Welcome, Kate! I'm thrilled to interview you again. (I first interviewed author Kate Jacobs last November, right before the release of Knit Two.) Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions.
KJ: Thank you, Susan, it's always a pleasure!
1) Tell us about the inspiration behind your new book, Knit the Season: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel, which comes out on Nov. 3, 2009.
KJ: Well, this is an exciting month because Knit Two is out in paperback as well as Knit the Season in hardcover. So I finally feel I can talk about the series as a piece, about how each layer fits together. And Knit the Season is more fun, more joyous, than the other novels in the series. Part of that is because it’s a holiday book, and so the backdrop is a happy period of the year. But it’s much more than that. Knit the Season is really the story of hearts completing their healing, and about the positive ways we continue to be influenced by those we have lost. It’s a novel about reflection.
(I felt honored to read and review Knit the Season early.)
2) Some family members (of both sexes!) have become knitters this past year. Why do you think more and more people are taking up knitting as a hobby?
KJ: Knitting is fun: it can be a great stress-reliever to let your fingers work the needles. Also, let’s not underestimate the satisfaction from finishing a piece made by your very own hands! Finally, there can be a great social aspect to knitting, to connecting with other knitters online or spending time around a table in a knitting shop.
3) How does it feel to publish a fourth novel? What have you learned from the success of your other novels, The Friday Night Knitting Club, Comfort Food, and Knit Two?
KJ: Well, I dreamed about writing books for a long while. So it’s hardly the case at least for me that I feel, oh, it’s just my fourth book. Instead, I think, wow, it’s happening again! In terms of what I’ve learned from having successful books is that it’s not about writing at all. It’s that what matters most are our personal relationships. I’m grateful to be able to tell stories for a living, but being published just made me realize that I spent too much energy focused on what if and when rather than taking full stock of the blessings I already had in my life in the form of family and friends. There is a reason why I write, over and over, about the need to make relationships a priority.
4) As a best-selling author, what advice do you have for those just starting out? What were your earliest writing ambitions?
KJ: I wanted to tell stories since I was a very little girl and that hasn’t changed. I was eight in third grade when I attempted my first novel but I spent all my time naming characters and creating family trees. So I never finished and then my nine-year-old cousin, who was my manager, fired me! Now I don’t try to fill a novel with 300 characters. My advice for any writer is simply to believe in yourself and keep writing. Publishing is not an easy world, and it’s fraught with rejection; the very act of writing can be tremendously difficult some days. The only option, though, is to push on.
5) I read that The Friday Night Knitting Club may be made into a movie starring Julia Roberts. If it does, how involved will you be with the movie?
KJ: It’s thrilling. And I’ll be as available as is needed or wanted and that suits me fine. I’m quite confident Hollywood knows how to make a movie and I look forward to seeing what they do!
(I'm so excited about seeing The Friday Night Knitting Club as a movie and will dash to the theater as soon as the movie opens!)
6) Do people recognize you when you go out? If so, do you enjoy the attention, or is it intrusive?
KJ: I’ve been recognized on a very few occasions, typically by readers who have been to book signings. One instance I was in an airport after TNNA (The National Needle Arts Show) and several yarn shop owners had heard me speak and popped over to say hello. Another time I was in a restaurant in New York and a woman came up to me and said, "Kate, is that you?". And I had a moment of shock over being recognized. I’m tickled whenever a reader cares enough to approach but it always surprises me. You see, I’m an observer and, in my opinion, I do a very good job of blending in. Which works because I don’t actually want to be the center of attention even though I travel around to all these book signings and telephone book clubs, its all because I want my stories to be the focus. I want to share my stories, and in doing so, I share my life.
7) What can fans expect next? Is there another book in the works?
KJ: I’m working on a new a novel about relatives and family relationships. With a twist that I shan't give away!
Thanks again, Kate, and best of luck with the movie and your new novel! Relationships are very important, and it's evident in your books that they take priority. Kate, I wish you and my readers a warm and wonderful holiday season.
Special thanks to Lydia from Putnam for arranging this interview. Comments welcomed.