a bit of grace

The random musings of Kate Grace

Meet the Peas Interview Series: Kate Grace

Pod: noun

1. An elongated vessel, as in bean or pea

2. A protective compartment

Breepod: noun

1. Literary Agent Bree Ogden’s client list, as nicknamed by said client list.

The Meet the Peas interview series is intended to give readers a closer look at the personality that makes up Bree Ogden’s Client List. And let’s be real for a second, this group is bursting at the seams with personality.

I want to tell you all something that will perfectly illustrate just how wonderfully amazing this group is. I was going to tack my interview on at the end (which I have) simply by answering the same list of questions I have imposed on each of the Peas. I woke up one morning to an email waiting for me from Bree and within that email was a listing of questions all contributed by each of the Peas.

What a wonderful group of people, right?! I am so lucky and grateful to be surrounded by such supportive colleagues and friends. I could gush for days!

But for now… on with the fun! Rounding out the tail end of our interview series (at least until JoAnna gets back from traveling) is author of YA Fiction novel Burden of the Soul, Kate Grace – interviewed by the entire Pod!

Nikki Katz asks….

1. If aliens appeared in front of you and offered you any position on their planet (as payment they would grant you one wish) – what position would you want to take and why?

I would tell them that I would be unable to accept any position less than “Queen” after being “Queen of Earth” for so long (wink! wink!). They would of course grant the position to me and my wish would be used to cancel out D.M. Cunningham’s “only one book” scenario. (see Question 3A.)

Lisa Rivero asks…

2. What was your favorite book or book series when you were a child?

I was hugely obsessed with everything Roald Dahl, but my all-time favorite book as a child was The Phantom Tollbooth. Consequently it was also the first speaking role I ever had in a play. I was the “Whether Man” in a local children’s theater performance. Ironically, when I first read the book that was the chapter I read over and over out loud in my bedroom. I imagined it being made into a movie and myself being cast as the “Whether Man” (despite gender). The play sufficed.

Bonus Answer: I have to tell this story because all y’all a bunch of book nerds too and will love it. In second grade at Keith Elementary School, our class would go to the school’s library twice a week and we were each allowed to check out one book. Well, those “amateurs” would go straight to the picture books while I wandered those beautiful stacks. I was obsessed with hardcover books – the bigger the better.

I never read them, but I loved carrying them around and flipping through the pages as if I was reading them. Books were my fashion accessories!

On one particular afternoon in the library, I was returning “Spice Ho!” (no joke) and checking out a massive hardcover collection of Halloween stories. The librarian looked at “Spice Ho!” and then the Halloween Book (large enough to bludgeon someone to death). She turned to me and said, “You’ll never read it. You never read any of them. Why don’t you go with the other kids and pick out a picture book.”

I was PISSED! Without a word I slid the signed card from the book’s inside flap across the counter for her to take and left. It was a marathon reading week. I MADE myself read that book, every word of it. In the last remaining hours before I had to return it I pulled a straight back chair into the middle of my parents’ bedroom and sat there until I finished it.

I returned it to that Bitch Librarian specifically and said, “QUIZ ME!” When she didn’t, I followed her around the library telling her about all my favorite parts. She never made suggestions to me again.

D.M. Cunningham asks…

3a. If you were to be stuck with only one book that you could read over and over, what would it be?

Why do you do this to me, D.M.? Huh? Do you realize how cruel this question is? I’m the girl who has one pair of cowboy boots (cause they last forever) and one pair of flip flops so that her money can be spent on MORE BOOKS!

But I’ll play along with your little torture-chamber scenario, particularly since I know it will never come to this since I’ll be Queen of an Alien Planet (See Question #1).

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. If I get to be sneaky I would choose a massive “Complete Works of Hunter S. Thompson” collection, but I don’t believe any such book exists as of yet.

I have had no greater instructor in this craft than HST. He studied Salinger, Fitzgerald and such. I continue to study him. If all words were to be erased from existence save the words of one writer, it’s my hope his would be preserved.

And not just because you get a contact high simply from holding one of his books, though it helps.

3b. Cowboy or Indian? Why?

Cowboy… totally cowboy. My first crush ever was on “Curly” from Oklahoma. I don’t know the name of the actor who played “Curly” in the movie because he doesn’t matter. Only “Curly” mattered. I watched that movie over and over dreaming about my Cowboy in Shining Rawhide.

