Posted on 20 March 2013.
Do you know what a GUK is? Do you enjoy reading mysteries or learning random facts? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then it’s time for you to learn something new and get hooked on mysteries (may I recommend Gukky Tales: The Quest for the Golden Quarter?). If you answered “yes” or something similar to any of the questions above, then I would also recommend you to check out Gukky Tales: The Quest for the Golden Quarter by Katie Mishra (unless you’ve already read it of course, but who doesn’t love reading a good book twice?). Katie is a 7th grader at Casti and she loves to hang out with her family and friends, dive and cook. She also hopes to inspire other young writers. According to her, this book is about Becka Donovan, an 11 year old girl and “the story of her summer adventure when she searches for clues to locate the mysterious ‘Golden Quarter’.” To quote a review from Amazon, “This book was so gripping I couldn’t put it down! It had a well-developed plotline, with clever clues and subtle hints throught the hunt. It included places from all over the country, so it had a very varied setting. There was a nice balance of chase scenes and quieter ones. The scenery was also fantastic! I highly recommend this book to middle-grade readers.” To learn more about Katie Mishra and her writing process, read the Q&A session below. Otherwise, go check out the book at our library!
(Article and interview by Sophia N. ’13)
What inspired you?
When I went to pitch-a-palooza (a contest for writers who had written a book, first prize having your book published) in March 2011, the judges Ariel and David definitely inspired me. After I won honorable mention, they agreed to help me for free with my book and came to my house once during the summer.
How long did it take you to write it?
It took me about two years to write my book, starting at pitch-a-palooza to about February 2013. Although less than a year of that was writing, and the rest editing over and over again.
What was the process of getting published?
At first I wanted my book to be professionally published and work with the judges, but they told me otherwise. They said that if all the stars aligned (which is pretty hard to do in book publishing, especially for an 11 year old) it would take till I was in the middle of high school before anyone would even think of publishing it for me. Therefore, they suggested CreateSpace online. CreateSpace is totally free for basic needs that I wanted, cover creation, inside, and a few other things. Also, for small fees you can have a professional cover made, editing, and even more. It’s very user friendly and perfect for self-publishing, after you are done creating your book and the layout it is even put up on Amazon!
What advice do you have for students who want to be writers?
That there is no rule to writing, nothing has to be perfect because it is simply a work of imagination. Sometimes your fingers will fly over the keyboard or sometimes you’ll bang your head against them. Throughout you just have to persevere, and if you do you’ll be rewarded with something great then you could ever fathom.
What have you learned through the process of writing a whole novel? Were there surprises? What would you do differently next time?
I’ve learned many things, the first and foremost to ALWAYS have an outline. I found that when I didn’t have an outline everything went haywire and off-track and the story could simply not progress. I also learned that editing is a process you just have to deal with. Of course, I, as all writers do, thought my story was ‘perfect and couldn’t be changed’ let’s just say the editors thought otherwise. Over time I learned to deal with all the edits and accept them to further embrace my writing.