Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Interview with YA novelist Kathryn Hewitt

My Christmas guest is YA novelist Kathryn Hewitt to tell us a bit about her novel Snow.

Kathryn Hewitt was born and raised in the small town of Camden, South Carolina. Breaking away from becoming a teen mom statistic, she was an Honors Graduate from Camden High School and went on to study British Literature and Sociology at Charleston Southern University, inspiring to teach High School English.

Kathryn has a passion for teaching teenagers and reaching out to those who seem as though the world has closed the door. Because of her own experiences, including becoming a teenage mother at fifteen, Kathryn knows the value of life and the blessings it contains. Understanding the importance of making wise decisions, Kathryn passionately seeks to instill that wisdom into the minds of every young lady she encounters. The inspiration for Kathryn's writings comes from her own experiences, and she is never afraid to speak the truth that others refuse to acknowledge.

Kathryn married in 2005 and is a stay at home mom with her four sons. She and her family currently live in the same town she grew up.

Welcome, Kathryn. Please tell us about your current release.
Snow is a fiction novel based on a true story about the consequences of making detrimental mistakes. This novel isn't just another story of teenagers succumbing to their sexual desires. It is, rather, a realistic portrayal of how teenage relationships can quickly turn violent. Ruth is the kind of sweet, young girl that mothers hope for in their daughters. Soaked in innocence, she is easily persuaded into a relationship she knows isn't good for her. The consequences of that relationship force her into a life she could have never imagined for herself. You'll find yourself rooting for Ruth to make the right choice when she's face to face with a life or death decision. This novel brings to light the raw emotions of the decision process many women face each and every day, but offers perspectives from both ends of the spectrum. Snow brings a message of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. Because of some graphic descriptions and the topics discussed in this novel, I do not recommend it for anyone under the age of 13 or 7th grade unless a parent has read it first.

What inspired you to write this book?
When I was fifteen I found myself suddenly drowning in the most difficult circumstances I have ever been in. Had it not been for the grace of God and the prayers of my family and friends, my situation could have ended in a horrific way. I decided then I needed to share my story; that there may be a young girl or woman out there that I could help by being bold and speaking out. I began writing Snow seven years later. It took a total of five years to complete, but doing so helped me to overcome many things I'd held onto from my past. Most importantly I learned to forgive. While this novel is based on a true story, I can neither confirm nor deny which parts are derived directly from my own situation; although, I will say that the ending of this novel is 100% truth. It still baffles me today!

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have several projects that I am currently working on. I am completing an adult fiction novel that delves into the dark and unforgiving world of adultery. The characters in this novel could be any family, in any home, in any town. What happens when communication between spouses ceases to exist and speculations began to fly? Will the truth be revealed before the unimaginable happens?

I am also working on a novel that deals with the topic of child molestation and a novel about the lives of law enforcement officers. All of my novels are realistic stories, drawn from true stories that bring a message of hope.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Mostly I still don't. To me, I'm just a SAHM (stay at home mom) that happens to have something to share. Being a "writer" seems very daunting. I rather consider myself the author of a story; whether it is just this one story or (hopefully) the author of many more.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
People ask me this all the time, especially when they find out I have 4 children. I fit writing in whenever I can. My husband is a police officer, so on his days off I get to hide in my closet for a few hours and get some writing done. When I have a deadline, my husband will hold down the home front while I go away for a few days of uninterrupted writing. But most of my writing gets done at night when he is working night shift. I climb in my bed with my laptop and usually don't stop until the wee hours of the morning. When I'm not writing I am home schooling my seventh grader, helping my Kindergartener with homework, and teaching my two younger ones ABC's, 123's, and household chores. We sit down every single night, together as a family, for dinner and pray together.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write best at night when I am eating chocolate. I also think up my stories in the oddest of places, like the shower or when I'm doing yard work. The busier my hands are the harder my brain works!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher. In ninth grade I shifted my studies to meteorology and did a short internship with the local weather station. I planned to become a storm chaser; however, after having my first child in high school I knew I wouldn't be able to chase storms with a toddler in tow, so I went on to college and studied British Literature and Sociology in preparation to teach High School English III.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I am only a writer because God gives me a message to share readers. There will always be some sort of difficult circumstance in everyone's life and I want to deliver the message that even in the midst of the most hopeless situations God is there; listening and loving. Even when the circumstance doesn't end the way we may have wanted, there is still hope.

Thanks, Kathryn. Merry Christmas!

Readers, here are some ways to find out more about Kathryn and her writing:

1 comment:

Pj Schott said...

Looks beautiful. Gorgeous cover. A lovely person too.