Welcome back to Dreamer Spotlight on this beautiful Memorial Day weekend. I hope you’re staying safe, having fun, and ready to read an interview while you’re taking a five minute break. Today I’d like to present the aspiring horse trainer who did a one-eighty (or maybe a 360) to become a super-powered mom (hinting at the title of her book) who writes young adult fiction. Please warmly welcome Katherine Dell to the page from your phone, tablet, laptop–or whatever other device you’re reading from. She’s got some great dream-chasing advice for you.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a horse trainer! I was obsessed with horses. I drew pictures of them on every scrap of paper I could find. Every birthday gift I got (until I got a little older) was horse related. I took riding lessons from the age of 8, and got my first horse at the age of 9. I was also a member of my local 4-H light horse club for 11 years, before getting certified as a riding coach in both English and western.
What do you do now?
Now… I’m a supermom / YA fiction writer extraordinaire. I stay at home with my two wonderful boys, while drinking to much coffee, and dreaming up fictitious characters in my head.
I’m giving you a super power that will make your biggest dream come true–guaranteed. What’s going to happen?
Hmmm. That sounds like a book idea. The book I’m currently working on, involves a character with ‘super powers’… Of course they come with a not-so-great catch…
If I had a super power – I’d want to be able to fly. When I was a kid, I’d dream I could fly all the time. It’s kind of a selfish superpower. I’d only want it for that sense of total euphoric freedom.
Did you ever give up on your dreams?
On my dream of becoming a horse trainer, yes. I realized that it was more of an all-encompassing life style, than just a career. I still enjoy horses and riding but, I have new dreams now… which are turning out pretty awesome so far.
What advice do you have for people who are trying to decide if they should chase their dreams?
Don’t be afraid to be bad at something before you’re good at it!
Last year I went to go see authors Tahereh Mafi and Veronica Roth speak at Wordfest. Veronica Roth was commenting about a conversation with her editor. Her words really stuck with me. She said that her editor once told her, “Don’t be afraid to be bad at something before you’re good at it.”
How many times as a writer have I doubted if I was any good? Judging by the first draft of my book… there have been times when was work was not so great. But… I am not afraid to be bad at something before I’m good at it.
If you could have any super power in the world, besides what I just gave you, what would it be?
The ability to write a full-length novel at the speed I imagine it. That would be a ‘super’ power! I plugged away at my current young adult novel Harmless for three years before I finished the first draft. I’ve gotten faster the more I write. Hopefully the sequel will become a reality faster than the first.
The cover of Harmless isn’t released yet because Harmless is scheduled to be released Fall 2015.
“Don’t be afraid to be bad at something before you’re good at it.”