TCR: What sparked the idea for Awaken?
KK: I wanted to write a love story that had a thought-provoking plot. I also wanted to hit on messages that I think are applicable to our own society—social networking, the digital age, technology, and the environment. I extrapolated trends I’m seeing around me and that built the story.
TCR: What was the hardest part about writing Awaken? The easiest?
KK: I think the hardest part about writing a dystopian setting is you need to live inside of it in order to write it. You have to experience the scenes, both good and bad, along with the characters in order to make it believable. This can be mentally taxing. I don’t know if there was an easy part, but I definitely enjoyed juxtaposing nature with computers. I loved writing about the real world—live music, restaurants, coffee shops and beaches. It was fun to contrast those sensual settings with Maddie’s stale, predictable computer life.
TCR: Do you have a technological device you'd find it hard to live without?
KK: I’m currently addicted to emailing, so trying to live without my computer would be nearly impossible. I do enjoy being online—I love watching videos and searching for information. There are a lot of benefits to computers, I definitely can’t deny that.
TCR: If given the choice between a paperback and an e-reader, which would you choose?
KK: I can see the benefits of e-books, but I prefer paperbacks. I love the smell and texture of books. I love underlining and doggy-earing books; it’s like having a conversation with the author while I’m reading it. I also collect books. I have a small library in my house.
TCR: Can we expect a sequel to Awaken?
KK: I am hoping to publish a sequel—Maddie’s story isn’t over (I intended it that way, which explains the open ending). I’ve already written the sequel and I’m crossing my fingers that it gets picked up! Meanwhile, I did sign another book with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a YA novel titled, First Comes Love, scheduled to come out next year.
TCR: Awesome, I can't wait! Thanks so much, Katie!
Be sure to check out Awaken when it comes out on May 24th!