January 9, 2012

Are you Cracked?

Saturday night was the book launch for K.M. Walton's fantastic new YA novel, Cracked, and it was right here in my town at the equally fantastic Chester County Books and Music Company. (Seriously, it's my favorite bookstore ever, anywhere.) It's also huge, which is good because Kate's launch was huge! Clearly, everyone in town knows Cracked is well worth reading.

Here's what Cracked is about:

Victor hates his life. He’s relentlessly bullied at school and his parents constantly ridicule him at home.

Bull is angry. He’s sick of his grandfather’s drunken beatings. And he likes to take out his rage on Victor.

Determined to end it all, Victor takes a bottle of his mother’s sleeping pills—only to be disappointed when he wakes up in the psych ward. And his roommate? None other than Bull, whose loaded-gun effort at self-defense has been labeled as a suicide attempt. Things go from bad to worse—until the boys discover they might just have something in common: a reason to live.

And here's what the cover looks like, in cake form: 

(In cake form! This is totally my kind of party.)

So many people came out to support Kate! Frankie Diane Mallis has the whole scoop (and much better pictures) on her blog today. (Including a "red carpet interview" with yours truly, which made me realize I really hate my glasses.) 

Kate took time out last week to talk to me a little bit about Cracked, too. 

Me: Is Cracked your first novel? Or your first novel to be published? 

Kate: Cracked was actually the fourth novel I wrote, but it was the one that landed me my agent, and it ended up being the first to get published.

Me:  Why Cracked? And why a male protagonist? What drew you to Victor and his story? 

Kate: I wanted to explore a story from the points of view of two protagonists, two very different voices. A bully and his victim just sort landed in my lap after a bit of brainstorming, and Bull and Victor were born.

Me:  Cracked is a realistic look at teen life, which I love. Do you read mostly contemporary YA, or do your tastes wander? 

Kate: I read a wide variety of YA and adult fiction. But with that said, contemporary YA is definitely at the top of my list. Contemporary YA allows readers to experience the character’s story with intimacy and immediacy. I love that. As far as writing goes, getting inside character’s heads and telling their story is one of  the most fascinating experiences I’ve ever had.

Me:  What was the hardest part of writing Cracked for you? Conversely, what really flowed?

Kate: Honestly, none of my experience was hard. The story came easily and the characters started out fully formed. I wish all of my writing experiences flowed like that!

Me: What's next for you? 
Kate: My agent sold another contemporary YA to Annette Pollert at Simon Pulse. I just received my line edits from Annette so my work is definitely cut out for me.
Many thanks to Kate for taking time to talk to me, and huge congratulations on a rocking book launch. I can't wait to dive into this book. 


  1. Kate was fantastic and it was such a fun night! Glad we got to hang out some more:-)

  2. The Book Maven wrote about this book. I really like the cover. And there was CAKE?!? Man, gotta read this book.

  3. What a great night for a great lady. This was a great interview as well. It was great chatting with you, Amy. I hope to see you soon.