morning at a coffee shop. But that’s not me. I can only write at night from my home office. I grab a glass of wine, my headphones, and I’m off!
Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?
No outlines for me. Just work as I go. Outlines make me feel boxed in to a particular idea.
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
I do a little of both. But I have found that waiting until I’ve finished is probably a better fit for me. I started out editing the beginning over and over again, and by the end of the book, realized I didn’t know the characters nearly enough in those beginning phases! So I had to rewrite a lot of it.
Did you hire a professional editor?
I didn’t. I had my husband and two good friends help me with the editing process.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
I can’t write without listening to music! The Lumineers are my go-to.
Did you submit your work to Agents?
I did submit my work to several agents and got feedback from most.
What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?
My husband actually wanted me to self-publish from the very beginning, but decided I wanted to give traditional publishing a try. The event that really pushed me in the direction to do it myself was a note I received from an agent saying that they wanted to love my book, but it needed several changes. I was happy with where my book was at and felt the story was the story that I wanted to tell.
Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?
My cover was professionally done by a wonderful illustration artist in NYC, Ali MacDonald. She works for Snyder Agency.
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?
Winging it big time! Isn’t social media lovely?
Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?
Be true to yourself. Don’t write for other people. Write something you can be proud of. Write something you love. When you write something you love and believe in, you are more likely to attract people to it. When you write something just because you think it will be popular, you run into trouble.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Plymouth, New Hampshire
Where do you live now?
I live with my husband in Portland, Maine. A great city!
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the follow-up book to It’s Me. The ending leaves a lot up in the air!
End of Interview:
For more from Kate, follow her on Twitter.