Book Title: Down With This Ship
Author: Katie Kingman
Publisher: Flux Books
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Content warning: Light bullying
Kole Miller does one thing really well: write fanfiction for the show The Space Game. Everything else is a struggle: like managing her anxiety, frequent crushes, and plans after high school. But when her blog, Spacer, wins a major fanfiction contest, her traffic soars.
With massive readership comes criticism Kole isn’t prepared for, including getting stuck in the heated ship wars surrounding the show. And then an invitation to speak at The Space Game’s official convention arrives in her inbox.
When the most competitive kids in her Creative Writing class discover Kole’s writing Spacer, her blog is taken hostage and she risks them hitting ctrl+A+del on Spacer. To win it back, Kole must face both her inner demons and the ones at Crystal Lake High before they make the drama not just about The Space Game, but about Kole herself.
Including snippets from Kole’s fanfic, emails, and text messages, Down With This Ship is sure to bring out the inner fangirl in anyone.
Katie Kingman has wanted to be a writer since freshman year when her English teacher read her story out loud. The experience was mortifying, but it led to a lifelong love of classic literature and writing fiction. She now lives, teaches, and geeks in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, two kids, and five cats. When not writing, she can be found gardening and scrolling Netflix for a new OTP.
I am so excited to host Katie Kingman on A Court of Coffee and Books today! Thank you so much, Katie, for stopping by and don’t forget to order a copy of Down With This Ship!
Congrats on your debut book! What was your inspiration for Down With This Ship?
Thank you so much!
I posted on Twitter about a ship that I love that happens to be on a rather polarizing show. I posted that I tell my students to watch the show. Some fans that don’t ship my OTP started to drag me and say that I must fail students that don’t ship my OTP (can you follow that? Ha!) . I logged out and stayed off of social media for a bit, but it left me with a thought; what if you were the creator of a ship and you couldn’t just log out to avoid the nasty comments? What if you were surrounded by your critics? And that gave me an idea that I followed down the rabbit hole.
What was your favorite part of writing Down With This Ship?
I don’t want to spoil too much, but I love act three. The setting changes dramatically and there’s so much resolution for Kole in terms of her show, THE SPACE GAME, and her relationship with her mother. Before that, I had so much fun writing the scene with Noah where he’s teaching her how to play basketball. It’s deliciously awkward. I really let her thoughts run away with her and think it turned out pretty funny!
What was your writing process like?
I used the loose outline that Libbie Hawker created in TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS! It helped immensely and made drafting go by super quickly. As I’m writing my characters tend to take off, but this structure helped me stay focused. Act three developed as I was drafting, and it came so naturally to the story that I knew I had to see it through.
When it comes to writing times, I work best in the morning. I put my kids in camp one summer and cranked it out for about three hours every morning. Parenting, working, and writing is hard, so a schedule is key to success for me.
I’m also always listening to film scores — BRAVEHEART, anything BEAR MCCREARY (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, WALKING DEAD, OUTLANDER), Pirates of the Caribbean to keep my imagination rolling.
If you could spend one day with Kole, what would you do? Are there any places you both would visit?
We’d go to a convention together and walk the exhibitor hall and see a few panels. We’d finish up the day with ice cream at her favorite place, The Frosty Fisherman. We might even watch some episodes of THE SPACE GAME together in her basement with some snacks.
If you could have your book turned into anything (movie, TV show, Broadway musical, etc.), what would it be and why?
I’d be over the moon if it were adapted into a Netflix show in a similar vein as Never Have I Ever. I adore every element of that show — the family dynamic, the grief element, the love triangle, the scenes at school, the humor, and the coming of age story. I think it has an excellent balance of fun and drama, and I like to think Kole’s story shares those stylistically and writing-wise.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Make connections and do not be afraid of critique! It’s truly the best way to get better at the craft, but you have to find critique partners that you trust with your work first. Vet them and do a swap to see if you’re a good match. How do you find them? Join the Pitch Wars and Author Mentor Match communities on Twitter. There’s a ton of writers out there looking for critique partners and you may find the perfect match! Also, be careful about how much you share of your work online. Unfortunately concepts are stolen far too often, but even then your spin will be different from someone else’s, so don’t let it discourage you!
Is there anything else you would like to let the readers know about your book?
DOWN WITH THIS SHIP is meant to be a light hearted romp that I hope, by the end of the book, shows fandom’s positive side (but it’s a journey to get there!). I hope that it helps the shy fan-fic writer in the back of the classroom find the courage within themself to own their work. And for those new to the world of shipping and fandom, I hope they learn something about a subset of culture that is fascinating and full of personality.
Check out the amazing bloggers on this book tour!
Thank you, TBR and Beyond Tours, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!