ATWN Interview: NA Author Katherine Locke

CCK0HS3WYAAif7SI don’t know if you’ve heard, but Katherine Locke’s debut album was released today! I had a chance to read an ARC a couple months ago and YOU GUYS, YOU NEED THIS BOOK! You do. If for some weird reason, you need some more convincing after you read this, you can check out my Goodreads review of it here!

In light of her release day, I talked with Katherine about her debut and the music behind it!

Was there any music that inspired Second Position? 

Yes! Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C, which is the music for George Balanchine’s ballet Serenade was on my playlist for Second Position. It’s a really beautiful piece with lots of rises and falls, which I think (and hope!) are reflected in the book. I also listened to a lot of Greg Laswell’s music, specifically And Then You, and The One I Love. And the Lumineers. I used music a lot to help me move between Aly and Zed’s voices.

What has been the most exciting moment of publishing your debut?

I won’t lie. Getting the voicemail from my editor, Kerri Buckley, saying she was calling from Carina Press acquisitions and she’d like to talk about my book was pretty amazing. It felt real when I had a cover and that was a pretty wonderful moment.

If you could choose one song for each of your main characters, which song would you choose and why?

I’ve probably changed my answer to this every time someone’s asked it because it depends what part of the book I’m really thinking about at the moment.

Probably Cross My Mind by Twin Forks for Zed (I can see him singing this to Aly in the café and embarrassing her) and Little Victories by Matt Nathanson for Aly as it’s a song about learning to value each day and each tiny step forward.

Zed and Alyona each have a strong background in dance. Were you a dancer growing up? What inspired you to write a novel with a ballet influence?

I was not a dancer! I can’t dance at all! Trust me on that one. I really wanted to write a book about an elite sport in which people dedicate themselves, in a professional way, very young and basically know what they’re going to do from the time they’re thirteen or fourteen. And then I wanted to take it away from one (or both) of them and see how they coped. Zed and Aly had a delayed adolescence because they didn’t really get to be kids. Second Position’s a lot about them learning who they are as individuals and as a couple without ballet there to buffer the world for them.

What challenges did you face in writing Second Position?

Zed! For a long time, I thought I knew Zed the best and that Aly was the slippery one. But then I realized that Zed was like an iceberg. He was only giving me the top ten percent of him and really, what was going on, his feelings about Aly stepping back into his life, that Aly could still dance if she wanted to and he couldn’t, that was all really complicated for him. And he wasn’t always nice about it. And he had some ugly anger and jealousy hanging in there.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I think that was my favorite part of the editing process. Digging into him and really getting to know him better. I was lucky. I actually had the prequel (Turning Pointe), Second Position, and the sequel Finding Center (coming out this August) all in my lap at once for a little bit in the fall and that was a godsend. I got to really line up all three books and see how the evolution of character happened and the Zed of Turning Pointe informed his jealousy in Second Position which informed a big decision he makes in Finding Center (no spoilers, sorry!)

What was your favorite scene to write?

It’s a small scene but where they’re sitting together and playing the piano early on in the book, that scene has been in the book in some form through all its iterations. I’m really attached to it. I like the quiet scenes between them the best, where they’re learning each other again solely through body language. Because as dancers, I think that’s really their first language, their mother tongue, the language they’re most comfortable conversing in.

Do you personally relate to any one of your characters? Why?

Both Zed and Aly have a little piece of me in them, I think, and I don’t think that’s uncommon. I think I have to put a little bit of myself into a character to know them fully. Maybe that’s just me but it’s something that happens in all of my books! Zed got a little bit of my temperament. He can be really patient when he needs to be, but he’s always holding onto his temper. He also curses, and Aly almost never does.

Aly got some of my mental illness. Though thankfully I was never as sick as she was (off the page—it was important to me not to show her at her worst on the page), I’m open about my history with eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. I gave a little bit of that to Aly. (Sorry, Aly.)

What are you currently listening to?

I actually turned on Serenade for Strings in C to do this interview! But earlier today, I had Promise by Ben Howard on loop. I’m addicted to that song currently. It succeeded in getting Uptown Funk out of my head.

What are you currently reading?

I’m beta reading a bunch of things this week but I’m halfway through a wonderful YA debut MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera which comes out this June. It’s really wonderful and I highly recommend it for everyone’s TBR. And this morning, I devoured the sneak preview chapter to Chanel Cleeton’s upcoming romance FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL. Romance lovers MUST add this to their list!

I heard a rumor that there’s a prequel to Second Position, where readers can find out more about Aly and Zed’s relationship and discover what really happened between them during their early years on stage together. Is that true?

You heard right! TURNING POINTE is a free prequel novella (a prequella if you will) currently available on Carina Press’s website. Hopefully in the near future, this will be a free novella on retailers too! Here’s the link for anyone interested in reading it: http://carinapress.com/blog/2015/03/turning-pointe-chapter-one/

Thanks for having me, Caitlin and All the Write Notes!

Ready to step back to the barre with Zed and Aly? Get a cup of tea and follow the links!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Hrq3IH 

B&N: http://bit.ly/1CTpVxr 

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1Cjym67

Add on Goodreads! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22663595-second-position

AuthorPhoto1About the Author: Katherine Locke lives and writes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she’s ruled by her feline overlords and her addiction to chai lattes. Her dayjobs always vary, but in the past she’s worked in nuclear weapons abolition activism, lead poisoning prevention and education, and food safety programs at a mushroom farm. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, and when she’s not reading, she’s tweeting about reading and writing. She likes her heroes boyish and her heroines with dirty mouths. She secretly believes most books are fairytales in disguise. Her debut novel, SECOND POSITION, arrives in April 2015 from Carina Press.