Katie Kacvinsky can proudly say she’s already achieved her dream: writing for an audience. With three novels under her belt, including the popular “Awaken” series, Kacvinsky now writes fulltime after working in the entertainment industry and as a high school English teacher.
Kacvinsky is a is a guest speaker at SLJ‘s August 9 online event, SummerTeen: A Celebration of Young Adult Books. If you’ve signed up for SummerTeen, make sure to gather your teens to hear Kacvinsky speak on the “Who Will Mend This Broken Heart” panel from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is still open.
How’d you end up writing romance novels?
KK: I used to teach high school English, and my favorite class to teach was creative writing. You can learn so much about students through their writing; it’s amazing how many walls they will let down. The more I worked with teenagers, the more I realized all of the challenges they face in high school with family, friends, jobs, independence, relationships…there is so much drama. It’s endless writing material.
What’s one of the most moving things you’ve heard about your work?
KK: I had a fan come up to me and thank me for being so honest in First Comes Love. She said her uncle had recently passed away and she was having a hard time dealing with it. She said that my book gave her a different perspective on grieving and it helped her to cope with what happened. When my writing reaches anyone on a personal level, it’s really rewarding.
What do you like best about writing for a YA audience?
KK: I love the enthusiasm from my fans. Teenagers get so hyped up about books, probably more so than any other fan base.
How valuable are librarians at getting the word out about your books?
KK: Librarians are paramount in spreading the word about my books. I owe most of the publicity I have done to librarians, whether it’s setting up a school visit, a library visit, or a teen workshop visit, it’s the enthusiasm of librarians that have helped to spread the word. They are an author’s best friend.
Do you ever worry about being censored or challenged due to the sex and language in your books?
KK: I don’t really worry about it. There is sex and some swearing in First Comes Love, but, you know what, that’s realistic stuff. A lot of authors shy away from writing about sex, so they might infer that it happens, but I couldn’t do that in this book. Besides, my favorite authors are the ones that take risks, who aren’t afraid to be completely honest in their writing.
What are you working on now?
KK: The sequel to First Comes Love. It’s called Second Chance.
Other SLJ SummerTeen Interviews: