Katherine Locke is the author of the Sydney Taylor Honor Award winning debut young adult novel The Girl with the Red Balloon.
In today’s episode, we dive into how “The Girl with the Red Balloon” was influenced by her Grandfather. She shares advice for writers new to the historical fantasy genre, how technology plays a crucial role when writing historical fiction, how to tell a story that requires emotionally heavy research and overcoming the emotional exhaustion.
Katherine walks us through incredibly helpful tips on drafting, from the first draft to the second draft, and how to work through the dreaded middle of the manuscript. You’ll learn why Katherine always tosses out the first draft and how she accepted this as part of her process. We also touch on different ways to brainstorm, how to simultaneously balance writing for different genres and age groups, and why it’s necessary to have a writing community.
For writers, to download the exclusive writing prompt she created for our community, scroll down till you see a box that says “writing prompt”. Katherine is also taking over our Instagram account and will be showing us behind-the-scenes glimpses of her writing life, from her local coffee shop where she gets her writing done and how she gets through writer’s block, to special footage from her research trip in Budapest, and so much more.
“It’s very important to have a writing community that cheerleads and then also challenges you.”
“It took me 3 years of writing it to realize it was ok to not find answers in my own book, it’s ok to come up with more questions. A tough emotional place to be but a really important personal place to be.”
“I have always considered myself a YA writer, I really do think that’s part of my identity as a writer. I just happen to also write books for adults.”
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
Advice on drafting, from the first draft to the second draft
How to work through the dreaded middle of your manuscript
How to tell a story that requires emotionally heavy research and overcome the emotional drainage
Detailed advice for writers new to the historical fantasy genre
How to simultaneously balance writing for different genres and age groups
Learn why Katherine always tosses out the first draft and how she accepted this as part of her process to help move her forward
Why it’s crucial to have a writing community and support
Different ways to brainstorm and utilizing how your brain works
The importance of writing consistently
How Katherine’s story for The Girl with the Red Balloon was influenced by her Grandfather
How technology plays a crucial role when writing historical fiction
Learn More About The Girl with the Red Balloon
“Locke’s debut is an intricately plotted historical thriller with elements of science fiction and magical realism…a sensitive exploration of the long-lasting effects of war and subjugation, especially on marginalized people. …This sophisticated, unusual work is likely to appeal to fans of World War II and Holocaust fiction, as well as those who like their history with a tinge of romance and magic.” – School Library Journal
Ellie Baum feels the weight of history on her when she arrives on a school trip to Berlin, Germany. After all, she’s the first member of her family to return since her grandfather’s miraculous escape from a death camp in 1942. One moment she’s contemplating the Berlin Wall Memorial amidst the crowd, and the next, she’s yanked back through time, to 1988 East Berlin when the Wall is still standing.
Nobody knows how she got there, not even the members of the underground guild–the Runners and the Schopfers–who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall. Now as a stranger in an oppressive regime, Ellie must hide from the police with the help of Kai, a Runner struggling with his own uneasy relationship with the powerful Balloonmakers and his growing feelings for Ellie. Together they search for the truth behind Ellie’s mysterious travel, and when they uncover a plot to alter history with dark magic, she must risk everything–including her only way home–to stop the deadly plans.
Learn More About Katherine Locke
Katherine Locke lives and writes in her small hometown outside of Philadelphia, PA where she’s ruled by her feline overlords and her addiction to chai lattes. She writes about that which she cannot do: ballet, time-travel and magic. She secretly believes most stories are fairytales in disguise. Her debut Young Adult novel, The Girl with the Red Balloon, won a Sydney Taylor Honor Award. Her next book is The Spy with the Red Balloon, out in October 2018.
Books & Resources Mentioned in Katherine’s Episode:
Victoria Schwab – Listen to Victoria’s episode
Leigh Bardugo – Listen to Leigh’s episode
Marie Lu – Listen to Marie’s episode
Connie Willis – Doomsday