Interview with Kate Larkindale, Author of Stumped

Mar. 8, 2018

I was privileged to invite Ms. Larkindale for an interview with BooKecCenTric to discuss her latest book and her inspiration behind it. Read the interview below. Enjoy!


Thank you @KateLarkindale for giving me a bit of your time today. Let’s start off with the obvious question – What's your latest book about, and what inspired you to write it?
KateLarkindale: Stumped is about a 17-year-old guy struggling to figure out how to be a man after losing his legs in an accident. I was inspired to write it after meeting the subject of the film Scarlet Road, a documentary about a sex worker who works almost exclusively with the severely disabled.

Who's your target audience, and why do you think this book will appeal to them?
KateLarkindale: It's definitely for older teens.  And obviously I'd love for disabled teens to read it and recognize some of their own struggles and fears in Ozzy's journey. But Ozzy is a very funny guy, and some of the situations he finds himself in are hilarious, even while others are devastating. I think this book will appeal to anyone who enjoys books that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes both on the same page.

What message do you wish to pass across to your readers with this book?
KateLarkindale: It's really about the importance of intimacy, and the difference between sex and intimacy. And that having sex doesn't automatically make you a man.

What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
KateLarkindale: The hardest thing about writing Stumped was accepting that the thing that sparked it ended up being the one thing readers couldn't believe would happen and I ended up having to re-write the last third of the book. It still makes me sad to have lost that aspect of the story...

As a writer, is there anything you've learned about yourself while writing this book?
KateLarkindale: I really love writing boys' POV! Ozzy was so much fun to write. I can't wait to write another boy book.

For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books, and why?  
KateLarkindale: I like both. I always have one paper book on the go because I like to read in the bath and e-readers and bathwater don't go well together. But I always have an e-book going too, so I have something to read on public transport.

What is your niche genre, and if you were to write in a different genre, what would it be?
KateLarkindale: YA contemporary is where I seem to always end up. I have tried a number of different genres though, especially with my short fiction. I've published stories from horror to erotica to sci-fi and back again!

What books and authors have most influenced you?
KateLarkindale: I love books that manage to have both a great story and beautiful writing. Jandy Nelson's The Sky Is Everywhere and Janet Fitch's White Oleander are two of my favorites. I also like really powerfully masculine writers like Russell Banks, Sam Shepherd and Cormac McCarthy. But in terms of influence, I have to mention S.E. Hinton. I read The Outsiders for the first time when I was 12 and it completely changed my life. That was the book that made me want to be a writer, and the many years I spent writing copy-cat Hinton stories made me into a writer.

Do you have any more books in the works? 
KateLarkindale: I do!  I have three or four that are close to being ready for publication, so I just need to figure out which one I should submit to my publisher next! I'll let you in on a secret: I think it's going to be my sex, drugs and rock n roll book...

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
KateLarkindale: I do read my reviews. I know you're not supposed to, but I can't help myself. As long as they are thoughtfully written, I learn something from every review, good or bad. Sometimes it's just that the book wasn't the right book for that reader... I review books too, and sometimes I don't like books other readers are raving about, so I know all books aren't for all readers.  It's easier to deal with bad reviews when you remember that.

What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.)?
KateLarkindale: I absolutely love hearing from my readers. I have a blog ( where I review books and talk about what I'm working on, and I also hang out on Twitter more than I should... You can find me there @vampyr14.

Having spent a lifetime travelling the globe, Kate Larkindale has settled in Wellington, New Zealand. A marketing executive, film reviewer and mother, she’s surprised she finds any time to write, but doesn't sleep much. As a result, she can usually be found hanging out near the espresso machine.

She is the author of contemporary YA novels An Unstill Life and Stumped, along with several others that no one is allowed to see. Yet. She has also written one very bad historical romance, which will likely never see the light of day. She is working on several more YA novels that may or may not ever be finished…

Her short stories have appeared in Halfway Down The Stairs, A Fly in Amber, Daily Flash Anthology, The Barrier Islands Review, Everyday Fiction, Death Rattle, Drastic Measures, Cutlass & Musket and Residential Aliens, among others.