about Kate

Kate Hart is the author of AFTER THE FALL, a young adult novel published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in January 2017. She's also a contributor to the 2018 anthologies TOIL AND TROUBLE (Harlequin Teen) and HOPE NATION (Philomel), and 2020's ALL OUT NOW (Inkyard) and BODY TALK (Algonquin).

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. Born in Oklahoma and raised in Fayetteville, she is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation with Choctaw heritage and lives with her family in Northwest Arkansas.

all photos credit Joshua Hart
kate hart profile picture Nov 2018 Eureka Springs photo by Josh Hart


frequently asked questions


Who is your agent?
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 from "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.
Hart family treehouse
Do you really have your own writing treehouse?
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.

about me

Why are you always tweeting about Native issues? You are super white.
am super white. I'm also a born Okie who's a Chickasaw citizen with Choctaw ancestry. My greatx4 grandfather is Tandy C. Walker, nephew of Choctaw chief Tandy Walker and half-brother of Chickasaw governor Douglas Henry Johnston; his wife Isabel Cochran was enrolled as Chickasaw by marriage 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 quantumtribal sovereignty, citizenship, and DNA.
Kate reflected in door with Chickasaw Nation sign
Kate reflected in door with seal of the Choctaw Nation

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.

Josh and Kate Hart with Bill Clinton
You live in Arkansas now -- do you know the Clintons?
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.)
Are you still fluent in Spanish?
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.

have more questions?