The Class of 2k12 is a group of authors whose debut young adult and middle grade fiction will be released in 2012. There should be a set of interviews coming over the next couple of months, to get them heard so you know what great releases will be coming.
Our first class member is Kimberly Sabatini!
Q: In less than 140 characters, what is your book about?
A: Life altering mistakes are meant to alter lives.
Q: What was it that made you go for it and write a novel?
A: My father passed away almost seven years ago and I always felt that he had dreams that he never accomplished. He was an amazing guy, but I felt that deep inside he wanted to be someone different or something more. I didn't want to follow in his foot steps. I didn't want to die one day filled with want. I started to write to make some sense out of losing him, but I also picked up the pen again because I was tired of being afraid and pushing things down. There was no room left to stuff my voice away anymore. I felt as if he left me some courage when he went away. I'm proud that I wasn't too blind to grab it.
Q: What inspired you to write about the after life?
A: Besides needing to come to terms with the passing of my father, I've always been fascinated by bad things happening to good people and the power of the choices we make. What do we have control over in our own lives? As a young adult, I worked very hard to be "perfect." My nickname IS Kimmiepoppins LOL! But I know in my heart, that I acted the way that I did because I was so afraid of taking a misstep, of making a mistake. In many ways, that fear of living my life the wrong way, is what drove me to explore what happens when you do the unforgivable. I was never good at allowing myself to have choices--I tended to let other people pick for me. I allowed myself to be battered by other people's opinions and I recognized this in my father too. I always hated that he sold himself short and then I realized suddenly that I was my father's daughter. This book was a very safe place for me to dance with some of these issues.
Q: What was the hardest thing about writing your book?
A: The hardest part about writing my book was learning as I went along. I'd never done this before. I'd never even attempted to write a novel. There were a lot of times when I took two steps forward and three steps back. Some days I felt brilliant but there were just as many days that I felt like an idiot. I specifically remember revision being problematic. I had no idea how to do it. Luckily there are so many wonderful books, speakers and friends to tap as resources. Now I absolutely love to revise.
Q: What's your favourite book of all time?
A: There are many that I love, but if I had to pick one, it would be Lois Lowry's THE GIVER. I read it in 10th grade and I can remember thinking and feeling that it was a miracle, I was not alone in the world. There was someone else who had the same type of questions, floating around their head, that I did. I will never be able to explain what that felt like. And the end of the book--I LOVE an ending that makes me think, dream, and maybe even want to pull my hair out. There is nothing better than a book that lingers long after you've closed the cover.
Q: How long did it take you to write this book?
A: By the time I'd sold it, I'd worked on the book for about 3 ½ years. I started writing it right after my very first SCBWI conference.
Q: Did you always want to be a writer?
A: I absolutely wanted to be a writer as I kid, but then I became very self conscious about people reading what I wrote. I realized that they would know what I was thinking and I didn't feel brave enough to defend my thoughts. I switched to writing things that didn't have much emotional depth and it just didn't feel good, so I let it get away from me. I also think that I didn't have enough confidence in myself to believe that this was something I could do. Writers were talented people and I just didn't see myself that way. It feels good to now believe that I belong here in this world.
Q: What's your favourite thing about writing?
A: I love, love, love the moment when I realize that there are unintended threads in my writing, and that they have woven themselves throughout the story in a way that is beautiful and deep. It's like magic. My subconscious seems to know more about me than I sometimes imagine. It's as if it let a little bit of my heart and soul leak out onto the pages.
Q: Do you judge a book by it's cover?
A: I can't help it--I know it's wrong, but I do it all the time. I'll always read a highly recommended book, n o matter how I feel about the cover, but when I walk up to a shelf and it's a level playing field, the cover absolutely plays a role in how I gravitate towards a book.
Q: Any final things you'd like to share with us?
A: First, thank you so much for having me over to your blog. I had such a wonderful time answering your questions. Hmmmm, something else to share with you. A juicy tidbit that most people don't know? Well--I sleep with a teddy bear. I never did this as a kid, but when my husband first became my boyfriend, he bought me a bear from FAO Schwartz in NYC. Of course, I started sleeping with that little furry guy right away (the bear, not the boyfriend…shame on you!) And because I tucked him up under my chin every night, I got used to him and now my neck hurts if I don't sleep with a little "orthopedic" bear. Sweet dreams.