We’re excited to feature K.M. Walton this week, author of the recently released CRACKED and co-author of TEACHING NUMERACY: 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking.
A quick blurb about K.M. from her author page at Simon and Schuster: As a former middle-school language-arts teacher and teaching coach, she is passionate about education and ending peer bullying. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family. You can find her online at KMWalton.com and on Twitter at @KMWalton1.
1. If you had walk-on music (a song that plays when you enter a room), what would it be? Why?
The Devil’s Dance Floor by Flogging Molly because it reminds me of some of the most insanely fun dance sessions of my entire life. Seriously, try and listen to that song and not want to jump around like a lunatic. It represents fun to me, and I like fun.
2. Your website is fantastic! How important have you found it to be, having a web presence?
Thank you for the website compliment – my youngest sister designed it. She’s a creative genius. Having a web presence has always been very important to me for a few reasons. First, the majority of my readers are teens, and teens are online. Second, being present in key online locations (twitter, Facebook, blogging, goodreads, etc) has allowed me to build up tons of actual friendships and online acquaintances – I seem to “know” a lot of people out there – and knowing a lot of people means they may talk about my book (not that I would ever ask that of anyone).
3. It sounds like you have a wonderful family. Could you tell us a little bit about how they have supported you becoming an author?
They all believed in me and cheered me through the roughest patches. I don’t know if I would’ve had the strength to continue querying without the support of my family. They wouldn’t allow me to give up.
4. How has your experience as a teacher helped your writing?
My time spent in the classroom has influenced my writing by showing me to always look at both sides of human beings.
Well, I’m actually the co-author. The lead author is Margie Pearse and she is, hands down, the most brilliant mathematics teacher I have ever seen. She spent twenty years teaching and researching mathematics instruction, which led her to Numeracy. Margie says, “To be truly numerate, one needs to think through mathematics, not simply do mathematics.” We wrote that book over many, many Sundays at various Panera Bread restaurants.
6. Congratulations on Cracked hitting the shelves January 3rd! What inspired this novel?
Anti-bullying was always the core principal of my teaching career. I never shied away from facing or addressing bullying – I believed it was my job, as the adult, to discuss and address bullying – every single time it reared its hideous head. My entire purpose was that I wanted kids to see each other for the human beings they were, not the labels or assumptions they attached to each other. CRACKED was a natural write for me because of my passion for the subject.
7. What made you decide to show both Victor and Bull’s sides?
Because every human being has layers and motivations and life experiences that shape what they show the world – the public self.
Find an adult you can trust and tell them what is going on, like, every detail. Then, somehow let your teacher know, your guidance counselor know, your principal know, your parents know – basically, all of the adults that MUST FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT STOP. You are the teen – it is their job – as the adults in your life – to do everything in their power to help you. EVERY TEEN has the basic human right of going to school in a safe environment. Never accept being bullied. Ever.
9. What are you working on now?
My editor, Annette Pollert from Simon Pulse, has bought a second contemporary YA novel. This one is about Dell, an overweight girl whose life spirals out of control after being bullied and abused. It’s untitled as of yet, but it releases from Simon Pulse in Spring 2013!
10. What events do you have coming up?
I will be in some exciting places this spring – New York City, Philadelphia, West Reading. A continuously updated list of events can be found over on my Simon & Schuster author page – here’s the link: http://authors.simonandschuster.com/K-M-Walton/81347146/author_appearances