Writer’s Toolbox

Author Q&A

Here we present our exclusive collection of Q&As with a long list of illustrious authors.

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Katharine Holabird

Katharine HolabirdKatharine Holabird is the author of the children's book series Angelina Ballerina.

What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?

If the writing doesn't flow I do some deep breathing and sometimes I lie on the floor and think about nothing for a few minutes. I give my mind some space to fool around and permission to make mistakes. If you're quiet and open, then ideas and inspirations come more easily from the unconscious.

What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?

I ask myself, "What would Angelina do at this moment? What is she feeling?" If you know your character inside out, the prompts will come naturally. And of course having a deadline is a wonderful prompt!

What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?

I lived in Rome in the early 70s, and landed my first job as a 'stringer' for Variety, the showbiz magazine. Stringers were paid peanuts, but the editor sent me off to interview stars like Visconti, Dirk Bogarde, and Mastroanni, which was thrilling. As a recent Bennington lit graduate, I took my writing very seriously, and received a big shock when Variety's crusty editor told me to tear everything up and start again. "Kid, if you're gonna be a writer, you gotta be prepared to rewrite lots!" he said. Those words have stayed with me over the years, and have kept me writing.