I never played Cowboys and Indians though. I invented a game called Spiders and Unicorns that was played by the entire first grade class of Buchanan Elementary during recess. (We moved around a bit. I HAD to have personality!) I was the Queen Unicorn, of course, and the space between the swings was a gateway into the land of Spiders (who were evil) and kept kidnapping our baby Unicorns.

Who’s got two thumbs and has had an active imagination her whole life?!?!?

3c. If you had to be munched on by zombies or alligator people who would you choose and why?

There is such a thing as Alligator People?!?!? WTF? Add that to the list of things to look over my shoulder for.

I’m going to have to pick zombies in this instance seeing as I’m quite sure yourself, Bree and a good number of my friends will be the first to switch sides when the Zombie invasion comes along.

Sounds like a party. Sign me up.

Bree Ogden asks…

4. Are you usually the hurricane or the volcano in a relationship? Why? Also, do you think Lady Gaga is secretly a man?

I am the TORNADO, and I’m so rolling through your Auntie Em’s house for getting that lyric wrong. And your Uncle Gaga is getting sucked up too!

4a. What memory from your life will you be telling your kids about with a huge grin on your face 20 years from now?

First I will make a point of warning them about Alligator People since no one gave me fair warning on that one.

Beyond that I think I will tell them loads of stories about their aunts and uncles. I’ll tell them how their Uncle Dean used to play a game called “Bet I Can Miss Your Head” and lost once when he hit Aunt Sarah in the head with a baseball bat.

I’ll tell them about the day I came home crying because two boys were following me from the bus stop teasing me the whole way. But then Aunt Sarah took off running after them to dish out a little whoop ass and I got to yell down the street, “That’s right! You mess with one of us and you mess with ALL of us!”

I’ll tell them about all the things we figured out Uncle James could fit into through trial and error – an experiment that was stopped by their Grandma when the oven was attempted.

I’ll definitely tell them about the time I busted Uncle James singing and dancing to “Belle’s Song” from Beauty and the Beast in his bedroom.

I’ll tell them how Aunt Gina walked up and down Allen Road in her wedding dress screaming, “I’m getting married” to passing cars and how “Aunt Party Gina” makes an appearance from time to time. And I’ll tell them how Aunt Liz and I sneaked out of our cabins at night and ran amok through the woods and in the lake, finally collapsing in the staff meeting room where we were found sleeping the next morning. …I’ll also mention Aunt Liz and I were Counselors and NOT campers when this happened.

Then I’ll tell them about the time when Aunt Sarah’s Science Fair project (made out of an ice fishing pole) misfired into my eyeball.

But then I will tell them about the time Uncle Dean took care of me and got me home after falling into broken glass on the street. The time Aunt Sarah found me in our bedroom closet crying and crawled in to read me a book. The time Uncle James sent me a card during my first year away from home that said, “You better tell me if there’s anyone I need to beat up in a dark alley!”

Siblings are the best!

Michael Gibney asks…

5. Have you ever admired an artist/celebrity or followed a movement that you later changed your views about? If so, what made you regret following them? (This could be anyone from Politician, Activist, Favorite Author, Actor/Actress, Director, Rock Star, Famous Person Throughout History).

I’ve avoided this question for a while trying to think up a different answer than the one that immediately came to mind. But alas, it’s the only answer I have.

“Jesus” – before you jump to conclusions notice that I’ve put quotes around that name. It’s my opinion that the life and teachings of a revolutionary, holy and spiritual figure have been (on many occasions) warped to justify one’s own beliefs. Such can be said of any religion that exists, but this in particular was the one in which I was raised.

I was very much within and steered by the Conservative Christian movement growing up, but with age I couldn’t resolve what that movement taught me to be black and white with what I, as an adult was, learning to be gray.

One of my favorite quotes is from Anne Lamott: “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do.”

I admire the writings and teachings of Rob Bell, founder of Mars Hill Bible Church. I love learning about religions other than the one I was raised in. I love trying to think about everything I’ve learned in new ways.

I don’t have answers, but I know I will strive to find answers and more questions that resonate with me for the rest of my life. But I know I can never return to the “We’re right, they’re wrong” method of thinking adopted by some.

HC Noel asks…

6. Kate, it’s photo day in grade school, you are offered the choice of a laser background or a plain forest background. Which do you choose and why?

Laser all the way. And why? One word: Tron.

Kelsey Ketch asks…

7. What is your one weakness?

That’s right, Kelsey. I have but one weakness, and without this one weakness I would be a perfect human being!

