Hey everyone! Welcome to the Monday Middle Grade features. Today, we're going to be chatting with Hannah Kaye, author of Goldwater Ridge. I had the pleasure of reading the book as an ARC and I loved every page of it. You'll definitely want to add this to your list, and buy a copy for every kid in your life. It releases tomorrow, and you can grab yourself a copy from Amazon or Barnes&Noble.com. For more information on Goldwater Ridge, head on over to her website https://hannahkaye.blog/ or follow her on Instagram (@hkayewrites). Don't forget to add her book to your Goodreads TBR!
1. What gave you the inspiration to write your book?
When my three sisters and I were little girls, we played all sorts of wild make-believe games with each other. We had so much fun making up characters and acting out their stories. One of those make-believe games was set in an abandoned Wild West town, and I borrowed the characters, setting, and even some of the plot points from that old game to create Goldwater Ridge. My sisters were so excited to relive our childhood adventures in book form!
2. Tell us a little about the Main Character
That poor boy can’t seem to catch a break! Clyde is a wannabe adventurer with big dreams and high hopes— but being the hero of his own story turns out to be more than he bargained for. I think Clyde has a lot more hero in him than he gives himself credit for. He’s loyal, brave (even when it scares him) and willing to believe the best about people.
3. Why did you choose to write middle-grade?
I write middle grade because I love to read middle grade! So many of my favorite books are children’s books that I didn’t discover until I was an adult. I reached the point where, as Lewis says, I’m old enough to start reading fairy tales again. My favorite thing about middle grade is how much fun the genre allows itself to be. As a parent and an aunt, I also love to write stories with my own little people in mind. I want the books that I write to be enjoyable for them, and to be tools that will help grow their love of reading for years to come.
4. Why will kids love your book?
I think kids will love the colorful characters, the mystery, and the fast-paced adventure in Goldwater Ridge. The book is full of laughter and surprises, and is just scary enough to keep you wanting to turn the next page to find out what happens next.
5. Tell me a little bit about yourself. Other than writing, what are your hobbies?
I’m a mom to a one-year-old boy, so right now my main hobbies are playing with toy cars and blowing bubbles! Haha! I also enjoy baking bread, scuba diving, serving on my church’s music team, and playing fantasy RPGs with my dice-loving husband and his nerd friends.
6. Do you have plans for future books?
I would love for Goldwater Ridge to have a sequel, but I don’t have a release date in mind yet. We’ll see how NaNoWriMo 2020 goes. And someday (maybe soon?) I plan to write a swashbuckling adventure on the high seas! I’ve loved pirate stories for as long as I can remember!
7. If you could have lunch with any author, who would you choose and why?
Do authors from the past count? I would love to sit down for a good old-fashioned cup of English tea with C.S. Lewis. His works—especially Narnia— have shaped me more than any other writer. I’d probably be too star-struck to actually ask him any worthwhile questions, but at least I’d get the chance to tell him thank you. (And to talk about our mutual love for County Down, Northern Ireland.)
8. Do you have any advice for aspiring middle-grade authors?
I wish I had believed this a long time ago: don’t put pressure on yourself to write something *great*. For years, I thought that if I was going to write a book, it needed to be the Next Big Thing, my defining, great, classic work. As a result, I never actually wrote anything, because nothing would ever be good enough. When I sat down to write Goldwater Ridge, I took a completely different approach—I just decided to have fun with it. And this crazy little story became the first thing I ever wrote that mattered. So that’s my advice: Let go of the need to be perfect. Write because you love to write. Write what’s fun for you. Let yourself be goofy. Surprise yourself. I guarantee your work will be far better for it.
9. Anything else you want the world to know about your book, go ahead and stick it here.
If you ever find yourself in a spooky little town hidden somewhere deep in the Arizona desert, it’s probably best to keep any comments about potatoes to yourself. ;)
Alright, that's all I have for you today. If you follow me on goodreads, you'll be able to see my full review on Goldwater Ridge.
Okay, go pre-order now!