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Author Interview: Kate Hershberger Chats about Sleepy Hollow

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Get ready to learn more about the book Sleepy Hollow in this discussion with sapphic author Kate Hershberger.

Join us for an exclusive peek behind the scenes as we quiz Kate Hershberger about Sleepy Hollow, writing, reading, and more.

This book is part of the Cozy Mystery category in the 2024 IHS Reading Challenge.

Why did you write Sleepy Hollow?

Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite stories. Growing up, we watched every version available. I also enjoy a good fanfic, but never saw a sapphic retelling of Sleepy Hollow. So I decided to write my own story.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Special Agent Elizabeth Crane, her experience visiting the village was very similar to when I visited. I was also an outsider who fell in love with the village.

What was the biggest challenge writing this book?

I started writing this book 3 times. The 1st attempt Elizabeth Crane was part of a ghost hunting team, but I couldn’t get the story going. The 2nd attempt was going to be an actual retelling of the original story. Elizabeth Crane was going to be a new teacher who falls for the school librarian, but I couldn’t write more than a short story and I knew there was more to the story. The 3rd attempt was the one that stuck and I’m so glad it did.

What part of Sleepy Hollow was the most fun to write?

The graveyard stake out scene.

How much research did you need to do for Sleepy Hollow?

Not too much, I did a little research about some FBI stuff. I have visited the real Sleepy Hollow, so some of the descriptions are based on what I saw there. The B&B is actually based on a shop on the main street.

What is your writing process like?

I’m a plantser. I have a notebook filled with random notes that I jot down, but I don’t have any kind of outline. I like to get the basic ideas out and let the characters take control and guide me through the story.

Where do you usually write, and what do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?

I don’t really have a set place to write. I usually keep a notebook or journal on me in case inspiration strikes and I have to get an idea written down.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing, and by whom?

I can’t remember where I heard it, I once was told that if can’t write the best thing to do is take a break and read. There have been a few times when I have had to stop trying to write and take a few weeks to read some books. It’s a huge motivator.

What has helped or hindered you most when writing a book?

Being neurodivergent. Depending on the day it can be either and sometimes both.

Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?

Gary Paulsen. I loved his books as a kid and read every book of his that I could get my hands on. He also made me want to try dog sledding.

What books did you grow up reading?

I hit a big reading slump in my teens, but I started reading Jodi Picoult and read her entire catalog of books all through my senior year of high school. I always loved the way she writes from multiple points of view. I also use that format when writing.

Meet Kate Hershberger

Kate Hershberger was born in South Bend, Indiana and later raised in the foothills of North Carolina where she lives with her wife and their menagerie of rescue pets. She dreams of writing full time in New England, living as a modern-day Jessica Fletcher (minus the murder).

Visit Kate’s Website

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Author Interview