I'm pleased to welcome Katie Kennedy to Michigander Monday.
Debbie: Katie, please tell us a little about yourself.
Katie: I’m a college history instructor. I used to teach in a fire station. When the alarm rang, the entire class jumped up and ran out of the room. I became an LPN in order to write more accurate medical scenes. I have been lost in Moscow, and rousted by the KGB for sitting in Red Square to eat my ice cream. I have been bitten by a fish.
Debbie: And, of course, we want to know all about your book.
Katie: I think of Learning to Swear in America as John Green meets Brian Greene. It’s the story of Yuri Strelnikov, a seventeen-year-old Russian physics genius brought by NASA to California to help stop an incoming asteroid. The good news is that Yuri knows how to stop the asteroid--his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize if there's ever another Nobel prize awarded. But the trouble is, even though NASA asked for his help, not everyone there will listen to him. He's seventeen, and they've been studying physics longer than he's been alive.
Just when he doesn’t need a distraction he meets Dovie, a wise and unpredictable American girl. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he's not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and live a life worth saving.
Debbie: Other books or projects on the horizon?
Katie: What Goes Up comes out in July, 2017 (Bloomsbury). It’s another contemp/sci fi/action adventure mashup. WGU is set in an infinite universe—which means there are parallel worlds. NASA holds a competition for positions on an elite team dealing with potential alien contact. Rosa and Eddie answer the call—and face a series of tests on Earth, and challenges off it.
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Katie: I’m going to be at NerdCon in Minneapolis in October.
Debbie: Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? And/or a favorite Michigan library?
Katie: I’m fond of Snowbound Books in Marquette and Brilliant Books in Traverse City. As for libraries, definitely Dickinson County’s. It’s not big, but the staff is excellent.
Debbie: How about a favorite place in Michigan?
Katie: I lived in the UP—we just moved. The whole place is beautiful—but I’m especially fond of Lake Antoine, Horse Race Rapids, Michigan Tech’s hockey arena, and Michigan House restaurant in Calumet.
Debbie: Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?
Katie: The brilliant folks in Trenary put outhouses on skis and race them over the snow. How can you top that?
Debbie: A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?
Katie: Ki-Wing Merlin (Weaving a Net Is Better Than Praying for Fish) recently moved, but she’s delightful.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?
Katie: Bring bug spray. And seriously, people should know that Michigan has two peninsulas.
Debbie: Last question. Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders, others as Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally, which is the better term: Michigander or Michiganian?
Debbie: Katie, we'll add you to the Michigander column! Thank you so much for joining us for Michigander Monday!