Welcome this week Kate Padilla, the author of Save Me San Francisco. Kate is a journalist, writer, blogger and book reviewer living in northwest Iowa with a husband, son and two pugs.
Save Me San Francisco is an anthology of 31 short stories inspired by the music of Train. Anyone who listens to music in any depth will understand that at it’s heart is a story. The truth of the story lies with the person who wrote the original song but everyone who listens to it will add their own spin, based their unique life experiences and interpretation of the words.
But what if you could take the one song that was ‘your song’, the one you feel was written especially for you because it ‘knows’ you, warts and all? What if you could take it and write your story in the form of a song, would you use the same lyrics, beat and music? The chances are you’d come up with something different.
Kate has taken this idea and turned it inside out. Instead of her story, she’s written the stories that may have inspired the song. Her characterisation is excellent and her timing impeccable, the story ends as the music does, often abruptly; this may not be your idea of how the story should be, but it still deserves to be read.
The Kate Padilla Interview
WHAT IS ONE THING THAT NO ONE WOULD USUALLY KNOW ABOUT YOU?
When I was little, I had two imaginary older brothers instead of imaginary friends. I am the oldest with one younger sister, and I always wanted brothers. One of them was very protective, and one was a little mean.
ARE THE NAMES OF YOUR CHARACTERS IMPORTANT TO YOU?
I think the names of my characters are important to the characters. I usually spend way too much time finding significance in a character’s name – looking up the meaning, origin, etc. In reality, a character’s name should best reflect their personality. An example would be from a story I wrote titled “This Is Not Your Life,” from the book. The brothers’ names are Jaime and Luis, but they’re referenced as Jamie and Louis when their mother is not talking to them directly. The family is latino, but it’s the mother that is holding onto their cultural heritage.
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE A TITLE FOR YOUR BOOK?
I titled the book Save Me, San Francisco because that’s the title of the Train album that got me started on the project. (It’s also the title of one of the stories.) I started with “Marry Me,” then expanded to the Save Me, San Francisco album, then to the rest of Train’s discography when I was looking for songs to write from.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY YOU IN A FILM OF YOUR LIFE?
Jennifer Lawrence. She doesn’t have an overly Hollywood-stylized look about her, and I feel like she and I have similar senses of humor.
DO YOU HAVE ANY HINTS OR TIPS FOR ASPIRING WRITERS
Keep a collection of “lost” paragraphs – the parts of your work that you know don’t belong in the piece but you love too much to give up. This way you can put them in a safe place, and you’ll end up with a stronger piece of work.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED AT SCHOOL
How to write an email. I (unsuspectingly) got the most out of my Business and Technical Writing class in college – despite a double English major and a career as a writer. Writing a solid email is crucial, because it’s often the first impression you have with anyone work-wise, and it’s an increasingly rare skill to find.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE RESOURCES YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
When I was looking for a way to outline my novel (that I have every intention to write) I found The Snowflake Method. Randy Ingermanson developed this format for outlining a novel that I found manageable and not-at-all terrifying. You start with a single sentence describing your book, and eight steps later you’ve got a complete document detailing each scene. The basics of it are free on his website (http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/), and he’s got software and other programs for a fee.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TV MOMENT OF ALL TIME
I loved the final scene of the show Eureka. (Spoiler) At the beginning of the show we see Jack and Zoe driving into Eureka, and Zoe glances out the window and sees who she thinks is herself and her dad, driving the other direction. At the end of the show, they’re in the car once again, driving out of Eureka, and she looks out of the window and sees the car from five years earlier. It was a great way to bring the show full-circle.
TEA, COFFEE, WATER, JUICE, WINE OR BEER – WHICH DO YOU PREFER WHEN WRITING
In the morning, coffee or tea. In the evening, wine (I write a weekly wine post on my blog, and try a different wine each week). Always water.
IF YOU COULD COMMIT THE PERFECT MURDER WHERE WOULD YOU HIDE THE BODY
In a pig pen.
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT Kate AND HER BOOK?
You can find Save Me San Francisco in paperback format here:
WHY ‘THE THURSDAY THRONG’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.
If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here: womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/06/17/the-thursday-throng/.