Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

An Inside Look #7 (Interview with K.A. Holt)

An Inside Look - With K.A. Holt
Author of House Arrest

*Another summer Monday, means another "inside look" with an author.

*It has been such an honor to connect with authors and "chat" with them about their novel, the characters, and their thoughts about the story.

*I have had such fun connecting with authors and "picking" their brains.

*Here are the links to my first six interviews...

Interview #1 with Elly Swartz (Author of Finding Perfect)

Interview #2 with Jeff Zentner (Author of The Serpent King)

Interview #3 with Nora Raleigh Baskin (Author of Nine, Ten, A September 11 Story)

Interview #4 with Cammie McGovern (Author of Just My Luck)

Interview #5 with Kate Messner (Author of The Seventh Wish)

Interview #6 with Paul Griffin (Author of When Friendship Followed Me Home)

*I remember reading a "tweet" from Donalyn Miller about this novel.

*It took me awhile to get to it, but once I did, I was overjoyed with how great this story was.

*After finishing it, I reached out to K.A. Holt and asked if she would be willing to be interviewed.

*Even with a busy schedule, she was more than happy to say yes to these questions.

House Arrest by K.A. Holt (Released October 6, 2015) 

How did you come to “know” Timothy?  
I came to know Timothy, because Timothy is kind of my ID.  He represents everything I wish I could have done, and wanted to do, when my youngest son was very sick.  Obviously, I couldn't steal money or punch a wall, but I wondered what would happen if someone did.  Timothy was my outlet.

What do you think is Timothy's most admirable quality?
Timothy is just full of love.  It's hard to see that in the beginning, but everything he does comes from a place of love and kindness, even if he gets things messed up sometimes.  

Is there anything you wish Timothy would have changed or done differently in his story?
Hmm.  I don't really think so.  I really like the arc of Timothy's character, and while there are things I wish he didn't have to go through, going through them is what makes him the person he is.

What do you think Timothy can offer to other children that are experiencing similar situations to what he went through?
I think he is a great outlet.  He does the things you wish you could do, but can't.  He gives you a way to see consequences without having to experience them yourself.  And he lets readers know that they aren't alone in their feelings, or in the situations they're in. 

How did you “research” Timothy and the circumstances he found himself in?
As far as nitty-gritty details go, I researched the Texas State Juvenile Detention program, and I spoke with law enforcement about how arrest and trial, etc, would go.  As far as Timothy's home life, and Levi's illness, I was able to tap into personal experiences of my own, having dealt with a child who was born with subglottic stenosis and was trached for nearly two years.

Do you and Timothy share any similarities?  
Timothy is more impetuous than I am.  He does the things I think about doing, but would never do.  Though he has a sarcastic wit like I do, and sometimes he says things a little too sharply than he means to.  I can relate to that! 

What was the hardest scene to write about Timothy?
The hardest scene for me to write was the one where Timothy watches his mother run barefoot through the hospital, chasing after the gurney that Levi is on.  This is something based on real life, and it was very difficult for me to go back to that dark place, even when writing it from the perspective of someone else. 

Who do you think was Timothy's biggest supporter and why?
Timothy has so many supporters in this book.  At first he doesn't realize it, but then he begins to figure it out.  Mrs. B really is one of Timothy's biggest fans, and she goes above and beyond to help him.  But then so does James.  And so does Jose's mother.  It's impossible for me to choose!

Why do you think people will go the the end of the Earth or commit wrong doings in order to help our loved ones?  
Well, precisely that, right?  They are our loved ones.  They are a part of our hearts, and of course we want to make their lives easier.  Despite evidence to the contrary these days, I truly believe that is instinctual human behavior to be kind and to look out for others.  We might have crazy ways of doing that, but ultimately we all want to love and be loved. 

What do you think Timothy is doing as this present time?  

Right now I hope that Timothy is able to be a happy teenager.  I hope the world's worries have been lifted from his shoulders and that he's able to relax and enjoy just being a kid. 

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