Down with This Ship is a book I’ve been interested in since I heard about it. As a book lover that enjoys a lot of fandoms this sounded like a book just for me. This week TBR and Beyond Tours is hosting a tour for this book and I had a chance to interview the author. Keep on reading to find out more about this book and the author’s answers to my questions!
Down with This Ship by Katie Kingman
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: June 8, 2021
Content warning: Light bullying
Kole Miller does one thing really well: write fanfiction for the show The Space Game. Everything else is a struggle: like managing her anxiety, frequent crushes, and plans after high school. But when her blog, Spacer, wins a major fanfiction contest, her traffic soars.
With massive readership comes criticism Kole isn’t prepared for, including getting stuck in the heated ship wars surrounding the show. And then an invitation to speak at The Space Game’s official convention arrives in her inbox.
When the most competitive kids in her Creative Writing class discover Kole’s writing Spacer, her blog is taken hostage and she risks them hitting ctrl+A+del on Spacer. To win it back, Kole must face both her inner demons and the ones at Crystal Lake High before they make the drama not just about The Space Game, but about Kole herself.
Including snippets from Kole’s fanfic, emails, and text messages, Down With This Ship is sure to bring out the inner fangirl in anyone.
About the Author
What inspired you to start writing?
I was on vacation with my family in San Diego and was reading Marie Rutkoski’s THE WINNER’S CURSE. I fell in love with her world and with her characters. Her writing is so masterful that it moved something in me and I had an epiphany; it was time for me to try writing something like this—not to outdo her, or anyone else—but it posed an opportunity and, as someone with a baby and toddler, I found myself needing a creative outlet. With that, I began drafting my first manuscript (which is what THE SPACE GAME is based on!).
What is your all time favorite book? Why?
1984. The book is strangely prophetic and I’m enamored with its ambiguities. Everytime I read this book (once a year!) I get something new out of it, and it’s so much fun to teach to new readers as the parallels to our modern world are dumbfounding. Honorable mentions are Frankenstein and Jane Eyre.
Down with This Ship touches the themes of fanfiction and the love of a show. What are some of your favorite fandoms?
I was a long time Whedonverse fan before certain parts of it unraveled, but I’ll always love Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse; I’ve been to a number of events in this fandom including the 10 year reunion at the Paley Fest. My number one favorite show is the 2004 Battlestar Galactica, and I’ve had so much fun traveling to cons around the US that celebrate Ron Moore’s masterpiece. Believe it or not, I even loved the ending! Lastly, I’m a major Outlander fan and when I heard that Moore and Bear McCreary (composer) were making the show together, I knew I’d love it as much as BSG. If I find someone behind the scenes of a fandom, I tend to stick with them.
Besides writing, what are other hobbies and interests you have?
I play World of Warcraft late into the night and wake up early to garden. I’m also both a child mom and a cat mom.
About the Book
Describe your book in five words or less.
Fanfic writer encounters ship wars.
When you started writing this story did you know how everything would play out or did you let Kole take you on a ride?
Oh, she took me on a ride! I knew acts one and two as I planned the manuscript, from the discovery of her blog by her classmates to her taking ownership of her work (vague to avoid spoilers) but then act three did not materialize until I had act two down. I knew act three would be a major drafting challenge, but I had the experience to take it on and some of my favorite scenes developed from there. What I’ve learned is that I can build up to the grand finale, but it’s as surprising to me as it is to readers and it reveals itself as I draft.
What is your favorite quote from Down with This Ship?
I love this quote, which describes so much of the drama that sometimes surrounds fandoms: “Shipping is serious business for a ton of people, but it shouldn’t be so serious that we forget how to treat each other like humans. I’ve talked with fans about the meta-universe, about insta-love and plot armor and glaring CGI mistakes, but the ships are the one thing we can’t seem to agree on, and it splits us down the center.”
If you could put yourself into this story, what kind of character would you be?
Oh, I’d be one of the fangirls in the audience at the end of the book. I’d be cheering Kole on, and asking for her signature as an avid reader of her blog. I’d probably have some silly question to ask her, like why is her name spelled with a K instead of a C. I may or may not have asked Katee Sackoff a similar question at a BSG con!
The tour for Down with This Ship started yesterday and runs until Sunday. Click here to see the full schedule, so you can visit all of the other bloggers and bookstagrammers.
About the Author
Katie Kingman has wanted to be a writer since freshman year when her English teacher read her story out loud. The experience was mortifying, but it led to a lifelong love of classic literature and writing fiction. She now lives, teaches, and geeks in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, two kids, and five cats. When not writing, she can be found gardening and scrolling Netflix for a new OTP.
Reading the author’s answers was so much fun! I’m currently reading Down with This Ship and will be posting my review soon.