Kate Klise in the house!

April 16, 2015

Kate Klise wrote her first adult novel, “In the Bag”, in 2012.

Kate Klise is an American author of several popular children’s series, such as “43 Old Cemetery Road”, “The Three-Ring Rascals”, and “Regarding the Fountain”. She was also a correspondent for People magazine for fifteen years.

In this interview, Klise told us how to deal with writer’s block and competition in the Journalism field.

What inspired you to be an author?

What you find when you get older is that you try to do something that you are good at doing, and that you like doing. Then you try to find where those two meet. For me, that was writing. Maybe it’s the process of elimination: math wasn’t my thing, science really wasn’t my thing either. But I am a reader, and my dad is a writer, so writing was something that came easily to me. I am also one of the lucky ones that knew early on that I wanted to be a writer. It makes life a lot easier.

What inspired you to write the “43 Old Cemetery Road” series?

I get a ton of ideas from reading the newspaper. I used to work for People magazine, and I had to read a lot of newspapers in my territory to see if there were any good stories that I could pitch in. So one day I read an article in the Kansas City Star about an old married couple who are going to the retirement home, and they couldn’t take their dog with them. So they decided that whoever buys their house also has to take care of their dog. I thought to myself, “It would be kind of cute if it were a kid instead.” That gradually developed into the plot line of “43 Old Cemetery Road”.

Who is your favorite novelist of all time?

E.B. White. I read “Charlotte’s Web” every year. The sentences are just so clean. It feels like you just gargled with Listerine every time you read it. Also Mark Twain. He’s my imaginary boyfriend.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I get blocked every day when I’m writing. I used to sit there and keep trying, but now I know to just walk away. Did you know when you’re in nature your creativity increases by 50%? So I hired this guy to blaze a 2 km hiking trail around my house and I run like 3 laps around it every day. When you go outside, it almost always gets your mind going.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write your first draft really fast and messy. Ian Fleming (author of the James Bond series) said never spend more than 30 days writing the first draft of a book. Just vomit it out. Write the book when you’re still excited about writing it, because that feeling doesn’t last forever.

What advice do you have for a journalism student wanting to get into the field?

You seek opportunity. Join the high school/middle school journalism club. Find a journalism internship over the summer. Create a journalism team for expats!

What is the competition like against other journalists for a story?

It was brutal. I remember doing a school shooting story once. You are competing against people from CNN, who are just ruthless. Back in the old days, the parents of these shooting would take their phones off the hook, because they don’t want people calling them. CNN would call the operator, and say, “We’re family members and we’re trying to reach them.” NBC would break into people’s homes for information. I would always write a nice girl, Catholic school girl note asking them for an interview. That method works, too! A well-written note will get you into almost any door.

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