Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Kate and the Kid" by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks

Kate and the Kid
by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks

Kate and the Kid is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my interview with the authors and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Kate and the Kid is about a young woman (Kate) who has just lost her job and had a major fight with her boyfriend (also arising from the trauma of being fired). At this very low point in her life, Kate is tricked into taking care of a sweet but emotionally damaged six-year-old girl (Jenny) who only communicates with adults through a doll she calls "Miranda". As a result of an eventful night of babysitting, Kate begins to bond with Jenny, which causes a whole new set of complications with the people in Kate’s and Jenny’s lives.
This book tells the story of how Kate and Jenny help each other to heal, grow, and navigate the difficult and sometimes dangerous world of New York City.

Book Video

She began to press all the buzzers on the panel in the building’s foyer, one after the other, hoping that some kind soul among her neighbors would let her in.  The headache that had started in the cab settled in for the night, pounding just above her right eye.  At that exquisite moment, Kate saw the kid - that ghostly, smudge-faced kid - sitting on the staircase inside.  A one armed Barbie doll was on the step beside her.
"Hi, Sweetie!" Kate said through the wired glass, exaggerating the enunciation of the words to make her meaning clear.  "Would you come and let me in, honey?  You remember me, don’t you?  I live on the third floor?!"
The girl did not budge, apparently still trying for the grand prize in a zombie look-alike contest.  At first, Kate felt a twinge of concern for the girl. Why on earth was she out in the hallway so late in the evening?  Kate leaned her forehead against the cool glass and closed her eyes.  When she opened them again, Jenny took the doll into her lap, whispered something into her plastic ear, walloped her twice across the bottom, and started up the stairs.
"Hey!  Hey, where are you going?!" Kate shouted.  "Hey you better come back here you little... Hey!  Hey, did you hear me?!"
And with the little darling thus doubly emblazoned on Kate's mind, if not yet on her heart, their second encounter ended.

Featured Review
Beautiful book that remind us we do not always know what we think we know about someone. When we first meet Kate she comes across as this egotistical, self centered, and as a childish woman. She has just lost her job and boyfriend and is staying across from Jenny wallowing in her own self pity. Jenny is six year old little girl who is very distrustful of adults, reserved and unsure who she can trust anymore after suffering both physical and emotional abuse at the hands of those who were suppose to love her and care for her.
At first Kate thinks Jenny is just an average kid in need of some basic hygiene, but soon she starts to see the situation differently. It is not until Kate is basically tricked by Sally to babysit Jenny that she begins to bond with the girl, although she does not realize it right away. As the story develops, those bonds are tested time and again as more about Jenny's past and present come to light.
Jenny and Kate test the bonds of love, friendship, trust and loyalty in this heartfelt and inspiring book. This is a book that will touch your soul and make you really think about the issue of child abuse and how one person can make a difference if only they believe.

Interview With the Authors
Hi Anne and Kenneth, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Kate and the Kid.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
This is a mainstream book for adults, although it could also be easily read by young adults.
What sparked the idea for this book?
We knew a woman who hoped to adopt a young child and, toward that end, began to care for the child. After she had begun to bond with the little boy, the parents decided they did not want to give him up. The event was devastating to our friend.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
In this particular novel, the general idea came first and the plot grew around the characters, Kate and the young girl, Jenny. That is the way we have worked in many of our books. The characters and themes drive the story.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
We don’t know many people who would begin to care for a six year old girl – even a very cute six year old. We wanted to make Kate’s growing involvement with Jenny seem real to people. When the book starts, Kate is somewhat self-centered and concerned only with what is happening to her in her life. As she takes care of Jenny, she begins to learn a new attitude toward love and life. This was not an easy thing to write.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
We hope that readers will realize the importance of giving love unconditionally and will think about doing that in their own lives. One reviewer said: "This is one book that all educators, supervisors, social workers, intake officers, police officers and nurses should read to understand why we need to protect our young."
How long did it take you to write this book?
That is a very hard question to answer, but we’d have to say a few years, on and off. Kate and the Kid has gone through many drafts. It has been put away in the closet and taken out and reworked several times. We are very happy with the result, and our readers seem to be as well.
What is your writing routine?
We start with the idea for a book and talk it over and generate a partial outline. Then one of us sits down and writes a chapter. The draft is given to the other person who rewrites, adds, edits and deletes. The manuscript is returned to the other person and the process continues as the book moves to completion. Along the way, any discrepancies between us in style or content are resolved.
How did you get your book published?
We submitted the finished novel to Wings ePress and they accepted it. Obviously, we felt thrilled about that. Wings publishes its books in digital and paper formats.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Write! Don’t be afraid to open up your heart and express what is there. When you have a draft, let it sit for a little while. Then read it over and rewrite it to make it better. When you can read your work without wincing, ask someone else to read it. Plead with them to be honest. Listen carefully to everything they say. You may not agree with the criticisms they give about your book, but there will almost always be something important in what they are trying to tell you. Be prepared to work very hard and never give up.
Great advice! What do you both like to do when you're not writing?
We enjoy taking walks together in New York City where we live and in the surrounding areas. We also love to travel. Wherever we are, we take a lot of photographs, which we often use in illustrated books for children and in other nonfiction books as well. Ken plays tennis and likes to go birding. Anne takes yoga classes.
What does your family think of your writing?
We have three children, all of whom are very supportive. Our daughter, Alice, is extremely helpful to us also as a reader and editor. 
Please tell us a bit about your childhoods.
Anne was born in New York City although her parents moved to Scarsdale, New York when she was in elementary school. She has two older brothers.
Ken grew up in Abingdon, Pennsylvania. He has an older brother.
Did you both like reading when you were kids?
We both loved to read when we were young and we both spent lots of time in the our local libraries.
When did you first realize you wanted to be writers?
We both wanted to be writers from a very young age. The interest grew out of being avid readers. We both wrote stories when we were in elementary school.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
All sorts of experiences form the basis of writing. We are constantly drawing on things that have happened in our lives to flesh out characters and scenes. However, no specific experience led to becoming a writer except for our love of reading. But the desire to write comes from a different source, deep inside each of us.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
We love Charles Dickens. We are also big fans of Kurt Vonnegut who wrote in a style that we both admire. 
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Some people we know and others we don’t know have told us how much they have enjoyed Kate and the Kid. This book has a few very tender moments and some readers have been known to shed a tear or two. Everyone has been surprised by the dramatic ending.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
We have a book that will be published in September 2014 by Melange Publishing. It is called Praise Her, Praise Diana, and is a mystery/thriller that is quite different from Kate and the Kid. A woman seeks revenge for a rape by killing apparently random men and turns New York City upside down.
Thank you both for taking the time to stop by today. Best of luck with your future projects.

About the Authors
Anne Rothman-Hicks was born in New York City and, except for a brief exile to the suburbs imposed by her parents, she has lived there all of her life, the latter part of which she has shared with her co-author, Kenneth Hicks, and their three children.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $40 Amazon or B&N gift card.