After earning degrees in Spanish and history at Hendrix College, Kate taught young people their ABCs and wrote grants for grownups with disabilities. Later, she helped run YA Highway, a three-time pick for Writer's Digest's "101 Best Websites for Writers." She now owns Natural State Treehouses with her spouse, and sells woodworking and fiber arts at The Badasserie. She is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation with Choctaw heritage and lives with her family in Northwest Arkansas.
Kate Hart is the author of AFTER THE FALL and a contributor to multiple anthologies. A citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, she is a fiber artist and owns a treehouse-building business in northwest Arkansas, where she resides with her family.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Kate attended most of elementary school in St. Charles, Missouri, and moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas for junior high and high school. After graduating summa cum laude from Hendrix College at the top of both the history and Spanish departments, she went straight to Vanderbilt's Latin American Studies masters program... and quickly realized she was in the wrong place. She left to become a teacher, then moved back to Fayetteville, where she later became a grant writer and graphic designer for a nonprofit serving disabled adults.
In 2009, Kate rediscovered her love of creative writing, and successfully completed her first attempt at a novel. She began to research publishing, and signed with a literary agent in 2010. That same year, she and her spouse had trouble finding a decent playset to give their children for Christmas. When the kids found out their gift ultimately came from Craigslist, they suggested that all playsets could be recycled. The idea took root, and that summer Kate and her spouse quit their day jobs to create Natural State Treehouses, a carpentry business creating playsets and other outdoor structures from locally-sourced and natural materials.
Kate was a contributor to YA Highway, a three-time pick for Writer's Digest's "101 Best Websites for Writers," where she wrote the popular Field Trip Friday feature for five years and developed the Publishing Road Map, a project she's currently updating for her own website. She also received widespread recognition for her infographics assessing diversity representation on YA book covers, garnering coverage in The New Yorker, Jezebel, The Huffington Post, and School Library Journal. Later, she hosted the Badass Ladies You Should Know series, which profiled more than 60 amazing women during its three-year run.
Her debut novel, After the Fall, was published January 24, 2017 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. It received positive reviews, including a star from VOYA, and was chosen as a 2017 Arkansas Gem by the Arkansas Center for the Book. She's also a contributor to the 2018 anthologies Hope Nation (Philomel) and Toil and Trouble (Harlequin Teen), and the 2020 anthologies All Out Now (Inkyard) and Body Talk (Algonquin).
Kate spends her spare time hiking and traveling with her family and their dog Norbert (named for the dragon in Harry Potter). She also enjoys fiber arts and woodworking, which she sells at TheBadasserie.net and in local stores and craft shows. A proud citizen of the Chickasaw Nation with Choctaw heritage, she lives in northwest Arkansas.
This website began as an aspiring craft blog called "My Sphere of Domesticity," a tongue-in-cheek history reference. In 2009, it slowly transitioned to a writing focus, peppered with memes, Twilight jokes, and posts about my fledgling career. When blogging faded in popularity, the site became mostly a home base for news about my books and other projects, but I've left most of the embarrassing older posts up because I'm a history nerd who likes archives... and because nothing keeps you humble like admitting you're responsible for something like "If Your Coffin Is A Double Wide, You Might Be a Redneck Vampire."
- "New Voice: Kate Hart on After the Fall" at Cynsations
- "Chickasaw author finds writing niche with young adult novel After the Fall" at the Chickasaw Times (p. 10)
- "12 Women Of Color And Native Authors Open Up About Why They Write About Mental Illness" at Bustle
- Ozarks at Large on KUAF
- "Kate Hart on Evoking Small-Town Life and a Complicated Friendship in After the Fall" at Google Play
- Book Riot's "What's Up In YA" newsletter
- "Shiny Ladders and Feminism" at YA Interrobang
- "Meet Kate Hart in this Debut Author Spotlight" at Operation Awesome
- 2015: Meet the Author with the Sweet Sixteens
- 2014: First Draft with Sarah Enni
- 2014: The Madeleine Project with Kristina Perez
- 2011: "After the Call" interview with Caroline Richmond
- 2010: We Do Write interview
- 2017: After the Fall blog tour
- 2015: "How To Get Published" infographic featured at Galleycat
- 2014: "YA Fans and Readers Flood #SensibleYA Hashtag" at Bustle
- 2013: "How the YA Social Media Community is Changing Publishing" at Wolf Literary
- 2011: "Writers raise money for charity with online auctions" in The Writer - October issue
- Coverage of the 2012 YA cover infographics:
- Listed in The New Yorker's Page-Turner feature
- "Race on YA Covers" at The Huffington Post
- "White Folks Star in 90% of YA Covers" at Jezebel
- "The Daily WTF" at Crushable
- "YA is Way White" at Babble
- "Awesome Infographics" at Flavorwire
- "Our Girls Aren't Seeing Themselves on Their Bookshelves" at Clutch
- "Minorities in YA Books: Where Are They?" at Sparknotes
- Quoted at Racialicious
- School Library Journal
- "9 Most Interesting Infographics"
frequently asked questions
I am currently seeking new representation. Inquiries regarding After the Fall subrights can be made to Regal Literary or Foundry Media.
