Inspiration Friday: Kate Jacobs

The Friday Night Knitting Club, a novel about a group of diverse women who come together for the sake of yarn and needles, scored a top spot on the New York Times Best Seller list when it was released in 2006. Soon after, the book spawned new knitting/book clubs around the country, and was even optioned for theatrical release starring Julia Roberts. After all that success, you’d think author Kate Jacobs would be nervous to write the sequel. Instead, she welcomed the challenge. Knit Two was released last month and has already hit best seller status.

How did the sequel come about?
KATE JACOBS: I always had a future for all the characters. After I finished writing the first book, there was a lot of emotion. I was drained, I needed a break. Different circumstances in my life led me to write Comfort Food, which is a very lighthearted book. It was comforting to readers, and to me too – I wrote it after my husband had become unexpectedly ill. Thankfully, he recovered. Once all that was done, I was finally ready. I knew it was time to sit down and finish telling the story of these characters. Knit Two is set five years later because, I wanted Dakota (the pre-teen daughter of the main character in the first book) to be a young adult.

Do you have to know how to knit in order to enjoy the books?
Not at all. You don’t have to be a knitter to join the club. I thought, ‘How mean would it be to write about this great club, but you can’t be a part of it unless you knit?’ I didn’t want it to be cliquey, I wanted it to be a celebration of friendship. Knitting exists in the book as the activity they share, but not all the characters knit. And some who do knit, knit very badly. Some are great knitters, so there is a whole spectrum. The core of the book is about their relationships and their busy lives. It is also about how these characters have to work to maintain their friendship, as well as their hobby, when they are busy dealing with all the changes in their lives.

What is your view on the relationship between crafting and reading?
The commonality is the interest in detail. People who read, love the details in a story. People who craft are interested in the details of creating. And reading is very creative, you bring yourself to a story and you have to imagine this story. Sure, the writer brings the words and story, but you have to visualize the rest. Just like with crafts and having the materials and directions. The outcomes are always different.

Have you noticed a lot of knitters crossing over to reading?
I’ve mostly seen the other way around. I‘ve had book clubs learning how to knit. I talk to about 40 book clubs a month, and very often, they will say “So-and-so knows how to knit. She brought yarn and needles for everyone, she is going to teach us”. So these book club meetings have expanded into knitting lessons, which I think is fabulous. I also hear in email from people who say they haven’t picked up needles in years but the book has inspired them to do it again. I’m also hearing from a lot of knitters who are trying the pattern in the back of the book!

Does knitting help with your writing?
You can’t type continually. You have to take a little break here and there and knitting helps to keep your hands busy. So I always knit things that are easy. I don’t like to have to think too hard about what I’m knitting. I want to use that time to think about the story for my book and its characters. I often knit little pieces of what the characters happen to be making in the book to get in the zone and feel a connection with them. Honestly, I have a lot of half-finished pieces! I get excited about choosing the yarn and the pattern, I’m all into it and I see something else and get distracted. This is funny because with writing, I am completely focused.

Any updates on the movie?
It is progressing, it takes a long time to put a book into a movie. The last I heard it is going through rewrites. I learned for Hollywood folks it is all about schedules and stuff, I just keep doing my thing and don’t pay attention to it. It is surreal and exciting, I more excited about writing books. My focus is on storytelling. Movie stuff is a delightful extra.

If you would like to have Kate Jacobs call your book, group, visit her web site at http://www.katejacobs.com.

P.S. On a side note, here are some other book events happening right now:

– Gwendolyn Zepeda’s new novel, Houston We Have A Problema is now on sale!
– Check out the Chica Lit New Year’s Blog Tour! It starts right HERE!
– Feel like giggling while you scrap? You MUST check out a copy of Snippets: Mostly True Tales from the Lighter Side of Scrapbooking by Lain Ehmann.

Felicidades,
Kathy 🙂

Love & light,


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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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