Cheese. Seriously. I can never refuse cheese, no matter what form it takes. The only thing better in this life than artificial cheese is real cheese. I want to be buried with a bag of Cheetos and a wheel of Brie.

Randy Staples asks…

8. What inspires you to write?

My imagination partnered with my nieces inspire what I write and how I write it. Those two Sassy Pants keep my imagination on its toes. If ever I suffer writer’s block my Mom is quick to say, “Call Avery and Addison.”

A quick example: I was having trouble with my phone recently. The memory was jacked up and everyone told me I had to clear it out, but I kept saying, “There’s no way I’ve used up the memory. Nothing is on here!”

With a little searching through the phone’s files I came across 34 HOURS worth of recordings taken all sly-like by Avery and Addison. Either secret recordings of conversations the adults were having, recorded stand up comedy acts performed by the two, an alien named Zyphron from the planet Zyntax warning me of eminent capture, or pretend Reality Shows following the lives of the two girls. 34 HOURS worth!

I deleted my weather app so I could keep the recordings. If I need to know the weather I can look outside.

The girls know they inspire me though. In its rough draft form, I printed out my manuscript to look through and later discovered Avery and Addison had taken the title page and written the dedication in crayon: “To Avery and Addison.”

Renae Mercado asks…

9. Tell us about your most memorable kiss, not necessarily your first kiss, but most memorable.

Ooooh, Renae goes for the juicy stuff! Most memorable kiss (or series of kisses, I should say) by far was the night of the St. David’s Day party in Manhattan, 2008. The night I met Joe Packer (his real name, ladies).

It was hands down my best make out session to date. A ten-minute walk to the subway took over an hour. We covered every darkened doorway, nook or cranny in the middle-of-the-night, abandoned streets of Manhattan’s Financial District. It was awesome!

I only got to see him once after that since he was moving back to the UK, but good LORD it was worth it! Ladies, if you ever have a chance to make out with Joe Packer… DO IT! You have my blessing and encouragement.

Ron Rutler asks…

10(a). If you had a chance to step through the silver screen, right into the action of the one your favorite movies, what movie would that be?  If you were allowed to bring something back with you from that movie what would you choose?

Oklahoma, and I would bring back “Curly” along with that holster. It wouldn’t be kidnapping because I’m simply bringing him home, where he belongs. Put that in your police report!

10(b). If you had a chance to interview your favorite comedian what question would you be asking him or her?

There are so many, so I’m going to cheat and say the entire Wiretap (CBC) crew: Jonathan Goldstein, Howard Chackowicz, Gregor Ehrlich, Jon Tucker, Joshua Karpati, etc. If you have not listened to Wiretap already, then I envy you, because you get to start from the beginning and bask in its amazingawesomeness every day until you’ve made it through the archive. Unlike me who has to wait for new episodes to become available.

I was about to list all of my favorite episodes, but then I realized I may as well copy/paste the archive list. The episodes when Howard teaches Jonathan to live more freely and when Josh gets recast never fail to crack me up no matter how many times I listen to them.

And I would gesture at the souvlaki undoubtedly resting at the center of the closest table and collectively ask them, “Are you going to eat that?”

10(c): What part of you hasn’t grown up yet?

My checking account.

Rapid Fire Courtesy of Peter Landau:

–If you were a number, what would it spell?


–What powers do you have that border on super?

Sneezing. I’m a powerful sneezer.

–Do you prefer being outside in or inside out?

Neither. I’m a Downward Up girl, all the way!

–If, as the American Negro College Fund has taught us, a brain is a terrible thing to waste, what organ could you do without?

Does anyone actually know what the spleen does? Does it do anything, really? The spleen kinda reminds me of one leftover screw after you’ve put the Ikea table together. I think our bodies are the equivalent to an Ikea table in God’s eyes, and the spleen is that leftover screw he threw in there “just in case.”

–Drapes or curtains?

Curtains. We’re talking about body hair, right?

–What would the Book of Kate Grace teach us if it had been included in the Bible?

Thou shall laugh at thine self for thou will inevitably do stupid shit.

–Coffee, tea or me or meth amphetamines or Xanax or beer or prescription pain- management medication or girly cocktails?

My local bartender has concocted a drink using all of those ingredients. He named it “Kate’s Friday Night.”

–Boxers or briefs, by which I mean the “sweet science” or law?

All men look fiiiiiiiiine in Boxer Briefs, a mystery of “sweet science” that I will turn into law when I am Queen.

–If you ran with a pack, like Frank, Sammy and Dino, what type of rodent would it be?

