KIT FRICK: SEE ALL THE STARS

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Kit Frick’s debut novel, SEE ALL THE STARS, came out a couple of days ago—to rave reviews. It’s a Bustle Best YA Book for August 2018, an Amazon Best Books of August 2018 Editor’s Pick, and a Publisher’s Marketplace Spring/Summer 2018 YA Buzz Book. I can’t wait to read it—and I was thrilled to have the chance to interview Kit about writing novels, her career as a poet, why mentoring matters—and the reason she considers herself a Slytherin. Welcome to the blog, Kit!

Congratulations on the release of SEE ALL THE STARS! What’s the book all about, and what inspired you to write it?

Thank you so much, Emily! See All the Stars is my debut YA thriller. It’s about four best friends, one beautiful boy, and a deception that ruined everything. The story takes places in two timelines that alternate between the past—leading up to the event that tore Ellory’s group of friends apart—and the aftermath. The “Now” timeline picks up on the night before senior year begins, after Ellory has been suspended from school (for her role in said event) and has spent the summer away, off social media, and otherwise disconnected from her friends and classmates. And now she has to return to high school, totally alone and consumed by guilt and regret. If you like stories about first love, intense and messy friendships, secrets, and lies, See All the Stars is for you!

In terms of inspiration, I’m drawn to complex characters, and my writer-brain delights in putting them in very tough situations and empowering them to dig their ways out. The idea for See All the Stars began with a “what if?” question: What if a girl lost all her friends and her boyfriend in one fell swoop—and what if she was partly responsible for what happened? Ellory’s story unfolded from there.

You’re a poet as well as a novelist. How does poetry inform your prose—and what made you decide to write a book-length work of fiction?

I am! And yes, my first book of poetry, A Small Rising Up in the Lungs, releases this fall from New American Press, which is very exciting.

I developed an ear for diction and tone through studying poetry—both through reading and writing. In some ways, the two forms require very different compartments of my writer’s “toolbox.” When I’m plotting and structuring a novel, I’m using my creative brain in a very different way than when I’m drafting a poem. But when it comes to sentence-level concerns (how a sentence sounds, how it works with the sentences that precede and follow, how the choice of a specific verb or modifier can work to create mood or suggest a specific understanding) that’s where my brain is tapping into my poetic background.

Most of my formal writing education has been in poetry (I have an MFA in poetry) but I have always been interested in writing fiction and had been writing short stories and flash fiction on the side for a long time before I sat down to write a novel. For years, I honestly didn’t think I could do it—the idea of sustaining a book-length story felt daunting in a way I wasn’t sure I could tackle. I think I eventually reached a point where I needed to face that challenge—and as it turned out, I love writing novel-length fiction, and it’s now hard to imagine a time before it became the center of my writing life, although that was only a few years ago.

Like me, you’ve mentored emerging writers through Pitch Wars. What do you love about working with writers who are just starting out, and why does mentoring matter so much?

Indeed! I’ve been a Pitch Wars mentor since 2016, the same year I signed with my agent. (For the uninitiated, Pitch Wars is a contest where mentors choose a writer with a finished manuscript and then work with their mentee to make their manuscript shine for the agent showcase and querying.) While I was never a mentee myself, I had some amazing beta readers who were a step or two ahead of me on the path toward publication, who helped me get See All the Stars in query-ready shape, and I wanted to give back to other writers who were working on revising their manuscripts toward that same goal. I’ve worked with three mentees and loved every step of the way, and we’re gearing up now for the 2018 contest!

I love mentoring Pitch Wars for a whole bunch of reasons, but one of the absolute best things about being a Pitch Wars mentor has been establishing long-term relationships with my mentees and watching them develop as writers. Yes, Pitch Wars is a contest, but it’s also a phenomenal mentorship program, and that’s why I love being involved.

By the way, if you’re reading and thinking that applying to be a mentee might be a good fit for you, the 2018 Pitch Wars Mentor Blog Hop (where you can find out about us and what we want to see in our inboxes) runs August 14-27, 2018 and the submission window will be open August 27-29 (10 PM EDT). Interested applicants can find the most up-to-date information via the official Pitch Wars Twitter account @PitchWars and on the website.

