Interview with Heidi Lang & Kati Bartkowski, authors of A Dash of Dragon

I loved A Dash of Dragon, not only for the mighty girl sensibility but also for the FUN. And fun should absolutely be an ingredient in summer reading. Reading this interview, I can just imagine what a good time these author sisters had working on this book. I anxiously await their next collaboration!  Enjoy a few minutes in their company….

 

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from? Do you remember the first moment you knew you wanted to write a book?

KATI: My parents tried getting me to read for a long time, but it wasn’t until sometime in 4th grade when it stuck. I hate to admit it, but Heidi was the one who got me to love reading. So I guess I got my love of storytelling from her.

HEIDI: This is possibly my proudest achievement. 😉 I was like, ‘no sister of mine is going to be a non-reader!’ so I found a book that I knew Kati would like – it had thieves and magic and a kick-butt girl protagonist. Plus it was short, perfect for a reluctant reader. After that she was hooked, and I knew it was just a matter of time before she’d grow up to be an awesome writing partner. Clearly I was already planning ahead.

KATI: So nefarious. ;D As fas as writing goes, I started writing stories in high school for fun, and then a few years later I did Nanowrimo and realized I wanted to write more seriously. Then Heidi and I began our first draft of A DASH OF DRAGON.

You wrote A Dash of Dragon together. What was the best part about writing a novel with your sister?

KATI: The fact that Heidi got to be rejected instead of me.

HEIDI: This was my least favorite part…

KATI: I know! ;*D

HEIDI: When we started querying, we decided it would be best to just use one email address and do everything through that one. Not sure how I ended up with that job…Kati is sneakier than she looks. And I’d say the best part for me has been the chance to just have fun with it. When we were kids, Kati and I played pretend a lot, so writing a book has been sort of like continuing those games together.

Dash has a delightful mix of human and magical characters. Which are more fun to write?

KATI: I feel like our magical creatures are human in a way, so they’re kind of the same to me. But Hannah, Lailu’s best friend, was my favorite character to write, and she’s human.

HEIDI: Similar answer; I had a lot of fun making up some of the creatures Lailu hunts, like the batyrdactyls – those were mine. Kati made the basilisk fish. 😉 But my favorite character to write was Vahn, Lailu’s first crush. He’s seriously the worst…and I loved writing him so much!

Writing for middle grade readers can be a challenge. What about this age range/genre appeals to you?

KATI: I think I enjoy writing stories for kids that age because that’s the age I was when I started to like reading.

HEIDI: Same. I mean, I read before then, too, but I really fell in love with books when I was about 9. I still love books now, of course, but nothing quite as intensely as I did when I was in middle school. When I write middle grade now, I feel like I’m almost writing for my younger self, creating the kinds of books I would have fallen in love with back then.

Who are your favorite authors?

KATI: So many to choose from. Tamara Pierce, JK Rowling, and Madeleine L’Engle to name a few.

HEIDI: Kati and I have a lot of overlapping taste in books. Probably the reason we’re able to write together. 😉 I’d also add Terry Pratchett to that list.

What is your favorite thing to do when not writing?

KATI: Sleep.

HEIDI: Someone answered this question after a long day of running after a hyper toddler, eh?

KATI: My 3-year-old decided napping is for the weak. 🙁

HEIDI: Haha. I am definitely weak because I love a good nap. But when I’m not writing or reading, probably my favorite thing is to go hiking or running with my dogs.

KATI: Aside from catching up on sleep and playing with my daughter, I’d say my favorite thing to do besides writing or reading is drawing.

 What are you working on right now?

KATI: Getting my daughter to eat yogurt.

HEIDI: I think she means in a more literary sense.

KATI: Right. Yes. Distracted. I’m working on a YA steampunk.

HEIDI: I’m working on a contemporary middle grade. And then Kati and I are currently brainstorming our next joint venture – we have a lot of stories to tell.

How do you prefer readers get in touch with you?

KATI: Find us on twitter or reach out through our website, www.HeidiandKatiwrite.com

HEIDI: You can find Kati on twitter @ktbartkowski, and I’m on twitter @hidlang. I’m also on Instagram – same handle. I’m a dog walker so I mostly post cute dog pics, but occasionally a book or two will sneak in. 😉