Hey! I'm Kate.
I'm the author of Rules for 50/50 Chances (2015) and Fear of Missing Out (coming March 2019), both published by Farrar Straus & Giroux. Sometimes I also write other stuff, like these essays about teaching, relationships, trains, and my badass grandmother. The New York Times once called a play I wrote "a quirky, personable little one act with a warm heart," which made my day. (Or let's be honest, more than one day.)
Over the years, I've taught theatre in New York, supported new English speakers and students with learning disabilities in London, showed apartments for a real estate broker, temped in an advertising firm, and sold Off-Broadway theatre tickets in a tiny un-air-conditioned box during a sweltering summer—among other things. After some years in Manhattan, Queens, London, and an English country village, I moved home to Cambridge, MA, where I was born and raised. I live with my husband, Neheet, and our opinionated toddler, Priya.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have you always been a writer?
In some fashion, yes. When I was in first grade, my favorite choice center at school was "Stories and Poems," where you could write and illustrate your own books. I used to start a lot of stories. It took me a long time to learn how to finish them. (Sometimes I still don't.)
What are some of your favorite books?
I read a lot of different kinds of books. My favorite novels for young people include Half Magic (Edward Eager), Hello, Universe (Erin Entrada Kelly), If You Come Softly (Jacqueline Woodson), Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon), Material Girls (Elaine Dimopoulos), and The Westing Game (Ellen Raskin). Some of my favorite fiction authors for adults are Kate Atkinson, Jhumpa Lahiri, Zadie Smith, Tana French, and Curtis Sittenfeld.
What is your favorite mode of transport?
I love trains. Here are some of the many ways I love trains.
Is your full name Katherine?
It is not. I'm just plain Kate.
You sure about that?
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My favorite writing teacher always said that some times are for writing and some times are for living, and I think that's good advice. Sometimes you're writing, sometimes you're reading, sometimes you're watching a lot of bad TV (or maybe that's just me). It all balances out in the end.
That said, I've found it helpful to figure out a structure or schedule that works for my life at the moment. I wrote Rules for 50/50 Chances in increments of 500 words a day, five days a week. Right now, my daughter runs my life, so five days is unrealistic. Instead, I aim to write two mornings a week. Every writer and every moment is different; there's no right way. But if you love to write, find a way to keep putting words on paper, when you can. (And be nice to yourself when you can't.)
Can I get a signed copy of your book?
You can order a signed copy of any of my books from my local indie bookstore. Or if you'd like a signed bookplate, email me and I'll send you one!