Squirrel. Who wants to be in my Squirrel Sack?

–If you decide to have children, why would you regret that decision?

Because I overbooked myself for nine months, apparently. Then because I unknowingly overbooked myself for 18 years, apparently. Then because I overbooked myself ‘til death, apparently.

–If you could be any kind of animal, why would you want to be an animal?

You can poop anywhere you want and no one yells, “KATE, THAT’S DISGUSTING!”

–If you could have an audience with Osama bin Laden what joke would you warm him up with?

The Monk Joke. Definitely.

–What day of the week would you dress up and have tea with?

Wednesday, but it would totally be a “pity date.”

–It’s your birthday, what are you stuffing your pinata with?

Cheetos and Brie.

See Kate Tweet, Blog Chuckle, Swoon, then Chuckle Again.


16 comments on “Meet the Peas Interview Series: Kate Grace

  1. Bree Ogden
    September 22, 2010

    Okay, 1.) HST was my greatest professor as well. 2.) Cheese is the greatest thing to exist on this earth. 3.) Not all of us can be as Eminem proficient as you, Grace! 4.) I’m guessing you think she is a man, then? 5.) Squirrel Sack! I’m in. In the sack. In a squirrel sack. Awesome.

    You are a clever and funny Pea, my dear. I’m glad everyone else gets to see what I see during our 2am phone calls.

    • Kate Grace
      September 22, 2010

      Yay! Bree’s in my Squirrel Sack! 2am is generally when I’m at my best.

  2. Pingback: Interviewing the Breepod – Kate Grace « Ketch Tavern

  3. Lisa
    September 22, 2010

    Love the questions! Love the answers even more!! I want to take a swat at that pinata (I just hope it’s not a really hot day–ewww). 🙂

    “We’re talking about body hair, right?”…I nearly wet myself over that one!

    Thanks, Kate, for your creativity, generosity and time with this series.


    • Kate Grace
      September 22, 2010

      Thank YOU, Lisa! It’s been such a fun series and it was such a great surprise to be interviewed by all of you! I had such a blast with this!

  4. ketch1714
    September 22, 2010

    Wow! What awesome questions, everyone! And Kate – Great Interviews! All of them! Thank you for taking the time to interview each of us! This has been so much fun! 😀

  5. D.M. Cunningham
    September 22, 2010

    This was way better than any funny papers on a Sunday morning. I’ll be a NUT in your Squirrel Sack – I may regret that statement later, er. Although I’m pretty sure it will be too warm in the sack for the Brie. No one likes sweaty cheese, right Kate?

    • Kate Grace
      September 22, 2010

      My Squirrel sack is growing! And no… no sweaty cheese in the sack. That’s never good.

      We’re talking about testicles, right?

    • Bree Ogden
      September 22, 2010

      There is just NOTHING right about what you have said here, DM. It’s all a little vomity. Haha.

  6. Kristi Helvig
    September 22, 2010

    It’s awesome to know there are other cheese freaks out there. My lunch the other day was bacon wrapped in cheese and it was heaven. Love these interviews…although I was a tad disappointed not to see the favorite curse word question this time. It’s been the highlight for me! 🙂

  7. Kate Grace
    September 22, 2010

    Favorite curse word: The big ‘ol “F”, for sure. And any language or silly variation of that word.

    Pinche, Shut the Front Door, Suck a Fish, and so on.

    And bacon wrapped in cheese? Is this heaven?!?!?

  8. Ron Rutler
    September 22, 2010

    Great Answers Kate. What a fun creative person you are! I love to laugh and you played right into that,Thanks. Hey,I played Will in Oklahoma does that count? Thank you Kate for all of your hard work putting this all together. Have an awesome day. Ron

    • Kate Grace
      September 22, 2010

      Ooooh, Will was pretty wonderful too. I’m not gonna lie about that. I’m guessing I put boots, a holster and a hat on anyone and I would swoon. I definitely enjoyed doing this series! What a great bunch of people to get to know!

  9. Howie
    September 22, 2010


  10. Renae Mercado
    September 23, 2010

    Joe Packer huh? And all I can say is I wish that my only weekness was cheese. I am so weirded out by cheese I can barely make mac and cheese for my kids. Makes me all kinds of sick! I know I’m weird. Great interview!

    • Bree Ogden
      September 23, 2010

      I don’t know why, but this is quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever read: “I am so weirded out by cheese I can barely make mac and cheese for my kids.”

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