Today I wish to extend a very warm welcome to Kevin Burgemeestre who has recently turned his hand to writing. Released in November, Kate, his debut novel, was completed as part of the Copyright Agency residency at the University of New England in 2012.
Kevin is no stranger to readers. As an artist and illustrator with more than 25 years’ experience, he has a list of over 60 published books that contain his illustrations. Kate contains 5 illustrations which were exhibited at the Stonnington Literature Alive exhibition earlier in 2013.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, he is well known for his enthusiastic, informative and humorous approach to workshops with children and adults, as a children’s book illustrator, editorial writer and an illustration lecturer.
Kevin is also available for book signings and workshops and you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.
Before we get down to the nitty gritty, I wish to thank Morris Publishing Australia, particularly Elaine Ouston, without whom this interview and giveaway would not have been possible.
Please feel free to tag along and, at the end of the Q & A, you will have a chance to go into the draw to win a copy of Kate.
“Kate is a story of growth and mistakes.
Kate is struggling to deal with her best friend leaving, a school bully and with the death of her mother. She believes that life is hard. Then a chance encounter with a battered, heroic hound she rescues from the streets, and Mal, a troubled young man with a dark past, leads Kate into more danger and excitement than she could have wished for.
She wonders about her unusual friendship with this damaged young man, but when things go really wrong, they’ll need each other … and they’ll have to run!”
Welcome to Book Muster Down Under Kevin. First of all, I wish to congratulate you on the publication of Kate and let you know that it’s an absolute pleasure to have you over to answer some questions.
Hey Marcia. Thanks for letting me pop in. Happy to answer your questions.
How did you become a writer?
What do you mean? I’m a writer? How do I get out of here? Do you know what we get paid?
Seriously, when I did the final edit for Kate I was picking up some folders that I was going to file when a story outline fell out, it was a three page synopsis I had written over 20 years ago. It was pretty well the outline for Kate.
My mum was also an awesome storyteller. I always knew the power of a well-told tale.
Did you have to do much research for this book?
Yeah, lucky I have 12 research assistants. Not! You always do research. It gets your mind going and clarifies ideas. For this one I needed to get into some teenage heads. Lucky I was conducting drawing classes for high school kids at the time. You would be surprised how little adults listen to teenagers. They told me all sorts of things about their day, and the things that bothered or delighted them. It really helped shape some of the attitudes of the main characters. Jess is loosely based on a college friend who often surprised me with her courage socially.
The country stuff I picked up during two residencies in country New South Wales. I rode the roads and tracks on my pushie and figured out where my characters would run. The paddock car was based on a Toyota we punted over some dirt roads when I was young.
I went and photographed farm cars, and researched forest, farm buildings and sheds, till I hit on something that had a resonance with me, something I wanted to see again. I also asked a number of teacher how they would deal with the scenarios I proposed in the book.
Can you tell me about the main character and what you like/dislike about him/her?
Not fair, I love Kate! Yeah but it does bug me when she doesn’t tell others about simple things. Like Mal! Tell them he rescued you! Tell the police he rescued you! And she doesn’t. I kind of like that tension when I’m writing her and she doesn’t quite do what I want her to. I do like her courage and her ability to get into action. She’s a nerdy kid who copes well when things are falling to pieces. Seriously, we love Kate.
Mal worries me, every time I write about him. He’s such a damaged character that he can be unpredictable. If Mal can stay focused and survive he’s the sort of friend you would have for life.
I have respect for Steven, Kate’s dad, who is trying desperately to balance his concern for his daughter with making sure she understands what bone-headed nonsense she’s getting herself into. He works hard at their relationship.
But sincerely, we do love Kate.
Is there something that sets this book apart from others?
Only that it’s about 18 % better than most, doesn’t contain fat or gluten, and reading it in a lovely shaded place could save you from skin cancer. You would have to agree that these things together make it pretty awesome.
Kevin, it’s been an absolute pleasure hosting you on my blog. Thanks again for coming and I wish you all the best for your future as a writer.
For more interviews, reviews, writing tips and articles, head on over to the other fabulous blogs taking part in the Kate blog tour:
Tuesday 3rd Dec – 10 Writing Tips – http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com
Wednesday 4th Dec – Interview – http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com
Thursday 5th Dec – Interview – http://www.alisonreynolds.com.au
Friday 6th Dec – Article – http://sherylgwyther.wordpress.com
Saturday 7th Dec – Interview – http://bookmusterdownunder.blogspot.com.au
Sunday 8th Dec – www.jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com
Monday 9th Dec – Interview – http://www.kidsbookreview.com
Monday 9th Dec – Interview – http://UncommonYA.com
Tuesday 10th Dec – Review – http://www.melissawray.blogspot.com.au
Wednesday 11th Dec – Review – www.karentyrrell.com
Thursday 12th Dec – Interview – http://aussiereviews.com/reviews/blog/
Friday 13th Dec – Interview – http://lorrainemarwoodwordsintowriting.blogspot.com
Saturday 14th Dec – Article – http://clancytucker.blogspot.com.au
Sunday 15th Dec – Interview – http://www.morrispublishingaustralia.com/news-update-blog.html
Monday 16th Dec – Interview – http://diannedibates.blogspot.com.au
Tuesday 17th Dec – Interview – http://elaineoustonauthor.com.au
How to Enter the Competition:
As part of this Blog Tour, Morris Publishing Australia are giving away a copy of Kate.
To be in that draw, simply comment on this post and send an email of your comment to email@example.com with the subject “Kate competition”.
Competition closes at midnight AEST on the 17th December. Best of Luck!
Kate is also available for purchase from these fine websites:
Morris Publishing Australia – http://www.morrispublishingaustralia.com
Dennis Jones and Associates – http://www.dennisjones.com.au
James Bennett library suppliers – http://www.bennett.com.au
Nile Bookshop – http://www.thenile.com.au