Today on the blog I have the great privilege of interviewing K.L. Walther the author of “If We Were Us”, “The Summer of Broken Rules” and the forthcoming “What Happens After Midnight”!
About K.L. Walther
K.L. Walther was born and raised in the rolling hills of Bucks County, Pennsylvania surrounded by family, dogs, and books. Her childhood was spent traveling the northeastern seaboard to play ice hockey. She attended a boarding school in New Jersey and went on to earn a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia. She is happiest on the beach with a book, cheering for the New York Rangers, or enjoying a rom-com while digging into a big bowl of popcorn and M&Ms.
Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me!!
K.L.: It is my pleasure! Fire away!
Who or what got you into reading?
K.L.: I have always been an avid reader, even before I could actually read. My mother has photos and home videos of me as a toddler paging through the collection of books on my bedroom’s bookcase. I’m told that Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey was a particular favorite of mine!
When you were growing up what book or books did you read and how did they influence your books?
K.L.: Please hold on while I check my Goodreads, because there are almost too many to name… but I believe it boils down to Cassandra Clare’s complete works and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. While I do not write fantasy (I bow down to anyone who does), Clary Fray is one of my favorite female characters—she is clever, strong, and a true friend. I also aim to write witty banter in my books, and Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters are wonderful examples. Their quips always make me laugh. As for A&TFK, it has everything I want in a contemporary book—a main character you want to triumph, a setting that is almost a character itself, and a swoony romance. Those are three bullet points I shoot for in my work. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve read Anna at least ten times.
Can you please tell us about your publishing story? How long were you on submission? Favorite part of the publishing process?
K.L.: I took a creative writing workshop on a whim in college, and by the end of the semester, I was obsessed with storytelling. I very quickly finished my first novel—that no one will ever see for myriad reasons—and immediately began a second manuscript. Once I deemed it “finished,” I started researching literary agents, compiled a list of who I thought would be the “right fit,” and began sending out small batches of query letters. It took me six months before I signed with the agent of my dreams. My manuscript still required a lot of work, so we spent a summer revising it before sending it out on “sub.” Being on sub is a very nerve-wracking process, but my agent is the biggest cheerleader and encouraged me to start a new project while we waited. After seven or so months, we received an offer for If We Were Us.
Favorite part of the publishing process? I love reviewing pass pages. It is a bit stressful, because it’s your last chance to review the book before it goes to print, but I get a rush of adrenaline because I’m so close to the finish line! I admit I also adore seeing the book’s cover for the first time. I’m eagerly awaiting the cover for my third book and am so excited!
How did you come up with the idea for “If We Were Us”? Did you draw inspiration from your life?
K.L.: Pieces of my life can always be found in my books. Like IWWU’s characters, I attended a boarding school very similar to Bexley, and while there, I collected many stories that I wanted to put on the page (though I won’t reveal which ones are true). I also am a big Taylor Swift fan and remember throwing it back to “You Belong With Me” at the time, and I wondered what it would be like if I played with that song a little—if I went off-script from the music video and instead created my own backstory.
How did your second book, The Summer of Broken Rules, come to be?
K.L.: Setting usually comes first for me, and I like them to be atmospheric and characters themselves. Like boarding school, Martha’s Vineyard is a place I know very intimately. My family has been vacationing there for over two decades. It was an easy choice. I had weddings on my mind; my best friend had just gotten engaged. Assassin also felt like a necessity because I wanted the book to have a strong humor element to balance out Meredith’s sadness—and my sadness. My father had passed away from brain cancer the year before, so I also wanted to further explore my grieving process, which required a tight-knit family like the Foxes. My own extended family could not be more supportive if they tried. I am forever grateful to them.
And of course, I am a Swiftie and wanted to play with Easter eggs and another song. In my opinion, “Hey Stephen” is extremely underrated.
Do you have any plans for a third book? If so, what can you share with us and do you know the title and publishing date?
K.L.: My third book, What Happens After Midnight, will be released in spring/summer 2023! It is based on a true story that I have been trying to fictionalize for years. I don’t want to share too much, but it involves a senior prank, a Gilmore Girls-like mother-daughter relationship, a second chance romance, and plenty of Taylor Swift references.
Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me and I look forward to reading more from you!
K.L.: Again, it was my pleasure! Thank you for your thoughtful questions, and I’m hoping for another interview in the future!
About “If We Were Us”
Everyone at the prestigious Bexley School believes that Sage Morgan and Charlie Carmichael are meant to be….that it’s just a matter of time until they realize that they are actually in love.
When Luke Morrissey shows up on the Bexley campus his presence immediately shakes things up. Charlie and Luke are drawn to each other the moment they meet, giving Sage the opportunity to steal away to spend time with Charlie’s twin brother, Nick.
But Charlie is afraid of what others will think if he accepts that he has much more than a friendship with Luke. And Sage fears that things with Nick are getting too serious too quickly. The duo will need to rely on each other and their lifelong friendship to figure things out with the boys they love.
About “The Summer of Broken Rules”
Meredith’s family’s annual game of assassin at Martha’s Vineyard during a summer wedding is the perfect chance to honor her sister’s legacy, and finally join the world again. But when she forms an alliance with a cute groomsman, she’s at risk of losing both the game … and her heart.
Meredith Fox has been going to Martha’s Vineyard for the summer as long as she can remember. But this summer is the first one back since the death of Meredith’s sister. It will all be overwhelming, but even more since since the entire extended family will be together for her cousin’s big wedding.
Unfortunately, Meredith’s longtime boyfriend unexpectedly dumped her two weeks before the wedding, leaving her dateless. Luckily, she has the perfect distraction. Her family has a tradition of playing the ultimate game of Assassin every summer, and this year it will take place during the week of wedding festivities.
But her target just happens to be a very cute groomsman. She’s determined to not let herself get distracted, not let herself be lost in another doomed relationship. But as the week progresses, she can’t help falling for him, which may cost her not only the game, but also her heart.