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You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Author Interview and Book Giveaway: Dark Life by Kat Falls

Happy Thursday everyone!! Welcome to another author interview. Today I would like to introduce Kat Falls, author of Dark Life and Rip Tide. I read this book recently and just fell in love with it. It is a middle grade novel that is highly entertaining :) I am excited that Ms Falls is here today to tell us more about her book, Dark Life.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live in Evanston, Illinois with my husband and three kids. We have a dog, two cats, a guinea pig and a snake. (I love animals and have a hard time saying no every time one of my kids wants another pet.) I grew up in Maryland, lived in New York State for a while – the Albany area for college and then NYC after I graduated. I moved to Evanston to go to grad school at Northwestern and fell in love with Chicago so I decided to stay here. I love to grow vegetables in my garden and love books & movies. My favorite TV shows are Supernatural, True Blood, Mad Men, and Project Runway.

How long did it take you to write Dark Life?

About 18 months, including all the revisions. Once it sold to Scholastic, however, I worked on it another six months with my editor.

Who is you favorite character in Dark Life? Personally, I love Zoe. She is such an electrifying little character ;) not to mention a little spunky! She reminds me of my little sister :D

I truly do love them all, but the dangerous characters are the most fun for me to write – namely Shade, Pretty and Zoe. Oh, and I loved writing Hewitt. Getting into his perspective always made me laugh.

What was the research stage of your novel like? What was the most interesting/odd thing you found out during your research?

I had to cut myself off on a regular basis. I’d get on the Internet to find the answer to one small question and two hours would zip by without my noticing. There’s just so much to learn about the ocean! I read up on everything from marine life and subsea geography to future technology. Every creature mentioned in Dark Life and Rip Tide is real and can be found in the ocean today.

When I was working on Rip Tide, I was appalled to learn about the giant trash gyre in the Pacific, which is as big as Texas. That sent shudders down my spine and I knew I had to find a way to work it into the story. Also, learning how many offshore oilrigs there are along America’s coasts was an eye-opener. I had fun thinking up what we could do with those oil platforms if we stopped drilling for oil.

How did you come up with the title, "Dark Life"?

I came across that phrase when I was doing research on deep-sea creatures. It’s what scientists call bacteria that can live without sunlight. I figured it would work as a derogative term for Topsiders to call the subsea settlers. It wasn’t until I finished the manuscript that I realized it would make a good book title. The title for Rip Tide also got pulled from the manuscript after I was finished writing.

You mentioned you wrote with your children in mind, have they read Dark Life? And, what do they think about it?

All 3 of my kids have read both books. My oldest son, Declan, read them as first drafts and made notes in the margins, which was very helpful. I just read your question aloud to my other two, Vivienne and Connor, and their response was that they like Rip Tide better… so there you go.

Are you currently working on a project?

I’m working on a new book right now. It’s called The Fetch and is the first book in a YA scifi-adventure trilogy, which will come out January 2013.

How do you market your book(s)?

My publisher does a lot of the marketing. I also have my website,, Facebook and Twitter. In addition, I go to schools and libraries to do readings and to answer questions about my books.

What books have influenced you most?

When I was young I loved books by Ira Levin (Boys from Brazil, Rosemary’s Baby) and Jack Finney (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Time and Again) and admired their lean writing styles, which serviced the story, not the other way around. I tried to keep my writing as simple and clear for the same reason, to keep the story front and center.

What new author has grasped your interest?

I’ve read a lot of good books this year, but I have to say my absolute favorite was “Under the Never Sky” by debut author Veronica Rossi.


Karen Strong said...

I loved this book after I heard her agent talk about it at SCBWI Springminle in Atlanta.

Thanks for the great interview. Getting excited about THE FETCH. :)

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

I really liked the first book too. But I am reading Rip Tide now and have to say, I agree with her children :D I am really loving it :D

Anonymous said...

You are a new author to me, Kat. Dark Life and Rip Tide sound very interesting - I like the titles! I will have to hit the bookstore and see if I can find them!

Mary Preston said...

DARK LIFE does look very interesting. I enjoyed the interview thank you.


Heather said...

Another critter lover, yay! I have several myself, though mine are of the large variety. This book sounds so good! I'll have to pick it up.

Alison K Hertz said...

I sat next to Kat at the Anderson kidlit breakfast in 2011. Dark Life had just come out and was featured on the Scholastic Book Fairs displays. Great read. I enjoyed the interview above.

Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators