Friday, November 13, 2009

Interview with a Misfit

Totally Sane Interviews with Vampires, Hobbits, and Talking Toads
An Interview with Katie McCabe
by LK Gardner-Griffie
As promised, I've brought back the Character Interviews series, this time with LK Gardner-Griffie, the remarkable author of the young adult Misfit McCabe series. I am so honored to have Ms. Gardner-Griffie, an award-winning author, guest post today and even more flattered that she would share the loveable, trouble-making misfit of her series with us in her very first interview. Be sure to check out Ms. Gardner-Griffie's superb blog and website! You can also find her on twitter.

A little background on LK Gardner-Griffie
Author of the award-winning young adult novel Misfit McCabe and soon to be released Nowhere Feels Like Home, Ms. Gardner-Griffie somehow manages to write and keep a separate day job. By day, she works as a system analyst and process efficiency expert, but she spends her nights shaping her career as a young adult novelist. She is currently working on the third book in the Misfit McCabe series (yet untitled). In her own words: "I think my characters were getting a little miffed because I was the only one who didn't realize that I was writing a series. I figured it out as I started thinking about the third book."

Awarded the Pearson Prize Teen Choice Award for 2009

A brief bio of the adorable misfit, Katie McCabe (in the author's words)

Fourteen-year-old Katie McCabe was orphaned during the course of Misfit McCabe and sent to live with her Uncle Charley, and her cousins, Matt, Mark, and Sarah. Katie is basically a good kid, but she gets herself into trouble frequently. Through an escalating issue with the town bully, Katie winds up with a snakebite, a broken ankle, and a great deal of anger toward the bully who essentially confined her to bed.
My words: Oh gosh, this is so cool. Katie McCabe is also on Twitter. Check her out!

Meet Katie McCabe (this interview took place at the beginning of the third book in the Misfit McCabe series)

LK: Hey Katie, come on in and have a seat.
Katie: [Enters and throws herself into the chair causing it to tip back slightly] Am I in trouble?
LK: Why would you be in trouble? Have you done something I should know about?
Katie: No. [Eyes dart away and then shift back] I can't go farther than the bathroom or the front porch without help, so how could I do anything? I mean, look at me! [Gestures toward her cast]
LK: Hmmm. That wasn't very convincing, but we'll let it slide for the moment.
Katie: So why am I here anyway?
LK: I thought that we could have a little chat before getting in to the next book in the series. I wanted to see how you're feeling and what you're thinking and whether you were planning to give me any problems once we get going with it.
LK: Katie, come on. Open up and let me know what's going on inside that head of yours.
Katie: [scowling] Why should I tell you anything? Look at all of the things you've done to me. You killed my Daddy and now I'm living with relatives who were total strangers until a few weeks ago. And that's just for starters.
LK: I know losing your daddy was tough and you're still trying to deal with it. But sometimes bad things happen in life and we have to deal with them. Your story is helping some kids to deal with some of the bad life circumstances they run into. I know the loss of your father was a huge deal, but that's not really what's bothering you now, so what is it?
Katie: [Slumps in the chair and drops head slightly forward so her bangs cover one eye and pouts] Did you have to break my ankle? I mean if you had to maim me, did you have to take away my ability to get around? Couldn't you have just broken an arm or something? [Crosses her arms and lets a huff of air escape] A broken arm would have been cool because I could still have moved around and would have had a reason not to do homework. That would have been a bonus. Instead through an entire book I was stuck in bed and couldn't DO ANYTHING! And I STILL have this stupid cast on.
LK: I really feel bad about breaking your ankle. I think I have suffered as much as you have with it.
Katie: Ha!
LK: I've thought about it over and over again, but it was the right thing to happen in the circumstances, and I can't go back and change it.
Katie: I thought you were the writer, which is kind of like God. Don't you have control over what happens?
LK: [laughs] Like I could control you any better than anyone else in your life has done. Katie, you know I simply give you the reins and hold on for dear life. You were out in the hills in a storm and your foot slipped into a hole - the ankle had to break. If it didn't then it would weaken your case with Harvey in front of the judge. The break isn't bad, and you'll be going into a walking cast in a few pages anyway.
Katie: [Flings her head back to whip the hair out of her eyes] Really? That'll be totally cool.
LK: You still need to be cautious so you don't re-injure yourself.
Katie: Yeah...whatever...I'll be careful.
LK: Do you have any questions for me?
Katie: Do I get to spend more time with Tom this book? You keep cutting short our alone time together. Will you give me some time with him when we don't have to worry about Sarah barging in on us? It was embarrassing when she caught us kissing, and I don't want that to happen again.
LK: You'll get a little more alone time in this book.
Katie: [Curls hand into fist and jerks arm back sharply] Yeesss!
LK: Don't get too excited - I didn't say you wouldn't get embarrassed in some way. And you're relationship with Tom is going to subtly change.
Katie: You better not be breaking us up! I have to have some time with the guy when I'm not grounded. [pouts]
LK: You still have some growing to do in the relationship, so it's not necessarily going to be an easy road, but right now there are no break-up plans.
Katie: Good! Let's keep it that way.
LK: Do you have any other burning questions you want to ask?
Katie: I don't want to sound like a baby but did you have to make Sarah get engaged? As much as she gets on my case, she's the person I'm closest to and you're taking her away too. And don't give me any crap about the engagement period. You're still taking her away from me.
LK: On Sarah and Jim, we're both going to have to wait to see what happens. I know they're engaged, but they won't be getting married in this next book. In fact, Sarah is destined for a few relationship bumps in the road as well.
Katie: Really? [Grins] That shouldn't make me happy, but it does. What kind of bumps?
LK: I don't want to give too much away because I want you to react naturally to what happens.
Katie: [Jumps to feet] That's not fair! You never tell me anything! Why should I even talk to you?
LK: Give me a minute to finish. The thing I can tell you is that Sarah is already thinking about trying to convince Jim to have you live with them after they are married.
Katie: [Flops back in chair] You'd better not be teasing me.
LK: I know it's hard for you to believe, but I really do have your best interests at heart.
Katie: Yeah right! (pause) If you're going to keep someone's best interests at heart, then I want you to look after Timmy. He's had a hard life and he needs something good to happen to him.
LK: You don't think I've given him something good in his life?
Katie: Are you nuts? You made him put his own father into a coma, and he had to worry about whether he killed him or not! How on earth is that something good?
LK: What about the part where he comes to live with you and your family and is no longer in the abusive situation with his dad? And what about the fact that I have Mark taking Tim under his wing and they're doing the male bonding thing?
Katie: Well...I guess. And I guess I should tell you thanks for bringing my best friend to me after I lost Daddy and had to move away. But does Tim have to be jealous of my boyfriend? And I think Tom is getting jealous of Tim. Why do you have to mess up anything in my life that's actually going well?
LK: It's what makes it a story.

