Friday, June 15, 2012

Author Interview with Kate Klise

The DMS was lucky enough to interview Kate Klise, author of the middle grade novel 43 Old Cemetery Road: Dying to Meet You. Lizzy recently reviewed this haunted mystery and introduced us to the disgruntled author, I.B. Grumply. It was fun to share our thoughts about it and hear yours! We are excited to learn a little bit more about the story behind the story. So, without further ado... take it away, Kate! 


What inspired you to write Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road, book one)?

I get a lot of ideas for my books from newspapers. Several years ago I read a newspaper article about a young couple in Kansas who bought a house from an elderly couple. The older folks were moving to a retirement home and couldn’t take their dog with them. So in the contract for their house, the old couple stipulated that whoever bought their house would also have to care for the dog. That’s the kind of story I love. I took that idea and substituted an eleven-year-old boy for the dog and added a ghost and a crabby writer.

How long did it take you to write Dying to Meet You?

I try to write my first drafts fast and messy, usually in about 30 or 45 days. I probably wrote Dying to Meet You in a month or so. But then I spent more than a year revising it. I bet I wrote 15 or 20 drafts of it before I was happy with it.


What are some of your favorite books from childhood? Were there any specific authors who inspired you?


I loved all of Roald Dahl’s books, especially Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also loved everything by E.B. White.

Where did you come up with the characters Seymour, I. B. Grumply, and Olive?


Sometimes I think every character I create is a different side of me. I can certainly be grumpy like Ignatius B. Grumply. I also like to think I’m young at heart, like Seymour. And I’m definitely sassy like Olive, though she’s a lot smarter than I am.


If you could befriend a character from any of your books, who would you befriend? Why?

Olive, definitely. I think she could give me some good advice about writing and life. She is 190 years old, as you’ll recall.

You write and your sister, Sarah, illustrates.  How do the two of you collaborate on books? 

I usually write several drafts of a manuscript before Sarah sees it. I write in plain old Microsoft Word. When I think the story is in fairly decent shape, I email it to Sarah in California, and she starts sketching the characters. We bounce it back and forth many times before we finish.

Mary Sarah Klise
What is your favorite song?


Wichita Lineman by Jimmy Webb. It breaks my heart every time I hear it.  


If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

I love where I live in southern Missouri. I have forty acres out in the middle of nowhere. It’s blissfully quiet. I love traveling just about anywhere, but I think I’m happiest when I’m home, looking at the big night sky in my little Ozark valley.

Where can we purchase your books?

I love independent bookstores and always suggest people start there. But if you can’t find my books at a small bookstore or a bigger bookseller like Barnes and Noble, try Amazon.


Author Website ☞ Barnes and Noble ☞ Amazon.com ☞ Goodreads 







Read the reviews! 






** For all of you YA readers out there, check out Kate’s newest book for you. It’s called In the Bag....



A European vacation. A luggage mix-up. A note from a secret admirer. . .  In the Bag is a smart and stylish story that explores the old-fashioned art of romance in a modern world, where falling in love can be as risky as checking a bag on an international flight. Buckle your seat belt—it's going to be a bumpy vacation! 

"A lively love story . . . (that) will keep readers happily engaged." 
-Publishers Weekly



24 comments:

  1. I read this book after you reviewed it. It was really fun! I enjoyed the story and found the illustrations to be charming.

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    1. Elaine- So glad you picked up this fun book and enjoyed it! The illustrations are great, too! :) ~F

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  2. A big hit with lots of my friends children, I loved this interview.

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    1. Petty- How great that Kate Klise is a big hit with your friends' children! I can understand why! I am so happy you loved the interview. :) ~F

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  3. Great interview. Both of these books look great!

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    1. Hi Kelly, Thanks for stopping by- We enjoyed reviewing Dying to Meet You and It was so nice of Kate to interview with us! ~ F

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  4. Charming interview, you two. Love the concepts of her books, especially the crabby writer in Dying, so will be adding them to my ever-growing list. Thanks.

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    1. Hi clemckenzie,
      Isn't the name I.B. Grumply such a fun name for a surly, old writer? I really enjoyed the illustrations as well. Thanks for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  5. I already added this to my list. It sounds so cute and just fun. I would love to find time to read it and maybe get Mary Sarah on my blog for the big Something Wicked event this would be a fun one!

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    1. Heidi- It really is a fun read! That would be so cool if you could get Mary Sarah on your blof for The Something Wicked event! Great idea! ~F

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  6. When I did my student teaching, we did a letter writing unit and my supervising teacher used her book, "Regarding the Fountain". I fell in love with this book and used her books in my classroom for letter writing units ever since then. Although I'm not teaching any longer, I have read her books with my children. They are among my favorites. Great interview.

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    1. 365 Books a Year- Thanks so much for stopping by. I read Regarding the Fountain to my class a while back and they loved it. The play on words with the character names is such fun. I love your letter writing idea for the classroom- I am going to steal it and use these books! Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the interview. ~Stephanie

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  7. Lovely interview...I want both books now!!!

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    1. Patty- Thanks! Enjoy the books when you get them. :) ~F

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  8. I hear the bookstore calling me. I promise to try the local Indie first. I fell in love with Glenn Campbell when I heard his version of Wichita Lineman. *sigh*

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    1. Leslie- Good luck at you local Indie bookstore first. :) Glenn Campbell does have an amazing voice. My dad tries to imitate him! ~F

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  9. Very nice interview. i love how she gets her ideas from the newspaper.

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    1. Donna- Isn't that cool! I loved finding out that tidbit of information. Glad you enjoyed the interview! ~F

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  10. Fun interview! And I love the illustration on the book cover. Classically sweet and intriguing!

    :0)

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    1. M. Christine- I think the cover is amazing, too! I love Kate's answers to our questions. Thanks for stopping by! ~L

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  11. Love the sounds of this book (and the YA book too). Fun interview. I love authors that are inspired by real life stories and then make something of their own. Thanks for the heads up on this book.

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    1. Aimee- Thanks for stopping by. I am so glad you enjoyed the interview. Dying to Meet You is lots of fun and I think it is great that she gets her inspiration from real life. ~F

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  12. I've heard a lot of positive thing for In the Bag and looks adorable.

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    1. Karen- It does look adorable! I look forward to reading it! :) ~Stephanie

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