Sunday, January 1, 2012


On January 3, K.M. Walton's CRACKED will be released!!

Here’s the synopsis of CRACKED from Goodreads:

Sometimes there's no easy way out.

Victor hates his life. He has no friends, gets beaten up at school, and his parents are always criticizing him. Tired of feeling miserable, Victor takes a bottle of his mother's sleeping pills—only to wake up in the hospital.

Bull is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. That makes him feel better, at least a little. But it doesn't stop Bull's grandfather from getting drunk and hitting him. So Bull tries to defend himself with a loaded gun.

When Victor and Bull end up as roommates in the same psych ward, there's no way to escape each other or their problems. Which means things are going to get worse—much worse—before they get better

K.M. Walton (picture of K. M. Walton, author of Cracked)

I read the opening chapters of CRACKED (as can you, at K.M. Walton’s website) and was immediately drawn in by the voices of these two main characters. I can’t wait to read the rest of the story on Tuesday! I asked Kate a few questions about CRACKED …here is what she had to say:

Tracy: Was the first draft of this book in two voices, or is this something that developed along the way?

Kate: While attending one of the SCBWI Winter Conferences, one of the speakers talked about how interesting books are from alternating perspectives. It struck a chord with me. I went back to my hotel room and made a T-chart—one side said “Bully”and the other side said “Victim” and I began bullet pointing a list of character and plot points. Cracked was born!

Tracy:  Did you know all along how the story would end?

Kate: No, I’m a pantser through and through. I never know the endings of my books. I typically start writing with nearly formed characters and some major plot points and see where the characters take it.

Tracy: What inspired you to write this story?

Kate: Anti-bullying was the core principal of my teaching career. I believed it was my job, as the adult, to discuss and address bullying – every single time it reared its hideous head. I wanted my students to see each other for the human beings they were, not the labels or assumptions they attached to each other. CRACKED was a natural write for me because of my passion for the subject.

Tracy: Do we find out what city/state this story takes place in?

Kate: It’s my home town, West Chester , PA. I made up the name of the high school and the hospital – but they’re actually real places.

Tracy: Can you tell us about the inclusion of Cracked in No Name Calling Week?

Kate: I was blown-away-excited when Cracked was chosen to be a part of No Name Calling Week. NNCW is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities. The week was inspired by a young adult novel entitled "The Misfits" by popular author, James Howe (

For all of the filmmakers out there, Kate is sponsoring a fantastic BOOK TRAILER CONTEST, which you can read about on her website. The deadline is January 17, and the top prize is $500 CASH and a FILM CRITIQUE by some top industry professionals.

In addition, Kate is offering a chance to win a $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD if you e-mail her a picture of Cracked on the shelf of a bookstore. Details here:


Kristin Lenz said...

Congrats to Kate on her YA debut! It's wonderful that your teaching/anti-bullying experience motivated you to write this story. Thanks for the interview, Tracy. Happy New Year!

Katie McGarry said...

Awesome interview Tracy! I'm so excited to read Kate's debut!

B. A. Binns said...

After reading this interview I'm going out to find the book, this sounds like the kind of tension and story I like.

Colette Ballard said...

Thanks Tracy, and congrats Kate! I'm adding this to my reading list!

Heather Smith Meloche said...

Sounds like a fabulous book. I LOVE that it was chosen for NNCW. What an honor! Thanks for the interview, Kate and Tracy!