“When an adult can read a young person’s book and find it entertaining, adventurous and cool, you know you have found a treasure.”
— Sandra F. Geimer
Welcome, Kathleen. I’m so excited to have you as a guest author at 4writersandreaders today to share your writer’s journey and tell us more about your fantastic middle-grade fiction series, EMERSON’S ATTIC. I’ve just finished reading The Blue Velvet and I loved it.
First, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, author and now a blogger. I came to writing late in life after a long and varied working career. I was a math and science student so it never dawned on me that I would be interested in writing. I remember breaking into a cold sweat every time I entered my English class in high school.
I’m not one of those people who can say they were born to write. I was always a big reader but never thought about writing until I became a grandmother and decided I wanted to leave my grandchildren a legacy. I can’t leave them a million dollars but I can leave them a million words. After much thought, the light bulb came on and I realized I had been writing for the last 17 years. It was commercial writing, everything from inter-company memos to developing marketing materials. My favorite assignment was as managing editor for an in-house newspaper that required, writing, photography, and layout. If I liked business writing, surely I would like creative writing.
I always believed an author had to be possessed with the unquenchable thirst to write and to have something vital to say, I had neither. After weeks of thinking about what I would write, I saw a hat on television, not an inspiring or significant hat, just a woman’s hat. That was the spark that ignited me, finally! Old hat led to old trunk, trunk led to attic, attic led to memories and a story. And so, Emerson’s Attic was born. In my first book, Emerson’s Attic, The Blue Velvet, I wove a story about a time-traveling, 14-year-old with some of my real family history to share with our grandchildren when they were older.
My husband and I are empty-nesters with two beautiful daughters, two wonderful grandchildren and two Godchildren. We live in the mountains in Central Pennsylvania, five minutes from a beautiful lake and surrounded by beautiful forest. We’re greeted every day by wildlife of some sort; whitetail deer, wild turkey, a rare fox, and I’ve even had a too-close-for-comfort encounter with a very large black bear.
How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?
I have only been doing creative writing for about three years. My favorite genre is middle-grade; hence, my Emerson’s Attic series. That age was one of my favorite growing up and I find it very easy to write about. I have also completed an adult manuscript and am working very slowly on a second. The characters in the first adult novel invaded my brain and refused to be ignored. It’s a story about mature, smart women who are drawn into a 50-year-old mystery. I love these characters and loved writing the book. The second idea for an adult novel took me totally by surprise and I find this one a challenge with subject matter I never thought I would be interested in writing about.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of the EMERSON’S ATTIC series?
The Emerson’s Attic series is about a 14-year-old girl who unwillingly becomes a time traveler. The first book, The Blue Velvet, lays the groundwork with family history and takes “Emerson” back to Victorian England. She is guided through time by her grandfather in her dreams. There’s a purpose for her journey which she figures out only after she returns home.
In the second book, Smoke and Mirrors, Emerson’s best friend, Sarah, inadvertently joins her and they land in a 1905 Circus. When I did the research I was amazed at how interesting Circus trains were. There’s lots of fun and action in this book.
The third book takes Emerson to yet another location and a new adventure. I hope to keep writing this series until I can no longer hold a pen or more realistically, type!
What prompted you to write….
I wanted to leave something for our grandchildren that they will remember long after I’m gone.
Do you have a favorite line from the book?
Not really. I like Emerson’s thoughts and realizations as she adjusts to each new situation.
Who is your favorite character and why?
It has to be Emerson, the main character, because she is smart and brave. However, I really enjoy making up the other characters, each with their own distinct personality.
What was the hardest part about writing your book?
The last chapter was probably the hardest. I wanted to end it with a mystery that the reader had to figure out on their own, however, teacher friends and my editor said I needed to tie up loose ends because readers at this age would probably not get it. I resisted at first but once it was done I had to admit they were right.
Do you do anything besides write?
Yes, I still work part-time doing medical transcription (more time at the keyboard), I teach knitting, and coordinate a local charity project called Warm-Up America. I have tons of interests in addition to writing and find it hard to squeeze everything in.
How can our readers get copies of the EMERSON’S ATTIC series? Amazon.com or ask your favorite bookstore to order it.
What’s next for Kathleen Andrews Davis? More Emerson’s Attic, more blogging, and anything else that comes my way.
It’s been wonderful having you visit today, Kathleen. I can’t wait to read more of the Emerson’s Attic series.
~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author/Illustrator