Saturday, January 11, 2020

Interview with Kit Rosewater, author of Derby Devils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team

Can you tell us a little about your book?

Happily! The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team is about two best friends who realize that in order to join their local roller derby league together, they'll have to expand their Dynamic Duo into a whole team of players. The series has rotating protagonists, and Book 1's protagonist is Kenzie, who goes through a lot of changes and growing pains on and off the rink. She feels her childhood best friend starting to slip away, and meanwhile begins to realize that she might be developing a crush on her annoyingly cool neighbor. It becomes quite a challenge for Kenzie to balance all these changes, especially when her best friend recruits her neighbor crush to the roller derby team! The book falls into the lower middle grade category, which makes it a really accessible read, and it has illustrations throughout by the incredible graphic novel author/illustrator Sophie Escabasse!

When does your book release?

The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team releases on March 24th, 2020. You can preorder it today through any major book retailer! Book 2 in the series will release in Fall 2020!

What’s your writing process like?

I am fortunate enough to schedule my workday around writing, so a typical workday means I sit down at my desk in the morning after breakfast, and tend to work until the evening when my partner returns home from their job. Throughout the day I'll be bouncing back and forth between different projects- drafting a chapter of one book, doing a polish pass on a section of another book, and perhaps getting some marketing pieces ready for yet another book! I always like to have different things going on so I stay excited about the material, and when I hit a wall in one area I can use the break away to work on something else. As far as my process with each book, I'm someone who gets the real work done during the revision stages. I plan out my synopsis or full summary before I start writing, but then I let my rough drafts be as messy as they need to be. I will usually go through three or four revision rounds after, then use a set of critique partners or beta readers before I send something back to my agent or editor. 

What piece of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

The best advice I have isn't truly mine, as good advice tends to get passed around. But I remember attending a talk by Cheryl Klein in 2012, wherein she told the audience of aspiring authors and illustrators that the way to "make it" into traditional publishing (if that is your goal) is simply to not give up. If you keep learning craft, keep revising and improving your work, keep putting yourself out there via queries and submissions, and keep moving on to new projects (THIS ONE IS THE HARDEST YET MOST IMPORTANT) then you are bound to break in some day. You're bound to. Hope onto that hope and optimism and keep working!

What are you currently reading?

I'm in between books at the moment! I just finished Erin Morgenstern's The Starless Sea and fell in love with the spiraling, romantic narrative. I rarely have time to read adult books, so that was my holiday indulgence. My next read on my TBR is The Screaming Staircase, the first book in Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co. series, and I'm really hoping that Book 1 will leave me eagerly running out to obtain Books 2-5!  

Kit Rosewater's bio:
Kit Rosewater writes books for children. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her spouse and a border collie who takes up most of the bed. Before she was an author, Kit taught middle school theatre and high school English, then worked as a children's bookseller. She has a master’s degree in Children’s Literature and a knack for finding her characters in clouds, ceiling plaster, and Cheetos. Her debut series The Derby Daredevils rolls out with Book 1 in Spring 2020 and Book 2 in Fall 2020 through Abrams.

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