Hey Kid! with Kate Foster (WINELL ROAD)

hey kid

Dear 11-year-old me,

Let’s kick this off with a quick word about the nickname business you’re obsessing over. Gizmo Mogwai – ain’t gonna catch on. Sorry, but it just isn’t. And really, do you want people to associate you with a gremlin for the rest of your life? Thought not. Think potential boyfriends…

Also, all of the gymnastic-themed names, Flip, Split and the likes, I don’t think these are going to work, either. Stick with Kate. It’s a good name.
11 year old me

You love lists, right? Me too! They rule. Keeping life all neat and tidy and ordered. Everybody should like lists; everybody should write them. All hail the list!

Well, I’d like to run through one specific list you wrote not long ago. It’s the ‘Potential Careers’ list. It’s in the shoe box in the bottom right corner of your wardrobe, the box with the Bros stickers splattered all over it. Got it? Great, let’s start.

1: ‘Supermodel’
Mmm, interesting. Yes, you’re ridiculously pencilly thin. Yes, your skin is horribly flawless. But I’ve got this feeling there might be a height issue ready to stand in the way of your dream. I know, it’s going to be a tough pill to swallow, but there just aren’t many catwalk queens averaging little over five feet. For now, carry on swirling in front of the mirror and sauntering up and down in Mum’s heels, but be prepared to cross through this with a permanent red marker pen one day.

Oh, and please be careful in those heels. Specifically when you’re about fifteen on a night out with friends at the movies. Think stairs.

2: ‘Nurse’
Awesome job, and you’d be just like Mum, your hero. But, I have this feeling you’re going to be an emotional individual; breaking down regularly over the smallest things, like…I don’t know…old people, sad adverts, tiny kids falling off bikes. And being a nurse is going to bring a lot of heartbreaking things into your life. I’d ponder this one for a little longer.

3: ‘Vet’
See ‘Nurse’.

4: ‘Cleaner’
Excuse me while I wipe up the mouthful tea I just spat everywhere. Seriously girl, what are you thinking? You love tidying up, I know this, and it will be something that, at times, you have the potential to become ever so slightly obsessed about. You love lists, already mentioned, and neat piles, folded clothes, toys in boxes, shut doors and drawers, straight lines, corners, and…oops, sorry, I got carried away there. But have a quick peek at your bedroom. Yes, it’s clean, but is it REALLY clean? You know, dusted? Polished? Vacuumed? Noooo, it isn’t. And when this does happen, Mum does it. This is pretty much what being a cleaner will entail, all the things Mum does. Which brings me neatly on to the next point.

I believe you might have your fair share of cleaning in the future. I’m thinking out loud here, but boyfriend, marriage, babies. Babies who grow up to be dirty, smelly boys. Boys who produce poo-stained pants and filthy bedrooms. Heck, you might even have a dog one day, which equals fur, paw prints, slobber. Think gag-reflex. Enough said. So cross this one out. No, scrap that, rip it right off that bit of paper. (But make sure to put it in the bin.)

5: ‘Horse rider’
??? Is that even a job?

6: ‘Author’
And we’ve landed. Why oh why are you embarrassed about your writing? Is it still because your brother laughed at that short story, Monty Mouse, all those years ago? Is it because the only other kids who like writing in your class also like to darn ballet shoes and collect toy buses? You’ve got to rise above it. Don’t you remember those five sparkling team points Mr Havard awarded you for The Space Rocket? A teacher who probably had a note from home to say he was allergic to team points and excitement. No one had ever seen him so worked up! And all because of those 500 and something words YOU put together. It’s a sign, I tell you, a sign!

Don’t shy away from being ‘different’, OK? Just don’t. Different is cool. And your imagination, your love of words, might just be the cure to your self-esteem issues. I’m saying, let YOU shine through, release the words.
It’s been a bumpy ride so far, I’m aware of that, and it’s likely to get even bumpier in the years to come. But there will be plenty of smooth riding as well. Times when containing your elation might prove too difficult. So don’t contain it, let it out; lap it up, swim in it. Life’s too short to wonder what if.

Good luck, my friend. Until later.

~From your 30-something-year-old self

Winell Road cover 2

Winell Road is the most boring street on Earth and 12-year-old Jack Mills is sick to his molars of living there. But when a UFO nearly abducts him outside his home, his life takes a terrifying and mysterious turn. With the help of his new friend and neighbour, frighteningly tall Roxy Fox, Jack discovers there’s a lot more to Winell Road and his life than he’d ever imagined.

Winell Road is available on Jetblack Publishing.

Find more Hey Kid! letters here.

Foster is a freelance editor and children’s writer who likes lists. Originally from the UK, she now lives on the Gold Coast in Australia with her three sons, husband and spoodle. Winell Road, her debut middle grade novel will be released later this month.
Connect with Kate on KateJFoster.com, Twitter, and Facebook.

Hook’s Revenge Blog Tour Final Stop: Interview at Supernatural Snark

Last stop! Everybody off!

This little blog tour has reached its final destination, but what a special one it is! Drop in on Supernatural Snark for a special interview about Hook’s Revenge with me, John Hendrix—the amazing talent behind the book’s cover and interior illustrations, and Rotem Moscovich—my intrepid editor.

And if you haven’t entered the giveaways from earlier in the week, be sure to click through below and do so. Good luck!


Friday, 9/12 Reading with ABC, Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway
Monday, 9/15 Paperback Princess, Interview
Tuesday, 9/16 The Irish Banana Review, Glossary of Pirate Words
Wednesday, 9/17 Mundie Moms, Guest Post, DIY Pirate Costumes
Thursday, 9/18 Jenuine Cupcakes, Nubbins’s Hardtack Recipe (Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with Lime Curd)
Friday, 9/19 Queen Ella Bee Reads, Exclusive Excerpt
Monday, 9/22 Allodoxophobia, My Hook’s Revenge Playlist
Tuesday, 9/23 Kissed by Ink, Exclusive Excerpt
Wednesday, 9/24 Who RU Blog, Build a Fairy Garden Instructions and Giveaway
Friday, 9/26 Supernatural Snark, Interview with me, the illustrator for Hook’s Revenge, and my editor

Thank you for spending this time celebrating with me the release of my first book. If you aren’t quite ready to see my blog tour come to end, never fear, I am beginning my in-person tour next week. If you will be in any of the following cities, come by and say hello (but be forewarned: I might hug you)!

Click the links for details:

10/1 Seattle, Washington
10/3 Salt Lake City, Utah
10/5 Denver, Colorado
10/7 Portland, Oregon
11/14 Boise, Idaho


Back from Vacation

I’m sitting here in a pile of metaphorical unpacked dirty laundry and cheep souvenirs. It is hard to come home from vacation, even a bloggy one, isn’t it? I just can’t seem to clear the cobwebs from my head and write.
Or perhaps I am just distracted.  Between Newt watching the Disney Channel and Walt’s ghost hunting (don’t ask), I’m having trouble focusing.
I’ve tried fighting it, but it’s just not working. My brain is still on vacation.
But I promised a post, and I intend to deliver. And since a picture is worth a thousand words and most of the words I can think of start with um or duh, I now present to you the the following photo story:

It’s All Fun and Games When Someone Loses an Eye

Hmmm, what’s that box doing out there?
Let’s look and see what’s inside.
Ouch! My eye!
Who did that?
Shasta? That didn’t look like your paw… You got company in there?
Oh, I see. Enjoy your box you two. I’m going in to put some ice on my eye.
Kids. They just can’t seem to find ways to entertain themselves these days.

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