Paperback Writer is pleased to announce our author for today, T. Katz, author of the childrens chapter book, Miss L’eau while she tours on her first book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion.
T. Katz, a resident of Southern California has been involved in the children’s entertainment industry since the early 80’s working on hundreds of episodes of animated television and as a music instructor to hundreds of very animated children. She is also the honorary conductor of a four-part harmony household, consisting of her two children (three if you count the spouse on a bad day) and Alice the cat. The people that surround her help her to continue seeing the world with all its magic, beauty and potential. She lives by the motto “a good book, a cup of tea and somehow all is right with the world.” Her adventures in life are adding welcome lines of character to her face and scattered optimistic silver linings all over her head. You can visit her website at www.TKatz.com.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Two young boys in a coastal town discover a secret about their mysterious elementary school teacher, Miss L’eau. James and David had always known there was something unusual about her, but they could never quite put their finger on it. David discovered their first clue had been there all along, in her eyes.
The boys lived their whole lives near the ocean, but had never thought about how important it was or how vulnerable it might be. Through Miss L’eau, and her unexpected relationship to the sea, they develop a deeper love and understanding of the ocean and become involved with the nearby aquarium to organize an annual seaside clean-up.
Hi T. Katz,
Welcome to Paperback Writer
Q: Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?
A: As a child I lived about 11 miles inland from the ocean in a town called Watsonville in Northern California and with the salt air and hundreds of days of fog a year, the sea is never far from your thoughts. Even when I moved to sunny, bone-dry Southern California’s high desert I still felt that I had saltwater running in my veins. Every chance I had, I would turn my car in the direction of the nearest beach and spend as much time as I could, but seeing the ocean slurp up and spit back litter made me cry. I didn’t remember seeing all that trash as a young person, so I decided to write Miss L’eau, in an effort to make young minds aware of the help our shores needed.
Q: Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?
A: The first thing I do is write a synopsis for a story then I outline it with a time-line of events and a character list. After that, I fill a binder with pages of history and/or research on my characters and places and wade around in that information to absorb all that I can. Then, I let the writing go from there, using my notes along the way to keep me on course.
Q: Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?
A: Even if I believe that I know the ending of a story when I begin, it doesn’t always turn out the way I expected, because the characters take on lives and voices of their own that lead them to places I never saw initially.
Q: Do you have a process for developing your characters?
A: When I first begin a story, I work independently on character studies. It usually begins with name, age and a physical description and as I begin the story, that sheet evolves into more detailed information that includes history, habits, fears and strengths (even incidental characters), so that I know their motivation and the emotions behind the things they say or do.
Q: It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?
A: Many times I will see bits of myself in the characters I’ve written or I will allow them the bravery to do or say things that I wished I’d said or done when I was their age. In Miss L’eau, James and David wish they could buy a lighthouse to turn into their home and I had the same yearning as a child.
Q: What is your most favorite part about this book?
A: There is a chapter in Miss L’eau where James rides his bike in the rain as a storm develops and ends up at the seashore. As I was envisioning this scene when I was writing, I could almost feel the rain on my skin and hear the wind howling in my ears. My entire life, the ocean has been one of my most favorite places to be in a rainstorm because of all the amazing energy and power that is released there.
Q: When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?
A: Shortly after I finished the first draft years ago, like a delusional mother sending her toddler to college instead of preschool! Sure, you’re proud of your kid – but that’s not a good enough reason to have them takes leaps they’re not ready for yet!
Q: What struggles have you had on the road to being published?
A: Becoming a published writer was never something that I thought was an option for me as it was a bit like becoming a movie star or astronaut, reserved for someone else in another dimension. Still, the compulsion to write never left me and I just kept writing even though I believed nobody would ever see it. I still don’t think of myself as a “writer”, I’m just someone who writes.
My decision to send my work out into the world again for consideration was basically as the result of a dare from my daughter when she was in junior high. I had helped her with a career board on “How to Become an Author” and after she received an A on the project she questioned why wasn’t I doing that if I was so smart! That’s when Miss L’eau went in multiple query letters sent in 2005.
Q: What has been the best part about being published?
A: The best part about being published would have to be the validation that others seem to like Miss L’eau as much as I do. When you dress your own child up and send them to a birthday party you hope that other kids will like them and, at the very least, they will not get kicked in the shins – it’s the same with your writing.
Q: What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?
A: If one page of Miss L’eau makes a young reader want to investigate more about protecting and preserving the water surrounding us, then a good deed was done.
Q: Do you have plans to write another book?
A: Currently, I am knee-deep in research for a teen ghost novel that weaves it way through the historic gold mining district of Northern California and it’s a story that keeps me up at night like a melody that won’t go away once it’s in your head. I’m also finishing the last pages of another children’s chapter book that deals with bullying and puberty in a classic horror film kind of way.
Q: Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?
A: This has been one of the most entertaining and creative endeavors ever and I really like the folks I’ve been working with during the process!
Q: Where can readers find a copy of your book?
A: Miss L’eau is available now on Amazon.com and in select bookstores.
Q: Do you have a website for readers to go to?
A: Readers can visit my website at www.TKatz.com for updates on Miss L’eau and my other titles.
Thank you, T. Katz, for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.