We had the opportunity to interview Kara Thomas, the author of our July book club pick That Weekend. Thomas also wrote The Cheerleaders, Little Monsters, The Darkest Corners and the Prep School Confidential series.
Thomas has also let us a do a GIVEAWAY for a signed copy of That Weekend. To enter: comment on this blog post and provide a way for us to reach you. The giveaway will last one week. We’ll announce the winner on Twitter on Monday July 26th and give the contact information to Kara Thomas.
1. When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I knew when I was in elementary school I wanted to be a writer. When I discovered Nancy Drew, I was so obsessed that I began writing my own terrible knock-off novels. I never quite outgrew the habit, because I still write mysteries.
2. What inspired you to write That Weekend?
I got the idea while I was on an overnight backpacking trip. As a crime writer, my brain always goes to that place– when we found our spot, I thought, we are so vulnerable out here. Someone could easily rob us and push us off that ledge! From there, the idea snowballed and became more complicated and turned into That Weekend.
3. Which character do you relate to most in your books?
I relate to all of my main characters in some way. With the exception of Monica in The Cheerleaders, I think a common thread among them is that they are girls who never quite feel like they belong– they are between the precipice of teendom and adulthood, and are struggling to find their place within their families and friend groups. They are all insecure, to a degree, even the confident ones. They have trouble getting out of their own heads, which is basically what it’s like to be a writer.
4. What are you hoping readers will take away from your books?
I really just hope people have a great time while reading them. Books have gotten me through some difficult periods in my life, and if I can be someone’s way of forgetting the world and their problems for a few hours, I feel like I have achieved my purpose.
5. What are your favorite Young Adult books?
I recently read and adored You Know I’m No Good by Jessie Anne Foley. My all-time favorites are All The Rage by Courtney Summers, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.
6. Which writers influence you the most?
Gillian Flynn, Jane Harper, and Dennis Lehane are my current favorite mystery writers that have shaped my taste and the books I want to write. On the YA side, I’ve been influenced by everyone from Suzanne Collins to Courtney Summers to Caroline B. Cooney.
7. What was the most difficult part of the publishing process for you?
Letting go of control, and accepting that as the author, I really cannot impact how a book sells. Gaining more followers or tweeting a dozen times a day doesn’t sell books. All you can control is the work that you put out there. It took me a while to figure that out.
8. What is the best advice that you have received? Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Read a lot, and in a variety of genres. Particularly, non-fiction. I think reading non-fiction broadened my perspective a lot and helped me grow as a writer. My advice to aspiring writers would be to take your time. Focus on your craft and not on the ultimate goal of being published, because being published is only the beginning of the work.
9. What is your writing process like?
I have started to rely on outlining heavily to work out plot holes before I get too deep into the process. Lately, my writing process is a lot of thinking about the characters, their motivations, and how the story threads come together, and less about the word count on the page.
10. We’re huge fans of your Prep School Confidential series. What is Anne up to now?
Anne is definitely a private investigator who only takes on cases she is super passionate about. She and Brent are happy, renting an apartment in Brooklyn together, and they probably have a bunch of dogs.