Along those lines, what advice do you have for beginning writers? Any tips or tricks of the trade that have proven especially helpful for you on your road to publication?

Read widely in your age category and genre. Get to know the playing field. Seek out trusted readers for your work and listen to their feedback. Know that you don’t have to take every piece of feedback. Revise. Revise more. Remember that publishing is not a meritocracy. There’s a lot of luck and timing involved in getting a book published, and while both of those factors are beyond your control, understanding that they play a key role can help put your experience and others’ in perspective.

I’ve got to ask—what makes you a Slytherin? And if you could be any Harry Potter character, which one would you choose?

Ambition! Slytherins get a bad rap, but we’re not all evil. I’ve always had a drive to succeed—

which is, of course, no guarantee of success in and of itself—but I do believe that leaning into my ambitious nature and sticking my neck out has gotten me where I am in my professional life.

In terms of actual characters, I was probably most like Hermione—not a Slytherin—growing up. I was a bit of a know-it-all in school (a trait I’ve happily, mostly, grown out of in adulthood), never knew what to do with my curly hair, and always had my nose in a book. Plus, we share September birthdays, and we’re both only children! So if I could choose to be any character, it would probably be Hermione. She’s a genius—which I’d love to be!—and she’s plenty ambitious, of course.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.

Part love story, part thriller, We Were Liars meets Goodbye Days in this suspenseful, lyrical debut.

THEN They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.

NOW Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever. 

THEN Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love. 

NOW Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.

The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies—the lies Ellory has been telling herself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press, edits for private clients, and mentors emerging writers through Pitch Wars. Her debut young adult novel is See All the Stars (Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books, August 14, 2018), and her debut full-length poetry collection is A Small Rising Up in the Lungs (New American Press, fall 2018).

SOCIAL:

Website: www.kitfrick.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kitfrick

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kitfrick/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kitfrick/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kitfrickauthor/

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1534404376

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/see-all-the-stars-kit-frick/1127208720

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781534404373

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781534404373

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/See-All-Stars-Kit-Frick/9781534404373

Kit Frick’s debut novel, SEE ALL THE STARS, came out a couple of days ago—to rave reviews. It’s a Bustle Best YA Book for August 2018, an Amazon Best Books of August 2018 Editor’s Pick, and a Publisher’s Marketplace Spring/Summer 2018 YA Buzz Book. I can’t wait to read it—and I was thrilled to have the chance to interview Kit about writing novels, her career as a poet, why mentoring matters—and the reason she considers herself a Slytherin. Welcome to the blog, Kit!

Congratulations on the release of SEE ALL THE STARS! What’s the book all about, and what inspired you to write it?

Thank you so much, Emily! See All the Stars is my debut YA thriller. It’s about four best friends, one beautiful boy, and a deception that ruined everything. The story takes places in two timelines that alternate between the past—leading up to the event that tore Ellory’s group of friends apart—and the aftermath. The “Now” timeline picks up on the night before senior year begins, after Ellory has been suspended from school (for her role in said event) and has spent the summer away, off social media, and otherwise disconnected from her friends and classmates. And now she has to return to high school, totally alone and consumed by guilt and regret. If you like stories about first love, intense and messy friendships, secrets, and lies, See All the Stars is for you!

In terms of inspiration, I’m drawn to complex characters, and my writer-brain delights in putting them in very tough situations and empowering them to dig their ways out. The idea for See All the Stars began with a “what if?” question: What if a girl lost all her friends and her boyfriend in one fell swoop—and what if she was partly responsible for what happened? Ellory’s story unfolded from there.

You’re a poet as well as a novelist. How does poetry inform your prose—and what made you decide to write a book-length work of fiction?

I am! And yes, my first book of poetry, A Small Rising Up in the Lungs, releases this fall from New American Press, which is very exciting.

I developed an ear for diction and tone through studying poetry—both through reading and writing. In some ways, the two forms require very different compartments of my writer’s “toolbox.” When I’m plotting and structuring a novel, I’m using my creative brain in a very different way than when I’m drafting a poem. But when it comes to sentence-level concerns (how a sentence sounds, how it works with the sentences that precede and follow, how the choice of a specific verb or modifier can work to create mood or suggest a specific understanding) that’s where my brain is tapping into my poetic background.

