Getting to know Kami…

Kami Kinard is the author of The Boy Project: Notes and Observations of Kara McAllister (Scholastic, January 2012). Her poetry, stories, articles, and essays have appeared in periodicals for children and adults.  Nasty Bugs (Dial 2012) featured one of her poems. Kami also works as a teaching artist for SC schools, and teaches writing courses for continuing education programs. She lives with her family in balmy, buggy, and beautiful Beaufort, SC. For more info, check out Kami’s site, blogTwitter, and Facebook. Oh, and don’t forget to check out The Boy Project book trailer. 

Let the conversation begin! 

Anything you’d like to share with your readers?

Yes! Thank you, readers. I love the emails and letters I get from you and I appreciate you all! 

How did you choose the genre you write in? 

I guess it kind of chose me. I had the idea for writing The Boy Project after reading my old diaries from high school and middle school. Once I read them, it was easy to channel my middle school voice! 

What genre do you avoid writing?

Horror. I like happy endings. 

How do you recharge your creative batteries?

Reading recharges my creative batteries. So does tackling artistic projects outside of writing, like jewelry making, painting, or creating crafts with my daughter. 

Can you tell us about the book you’re working on? Is it coming easily or have you run into road blocks?

I’m working on another middle grade humor book with a girl protagonist. It involves a tuba, a rocker dad, and a boy.  Road blocks aplenty have been keeping me from finishing this novel, but they are physical road blocks, not mental ones, so I should be able to finish the book when things get less crazy at home. 

Is any material in your books based on real life experiences or purely imagination?

The Boy Project is based on the kind of person I was as a tween, so it is based on some real life experiences, but it has a very healthy dose of imagination thrown in! I think it is hugely important for writers to be able to stretch reality into fiction by using imagination. The emotional threads in your book, however, have to be real. 

Are you a person who makes the bed in the morning?

I wish I was. 

Best writing advice you’ve ever received?

“Go deeper.” — Patti Lee Gauch 

Are there certain characters you would like to return to?

I’d love to return to Kara and do another book about her someday, but I feel compelled to finish the other books I’m working on first. 

Ever participated in a parade? What did you do?

I have marched in parades, including parades at Disney World, wearing a polyester suit and carrying a mellophone. I have ridden on floats wearing a brownie uniform with other brownies, and I have been the mom riding in parades with groups of brownies. 

Any advice to share with aspiring writers?

Those who don’t give up, but who continue to grow and learn, will make it. The latter part of that statement is more important than the former. 

Would you rather plan a party or attend one?

I love planning parties, especially for my children. Parties are an excellent way to exercise creativity. My daughter recently had a party where everyone created a custom made hula-hoop. My son recently had a ping-pong party where we brought in an extra table. Of course we had a Harry Potter party before the final movie last summer. It involved pumpkin pasties, butter beer, and a magician. 

Do you collect anything?

I have a very small collection of art that will grow if I ever make lots and lots of money. Right now, we add about one piece a year. One of my favorite pieces is a fish made out of a recycled surf board. When I was younger, I collected doll house furniture and ornate bottles. 

When was the last time you went bowling? Was it fun or total disaster?

I took my children bowling last week. It was a lot of fun. Maybe because I didn’t bowl. (That’s cheating, isn’t it?) The last time I held a bowling ball was about two years ago. I don’t remember the score, but it was fun! 

What is the easiest part of the writing process? Hardest?

Coming up with ideas is the easiest part of writing. Executing them is the hardest!