Ask the Author: Kaitlin Cooke
What would you like readers to know about you?
I began writing in middle school as a hobby. It grew into something I did just for myself, I never intended on anyone else reading my work- ever. It wasn’t until a friend got her hands on one of my projects and told me how good it was that I realized what I was writing was actually decent. I literally laughed out loud when she asked if I’d consider publishing. But, here I am!
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
Where She Belongs is a romance aimed at the New Adult demographic.
Amelia leaves her hometown of Sierra Blanca, Texas to pursue her career as a professional ballerina in New York. Flash forward ten years, the sudden death of her father sends Amelia fleeing back to her hometown and the comfort of her high-school sweetheart Dawson. Dawson wasn’t anticipating seeing Amelia so is caught of guard when she arrives at his doorstep. Instantly, that connection they had as teenagers is reborn, however, Amelia isn’t aware of what Dawson does for a living. Dawson is a bull-rider, he lives for the adrenaline and the thrill of the ride. But, Amelia’s mother was killed in a freak horseback riding accident when she was younger so Dawson knows she won’t be happy with his career choice.
The secret inevitably comes out and the couple struggles to overcome it. Amelia has to decide if she wants to return to New York and the career she’s always dreamed of, or remain with the love of her life Dawson despite his chosen lifestyle. Amelia has to figure out Where She Belongs.
What has been your inspiration for writing it?
I danced for 15+ years, ballet, jazz, every style you can think of. I wasn’t particularly good at it so being a professional was out of the question, but, it was something I was rather passionate about. I loved to dance. Therefore, writing a story about a New York City principle ballerina was always sort of in the back of my mind. Then I had this idea for a character like Dawson, a rugged cowboy who throws caution to the wind by bull-riding. I enjoyed the idea of the two contrasting characters, Amelia being the girliest of girls while Dawson being so deeply masculine. Toss in some drama and a tragedy or two and Where She Belongs was born!
What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?
My favorite scenes to write would have to be when Amelia is dancing. She could dance in ways I never could so I could choreograph these pristine actions, all the way down to specific finger movements. However, it was pointed out to me that those scenes were written from Dawson’s perspective so he wouldn’t know all the terminology. He wouldn’t understand the complexities of the choreography or pick up on some of the intricacies. In the end, I had to dumb down the scenes to make them more realistic to his viewpoint. It was still fun to write though.
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
In the beginning, I would have to say the obvious answers like Tolkien and J.K.Rowling as those were the authors who got me hooked on reading to start with.
As for actually writing, however, Colleen Hoover and Jamie McGuire have a strong influence on my writing style. They both also started off as self-publishing Indie authors so the fact that they made it big gives me hope that some day I’ll be able to do the same.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?
Just do it, you honestly never know until you try. Ideas come from the strangest places and once you put them down on paper (or type them on a keyboard), you’d be surprised how quickly you can build a world around them. Then when it comes to actually taking the leap and publishing, don’t be worried about rejection. Everyone gets rejected at first but 99% of rejections are constructive so even though you are being denied, you can still learn from it. You apply the reasons you were rejected to your writing, then try again.