Ask the Author: Kit Rosewater

What would you like readers to know about you? 

If any readers are hoping to get to know me, they should know I love cuddling both dogs and lizards in equal measure. They should know I love mysteries and adventure. But above all, I hope young readers know I think they are absolutely amazing. It’s not easy to be in the throes of growing and changing personally all while navigating a world that’s also rapidly changing. Kids today are awesome. They care about the world and about each other. They’re hilarious. They have the most brilliant ideas. Writing for young people is an honor I will never take lightly. 

What is your book about for those who haven’t read it? 

The first book in my Daredevil series, The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team, is about Kenzie and her best friend/ dynamic duo partner Shelly. The Dynamic Duo set out to form a roller derby team so they can join the junior derby league together. But with every player they add, the duo starts to slip apart. Tensions bubble between the best friends as Shelly makes new friends and Kenzie begins to navigate a crush she keeps secret from Shelly. Kenzie begins to wonder if forming a team might tear their friendship apart, so when Shelly tries to recruit Kenzie’s crush to the track, Kenzie makes a secret plan of her own. Book 2 in the series follows Shelly, and Book 3 follows their team member Tomoko! 
What was your inspiration for writing the book? 

My inspiration for Daredevils is multi layered. My sister, who grew up participating in all sorts of shenanigans with me as kids, is my main inspiration. But I’m also inspired by the students I taught in middle school, as well as the junior roller derby teams I’ve worked with. I’ve watched kids look longingly at roller derby bouts from the sidelines. I’ve heard them whisper and chatter and sometimes yell about how much they want to be the ones tearing up the track. Roller derby is a difficult sport that takes a lot of practice–even for adults–to be able to play. Sometimes it can be frustrating to move slowly in a field you have a lot of passion for, so I created this series almost like a fantasy, a “what if younger kids could be on roller derby leagues competing right away” type of deal. Kenzie daydreams a lot about being a roller derby star, and I wanted to make her one.  

What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write? 

I LOVE writing the scenes with roller derby jams on the track. Writing those was actually really really hard, and I had to do a lot of research about how to write fast paced scenes slow enough so the reader can understand what’s going on, but not in a way that comes off as slow motion. I ended up making a curriculum unit on writing action scenes thanks to what I learned from my research. You can find that curriculum on the “news & events- visits” page of my website! 
What books or authors inspired you to become a writer? 

Oh gosh, nearly all the middle grade books I consumed as a kid made me want to be a writer. I loved the “classics” like Harriet the Spy and Holes and The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. But as I got older and went to graduate school for children’s literature, I was incredibly inspired by all the new work feeding into the canon. I realized this was a growing and progressive collection of literature I yearned to contribute to. My biggest modern inspirations include authors Jacqueline Woodson, Kelly Barnhill, and Abby Hanlon. 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book? 

The short advice is this: Don’t give up. That’s the single most helpful phrase I have. If I could add one thing to it though, it would be to always be learning and striving for improvement. If you read widely, especially new books in the category and genre you wish to write in, and you practice your craft and get feedback on your writing and learn from it, AND you don’t give up… well, that’s a winning combination right there. That’s THE winning combination for success in publishing, I think.  

Book buy link, website, and social media handles: 

@kitrosewater (Twitter and Instagram) 

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