Friday, April 3, 2009


Author Spotlight: Katherine Center author of Everyone Is Beautiful

Texas author Katherine Center has written a funny, wise novel about what happens after happily ever after. Lanie Coates is a harried wife and mother of three boys under four and she’s feeling a little stressed moving from Houston to Boston so that her husband can attend graduate school.

When a mom at the playground insults Lanie in one of the worst ways possible (read the very charming excerpt to find out how), the young mom decides she’s been neglecting her own needs, and makes some big changes in her life. Unfortunately her actions start to threaten her marriage.

If you’re a fan of women’s fiction, Everyone is Beautiful is a witty, big-hearted novel you won’t want to miss.

What’s the inspiration behind Everyone is Beautiful? Also how did the title come about?

I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to write about a mom whose body had kind of run away with her. Most moms I know feel a little bit that way. I always feel like women should be kinder to themselves, and it came to me early on, as well. And the title just came to me in that magical way things sometimes do. The whole time I was writing, I hoped the book would live up to its title.

There are some hysterical kid shenanigans in the novel—one occurring at a dinner party. You have young children. Do you frequently draw from real life?

Absolutely. The things those kids do are not the exact things my own kids do. But they're pretty similar. Kids are so funny, because they really don't know the rules of society. And they don't care. They do any crazy thing that occurs to them. And they have no self-consciousness about it. I remember one time we got a sideboard for our dining room that had a little cabinet door in it. And while we were admiring it, my 3 year old son just crawled inside. Like, one minute, he was standing next to it, and the next minute, he was inside. My husband and I were cracking up, and he had no idea why. But we realized in that moment that he evaluates everything he sees with the question: "Could I fit in that?"

Speaking of kids, how do you balance motherhood and writing?

It's not easy! They are both essential parts of my life, and they are both very time consuming--so they do fight for my time sometimes. I try to do all my writing when my kids are at school sleeping. Most of the time that works out pretty well! Though there is a tension between the two parts of my life, I actually think, on a good day, that tension is good for me. Getting to have both energizes both the writing and the parenting!

You’re a novelist with a distinctive voice. How did you develop it?

I kept journals for a long time--starting in sixth grade and going all the way through college. I think, more than anything, all that journal-keeping honed my writing voice. After a while, the journals just started to sound like me. I just kind of figured out how to sound like myself on paper. And even though the narrators of the book are not me, they do often sound like me--the same sense of humor, the same way of talking.

What’s next for you?

I've just finished my third novel, which will come out next year, and I'm about to start on a fourth. I'm also blogging and twittering a lot!

Everyone is Beautiful is your second novel. What are a few things you’ve learned as an author since your debut novel?

The timing and pacing and shaping of a long story, which is something I think you can only learn by doing. I have a much better sense now of how the little ups and downs in a story create the shape of the whole.
CONTEST: Want to win a copy of Everything is Beautiful? Comment on any blog this upcoming week. Include the blog entry you commented on and send an email to nechespublicity@knology.net. Winner announced on Saturday, April 11.

11 comments:

katherinecenter said...

Yay! Thank you so much for writing about Everyone Is Beautiful! It's such a pleasure to be featured here. Many thanks again!
Warmly, Katherine
PS-- Have you guys seen the trailer?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPwTrTaZRm0

Anonymous said...

This book looks like a whole lot of fun! The excerpt was hysterical.

Karen H. said...

I would love to read this book. And the Q&A was terrific. It's so true that you only find the rhythm of writing by actually writing.

Much success to you, Katherine!

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