I have a boy, Massimo. He’s 4 and a half now, but soon(er than I think) he’ll be a teenager, and that’s when the game will change. So as a mom, I found books like this one the right way to open my mind to the challenges of a boy who’s transitioning from boy to young man. Just like I’m a firm believer that men should read more romance to understand women better, I believe reading books like this one will be useful for me as a mom (and yes, I can’t wait to see Love, Simon).
Also, I have the pleasure to have Kathryn here and have a nice chat with her.
The book is Going Places by Kathryn Berla, published a week ago as Contemporary, Young Adult.
Everyone had high expectations for Hudson Wheeler. His fourth grade teacher even wrote to his parents that Hudson was “going places.” But everything went downhill after his father died on the battlefield of Iraq one year later. Now facing his senior year of high school without his two best friends by his side and with his teacher’s letter still haunting him, Hudson seizes homeschooling as an opportunity to retreat from the world.
What happens during this year will prove to be anything but a retreat, as Hudson experiences love and rejection for the first time and solves the painful mystery of the “girl in the window”—an apparition seen only by the WWII vet whose poignant plight forces Hudson out of the comfort zone of boyhood.
Going Places is a peek into what male adolescence looks like today for those who don’t follow traditional paths as they strive to find themselves.
I have a novel coming out in August called THE KITTY COMMITTEE which is my first novel written for adult readers. But that one’s already done and available for preorder on Amazon. Currently, I’m working on a young adult novel about parallel universes called S.P.I.T.
Has your environment or upbringing colored your writing?
I believe it has. I moved around a lot when I was growing up. Not just from city to city but from country to country. It had the effect of turning me into an observer of people which has been very useful for writing.
Do you outline books ahead of time or are you more of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
I wouldn’t say seat-of-my-pants because I have an idea of where the story will start and end and what will generally happen in the middle. But as my characters develop on the page, they start telling me things about themselves I didn’t know before, so my story has to change and adapt. I could never write an outline beforehand and stick to it.
Is there anything about the writing life that you think is misunderstood by the public?
I make an effort to be kind when I critique a book, even if I don’t care for it, because I know there’s a real person with real feelings who put everything they had into that book. I may not have fully incorporated that before I became an author myself, although it’s self-evident.
How long does it take to write a story?
No more than three months for the first draft.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Reading other people’s books is number one. After that, watching movies and Netflix shows. Traveling. Exercising.
What are your top three favorite books of all time?
Earth Abides by George R. Stewart, The Crock of Gold by James Stephens, Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
Favorite actor and actress?
Right now (and this tends to change frequently) Miles Teller and Rosamund Pike.
Music or silence?
Silence is golden.
Alone or in public?
Routine or when inspiration struck?
I need to have a routine, or I would be easily distracted by too many other things.
If you were an animal, which one would you be?
Definitely an elephant.
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have a scar on my left shin from when I ran through a glass door. And one above my eye from when a boy threw a rock at me when I was a kid.
Do you miss being a child?
Sometimes, when I see something I first saw as a child and I remember the wonder with which I first viewed it.
Up early or sleep in?
Up late and sleep late. Sometimes I don’t get to bed until four or five in the morning.
Is marriage outdated?
Never. It’s not for everyone but if it’s for you and you’re lucky enough to find the right person, there’s nothing better.
Thank you for coming by, Kathryn!
This is a Tour, which means you can find out more things about the author or the story by following it here:
Kathryn grew up in India, Syria, Europe, and Africa. Her love for experiencing new cultures runs deep, and she gives into it whenever she can. She has been an avid movie buff since childhood, and often sees the movie in her head before she writes the book.
Kathryn graduated from the University of California in Berkeley with a degree in English. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.