- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello! Thanks for chatting with me. My name is Katherine Brown and I live in Texas – have my whole life. I am married to an amazing man and have a beautiful, kind stepdaughter who lives with us full time. I love to read. Truly, I have shelves of books, boxes of books, kindles running out of space for books, all of it! I also love to write, I enjoy words and find immense pleasure in weaving them together in a way to create something beautiful or funny or clever.
- What is the title of your current work (WIP or recently published). and what is its genre?
My current work is getting ready to publish very soon. Titled “Third Grade’s Terrible Trip,” it is the fourth book in a children’s series called School is Scary. The books are a mixture of humor and mystery and are geared for early chapter book readers. The series does advance a little as the characters grow up each year in school as well.
- Is this book suitable for children, or is it adults-only? If there’s mature content, what type of mature content does the book contain?
Absolutely appropriate for children, age 8 to 10-year-olds have really loved the series and I gave two kiddos a chance to be my beta readers for this work and they cracked up at several parts and want to know when the next book is coming.
- What inspired you to write this work?
The series, School is Scary, I actually began writing with friends on my bedroom floor as a pre-teen. As noted, I loved to read but I also always had a strong desire to write and create my own stories.
This particular book in the series was inspired by the many field trips to the zoo our school went on – I reimagined them with all the things that could go “wrong” to make a fun trip a hugely memorable trip for a child.
- What makes this book special, unique, or interesting? How does it “stand out”?
I think this book stands out in that it is able to take an unlikely group of friends, put them in a somewhat scary situation, and allow the reader to join with them on the journey as they work together to find their way alone through the zoo. There is even a map for the reader in the book that is replicating the map used by the characters for a visual aide to draw readers deeper into the story.
- Tell us some key information about the main character(s), both protagonists and antagonists.
The main protagonist is Bailey, an enthusiastic third grader that we met in book 1 of the series Kindergarten Teachers are Witches. Bailey was not optimistic about school in that first book but made a best friend Harmony who is still with her in Third Grade’s Terrible Trip and began to enjoy it a little more. Bailey also befriended a boy, Clay, in the last book who is a bit of a trouble-maker. You can see where his stubborn side and Bailey’s loyalty to friends lead them into some sticky situations.
Antagonists for this book are mainly the weather which really dampens the spirit of the kids on the field trip and an unknown voice that I can’t give away the identity of….just know it provides quite a fright several times throughout the story.
- What is your back cover blurb? Or if you don’t have one yet, how would you pitch your work in 200 words or less?
Still working on a blurb, so here we go for a pitch:
Finally, their first field trip ever! Bailey and friends couldn’t be more excited – well most of them, Liza is unhappy as always. A delay to their destination, then sudden storms, what else could go wrong with this trip? Turns out, quite a bit. Stalked by a creepy voice, separated and soaking wet, the friends seem to be disappointed at every turn. Will they ever make it out of the zoo? Find your map inside and journey along with them through all of the animal exhibits to see what happens.
- Share a tempting bit of the plot with us. Is there a particular scene that you’re really excited about? Why does it excite you?
I really love the homework assignment the teacher gives the class about the zoo when they are too distracted by the field trip. It gave me the opportunity to write a few mini-stories inside of the whole story.
- Share up to 800 words of your current work with us (with an intro of up to 200 words to establish context).
Below is a short excerpt from chapter one:
When several weeks after school started Mrs. Green passed out field trip notes to go in their Thursday Folders, folders the teachers sent home for parents to review and sign each Thursday, Bailey and several other students let out squeals of delight and whoops of joy. There had been no field trips before this year and everyone burst with excitement to finally go on their first one. Well, almost everyone.
“The zoo!” Liza grumbled. “Who wants to go to the smelly, old zoo?”
Theo nodded, “They won’t even let you pet the lions or ride the zebras,” he said unhappily. He continued drawing on the back of his homework, the picture had started as Captain America with his shield but now it looked like Captain America battled a lion, too.
Bailey just shook her head. Some people it seemed could complain about anything. She for one couldn’t wait for a whole day out of school with her friends. And so as soon as the bus dropped her off at home after school that day Bailey had run in to tell her parents the great news.
- What is the easiest part of writing for you? And what is the hardest?
Writing the story itself is easiest for me. I do get stuck for a day or two waiting on an idea or deciding a direction (no, I don’t plot too much in advance) but once I know where my characters need to go the words flow quite easily. The difficult part for me is turning off my “inner editor” and simply getting all the good stuff out. I typically stop and make corrections along the way, taking up sometimes valuable and scarce writing time that can cost me a thought or idea that doesn’t get fleshed out properly.
- Finally, if you could offer some advice to up-and-coming writers, what would that advice be?
Write!!! I put it off for a long time as “not a serious / realistic job” and I regret that.
Also, find a community of writers to encourage, share with and be encouraged by – it can make an enormous difference in the quality and quantity of your writing in my opinion.
Your Twitter link:
Your WordPress (or other) blog: www.katherinebrownbooks.com
Your online book purchasing link(s): The link to the first three books in the series – https://www.amazon.com/School-Scary-3-Book/dp/B079G31DYP/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1536598667&sr=8-5&keywords=school+is+scary+katherine+brown