Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Kate Korsh!
Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: Kate Korsh
Kate Korsh holds a BA in English Literature from Princeton, where she studied creative writing, and a master’s in psychology from Phillips Graduate University. Her writing can be found in L.A. Parent magazine, where she has published numerous articles. She was also an elementary school teacher for ten years, as well as being a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She attended the most recent royal wedding and doesn’t need much persuading to tell that story. Kate lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children, who seem to magically always have clean underwear in their drawers.
About the Book: OONA BRAMBLEGOOP’S SIDEWAYS MAGIC #1: NEWBIE FAIRY
In this hilarious, highly illustrated new chapter book series, lovable newbie fairy Oona has big ideas, only her magic always seems to go a little wonky. But she won’t let that stop her!
Oona Bramblegoop is a Newbie fairy, and she’s determined to do big things, especially if they can impress her idol, the Tooth Fairy. There’s just one problem: Oona’s magic never goes quite how she planned.
Oona’s protection spells work great, but only if you don’t mind getting a wedgie from a pair of magical underwear. And don’t even mention the smell disaster that resulted from her first fire spell . . . yikes!
Good thing Oona is creative, and she never gives up, no matter how surprising her magic gets.
Packed with Fun Fairy Facts, humor, and lots of heart, this magical series celebrates finding friendship and your place in the world, even if you fit in a little sideways.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I wanted to write something that would make both kids and parents laugh. I noticed that my kids loved every picture book about underwear–and so did I! One day, I wrote the title THE UNDERWEAR FAIRY in my inspiration journal. I liked the assonance of it, and it seemed so full of potential for silliness and magic. It started out as a picture book manuscript, but when I realized how much I enjoyed writing the dialogue, I decided to expand it to chapter book length. That’s also when I started adding the Fun Fairy Facts, which are exactly the type of thing I would have loved as a third or fourth grader. They’re like a double dose of magic.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
It depends on which day of the week it is! NEWBIE FAIRY is the first book in a four book series, so there’s been room for a lot of the characters to do quite a bit of changing and get into the narrative spotlight. Now that I’m working on the fourth book, I’m kind of smitten with Molly, the head of the Fairy Council. But overall, I would have to say Horace is my favorite. He’s so earnest, he just loves his cousin to pieces and would do anything for her. And in his innocence, he often acts as the moral compass for the group. But he’s also super silly and loves a good fart joke and talking about butts, the way most elementary kids I know do. He’s totally true to himself; he’s never trying to like anything other than Horace, wackiness, naivete and all.
YABC: How do you know when a book is finished?
I do several drafts until it flows, then I do a punch up pass to add in more jokes. Next, I do an editing pass to trim it down to its essentials. After that, I get other writer friends to read it and give me notes. Once I’ve done the notes and it feels like the piece has improved from those notes, I know I’m close. Then I do a proofreading pass, and a pass to take out repetitive words and extra adverbs. By that point, I’m practically reciting it in my sleep. I can barely stand to look at it anymore! That’s when I know.
YABC: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Realizing I wanted to be a writer came over me in a series of waves. As a child, I always kept a journal, and I would really get into telling the story of my life beyond just recording events. In particular, I would write down everything that had happened to me that I thought was funny, and I would try to write it in a way that would make me laugh after multiple reads. Then in college, I took several creative writing courses, and they were so fun it almost didn’t seem fair. How could I be getting college credit for writing poems while other people were laboring over problem sets? I wrote several magazine articles in my twenties, and I kept writing poetry for myself. But it wasn’t until I met my husband that I considered pursuing writing as a career. He’s a TV writer (He created the show SUITS!) and seeing that a real person I knew could do it made me feel like it wasn’t beyond my grasp. If he could do it, then so could I! So I took more creative writing classes and went regularly to writing conferences and wrote and wrote and read and read, and after ten years here we are!
YABC: How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?
With NEWBIE FAIRY, I was lucky, because my daughter was smack dab in the middle of my target age category, so I had constant access to what was resonating with that age group. In addition, over ten years of teaching public school, I taught every elementary grade except for first, and I filed away different speech patterns and interests and preferences of some of my students during those years. And whenever I start to feel like something I’m writing might be sounding too “grown up,” I reboot my writing voice by reading some of my favorite chapter books, like IVY AND BEAN by Annie Barrows, or THE PRINCESS IN BLACK by Dean Hale and Shannon Hale.
YABC: What type of scene do you love to write the most?
For this series, my favorite thing to write is Oona’s magic spells. I love thinking about how her magic is going to go sideways, and which words in her spell are going to be the ones that lead her magic in the wrong direction. I like using schoolyard rhymes as the base for a lot of the spells, and nothing is too silly for me!
YABC: What hobbies do you enjoy?
I love to read, of course, both by myself and with my children. My son is thirteen, and he is reading THE KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES by Shannon Messenger to me, which is really fun. I also got into tennis during the pandemic. I spent my whole life thinking I was uncoordinated–turns out that was just a made up thing I told myself! So the fact that I could get better at tennis with practice was a delightful discovery, and it’s the most fun way to get exercise that I can think of. Except for maybe dancing. We have a lot of dance parties in my house, too.
YABC: What is your favorite holiday or tradition and why?
This is a tough one, because I love so many holiday traditions, it was hard to narrow it down to one! I think my very favorite, though, is decorating the Christmas tree. Unwrapping each ornament is like greeting an old friend that you haven’t seen in a long time and reminiscing about all the good times you’ve had together. And I love to turn out all the lights in the evening so that the only illumination in the room is the twinkle lights from the tree–magical.
YABC: What other age group would you consider writing for?
I actually finished a YA novel recently, and though I can’t share the details of the deal just yet, it looks like it is going to be published! It has some similarities with NEWBIE FAIRY, in that it has a flawed but hilarious main character who develops strong friendships to help her through, but the MC in my YA is an almost sixteen-year-old girl in high school who is dealing with real-world issues like the death of a friend, a lifelong medical diagnosis, as well as all the angst that goes along with coming of age.
Title: OONA BRAMBLEGOOP’S SIDEWAYS MAGIC #1: NEWBIE FAIRY
Author: Kate Korsh
Illustrator: Marta Altés
Release Date: January 2, 2024
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers; G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
Genre: Juvenile Fiction – Fantasy Chapter Book
Age Range: Ages 7-10
One (1) winner will receive a copy of OONA BRAMBLEGOOP’S SIDEWAYS MAGIC #1: NEWBIE FAIRY (Kate Kosh) ~ US Only!
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway!*