Sep 6, 2014

Debut Authors Bash: Kate A. Boorman

Hello, snowmen and snowwomen! Today I get to host Kate A. Boorman for the Debut Authors Bash, and I'm excited! Her debut novel Winterkill is almost here and I'm talking all about with her. And there's a giveaway! So check it out, or else winter may be killer...

RachelHi, Kate! First off, let’s talk about the cover for Winterkill. How does it feel to have such an awesome cover representing your book (and with a cool title treatment!)?

KateI love that people respond so favourably to this cover—it’s really unique, and I feel like it will stand out on the shelves!

RachelYour book’s title suggests killing winter, and the synopsis mentions “merciless winters,” so I have to ask: Do you not like winter? And does the answer to that question have anything to do with what inspired you to create this world? (But you like Frozen, right? RIGHT?)

KateI actually love winter! Admittedly, the charm wears off at month five (winter is really long up here) but each year I look forward to all kinds of wintery things: sparkling snow, crisp, blue sky days, bonfires, mulled wine, tobogganing, and snowmen that talk inanities (Olaf shout-out!). Of course, winter can also be dangerous; the subzero temperatures kill people every year, even today.  The world of Winterkill is a heightened version of winter on the prairies a hundred years ago but certainly my experience with winter helped me imagine my characters’ tenuous existence.

RachelI’ve seen some comparisons of Winterkill to The Village. Is your book like The Village? Or would you compare it to something else? (Either way, it sounds awesome. And creepy good!)

KateI think the world, especially aesthetically, could definitely be compared to The Village: an isolated group of people trying to survive, a fearful enemy lurking in the woods, no modern conveniences. I remember The Village is set in the present, and Winterkill is an alternate history (ie. pre-railroad in the west) so in that respect it might be also akin to something like, um, Little House on the Prairie, thriller-styles?

RachelWinterkill appears to have a not-so-average love triangle (if it is even one), since Emmeline is proposed to by her leader but would rather be with someone else. Does romance play a big part in your novel? And can you give us any hints about what might happen with Emmeline’s love life?

KateOh yes! Romance definitely plays a part. I suspect readers might look at the creepiness (the Takings and the starvation and murder and torture) and disagree, but I’ve always felt like I wrote a love story! Emmeline is not in a love triangle, but she is afraid of following her heart, and the mystery she starts to unravel complicates matters.

RachelHow did you write Winterkill—were you a panster or did you draft it all out?

KateWinterkill was actually my NaNo novel from 2011. I had 20k going in and I pantsed 50,017 words to win NaNo. Some of those words were okay, some of them were a steaming pile of trash. I ripped it all apart and asked myself the difficult questions (do you really need this character? What if you added THIS obstacle? etc.) and revised for about 10 months. I revised again after I signed with my agent.

RachelDo you have a favorite scene in Winterkill you could possibly tell us about?

KateOne of my favourite scenes is when Emmeline leaves the safety of the Watch flats and heads into the woods for the first time. She leaves the settlement feeling scrutinized and isolated, but her anguish and fear is washed away by the wonder of the forest-- by the sense that she belongs out in that wild and beautiful place.

RachelWinterkill’s sequel already has a tentative—and extremely intriguing—title: Blood Like Water. How’s that going?

KateVery well, thanks! Because Winterkill had to stand on its own (it sold as a trilogy in the UK last year, but only recently as such in North America), the world is wide open, the adventures are all new, and it was really quite fun to write. A first draft is with my editors right now and by the time Winterkill hits the shelves, the sequel will be nearly complete and into production.  

RachelWhat are three fun facts about Winterkill you wouldn’t mind sharing with readers?

Kate1. The first line of the book has been the first line of the book since it was a kernel of an idea in my mind.
2. I take overnight canoe trips in the landscape that inspired the setting.
3. I unintentionally gave the villain one of my oldest, dearest friend’s family names. FAIL.

RachelUsing the letters of WINTER, how would you describe yourself?

KateW- illful
I- mpassioned
N- erdy
T- all
E- bullient
R- ascible (which, of course, is the opposite of irasciblethanks Frankie Landau Banks!)

RachelWhat are you going to do when you see Winterkill in the store for the first time?

KateGo all freakin’ excited Sue, probably.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Rachel!!

Title: Winterkill
Author: Kate A. Boorman
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publishing Date: September 9, 2014
Pages: 319

Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.

When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.

Kate A. Boorman is a freelance writer and artist from the often-frozen Canadian prairies. She has a nice family and a well-indulged travel bug. She also has an irrational fear of birds, so when you visit, please leave your bird at home. But do visit.

Website Twitter

Ooh, you get to win goodies! One lucky winner in the US or Canada will win Winterkill swag, like a signed bookplate, tea, soap, etc.! Just follow the rules listed after the Rafflecopter and voila, you're in!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-This is open to 
-Please don't cheat, because cheating (and shady) entries will be disqualified.
-Neither Rachel of Beauty and the Bookshelf nor Kate A. Boorman nor anyone associated with the Debut Authors Bash are responsible for any lost or damaged prizes.
-Contest begins Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. EST and ends on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. EST.
-Winner will either be tweeted and/or emailed and will have forty-eight hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.


  1. Super hot weather. I get cranky and nauseous. It's not pretty. I hate it so much.

  2. The weather I live in currently. Hot and sticky. It's nasty.

  3. I'd least like to live in hot weather. I truly believe the heat makes people angry! I'm a warm sweaters and coca w/ a book person anyway! ^^ I can't wait & this book seems AMAZING! The debut authors bash is introducing some great authors! ^^

  4. I hate extremely humid weather. I feel as if I can do nothing. And sticky. I feel really sticky.

  5. Very humid and hot would be the worst for me. I feel so awful in it, physically and mentally. It is just the worst for me.

  6. I've been hearing sooooo much about how amazing this book is and I can't wait to pick it up :) I hate hate HATE hot and humid weather. At least with the cold you can cover up. With the heat, you can only take off so many clothes before... well, you know hahahaha

  7. I wouldn't want to live anywhere that gets snow unless I wouldn't have to shovel or drive in the stuff (i.e., retired or suddenly acquired a groundskeeper and chauffeur).

  8. Ice/wind. I can deal with snow if there's no ice to drive on and I can deal with any kind of cold if there's no wind making it worse. I'm not even a fan of wind when it's hot, my hair's always all up in my face.


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