If you would like to submit a character interview, just let me know! Please be sure to refer back to my post on character interviews. Now go out and get Misfit McCabe and look for Nowhere Feels like Home to be released soon! Big thank you to LK Gardner-Griffie!!! [Applause]


  1. Carol,

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to do the character interview. It was a lot of fun and now some of the other characters in the series are wondering when they get to air their grievances. It has been great getting to know you and the rest of the Twitter #amwritingparty crew. I look forward to many more of the character interview posts. They all have been a fun read.


  2. Isn't it great when we as writers have both the best and worst intentions for our characters. Life has to suck for them before it gets better. I'd be resentful if I were them too, but at least they're relatively assured of a happy ending (whereas we're not).

    Fun interview, good lady. I like Katie (she reminds me of another teenaged Katie I know).

  3. Simon you are sooo right. If life didn't suck for our characters - we wouldn't have anything worth printing. The fun part for me is with writing a series (now that I know I am) I get to make Katie's life suck and make it better over and over again. Pretty soon she's going to complain about making her feel like a yo-yo - always going up and down...but then that's the life of a teen anyway. :)

  4. I'm with Simon on that. It's so hard to hurt our poor little babies, but how would they grow otherwise? No conflict=no growth=no story. So hard to be a write sometimes. Let me just say I adore Katie, the poor girl--a little ragamuffin, mischievous tomboy with heart of gold.

    Thank you for guest posting, LK! It was so good to have you, and so incredibly flattering that you would bring Katie by. I hope you bring her over again. I'll have some cookies or something next time. Or maybe a soda.

  5. Love these sort of posts! What a great character interview. Thanks for letting LK Gardner-Griffie visit us on your blog! Much food for thought :)

  6. Great interview! I love the sound of these books - can't wait to check them out :)

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Jemi! Glad you enjoyed it. You an find Misfit McCabe on Amazon now!


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