Katie Leimkuehler is the author of the second book in the Shy Town Girls novel series. Book two, entitled Ivy, is expected be published this summer. Katie is a writer, professional blogger, and currently works as a social media strategist, trainer, and public speaker. She obtained an MFA in fiction writing from Roosevelt University. Most recently she qualified for the semi-finals in the 2013 Fresh Voices TV Pitch Contest for Shy Town Girls.
In her interview, Katie shared her inspiration for the character Ivy and insights about her creative process.
What was your inspiration for your character Ivy Westin? What makes Ivy a Shy Town Girl?
Ivy is the girl who everyone wants to be; she’s outspoken, brash and says whatever is on her mind. Ivy doesn’t hold back and it often gets her into trouble, but also makes for a great story. She knows she pushes the limits, but she enjoys that fact. Ivy’s confident, sarcastic and flirty personality was inspired by my own life and the lives of some of my friends.
What do you find most challenging about writing? What do you find most enjoyable?
The most challenging is always finding the creative flow. It doesn’t always come naturally so it’s almost like you have to hunt for it until it appears again. My favorite part is when you get into that creative state and you know that you’re in the zone. It’s an incredible feeling, almost like a high. You feel untouchable.
Where did you get inspiration for book 2?
The book is definitely inspired by my own personal experiences as well as my friends. We wanted the books to be very relatable and there was no better way to do that than draw on than what I’ve lived and my friends have lived. They make mistakes, they go through a ton of shit and a ton of fun while they grow up. We’ve all been there.
What made you decide to move to Chicago?
I decided to move to Chicago on a whim with some friends after college. We didn’t have jobs; we just chose a city and moved. Reckless, sure; fun, absolutely. I loved discovering the city over the years. There is always something to do and something new to try.
You received your Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio. What was your favorite part of attending that university?
I loved everything about Miami. The people, the campus, and the atmosphere made for one of my best life experiences. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was the place I made a lot of mistakes, but also grew up and formed incredible friendships. Out of my five siblings, three of them attended Miami. I actually still have a sister there who will be a senior in the fall.
Book 1 of the Shy Town Girls series, written by Jennifer Yih, is available for purchase on Amazon and Kindle. Book Two is expected to be published this summer. For more information on Katie Leimkuehler or the Shy Town Girls books visit www. facebook.com/shytowngirls.
Written by Editorial Intern Bailey Allen.