Sunday, October 7, 2012

Interview with Cole Gibsen, Author of Young Adult Fantasy, Katana

 NS  I am so delighted to have as my guest today Cole Gibsen, author of Young Adult novels and fellow SCBWI member of The Bookends of southern Illinois, our beyond valuable critique group.  Please give the readers a bit of information as to how you came to writing novels for young adults.

Cole GibsenCG  My childhood through teen years were pretty rough. But no matter how bad things got for me, books were always there to provide me with an escape. There was a brief time in my life when I found myself homeless and had to live out of my car. I firmly believe that the books I checked out from the library that I read parked in truck stops are the reason I survived such difficult times. Books helped me—I’d go so far as to say they saved me— and I wanted to give back and do the same for others.
NS   I know for a fact how good you are at writing YA fantasy. Was that always an interest, or did you develop an appetite for that part of the genre?
CG   Fantasy has always been a favorite because of its ability to transport the reader into different worlds. I enjoy writing for teens because I because I remember how difficult my own teen years were and I believe if anyone needs and small escape from their daily lives, it’s them.
NS  Congratulations on your debut YA novel, Katana and your second, Breathless. Can you compare the two novels, or are they totally separate entities?

 CG  Thank you! While both novels are fantasy, they couldn’t be more different. Rileigh, my main character in Katana  is strong, feisty, and fierce. She’s everything I wanted to be when I was growing up. Edith, my main character from Breathless, is broken and glimpses of my own home life can be seen on the pages.   
NS  My readers always want to know about an author’s typical writing day.  Can you describe yours for them?

CG  I have a five-year-old. So up until this year finding time to write was a bit of a challenge. But now the kiddo has started school full time and I have eight glorious hours to write.  **And the people rejoiced!!!** Typically, I like to slam out a rough draft as fast as I can (typically within a month) and then I like to take my time editing it (another two to six months.)
BreathlessNS  What is up next for you, and when can we expect it?
CG  The sequel for Katana – Senshi – releases March, 2013 and I couldn’t be more excited!
NS   Where can your fans find you and your books?

CG  You can find out more about me and my books at my website:


  1. Hello! I enjoyed the interview. Cole, it was nice to meet you and learn about your books. Best wishes to you.

  2. Hi, Susanne,

    Thanks for your comment. Cole is such a talentefd author, and I know you'd enjoy her!

  3. Great interview! Katana and Breathless are great reads.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Linda! Cole is such an amazing talent--and so are you!

  4. Cole, what a fascinating life you have led - terrible, sad, and yet a triumph over many great odds. Your books look like you too - fascinating and triumphant. Can't wait to read one of them. Congratulations, mate. You deserve every bit of your success.

    Super interview Nancy!!

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

    1. What a wonderful, insightful comment you left. Not surprising, of course, for you!

      I agree with you. Cole deserves all the success she is getting, with more to come.

      Best to you, Margot and Cole!

  5. Nancy, thanks for bringing Cole's books to our attention. It sounds as if she understands the teen condition.

    1. Yes, Barbara, she really does. Her writing is strong, and she speaks right to the teen world. Quite a talent.

      Thanks for your comment!

  6. Thank you so much for the lovely comments! That's what I love so much about the writing community--the support is amazing!

  7. Cole, I couldn't have survived my childhood and youth without books either and I still read middle grade and young adult books. Yours sound like good ones.