Where do you get your ideas for writing?
I keep my eyes and ears open every moment of the day, and I jot down interesting tidbits of life. Quotes, sayings, moments, names, scenes, feelings – whatever strikes me as “writing material.” I started doing this after hearing the brilliant author, James Howe, speak at a conference where he held up his spiral bound homework pad filled with ideas. Even though Mr. Howe inspired me to capture my ideas, I don’t have a structured place where my ideas live neat and organized lives. I wish. I am a post-it gal and my life is littered with them. My car, my nightstand, my desk. Post-its are everywhere. But it works for me.
Is your hair naturally curly?
Why yes it is. And you have no idea how badly I wanted straight hair while growing up. I am a child of the 70’s and the Farrah Fawcett hairstyle was the be-all-end-all. I went to the corner hair salon and asked her to straighten my hair for the sole purpose of having “Farrah hair.” It didn’t work the first time so I went back three days later and she did it again. Can you say, fried? And, yeah, it didn’t work again. So the twelve-year-old me got my money back and just let my stupid hair be curly. But now I really love my hair and wouldn’t trade it for all of the straight hair in the world. That would be weird anyway, right? Having all the straight hair in the world? Way too much hair. Curly hair rules.
May I email you?
Depends on your motivation. If you want to talk about my books or my characters or ask me what my favorite color is or my thoughts on bullying or even talk life stuff, sure, go for it – and I’ll be all excited to read an email from you. But if you want me to read your manuscript just know that I can’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be flattered that you’d even want my opinion, but there isn’t enough time in the day to do the stuff I have to do for my own writing.
Will you come to my school (my bookstore, my library, my event) and give a talk?
Sure, I’d love to. Just click "BOOK K.M. FOR YOUR EVENT" from the top menu. And thanks for asking.
BOOK RELATED F.A.Q.s
What inspired you to write Cracked?
My inspiration for CRACKED was for readers to “see” the invisible people in their lives. The kids that no one pays attention to. Smile at them. Say hello. Validate them. Small acts of kindness have the power to save people’s lives and even change the world. Kindness matters.
I was further inspired by the twelve years I spent teaching, ten of them in middle school. My number one goal while in my classroom was to show my students what kindness and compassion looked and sounded like. Many children needed to be taught how to be empathetic – it didn’t come naturally. I always felt it was my job to wisely use the teaching time I had. Any time I saw or heard of bullying I addressed it. Every single time. I never let it slide. I worked with both the victim and the bully...because it isn’t an accident that a bully is filled with enough anger to destroy another person’s life. I knew I had to reach the bully’s heart if I wanted the bullying to stop for good.
Is Cracked based on a true story?
No. The book is entirely fictional...but...I did base a character on my sister. Nikole is based on my actual sister Nikole. Her story of how she landed in the psych ward is also true. Her boyfriend Greg’s tragic and untimely death is another truth.
We’re you bullied a lot as a teenager?
Thankfully, no. I was blessed to have a wonderful childhood with parents and sisters who loved and encouraged me. While I wasn’t ever in the popular crowd I did have great friends and a really fun social life.
What inspired you to write Empty?
In EMPTY, I explored the power of negative words. I wanted readers to know that what they say to each other—in person and online—has a deep impact on the human being on the receiving end. I also wanted to give a voice to the silently suffering and the bullied (I did that in CRACKED as well). In Empty, readers live inside of a forgotten person and feel her sadness. Empathy is a powerful thing. It can change attitudes and behaviors.
Will there ever be an epilogue or sequel to Empty?
No. But I understand that EMPTY’s ending has a way of punching you in the gut, me included. However, I like that the reader can continue the story however they want to in their mind - come to their own conclusions – there’s a definite power in that. I realize this might not be the response you were looking for, but it’s my best response.
What inspired you to write Ultimatum?
I got the idea for Ultimatum as I watched my husband and his younger brother experience the death of their father in hospice.
I sat in the corner one night and thought: what if two teen brothers, who didn’t understand each other, pretty much despised each other, had to go through watching their father die in hospice?
I jotted it down on a post it as soon as I got home. Luckily, my husband and his brother are best friends and they used their strong bond to get through their father’s death.
My characters in Ultimatum aren’t based on my family, but the hospice reality is. To anyone who has experienced hospice with a loved one knows, it is something that leaves an indelible impression.
Who is your favorite character in Ultimatum?
Since Ultimatum features two MCs, brothers who don’t understand each other, I absolutely must say both boys. Watching how they grew and learned about themselves and each other was quite powerful for me. At the book’s start, the reader sees how Oscar and Vance have mastered anger and assumptions, but when they’re faced with watching their father die in hospice they must decide if they’re willing to act like brothers.