I met Katherine Jacobs on an unseasonably cold night in October. Well, here in Michigan, there is no such thing as unseasonable, but Katherine is a native Michgander, so she’s used to the seasonably unseasonable weather. Anyway, we both attended a lovely gathering the night before an SCBWI-MI conference. Katherine is a senior editor at Roaring Book Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. She edited When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill and illustrated by Theodore Taylor III. It won an ALA award for new talent.
Me: I was so excited to meet you in October!
Kate: It was good to meet you, too.
Me: I start each interview with this question because you can learn a lot about a person by their answer. What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?
Kate: My grandmother made a Winnie-the-Pooh costume that my cousins, siblings, and I all took turns wearing.
Me: What’s your most memorable moment as an editor?
Kate: When a book I edited won an ALA award. It was so amazing to see the cover up on the screen behind the announcer and hear the whole room cheer for it.
Me: What’s the biggest difference between New Yorkers and Michiganders?
Kate: The accent. At least, this is what really gets me. A really thick New York accent is always a little shocking, but when I come home and encounter a strong Michigan accent it’s almost just as shocking. I don’t even know how I talk anymore!
Me: In which genre would you categorize your life?
Kate: Coming-of-age. I feel like I’m constantly learning about myself and refining who I am to be more true and authentic and confident and generous. I’m more like a teenager than I care to admit.
Me: Where’s your favorite spot to read?
Kate: On the couch, by the window on a sunny day. Or a rainy day. Really any time as long as I can look up and have some scope for the imagination.
Me: What’s the biggest misconception about your career as an editor?
Kate: That I read all day. My day is mostly filled with emails, paperwork, meetings—all the usual office stuff. Reading is something that I have to carve out time for.
Me: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Kate: Living in New York has been my dream since I visited it for the first time when I was 16! But now I do fantasize about living in London. And I long for a life as an international nomad, living in a new country for a while and then moving on to the next spot (the less developed the better).
Me: Favorite way to let your hair down (figuratively speaking).
Kate: Hiking. Any kind of a walk that gives me just a little bit of a workout and provides a nice view. It resets my brain.
Me: What do you want for your birthday?
Kate: Books! Or bookshelves. I’m a bit of a book hoarder.
Book: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
Movie: Bridget Jones’s Diary
Time of day: Dusk
Ice cream flavor: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Beverage: Milky black tea
Subject in school: Calculus
Season: The hottest day in the summer (ugh!)
Candy: Black licorice
Chore: Cleaning the bathroom
Me: Thanks for stopping by for the interview, Kate. Loved learning more about you.
Kate: Thanks for asking!
Katherine Jacobs is a senior editor at Roaring Book Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. She is looking for smart, character-driven books, from picture books to young adult, fiction and nonfiction, with an emphasis on middle grade and teen novels.
Some of her recent titles are: The picture books I See Kitty by Yasmine Surovec and When the Beat Was Born by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, middle grade novel The Graham Cracker Plot by Shelley Tougas, and teen novels The Truth About Alice and Devoted both by Jennifer Mathieu, and SEKRET by Lindsay Smith.