May 15, 2012

2K12 Guest Post: Katherine Longshore Author of GILT

A long while back I was approached by Caroline Starr Rose to help promote the fantastic group of authors in the Class of 2k12.  These are a group of authors being published in 2012.  I jumped at the chance to help out.  
What we came up with was a series of guest posts.  The topic: 
 Since I teach 7th grade I live and breath middle school (ok some of you can stop shuddering now). 2

So over the course of 2012 you will get to hear from some the the 2k12 authors and their memories/thoughts about that time in their life.  I thank each of them for jumping in a tackling the subject!
To learn about all the 2k12 authors check out their site: Class of 2k12: Fiction that Rocks

Today our 2k12-er is:

Katherine Longshore

Book: Gilt
Release Date: TODAY!!!

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free--and love comes at the highest price of all. 

When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

Welcome Katherine and let's here how middle school was for you!

Middle school. Ugh. I guess most people believe they go through an awkward phase in middle school, but I think my phase was especially awkward. I was short, skinny, shy, socially awkward, bossy, and hopelessly, endlessly devoted to Star Wars. Not only this, but I harbored an intense and secret desire to be an actress.

So imagine this: a tiny little girl with big hair and no figure to speak of, braces, and a bit of an attitude. The boys I had crushes on had no idea I existed. The cool girls already had boyfriends and threw dance parties. I spent my afternoons at home, scribbling alternative tales in which I was Luke Skywalker's cousin and stalking celebrities in clandestinely purchased People magazines. And every Sunday I watched two or three classic movies on my town’s single cable channel, falling in love with Clark Gable and Errol Flynn.

I was very fortunate to have two best friends – twins – who were supportive and loyal despite my bizarre habits and uncool interests. They tried in vain to help us become more popular, volunteering, joining clubs, and somehow managing to get us invited to the big end of the year party just before he graduated from the 8th grade.

But even then, I lived in my own little world, one in which knights really did rescue maidens on the backs of white horses, in which good always triumphed over evil, and in which one day I would get the lead part in a play.  This life didn’t integrate well with the reality of junior high.

The crazy thing is that I never shared my passions, not even with my best friends. I think they may have guessed how obsessed I was with Star Wars and old movies. They had no understanding of my desire to be on stage. And I never once told them the name of the boy I had a crush on. At the time, I think I thought it was self-protection. That if my dreams didn't come true, at least no one knew about them, so I didn't have to be ashamed.

But I've learned, recently, that sharing dreams can make them stronger. I’ve been writing, off and on, for many years. The people I'm close to have always known. Some even read my very first book, the one I never revised. That book never went anywhere (which is probably a good thing), but that didn't matter. Because I had done it. The thing I wanted to do most. And that was worth celebration.

Dreams are worth celebrating, just for their very existence. I wish I'd known this back in middle school. It would've made those awkward years of little more fun.

Yes dreams are worth celebrating! I wish my students knew that now.  Especially the ones that were just like you.

To learn more about Gilt and Katherine visit the sites below.


  1. It's hard to be brave when you're young, I think. That's why loving adults can bolster kids and encourage them to try.

    Happy release day!

  2. I love this! I think we would have been great friends if we'd gone to middle school together. I was also bossy, shy and awkward, though never skinny. We'd have a made a great team.