Kate Williams: “I’m always finding real life absurd”

5 Questions With...

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[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Kate Williams and ask her five(ish) questions. Kate’s novel The Babysitter’s Coven is out now!]

Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?

Kate: For a long time, The Babysitters Coven was my ‘joke’ book. I just thought, ‘What if all the tortured babysitters in horror movies fought back, and won, because they were witches?!’ The idea always made me laugh, but it hung around long enough that I started to take it seriously. It was a really fun book to write, and allowed me to pay homage to a lot of my favorite pop culture tropes. 

What character do you most relate to and why?

I relate most to my main character, Esme, because we have the same sense of humor. I’m always finding real life absurd, and she does the same. Of course, she’s 17 and has superpowers, and I’m 39 with a long list of chores, so the similarities end at the LOLs, unfortunately. 

Why do you feel books with powerful and relatable characters are so popular and have such a voice right now?

I feel like YA books from past decades were all about cardboard characters-the popular girl, the nerd, the bad boy-and everyone was very one-dimensional. These were times when adult gatekeepers really dictated and controlled how teens were portrayed in the media, but now, because of social media, teens are able to put their own voices out there. We can see that everyone, no matter what their situation, is a complex and, at times, conflicted human being, and I think that this has had a positive effect on how teens are portrayed across the board. We can have complicated characters who are a little this, a little that, and really unique. That makes them more real,  and more relatable. 

Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.

The Babysitters Coven is about a group of teenage witches who have to use spells and superpowers to keep evil at bay and protect the world. There’s a mall, a crappy car, a sweet Pit Bull, and lots of good outfits. It’s funny. At least, dear god, I hope it’s funny! 

What’s next for you in the book world?

I’m writing the sequel, which will be out in 2020, and I’m attending a bunch of teen book festivals in the fall. I’m really excited about all of them, and am already planning what I’m going to wear. I’m a writer and mom to a toddler, so I don’t have a ton of opportunities to put on nice clothes and talk to people who don’t wear diapers. 

Who is your favorite writer right now and why?

This changes all the time, but My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh was probably my favorite book I read in the past year. It’s darkly funny, but then takes a very profound and beautiful turn halfway through. 

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