Thursday, June 13, 2024

Q&A with Kate Spencer


Photo by Mandee Johnson


Kate Spencer is the author of the new novel One Last Summer. Her other books include the novel In a New York Minute. She co-hosts the podcast Forever35, and she lives in Los Angeles.


Q: What inspired you to write One Last Summer, and how did you create your character Clara?


A: 1. I have been working on some sort of manuscript about a summer camp romance for almost 10 years now!


While this story has taken on numerous iterations over the years, the location has always remained consistent. I grew up in New England, and I wanted to capture the magic of summer there, specifically in a setting as nostalgic and idyllic as a summer camp.


That being said, I wanted the story to be accessible to all readers, as most folks do not attend sleep-away camp as kids.


I came to Clara’s character and story very organically, through a lot of writing and rewriting. Ultimately I think her experiences with burnout and mental health, juggling career and life expectations, and mending frayed relationships are largely universal, and are all things I’ve journeyed through myself. 


Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I did not know how the novel would end when I started writing it, and it went through MANY changes along the way. In a very early draft, it was Clara who wanted to buy Pine Lake Camp!


The more I write, the more I believe that much of the magic (and hard work) of writing is done in revisions and rewriting. (This book went through at least three re-writes.) 


Q: The Publishers Weekly review of the novel said, “This is second-chance romance done right.” What do you think of that description?


A: I am extremely flattered by this description! Obviously any review is subjective, and I try not to dwell too much on them, positive or negative, but it’s always thrilling when someone appreciates your work.


I love reading second-chance romances, and I really wanted the story to be as much about Clara rediscovering herself as it was about her finding romantic love with an old flame.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?


A: I always want to provide readers with a cozy, joyful, fun escape. I think the power of a happily ever after is incredibly healing and comforting (at least, this has been my experience as a reader!) and I take pride and care in doing this as a writer.


But I also hope Clara’s story allows folks who may be dealing or have dealt with similar struggles to feel seen and recognized. Burnout, mental fatigue, the grind of capitalism and career — these are real things I’ve experienced, and I know I am not alone. 


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I am currently working on my next book, which is going to be a fun, steamy, enemies to lovers sports romance. Folks can follow me on Instagram at @KateSpencer and sign up for my newsletter ( to be the first to know when it’s officially announced and available to pre-order!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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