Interview with Kate Dunbar, Author of Used

09 Mar 2021

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

Heartbreakingly beautiful and completely engrossing, USED is packed full of twists, turns, and a gripping romance. It’s a story of heartache and hurts mixed with joy and love. We see Sabra’s journey to finding freedom while falling in love with one of her best friends. Everything is going swimmingly until one phone call changes everything and her past comes back to haunt her. Will it leave readers emotionally spent? I hope so, but in the best possible way and with a HEA we all yearn for.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Laurie Halse Anderson and Lois Lowry are two of my favorite authors. I love how they take hard topics and aren’t afraid to fully take their readers into that topic and through the experience. But even while doing that, they offer moments of light and joy showing how life is not either-or, but it exists with this AND that. I tend to look for those stories as I read, and I’m drawn to that in my own writing. Joy and pain, love and heartache, mountains and valleys all go hand-in-hand in life. I want to be an author who writes the AND in her stories. Those two authors showed me from an early age that it was possible to do that.

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

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee, SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, GATHERING BLUE by Lois Lowry, TEN TINY BREATHS by K.A. Tucker, 1984 by George Orwell.

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

I think I would want it to be a panel made up of Laurie Halse Anderson, Lois Lowry, Margaret Atwood, and Gillian Flynn. I’d like to hear how they write through the hard topics while still making their stories accessible to readers and showing the joy and love that happens in life at the same time. How do they balance that? And how do they take care of themselves in the process?

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love the escape it brings to everyone involved and all the different aspects that come with it. That goes for me as the writer, but also for the reader. And I really love the exploration of answering the question “what if…”

What is a typical day like for you?

I’m a Mom of 3 boys, a wife, and I work full-time. My typical day is balancing all of that and finding time to squeeze in writing in between. It’s pretty much chaos all the time.

What scene from Used was your favorite to write?

That’s such a hard question to answer! I think my favorite scene in USED is a very special scene between Trevor and Sabra. I can’t give you much more than that without spoiling quite a bit, but I love moments when the unexpected happens and the characters exceed what you imagine. This scene epitomizes that, and the reader will know they’re there when they get to it for sure.

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

The answer is always no unless you ask the question. Putting yourself out there is terrifying. Do it anyway. Don’t let fear be the thing that stops you. There are plenty of other people willing to tell you that you can’t. Don’t be one more person in your life that does that. Be the one that says you can.

Kate Dunbar is the author of the new book Used.

Connect with Kate Dunbar
Author Site

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