All About Kathryn
My guest today is the talented Kathryn Erskine, an author you might not have heard of (yet) but should have. She was born in the Netherlands and has lived in a wide variety of places (like Israel and South Africa and Scotland), but now calls Virginia home. Her books are Ibhubesi: The Lion (inspired by her time in South Africa) and Quaking (a powerful book with very real characters).
You can learn more about Kathryn at her official website.
All About Quaking
After years of being batted around, fourteen year old Matt has learned to rely on herself at school and everywhere. “Biology is good. I am an expert. We are studying morphing, but I have already morphed. I have my own exoskeleton. . . I have spent years developing my armor and I will not let it be pierced.” She must call on all of her resources to handle Mr. Warhead, the Rat, and the Wall at her new school, not to mention the Beast in her head. But somehow it is even more difficult to cope with the warm Quaker family, her “last chance,” who has taken her in. Why does Jessica insist on acting like a mom, for God’s sake? Why can’t their little boy with his gack covered fingers just leave her alone? And why does Sam have to care about her–and everything–so much? Doesn’t he realize that only gets you hurt? And even though Matt knows that pain very well, why is she finally letting down her armor and allowing herself to care?
Here’s my question for Kathryn…
You’ve lived all over (and I adore Scotland, by the way, some of the nicest people anywhere)…is there any *when* you wish you could have lived?
And her answer…
The Middle Ages in Britain. I love that period of history and the books about that era: CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY, CRISPIN, THE MIDWIFE’S APPRENTICE. I’d make myself start on a farm in itchy clothes, eating moldy potatoes but then end up in a castle, maybe in the kitchen because I like to cook, or as the lady of the manor, as long as I were free to walk the halls, see the finery, and hear the gorgeous music. That way I’d get to experience both worlds of the Middle Ages. (But most of the time in the castle, please.)
When I was a kid in Scotland I spent as much time as I could exploring castle ruins – hiding in little niches, laughing at the primitive toilets, shivering at the thought of being locked in the dungeon, and imagining the sounds of horses or battles or bagpipes just outside the castle keep — one time a lone bagpiper actually did come out of the mist behind the castle!
I still love exploring castles and if you haven’t been to a Renaissance fair those are a lot of fun, too, but after a visit to the Middle Ages I have to say I’d like to come back to the world of aspirin, coffee and computers!
And Kathryn’s question for me…
Why do you think there’s such an interest in vampire novels among teens—and everyone?
And my answer…
The obvious answer would be because of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. But truth be told, vampire fiction has been popular off and on for years. It never really dies out (haha, very punny, I know). I think there are a lot of reasons for the ongoing popularity – there’s the whole desire for long life and the fear of death (heck, and aging), two (three) things kind of wrapped up into the myth of vampires.
And after Varney the Vampire and some of the other stories from around the same timeframe as Stoker’s Dracula, the vampire as the evil but sexy seductor who dresses well and has riches untold (and a killer accent) is a powerful pull. The modern day vampire myth has more to do with romance than it ever has before and we’re also now seeing stories where the vampires are not necessarily the bad guys. Way back when the myths started out, it wasn’t that way at all. Vampires were always evil and definitely not sexy. Goes to show you that myths can warp and change all the time.
That’s kind of a rambling kind of answer, but I’ll have to plead the flu. Or a cold. Not really sure what it is, but it sure does have my head all fogged up!
Would you like to win a copy of Quaking? And assorted stickers, tattoos and other goodies? Yes, you would. Trust me. All you have to do is visit Kathryn’s website and email me at kim @ kimberlypauley.com (remove the spaces!) with the subject line “That Writer-Lady-Dude” and tell me…after mousing over the pictures on her site, which baby/child photo of Kathryn did you like best?
Only one more day and one more awesome author and then the grand prize contest starts!!