Friday, May 24, 2013

Featured Author: Kate Bishop

Breathe is a romantic comedy published by Diversion Books and written by Kate Bishop, who actually isn't one person, but the pen name for three authors who have combined their collective strengths to write as one. See "Kate's" guest post below for a more in-depth explanation of who Kate Bishop is. Thanks to Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours for bringing Kate by today.

About the author:

Kate Bishop is the collective spirit of three friends with a shared passion for writing, yoga and a good, old-fashioned (or New Age) love story. Breathe was inspired by their experiences both on and off the mat and was born of a genuine desire to throw some love, light and laughter into the mix.

Kristin Tone graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Psychology and received an M.A. in Education from Lesley University. A yoga teacher and an educator, she currently teaches at PS1 Pluralistic School in Santa Monica, California.

Talie Kattwinkel earned a degree in Women’s Studies and Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. She currently specializes in bodywork and healing.

Bridget Evans attended the University of Maryland where she studied education. She taught in the Marin County school system for ten years and co-created OUTWORD, an outdoor writing program for children. She is also a yoga teacher. All three women are mothers to small children.

About the book:

Alex thought she had married the man of her dreams: successful, gorgeous, and delighted by her small-town charm. When he walks out six months later, proclaiming to have 'found himself' (with the help of a stunning yoga teacher), she 'finds herself' alone in an unfamiliar city, vengefully drinking through his prized wine collection, living on takeout, and refusing to answer the door. When this fails to cure her broken heart and bruised ego, she reluctantly allows her new friends to intervene. Slowly, Alex learns to define success on her own terms; she discovers the secret to love in all its forms, and the perfect flying crow pose, one breath at a time.

Interview with Kate Bishop:

I'm guessing the title Breathe has to do with more than just yoga. How did you come up with it?

Our agents actually came up with the title. We knew we wanted something short, simple and fun. It was Yogalicious for a while, then Yogarilla. After trying on many other titles, we all agreed Breathe best captured the essence of the book. Although yoga is a part of Alex’s journey, the book is about personal transformation and love. We were afraid the other titles might alienate those who don’t identify with yoga. Alex certainly wouldn’t have read it.

How did you create the plot for Breathe?

We knew we wanted to write a romantic comedy with yoga as the backdrop. As three writers/friends, we talked often about our aspirations and creative pursuits. At some point, we realized we had a collective story to tell. We began to meet at coffee shops in the early morning and late in the evening, as we had jobs and kids that filled daytime hours. We shared observations of transformation in ourselves and our students. We shared our love stories and our heartbreaks, uncovering common threads. Breathe took shape one chapter a time, one cup of coffee at a time.

Do you all outline, write by the seat of your pants, or let your characters tell you what to write?

A little of each. We began with a rough idea of where we were headed, but our characters dictated much of the journey. We heeded Steph Cocker’s wise words, “If blown off course, simply change your destination.” We were often surprised by where we found ourselves.

Sophie’s choice: Do you have a favorite of your characters?

We love Andy. We created him to love and be loved.

Where do your characters' names come from?

It’s an intuitive process. Names just sort of materialize, and we sit with them for a while. Most often, they’re spot on. Occasionally, we inadvertently chose the name of a person in one of our lives and were forced to grapple with a new one. When this occurred, we did an Internet search, found an extensive list of names and tried them on the character one at a time - until we were all satisfied. It took awhile.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people? Who?

All of our characters have pieces of each of us and people we have met along the way. No character is based on any one person. Tripp was a compilation of all of our dating errors. Andy was the sum of everything we’ve loved in men. Everyone has encountered a Haley at some point. And Nancy is the woman who we all hope to become. She wears life like a loose, designer shirt.

Are any of you like your characters?

We all really identified with our protagonist, Alex: her humanity, her judgment, her earnest attempt to rise above it and her many stumbling blocks along the way.

Who are your favorite authors?

Anne Lamott, Barbara Kingsolver, Suzanne Collins, Emily Bronte, Jeffrey Eugenides, Sena J. Naslund, Stephanie Meyer, Wally Lamb, Brene Brown.

What book are you all currently reading and in what format?

The Language of Flowers, Vanessa Diffenbaugh (e-book)

Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins (paper)

Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg (e-book)

How do you handle criticism of your work?

Of course it stings, but we know we can’t expect everyone to love the book. We have received such positive feedback that the few negative responses are cushioned. We are so grateful for all the support and encouragement and, to be honest, the negative reviews seem to have taken some effort and a very thorough read. Passion over indifference is always favorable, right?

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

As a trio with small children and jobs, most writing happens when the world is asleep. We write between the hours of 9pm and 5am. We love those quiet hours.

So I'm guessing you all don't sleep. Yikes. What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“So we show up. Burn brightly in the moment. Live passionately. Hold nothing back. And when the moment is over and the work is done we step back and let go.” -Rolf Gates

What are you working on now?

