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Advice For Young Writers, Cake & TANGLED PLANET: Three Questions For Kate Blair

I first met Kate Blair at CANSCAIP’s Packaging Your Imagination conference, when she was helping during my presentation. Her debut YA, TRANSFERRAL, came out from Dancing Cat/Cormorant soon after; I posted about it here. I enjoyed Transferral so much that I couldn’t wait until Kate’s second book came out…and I wasn’t disappointed. TANGLED PLANET is fantastic

Canadians can buy Tangled Planet now while you Americans will have to wait for the second book until May 2018. If you’re a fan of science fiction, I highly recommend you buy Kate’s first book as well!

Born on a tiny English island, Kate Blair has worked as a museum curator, a clown and at a theme park in New Jersey. She lives in Toronto and is an author, a mother, and terribly tired. Her first novel, Transferral, was a MYRCA, Snow Willow and Sunburst Award nominee. You can find Kate at, on Twitter at @curledupkate and on Instagram at @kateblairauthor.

Synopsis of TANGLED PLANET (Dancing Cat Books/Cormorant):

Arriving on a planet after 400 years aboard a generation starship, 16-year-old engineer Ursa struggles to adjust. When her crewmates start being killed, and a strange creature is seen in the forests, Ursa is determined to prove Beta Earth is unsafe, and return to the safety of her starship home.

Q. Could you please take a photo of something in your office and tell us the story behind it?

I don’t have a writing office. I have the kitchen table, or the laptop on my lap in bed or on the sofa, and coffee shops on lunch. So this is from a coffee shop:

The good thing about working in coffee shops is they often have cake. I don’t have much free time, so having to be in the right space to write, or needing specific tools or inspiration would definitely hold me back. And it amazes me how being in different spaces can give you a different outlook on things – which is a major upside to not having a specific place to write. Well, that and cake.

Q. What advice do you have for young writers?

Don’t hold onto a project too long. Sometimes, it’s time to move on. I worked on one story for nine years and sent it to about 20 agents and publishers – but in the end, it simply wasn’t good enough. Once I finally gave up and started a new book, it took me just one year to write and was accepted by the first publisher who saw it. That first book makes me cringe now, so I’m so glad it wasn’t published. But those nine years weren’t a waste of time – that book was how I learned to write.

Q. What are you excited about right now?

Christmas! I’m going home to see my family in the UK. It’s been an extremely busy year. I haven’t had any real time off since March, so lazing around at my parents’ house while they help with the children, eating too much food and watching the Christmas Doctor Who is my idea of bliss.

For more insights from book creators, see my Inkygirl Interview Archives and Advice For Young Writers And Illustrators From Book Creators.