Interview with Kate Danley, Author of George

15 Jun 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, George?

George is a funny, irreverent fantasy adventure.  It involves knights and dragons and hitting things with swords.  But it also explores what happens when we make dumb life choices, and how the fallout can actually lead us to our best selves.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I have wanted to be a writer since elementary school.  I used to sit on the bus and write stories with friends.  Later, when we moved (hello, fellow military brats!) my new best friend and I would spend our lunches writing stories and hanging out in the school library.  I actually started my first novel when I was in the 6th grade.  Fifteen years of tinkering with it, I realized it was terrible and chucked it.  However, the book that I wrote after that ended up being the one that launched my career.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracey Kidder, Sunshine by Robin McKinley,  The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale, The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

It probably seems like a super-nerdy gimme answer, but… I mean… can the answer be anything but Shakespeare?  And I would just ask, “Tell me about your process.”  Because, COME ON.  Every time I sit down with one of his plays, it feels like falling in love.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

There have been moments where I have been given glimpses of how my stories have impacted people’s lives, and it takes my breath away.  I once wrote a play, and at the audition were two actors who did a scene together.  They were complete strangers.  But they were cast as the romantic pair in my play, and what do you know, they fell in love!  And got married!  And I realized that all the blood, sweat, and tears of writing that play were so that these two people could meet.  It is a glimpse into the infinite.

What is a typical day like for you?

I host a daily writing sprint online with a group of fellow authors.  Every morning from ten til noon, we write.  The afternoon is then spent checking off the glamours various and sundry items on a writer’s to-do list: laundry, marketing, scrubbing toilets, etc.

What scene from George was your favorite to write?

There is a scene that takes place in a magician’s shop.  I believe I was taking an improv class a few years ago and dashed it out on a piece of paper during a dinner break.  I stumbled on it as I sat down to tackle this book, and it still makes me happy.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Embrace that you have no idea what you’re doing, and allow yourself to be teachable.

Kate Danley is the author of the new book George

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rebecca