Alex and Andy, Part 2

Guest post:

As three authors, our writing process can be difficult to distill for people. Much of it is organic and we often attribute our success (the ability to write a book as a composite) to chemistry. We, the Kate Bishop three or KBT, are very close and were friends before writing Breathe. We each have very personal and sometimes divergent relationships with writing and our styles reflect this. One of us is the visionary, bringing idea after idea to the writing table. One of us feverishly stitches the story together. And one of us is a wordsmith, deliberate, attending to details, grammar and flow. We’ve likened our journey to the crafting of a garment or the building of a house. The designer, the seamstress, and the quality control supervisor. 

What was interesting was that we began rigid in our roles, but as the book materialized, we each found ourselves assuming new positions. Flowing from one to the next. We resisted any tendency to be territorial, as we knew, in order to succeed, we needed to trust each other and the process. We respect one another deeply as people and as writers, and we returned to this again and again.

Our over-arching goal was to create a book that was fun and light, yet addressed the deeper conflicts we encounter in love and life. Beginning with a rough map of where we were headed, we each wrote a chapter in sequence, never writing two in a row in order avoid the dominance of one voice. We then rewrote each other’s chapters- many times- allowing the voice of three to become one. On conference calls from Concord, Bend, and LA, we read aloud night after night until each sentence felt right to us all. It took patience.

A successful novelist once explained that writing novels can be a lonely road to travel. This was not our experience. We are so grateful to have had each other to laugh, scream, and forgive along the way.

So the process was, in essence, a culmination of what we have learned through yoga thus far. Trust, be open, quiet the ego, love, and believe in abundance.

Excerpt from Breathe:

“Alex, I’m leaving.”

I gagged on a wisp of highlighted hair that had sprung from the towel and stuck to my lip balm. Tripp liked my hair blonde. I’d had it done that day.

“What?” I sputtered.

“I’ll let you take a minute.” He turned and walked into the bathroom.

I followed him, stumbling over a pile by the door: boots, corset, thigh highs . . .
“What do you mean ‘you’re leaving’?”

Tripp turned from the mirror where he was preparing to shave as if nothing had happened.

As he stared at me, I felt like one-eared Billy at a dog show. Flawed. Judged.

“Stop looking at me like that! You can’t tell me it’s over and then look at me like that!” I yelled. He smiled mildly.

“Alex, you need to connect to your Truth. I can’t tell you how. That’s your journey. I can only tell you that I can’t follow this path with you anymore. My truth isn’t here. I found my Authentic Self.”

I was beyond insulted. It was one thing to hear this stuff from my mother who, if nothing else, lived her mundane ‘truth’ day after day, but not from a man who has eight sets of identical platinum cufflinks.

“You found what, where?”

“My Truth is in Atlanta, Alex. I found a place where my spirit can truly soar.” He started shaving.

The light bulb went on, and with the flip of a switch, I went from pissed to full on enraged.

“Wait a minute—your piece of ass is in Atlanta! Let’s not get confused here. Would your ‘Truth’ happen to be a contortionist with perfect boobs? Holy shit, Tripp, are you sleeping with—with Lauren—Lauren—” I spun around, looking for the magazine.

“This isn’t about sex, Alex. Lauren and I are united at a soul level, which I don’t expect you to understand. We’ve traveled through many lifetimes together.” He put the razor down and rubbed his smooth jaw line.

“What? Are you talking past lives with me, Tripp? Six months ago, you believed ‘God’ was a nickname for Microsoft. Can you please speak the actual truth here?”

“Like I said, I don’t expect you to understand. I found my path. Yoga has taken me to my true self, my higher self. None of this stuff really matters.” He was looking at himself in the mirror. “Lauren has been my guide.”

I looked at him in cross-eyed disbelief, then ran to grab the Yoga Journal. Panting, I returned to the bathroom, opened to the dog-eared page, and shoved it in his face.

“This woman opened your soul with some . . . ” I pulled the magazine back, furiously scanning the article. “Lavender and eucalyptus?” I was seething. “Seriously?”

I threw the magazine at his face and missed. It hit his chest pathetically and flopped to the floor. He stepped over it and went back to the bedroom, slid into his jeans commando-style, and picked up his suitcase, still packed.

“Alex, I’m sorry it has to be this way, but there is no talking to you about this.”

No talking to me?

“How are we supposed to talk when you are never here?” I cried.

“This was a mistake, and I haven’t known how to tell you. I’m leaving, Alex.”

I ran down the hall after him, caught my robe on a drawer pull, and lost the entire thing. Who makes robes out of cashmere anyway? When I finally wrestled it back on and reached the door, Tripp’s black Range Rover was sailing down the street, a large sticker on the rear window proclaiming, “Namaste.”

Connect with Kate:
Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter |

Buy the book:



  1. Such a good book, thanks for sharing!

  2. Such a great interview! Thank you for featuring us! - K of Kate Bishop