Sunday, February 21, 2010

Interview: Brian Katcher, author of Almost Perfect

Please welcome Brian Katcher, author of Almost Perfect. You can read my review here. Brian Katcher is the author of Playing with Matches and a school librarian. he lives in Missouri with his wife and daughter.

1. Describe Almost Perfect in 50 words or less.
Logan Witherspoon, on the rebound from a bad breakup, meets a new girl in his small town school. Just when things seem to be going well, she drops the bombshell: she is actually a transgendered boy. Logan must decided if he still wants to be friends with her...or more.

2. What inspired you to write your latest novel? Did you find it difficult to write about a trans-gender teen?
People often asked me what inspired me to write about a transgendered teenager. I honestly have no idea. I've never met a transgendered person in real life. All I know is 'Almost Perfect' started out as a short story. Everyone who read it told me that there was no way I'd pull this plot off in fifty pages.About that time I sold my first novel, 'Playing With Matches', so I thought I'd give 'Almost Perfect' a try as a second book.

Was it hard writing about this subject? Of course. I had to do a lot of research. Luckily, I met many people online who were willing to share their stories. I think that was the hardest part, hearing about some of the experiences people had growing up and feeling they were born in the wrong body.Some of those stories were absolutely heartbreaking.

3. Is there anything you have to have while writing?
I need coffee and to be free from distractions. It's so easy for me to forget I'm supposed to be writing. That's why I do my best work at coffee shops. Luckily, I have an understanding wife.

4. How do people tend to respond to your story? It deals with a touchy subject, and I'm curious to know how people react.
It's funny, and maybe it's because not a lot of people have read it, but 'Almost Perfect' has not been as controversial as I would have expected. Ten years ago, a young adult novel about homosexuality would have been quite edgy, and twenty years ago it would have been unheard of. These days, however, LGBT books for youth are their own genre. Authors like Alex Sanchez and Brent Hartinger have already paved the way for upstart writers like myself.Sadly, my harshest critics did not attack me for the subject matter, but for things like plot, characters, and voice.Frankly, I'd prefer people burn my books in a rage, rather than hit me with legitimate writing errors.

5. Are you working on anything at the moment? If so, please tell us something about it.
I should be finished with my newest novel, 'Mysterious Ways' very soon. Katrina Aiden is a sixteen-year-old aspiring artist. Her parents are very emotionally abusive and her older brother has just run away from home. Feeling alone in the world, Katrina meets Jonah, a boy with a God complex. Jonah believes that the Internet doesn't report reality, it controls reality, as people will believe whatever they read online. By starting rumors and planting fake news stories, Jonah begins to help Katrina solve her problems. Too late does Katrina realize that Jonah has his own agenda. He's been wronged and he's going to have his revenge. Katrina is going to help him, whether she wants to or not.

6. Any last thoughts or words?
My advice: Start writing early. I never wrote a thing until I was twenty five, and I regret the wasted time. The more you write, the better you'll get. And I can't overstate the importance of peer review. Ask someone who will give an honest opinion.

Thanks so much for joining us Brian!

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