Kate and the Kid
by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks
KATE AND THE KID is about a young woman (Kate) who has just lost her job and had a major fight with her boyfriend (also arising from the trauma of being fired). At this very low point in her life, Kate is tricked into taking care of a sweet but emotionally damaged six-year-old girl (Jenny) who only communicates with adults through a doll she calls “Miranda.” As a result of an eventful night of babysitting, Kate begins to bond with Jenny, which causes a whole new set of complications with the people in Kate’s and Jenny’s lives. This book tells the story of how Kate and Jenny help each other to heal, grow, and navigate the difficult and sometimes dangerous world of New York City.
Like any kid sleeping in an unfamiliar place, Jenny was up at first light. She crept into the living room and sat cross-legged within a few inches of Kate’s sleeping form. When Kate stirred, Miranda’s plastic face was pressed gently against her cheek.
“Hi, Katy!” Miranda said in her high-pitched voice.
“Hi, Miranda!” Kate replied in the deepest basso tones she could manage without harming her vocal chords.
Jenny giggled. Miranda danced with delight on the mattress.
“Say it again!”
Kate sat up, swinging her legs over the side of the bed.
“Hi, Miranda! Wasamatta?”
Jenny giggled harder than before, but Kate noticed that Jenny had changed her clothes again. Her pink shirt had a bright yellow flower on it, which matched smaller yellow flowers on her pink shorts. Miranda wore a new matching outfit also, yellow with a touch of pink.
“Girls,” Kate said very seriously now. “You didn’t go out on the fire escape again, did you?” The answer was obvious, both from the downcast look on Jenny’s face and from the fact that Miranda also turned away in apparent shame. “Please, no more walking on the fire escape? Okay? Please? Will you promise me that?”
“Yes, Katy,” Miranda said sweetly. “And Jenny promises too.”
It is my pleasure to introduce Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks, authors of Kate and the Kid. Welcome to Room With Books.
Please tell us about Kate and the Kid and what inspired you to write it?
Kate and the Kid is the story of a young woman who lives in New York City. At a rough time in her life, when she loses her job and has had a major fight with her boyfriend and wants just to be left alone, Kate is tricked into taking care of an emotionally needy six-year-old child. She begins to bond with the child (Jenny), and in the process both she and Jenny learn about love in all of its many permutations.
When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?
We will generally sketch out the basic plot points – how the book begins, the conflict that moves the book forward, the basic theme of the book, and the ending. The rest gets filled in along the way or in rewrites. We had many rewrites of Kate and the Kid.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?
We never argue with our characters. They are always right. If they think a bit of dialogue is unrealistic, they just clam up completely.
What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?
We first wrote together in an independent study course while in college – Anne at Bryn Mawr College, Ken at Haverford – and after forty years (more actually, but round numbers are nice) we are still at this. Why? We can’t stop. There has always been another idea that gets us to sit down and continue the collaboration.
If you could write with any other author who would it be and why?
Since we write together already, this would result in a very crowded room. Also, we would each get unreasonably jealous if the other person were writing with someone else. Then again, lots of fame and money would convince us to write with another person. Kidding aside, we both think it would be fun to work with Kurt Vonnegut if he could be brought back to life. He had a light touch and a wonderful way of looking at the world.
When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why?
From an early age, we both wanted to be writers. The idea naturally grew out of the fact that we were both avid readers.
When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
When Ken was a senior in college, Kurt Vonnegut came to Haverford to speak and Ken asked him this very question. His answer was that he always wanted to be a writer. That would be the answer of both of us as well – we always wanted to be writers.
What music inspires your writing?
We both enjoy a wide range of music, but we don’t play music when we are writing or to get in the mood for writing. When we are discussing an idea, we don’t have music playing either. Basically, we can’t listen to music and think about writing at the same time. We have trouble walking and chewing gum too.
What is your favorite breakfast? Ken has oatmeal for breakfast every morning, often mixed with things like potatoes, corn or hominey. Anne typically has an English Muffin.
What is your favorite color? Anne’s favorite color in purple. Ken’s is pink although he doesn’t like to admit it. Say ‘red’. Red or orange. Not pink!
What is your favorite movie? Ken’s is Grand Hotel. Anne’s is Gone With the Wind.
What is your dream car? Neither of us dream about cars. We live in New York City where they are not very practical. If pressed, Ken would like an off-road vehicle with lots of legroom that he can take into the dunes or along the beaches on Cape Cod – maybe a Land Rover, although a Toyota would be nice too. Anne doesn’t really drive any more.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Anne Rothman-Hicks was born in New York City and, except for a brief exile to the suburbs imposed by her parents, she has lived there all of her life, the latter part of which she has shared with her co-author, Kenneth Hicks, and their three children.
Anne and Kennet will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN to a randomly drawn host.
I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking on the tour banner below.