Author Katrina Hoover Lee is coming to Lancaster County in August! She will be making stops at all our retail stores on Thursday, August 10, or on Saturday, August 12, 2023:
Schaefferstown Store: 9 am on Thursday, August 10
Ephrata Store: 11 am on Thursday, August 10
East Earl Store: 1 pm on Thursday, August 10
Quarryville Store: 11 am on Saturday, August 12
For about an hour at each retail store, Katrina Hoover Lee will be present to greet readers, autograph books, etc.
Katrina Hoover Lee is from Indiana. She has published 14 books to date, some written for adult readers and others written for younger readers. She is writing an ongoing series called The Brady Street Boys, about the adventures of three brothers growing up in Indiana during the 1980s. She also has written Kidnapped in Haiti, a book about the missionaries from Christian Aid Ministries in Haiti who were kidnapped in October 2021 and held hostage for nearly two months until they miraculously escaped.
I took this opportunity to interview Katrina Hoover Lee about her writing.
How did you become an author? Was it a childhood dream?
I started by telling stories about Terry, Gary, and Larry to my brother while we did chores. I also wrote stories at a young age. My first book was published in 2010.
You’ve written books for adults and for younger readers. For which audience is it more enjoyable or satisfying to write?
Honestly, I have loved both. It's harder to sell children's books because you are selling to the parents, not the children.
Your Brady Street Boys series now includes five books, and I understand that a sixth one is in the works. Do you have a plan for how long the series will be?
I plan for nine books. Each book has a light fruit of the Spirit theme, so there have to be nine whether I like it or not!
Where did/do you get ideas for the Brady Street Boys books?
I get a lot of ideas from hearing news stories, talking to people, taking walks, and reading other books. I'm always looking and listening for something interesting. Growing up, I read the Bobbsey Twins books by Laura Lee Hope and the Sugar Creek Gang books by Paul Hutchens. I also had a teacher who read Lee Roddy’s American Adventures books to us. I didn’t pattern the Brady Street series directly after any of those, but I suppose they all contribute to aspects of my work.
One of the Brady Street Boys, Gary, is a boy with a prosthetic leg, which many people would see as a handicap. Where did the idea come from for a main character with this situation? Has developing this character presented challenges?
My husband has an artificial leg and has lived life fully and sacrificially. While the story is not about him, he inspired me. It is tricky to write about since I haven't personally experienced that situation. Also, I want Gary to be real with his situation, but not whiny. So that tight rope can be a challenge.
Could you explain your writing process a bit? How and when do you write?
I try to write at least two afternoons a week with smaller work projects throughout the week. Normally it's fun, but writing is also a job that gets boring at times and requires a schedule and persistence.
You are a Christian in the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition. How does your faith in Jesus affect your books? Does your Anabaptist/Mennonite heritage affect your books?
My faith is intertwined in all my books foundationally, although many of them don't discuss the Anabaptist tradition. In several books, I have mentioned practices specific to Anabaptists, or written about Anabaptist people.
There’s a great deal of conversation in our nation today about books, especially which books are appropriate and good for younger readers. In your opinion, what makes a book good for, say, a ten-year-old?
I like books with good values and Christian foundations, but also lots of excitement and interest. I wrote the Brady Street Adventure Series partly because I felt there was a need in this category.
If you had the opportunity to say one thing to a young aspiring writer, what would it be?
Keep on through thick and thin!
If you had the opportunity to tell a grade-schooler why it’s important to read, what would you say?
There's a saying that “readers are leaders.” Being able to read well doesn't just provide with you knowledge or fun, it also enables you to write well, read contracts safely, scan huge books quickly, and many other things.
Thanks to Katrina for the interview. We welcome everyone to come to the nearest Good’s Store location to meet her on August 10 or August 12, 2023.
See the Brady Street Boys series and other books by Katrina Hoover Lee here.
Visit Katrina Hoover Lee’s website here.