November Chill: Brian Katcher Interview by Kimberly Sabatini

For November, the YA Outside the Lines blog has us interviewing each other which I must admit has been kind of fun. For today's interview, you're going to get to know a little bit more about Brian Katcher.

Hey Brian! I always think of November as the month where things start to get cold. There’s a chill in the air. The weather man on the radio even dared to say there could be S-N-O-W flurries the other day. And yes, he spelled it. LOL! But I’m not quite ready to go there, so can you start off this interview by warming us up a little bit? Tell us about who you are and what you’re about? And not the usual stuff—we want to cool version.

It's great to be here! Well, I'll start out by saying that I never wanted to be a writer when I was growing up. It was only when I was 25, down and out in Mexico, when I had to take stock of things and decide what an American in Mexico should do with himself. It came down to a choice between drinking hard and writing a YA novel. Then I realized that I could do both.

Brian's Mexican Workers Visa

I was shocked when I finished my first YA novel, PLAYING WITH MATCHES, and even more shocked when it was published.

Let's see, what else...I once spent a summer in Israel. In Mexico, I lived with two beautiful women for a while (just friends), a la 'Three's Company'. Lot more frustrating than you'd think.

I'm a school librarian in real life. I have a wonderful wife, Sandra, and a great daughter, Sophie.

Dude, you're cracking me up. But I have a job here as an interviewer and I'm going to do it. So, what I’m dying to know how you chill out and get your writing done. What secrets can you share that would be helpful for someone else who wants to write?

Coffee, and lots of it. I find that the availability of high speed internet has marked an increased dip in my productivity, as I am easily distracted. I used to discipline myself by going to coffee shops, but the damn wifi is always there.

I get along with little sleep. And if you have to have a 'real' job, I suggest teaching because of the summers off for writing. I also suggest marrying a teacher, you can vacation together.

The really do need to make coffee shops that are more productive for writers. A little tough love with your beverage. Now get writing! What is the coolest thing that has ever happened to you in your writing career?

The first time I ever got a letter from a fan. It blew my mind that someone was actually reading my stuff. Also, winning the 2011 Stonewall book award for ALMOST PERFECT was pretty awesome.


Congrats on the award (FYI I just grabbed a copy of ALMOST PERFECT!) and I agree--I never get tired of those fan letters. It's really what we writers love to be paid in. <3 But even with fan approval, every writer gets frozen with fear at one time or another. What’s your best piece of advice for sticking with your craft when things get hard?

Picture this: some time about fifteen or so years ago, a publisher picked up a manuscript, read about Harry Potter the boy wizard, and thought 'This will never make any money...pass.' I've known too many good writers who have given up on a promising book after one or two rejections. Your time will come. Patience, Jedi.

I like your thinking. (((((hugs you hard))))) For that you get a freebie question—tell me something November Chill that the YAOTL’s readers would want to know.

My newest book, THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK, will be coming out in May of this year! 

Love the cover and can't wait to read that one too. But since May is still kind of far away, I guess I'll have to chill. LOL!

What's your best suggestion for how to stay chill in November and get a lot of writing done?


  1. I agree--wi-fi can be a curse as much as a blessing. Thank God for my AlphaSmart. And I cannot WAIT for THE IMPROBABLE THEORY. And I love the cover.

  2. Fun interview! THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA & ZAK cover is awesome. Great advice about not quitting on a book after a few rejections!

  3. I wrote in a coffee shop for the first time recently and really enjoyed it. I know what you mean about the Wifi!

  4. Love your newest cover! And this was so fun to read. I love how you were able to write and drink. All about priorities, man. :-)


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