Kate Scott lives in the suburbs outside Portland, Oregon with her husband Warren. Kate was diagnosed with dyslexia as a young child but somehow managed to fall in love with stories anyway. Counting to D is her first novel. When Kate isn’t writing, she enjoys listening to audiobooks, camping, and spending time with her friends and family. Kate also spends a lot of time doing math and sciency things and is a licensed professional engineer.
“Six Minutes with an Author” for LitPick – Kate Scott, author of Counting to D
1. How did you get started writing?
I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. I wrote a few of them down when I was younger, but didn’t get serious about writing until I was in my early twenties. Once I decided that I wanted to write, I just opened a blank Word document on my computer and started typing. Even now, there isn’t any clear method to my madness. I simply enjoy making up stories, same as always.
2. Who influenced you?
I first discovered Sarah Dessen’s books about the time that I started seriously writing YA. There are other authors whose individual books I’ve enjoyed more, but Dessen has had a big influence on my writing overall. She writes amazingly well-developed minor characters. When I’m revising and trying to flesh out my own characters, I sometimes joke that I’m channeling my “inner Dessen.”
3. Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I’ve read a lot of wonderful books, and I can’t really pick a favorite. One book that I absolutely love is Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner. It was published several years ago and has never been widely acclaimed, but I think it’s hilarious. In my opinion, Spanking Shakespeare should be on everyone’s to-read list, so I’ll claim it as a favorite book today.
As for the more general question of subject/setting, I generally prefer contemporary fiction over speculative fiction—unless it’s written by Maggie Stevfater, ‘cause she’s easily my favorite author, and she writes urban fantasy.
4. What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Read as much as possible, or if you can’t read, listen to lots of audiobooks. There are lots of books about how to write, but personally, I’ve never found any of them helpful. I believe understanding the complexities of storytelling is required to be a good writer. I also believe the only way to truly understand storytelling is to read lots of good stories. Don’t just read a few how-to books—go to the source, and utilize your library card.
5. Where is your favorite place to write?
I have a big, comfortable chair in my home office that I like to sit in while I’m writing. I do have a desk in there, too, but I find the laptop on the lap in the comfy chair much more conducive to musing.
6. What else would you like to tell us?
People are fascinating – all people. We all have a story to tell. So if you are thinking about writing, do it. Write. If the first story you jot down isn’t very good, write another one because your voice deserves to be heard, and nobody can tell your story but you.