Meet the Author of THE BOY NEXT DOOR, Katie Van Ark!
Now that we’ve made another exciting big announcement, that we’re publishing THE BOY NEXT DOOR as the final book of our very first list, we want to introduce you to the incredibly lovely author, Katie Van Ark. Here’s a short greeting from Katie, and be sure to read her Q&A below to get a taste of what makes her so swoonworthy. If that’s not enough Katie for you, check out her website at http://www.katievanark.com/, her blog at http://www.katievanark.com/blog.html, and follower her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Kvanark.
SR: What inspired you to write The Boy Next Door?
Katie: Honest-to-God honestly? I got pregnant. That sounds like a funny reason to write a novel but I had been training twenty to thirty hours a week for skating. I’d planned on a baby but I hadn’t planned for the huge, gaping pothole where my life on ice had been. My legs would even twitch at night with the longing. I started pouring my ache for the ice onto the page instead, and The Boy Next Door began to take shape.
SR: How long did it take you to write the manuscript?
Katie: My daughter is five now so, yeah, over five years! But The Boy Next Door was the novel I wrote as I learned how to write. In addition to writing the novel, I was learning about plot mechanics and character arcs and voice and everything else I wish I had learned about writing in high school and college. The Boy Next Door went through over twenty revisions before it ever saw Swoon Reads. (If you’re curious to see part of the first draft, check through the back posts on my blog!)
SR: How do you feel now, being an official Swoon Reads author?
Katie: I’ve had to hide it for so long, I think it’s going to take a while to set in. I think it’s kind of like seeing old 6.0 results at a skating competition. Sometimes you just stand there staring, tracing your fingers over the ordinals. I’m still in shock.
SR: What did you think about the U.S. winning the gold medal for figure skating?
Katie: The performances of ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White are always swoon-worthy AND they’re fellow Michiganders, so I was stoked. (Stoked=dancing around my living room screaming.)
SR: What advice do you have for other writers on the site?
Katie: Don’t be afraid of the “r” word: revision. Swoon Reads is not your typical slush pile, where your manuscript sits stagnant. Be open to feedback – you can always revise and resubmit. This isn’t a Hunger Games arena. Multiple winners are allowed and multiple tries are allowed. My favorite part of the Swoon experience was getting feedback before my novel was on Amazon or Goodreads, when I could actually do something about it!
SR: Anything you want to share with readers about your experience?
Katie: I’d like to give a shout-out to the many fellow Swooners who helped The Boy Next Door along the path to publication and especially those who contributed to my blog: KA Cozzo, Jennifer DiGiovanni, Sally White, and Jenny Elliott. You’ve transformed what can be a frustrating and lonely journey into a scenic route and I’m grateful to be traveling with all of you.
Thanks for the great answers, Katie!
We’ll be pulling back the curtain on Katie’s publishing journey along the road to publication. We’ve got a lot in store, but if there’s anything special you want to know, tell us in the comments. And be sure to ask Katie your questions, too!