Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Q&A wiith Katherine Fleet
Katherine Fleet is the author of the new young adult novel The Sound of Drowning. She also has written the YA novel The Secret to Letting Go.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Sound of Drowning, and for your character Mer?
A: My books often start from a tiny seed of an idea. In this case, it started as a single scene—a girl waiting on a beach at night for a guy to show up. I knew how this girl felt as she waited for him—quietly desperate—but everything else was a mystery. From this one scene and inspired by her emotions, the story gradually evolved. Of course, it went through a few plot tweaks before settling into the final version.
Q: The novel is set on North Carolina's Outer Banks. How important is setting to you in your writing?
A: For me, setting is crucial, as it helps establish the mood of the story. For The Sound of Drowning, the ocean and the beach are often a reflection of the struggles that Mer is having in her life – sunny and warm when things are going well, and cold and rainy when they’re not.
A unique setting, like the Outer Banks and Ocracoke Island, gave me the chance to layer these emotions into the story and to give the ocean a character of its own. I’ve lived most of my life next to the ocean, so it’s also my favorite setting.
Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you change things around along the way?
A: That’s a great question! When I first started writing this book, my vision of the ending was very different. Sometimes you start out with a plan, but as the story and characters evolve, they lead you down a different path.
That’s the fun thing about being a pantser (someone who doesn’t do a lot of plotting before they start the book). It’s exciting to see where you end up. In this case, the ending turned into the one that was always meant to be. I think I just needed a little time with my characters to see the light.
Q: How was the novel's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?
A: Maybe there are authors out there who can easily come up with book titles, but I am not one of them. For me, every book title requires a lot of brainstorming and collaborative efforts with fellow authors and my editor.
The Sound of Drowning came out of one of these brainstorming sessions, and I fell in love with it. Part of the story takes place on the Pamlico Sound, so the title has several hidden meanings that readers will discover if they check out the book.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I have two books on submission right now, and I’m hoping to start work on a new YA contemporary shortly. Like many writers, I have too many ideas, and one of my greatest challenges is settling on which story to start next!
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Just that I love to connect with readers and fellow writers. You can find me on Twitter (@KatherineFleet) and IG (katherine_fleet). I have so much love and appreciation for everyone who has supported this book, and if you do take a chance on it, I need to know: are you Team Skittles or Team Twizzlers?
--Interview with Deborah Kalb