We are so excited to bring you an author interview with K.M. Walton, mastermind behind Cracked. Magan’s review, in which she gushed over the fine line K.M. balances between serious topics and humorous characters, went live yesterday. We contacted K.M. after perusing her website (which is fabulous, by the way). She has so, so many wonderful things to offer – information about herself, helpful resources for librarians and writers, etc. – and it’s all packaged quite beautifully in a website designed by her sister.
We’ve had a wonderful time getting to know a bit more about K.M, and Magan certainly loved her debut novel Cracked, which was released in January. Thank you, K.M., for the lovely interview!
Summary: Victor and Bull are sworn enemies. Bull terrorizes Victor, and Victor roams the hallways of his high school seemingly invisible. His home life isn’t anybetter; his parents remind him each birthday that he was an accident and was never wanted. Bull’s grandpa and mom are always drunk, there’s very little food, and he hangs out in the cemetery to avoid the regular beatings he receives. Bull and Victor become roommates in the psych ward after an incident goes wrong with Bull and Victor swallows too many sleeping pills.
Cracked is your debut novel. Congratulations and thank you for sharing such an awesome story with us! How did you feel when you found out your book was being published? How did you celebrate?
I did a tremendous amount of hooting and hollering and hugging. My husband brought home champagne and we toasted to my years of hard work finally paying off. It was a very special time for me.
Elements of Cracked are extremely serious – there’s abuse, both verbal and physical, and a suicide attempt. How did you balance writing about these deep issues while interlacing laugh out loud, funny moments?
The characters’ personalities allowed for the moments of levity. Those boys became real to me, and I wanted their realness to come alive in the pages of the book.
Why have you chosen to write for young adults, and why was it important for you to tell this story?
I chose to write for young adults after being inspired by reading so many genius young adult books. I found particular inspiration in Looking for Alaska by John Green, The Absolutely True Story of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and Going Bovine by Libba Bray. Each book featured teenaged boy protagonists and I wanted to try my hand at that. To answer your second question, it was important for me to tell Victor and Bull’s stories because combating bullying and injustice have fueled nearly every lesson I taught while in the classroom. I spent twelve years as a public school teacher, ten of those years in middle school. I made it my personal mission to stamp out bullying and other forms of hatred. CRACKED was born from that mission.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I just heard comedian and author Michael Ian Black speak and he said something that resonated with me, “The thing I’m most proud of is having written. Not the actual writing part, but being able to say that I wrote something, having written it, is cool.” That’s my favorite part of the process – having written.
Did you ever hit a point where you had to stop writing Cracked? How did you get past the writer’s block and back to writing?
No, when I’m in the middle of writing I can’t stop. The characters’ stories flow out of me like a rushing stream.
We’ve been oohing and ahhing over your incredible website. Not only do you provide awesome resources for readers, librarians, and writers, but there’s so much of you present. How did you and your son devise the concept for your site?
My oldest son and I were discussing ideas for my site, brainstorming and stuff, and he said, “Mom, you do everything at your desk. What if your website was your desk?” I grabbed a piece of paper and sketched it out. You can actually see my original sketch on my website – in the FUN drawer under “Random Facts”. My youngest sister, who happens to be a creative genius and designer, took that sketch and designed kmwalton.com. I don’t think it’s possible to love a website any more than I love my website. I’d like to marry it. But I’m already happily married.
We noticed you’re a fan of Glee (we are, too!). When you’re not writing or watching Glee, what do you like to do?
I love to read, go to the movies, hang out with my family, dance, eat chocolate, sleep, play around on twitter and Facebook. Regular stuff. And I’m really into two new shows this season: Awake and Touch. I hope they fill the cavernous void LOST left when it ended. My fingers are crossed.
And now for our raid fire round, tell us your:
favorite place to write:
My desk. I have a killer office in my house with tons of windows. It’s like writer heaven.
Oh my. I have a little “lipstick problem” in so much as, I’m addicted to lipsticks. For instance, I have twelve (yes, I counted) lipsticks in my makeup bag sitting in my purse. My favorite brands are Smashbox and Stilla. They last and have the perfect shine.
Hmmm. Favorite town of all time would have to be Galway, Ireland. It has the perfect mix of modern and old and it is filled with awesome shops, pubs and Irish people.
I should say something, like, apples or air popped popcorn, but, that would be lying. And I’m not a liar. CHEESE CURLS. They are orangy, evil, tangy, crispy and probably poison. But holy hell are they tasty.
Can you tell us about what you’re currently working on? What can we look forward to reading from you in the future?
My new book, titled EMPTY, releases from Simon Pulse January 2013. It’s about an overweight teenaged girl named Dell who gets bullied and abused and her life spirals out of control. I was thrilled to work with my brilliant editor again—Annette Pollert. The woman is so damn smart.
Thank you very much for hosting me here today!
A huge THANK YOU to K.M. Walton! Here’s where you can find more from her around the Internet.