How did you get your agent?
I wrote about (not) querying my first agent in 2010 here. When she left the business in 2015, I started the process over, using short pitches and sample pages + my existing deal in lieu of a new finished manuscript. (If you need query tips, I've amassed a huge number of them here.)
Where do you get your ideas?
After the Fall was inspired by an "I want" list: "I want to write about..." and my answers were "hiking, sexism, class differences, college towns" etc. My recent works in progress came "what if" questions, usually involving a gender bend or setting change -- "How would X be different if the characters weren't all boys?" "How would Y play out if it happened on my stomping grounds?"
What's your writing process?
Everything starts as scribbles in a notebook. I edit those zero drafts as I type them up, then continue writing on the computer until I get stuck, at which point I go back to the notebook and start the process again.
Are you an outliner or a pantser?
I have an Excel chart that rivals most military tactical plans.
Yes. But I share it with my kids, who use it more.
How long did it take to get published?
I wrote the first draft of After the Fall in spring 2010. In July 2014, a rewritten version sold to FSG, and it hit shelves in January 2017. (Publishing runs roughly at the speed of government on downers. Prepare to be patient.)
What are you working on now?
I have several different novels and nonfiction projects in the works, for adults and teens.
When is your next book coming out?
I have short stories and essays in several upcoming anthologies, but my next book remains a big question mark at the moment, though I'll let you know as soon as I do, likely on every social media feed known to humankind.
I am super white. I'm also a born Okie who's a Chickasaw citizen with Choctaw ancestry. My direct enrollee is Tandy C. Walker, nephew of Choctaw chief Tandy Walker and Chickasaw governor Douglas Henry Johnston; Tandy C's wife Isabel Cochran was enrolled as Chickasaw but comes from the Choctaw Leflore and Brashears families. I talked a little about it on Twitter here, and for more information, see these articles on blood quantum, tribal sovereignty, citizenship, and DNA.
How do I get tribal citizenship?
If you think you’re Chickasaw, start with this information video. The Choctaw Nation and other Five Tribes use a similar process, while other Nations have different citizenship requirements, but either way you’ll need to check their individual websites and proceed accordingly.
I met Bill at a book signing in 2003. I told his secret service agents to take a name tag and they laughed at me.
How about the Duggars?
They live nearby and let's just... not.
Did you study creative writing in college?
Nope. I started as an English major, but dissecting literature wasn't my thing, so I dropped it to focus on history and Spanish. (But surprise! A Spanish major is just dissecting Iberian and Central/South American literature instead.)
Conozco bastante español para saber que no sé español. Alternately: I can write you a paper on Neruda but I can't order a taco.
Is your book based on you/real people?
No. Books that pull nothing visceral from an author's life or feelings tend to be bloodless, but real people's lives aren't mine to play with. So After the Fall is informed by my hometown and the assault I experienced in high school, but it's not an attempt at recreation, rewriting, or revenge. It's a fictional story rooted in some truths, which is the only way I know how to approach fiction.
Do you have any writing advice?
Check out the "resources" page for advice I've both given and gathered.
Will you read my work/refer me to your agent?
I'm sorry, but time constraints and legal issues preclude me from both. If you need critique partners, join forums like Absolute Write and SCBWI, or check out the links here.
Can you send me an ARC/a free copy of your book?
If only money grew on tree(house)s. I'll offer giveaways when possible, but otherwise please assume the answer is no.