Most of my formal writing education has been in poetry (I have an MFA in poetry) but I have always been interested in writing fiction and had been writing short stories and flash fiction on the side for a long time before I sat down to write a novel. For years, I honestly didn’t think I could do it—the idea of sustaining a book-length story felt daunting in a way I wasn’t sure I could tackle. I think I eventually reached a point where I needed to face that challenge—and as it turned out, I love writing novel-length fiction, and it’s now hard to imagine a time before it became the center of my writing life, although that was only a few years ago.

Like me, you’ve mentored emerging writers through Pitch Wars. What do you love about working with writers who are just starting out, and why does mentoring matter so much?

Indeed! I’ve been a Pitch Wars mentor since 2016, the same year I signed with my agent. (For the uninitiated, Pitch Wars is a contest where mentors choose a writer with a finished manuscript and then work with their mentee to make their manuscript shine for the agent showcase and querying.) While I was never a mentee myself, I had some amazing beta readers who were a step or two ahead of me on the path toward publication, who helped me get See All the Stars in query-ready shape, and I wanted to give back to other writers who were working on revising their manuscripts toward that same goal. I’ve worked with three mentees and loved every step of the way, and we’re gearing up now for the 2018 contest!

I love mentoring Pitch Wars for a whole bunch of reasons, but one of the absolute best things about being a Pitch Wars mentor has been establishing long-term relationships with my mentees and watching them develop as writers. Yes, Pitch Wars is a contest, but it’s also a phenomenal mentorship program, and that’s why I love being involved.

By the way, if you’re reading and thinking that applying to be a mentee might be a good fit for you, the 2018 Pitch Wars Mentor Blog Hop (where you can find out about us and what we want to see in our inboxes) runs August 14-27, 2018 and the submission window will be open August 27-29 (10 PM EDT). Interested applicants can find the most up-to-date information via the official Pitch Wars Twitter account @PitchWars and on the website.

Along those lines, what advice do you have for beginning writers? Any tips or tricks of the trade that have proven especially helpful for you on your road to publication?

Read widely in your age category and genre. Get to know the playing field. Seek out trusted readers for your work and listen to their feedback. Know that you don’t have to take every piece of feedback. Revise. Revise more. Remember that publishing is not a meritocracy. There’s a lot of luck and timing involved in getting a book published, and while both of those factors are beyond your control, understanding that they play a key role can help put your experience and others’ in perspective.

I’ve got to ask—what makes you a Slytherin? And if you could be any Harry Potter character, which one would you choose?

Ambition! Slytherins get a bad rap, but we’re not all evil. I’ve always had a drive to succeed—

which is, of course, no guarantee of success in and of itself—but I do believe that leaning into my ambitious nature and sticking my neck out has gotten me where I am in my professional life.

In terms of actual characters, I was probably most like Hermione—not a Slytherin—growing up. I was a bit of a know-it-all in school (a trait I’ve happily, mostly, grown out of in adulthood), never knew what to do with my curly hair, and always had my nose in a book. Plus, we share September birthdays, and we’re both only children! So if I could choose to be any character, it would probably be Hermione. She’s a genius—which I’d love to be!—and she’s plenty ambitious, of course.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.

Part love story, part thriller, We Were Liars meets Goodbye Days in this suspenseful, lyrical debut.

THEN They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.

NOW Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever. 

THEN Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love. 

NOW Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.

The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies—the lies Ellory has been telling herself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press, edits for private clients, and mentors emerging writers through Pitch Wars. Her debut young adult novel is See All the Stars (Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books, August 14, 2018), and her debut full-length poetry collection is A Small Rising Up in the Lungs (New American Press, fall 2018).

SOCIAL:

Website: www.kitfrick.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kitfrick

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kitfrick/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kitfrick/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kitfrickauthor/

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1534404376

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/see-all-the-stars-kit-frick/1127208720

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781534404373

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781534404373

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/See-All-Stars-Kit-Frick/9781534404373

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