Readers' Favorite

July 22, 2013

Meet Katherine Polillo

Where did you grow up/live now?

I grew up in South Jersey and after moving north for a period of time I returned and currently still live in South Jersey.  I enjoy the location, which is very country and rural, but Philadelphia is only 30 minutes away and the shore is also close.  I have a little of everything living where I live. 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a paleontologist.  I was/ still am obsessed with dinosaurs.  Jurassic Park was the most amazing movie to the 10 year old me.  I wore that VHS out! 

What is your education/career background?

I graduated from Rowan University with a Bachelors in Liberal Arts and a certification to teach secondary history and language arts.  I have since gone back and am currently completing my Masters in Teacher of Students with Disabilities.  

Do you have kids and/or pets?

No kids unless you count the 120 students I torture daily.  I refer to my students as my kids, but I think their parents would be upset if I tried to claim them.  Maybe… 

Pets, I have two spoiled rotten cats that think the world revolves around their fuzzy little heads.  I have no idea who spoiled them so badly. 

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or, what first inspired you to write?

My inspiration hit when I was struggling in between jobs. I was looking for a school district that would share my educational philosophy and while I was looking I spent a lot of time reading.  I was generally reading YA books, and I thought to myself… Self, you can do this.  And so that is how my first book Destine came to pass.  By time I was finished Destine I had found a new job at a school I love and finding time to write since then has been hard.  Devoted took about a year to create balancing between job, family, and school, but it has finally come to fruition.  

Buy Devoted at Amazon

Where/When do you best like to write? 

I like to write on Sunday mornings with a giant cup of coffee in my pajamas.  I send my husband out and I have the house to myself so I can focus and write in silence.  

Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?

I wouldn’t call consuming mass quantities of coffee an interesting habit, but I think I can hold a quantity of caffeine that would kill lesser men.  I do need quite, I am easily distracted, eww look something shiny.  

When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?

I read.  Sometimes leaving my characters’ world behind and immersing myself in someone else’s imagination can reignite my creative juices.  If not there is always wine.  

How does a new story idea come to you? Is it an event that sparks the plot or a character speaking to you?

I don’t know…usually a topic peaks my interest and I create characters around a situation or topic.  

On a Friday night, what are you most likely to be doing?

My family owns a farm, so Friday nights are lame for me.  I go to bed early because I’m expected on the farm at 6 am, and my Father is not forgiving when it comes to punctuality.  

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to read, especially during the summer on the beach.  When I get the opportunity I love to camp, kayak, and hike.  I find being in nature helps foster my creativity.  

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Gillian Flynn 
John Green 
Abbi Glines
Stacey Rourke
Christy Sloat 
Jessica Sorenson 

Do you have a bucket list? What are some of things on it?

I have a travel bucket list, places I want to see someday.  I’ve been to every state in the continental U.S., but I’m dying to see Alaska and Hawaii.  I want to see Egypt, Turkey, New Zealand… the list goes on and on really.  

Have you won any awards or honors (not just for writing)?

Does craziest teacher count?  Teacher with the weirdest socks? 

What person(s) has/have helped you the most in your career?

Hard to say really, my husband kept telling me to write.  He provided the motivation.  Christy Sloat has been a fantastic mentor in guiding me through the process, and if Stacey Rourke hadn’t of believed in my The Watcher’s Trilogy would never have been published.  Thanks to everyone! 

What was your favorite book as a child?

When I was really young it was The Giving Tree, then in tween hood it was Little Women.  

How does your spouse/significant other/friends/family feel about your writing career?

Everyone is wonderfully supportive and I couldn’t ask for more support.  My husband never misses the opportunity to tell people I’m a writer, and I jokingly correct him and tell him I’m a teacher who writes sometimes.  I would like one day to be confidant enough to identify myself as a writer, but until then my husband will instead.

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