Saturday, March 24, 2018

Interview with Kate Marie - The Bubblegum Rebellion

[Via Unsplash]
Guess who I'm featuring on Adventure Awaits today, questers??? It's Kate Marie, who's basically a ray of sunshine disguised as a human!* She's here to talk about BOOKS (surprise, surprise) and answer some questions about the Bubblegum Rebellion, the blog she launched in January. In her words, this rebellion involves sharing stories about "beauty, wonder, hope, freedom, healing, and starting over." Sounds like a much-needed focus if you ask me!

*(Shush, you didn't see the title already. Be surprised.)


As a four-year-old, Kate regularly yelled long, enraged monologues to the nonplussed white wall of her bedroom when she got sent there as punishment. Her penchant for the dramatic was born then and it continued to grow and flourish as Kate matured. In recent years, the realization dawned on her - she was never happier than when she was acting. Her passion is to bring stories to life - whether it is on a stage or in front of a camera - and her hope is that those stories will change people. When she isn't at rehearsals, she loves writing dark, heavy books that usually include explosions, a big family, and lots of ethnic culture, drawing creepy things that are either burning or bleeding with her art pencils, and reveling in the haunting wistfulness of the trees when she takes long hikes in a nearby park.

But I don't want to steal her thunder. She has a lot more details to share with you. Give it up for Kate!

*insert thunderous applause*

What inspired you to launch The Bubblegum Rebellion?

Kate: I think this is something that has been growing in my heart for a long time, slowly evolving into the full-fledged thing that it is now.

The first step was thinking ahead to my years at college – I’m a senior in high school right now – and how that means, in many ways, a new beginning for me. Or at the very least, a whole new chapter of my life. I’m heading away to college, so I won’t know anyone, I won’t have a reputation or a certain set of expectations that I have to fulfill.

Then I watched the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube – it’s basically a TV show styled as a blog - and I thought, “This is so engaging and fun. I WANT TO DO THAT.” And I suppose the nail in the coffin was talking to my friend Kenzie and deciding that this passion of mine was really an aesthetic, a lifestyle. It isn’t just about me and what is happening in my life – it’s something I want for everyone.

She came up with the name too, by the way.

Who is the Rebellion aimed at?

Kate: I’d say kids in their teens and twenties because that’s where I’m at right now. But this isn’t an exclusive sort of thing – anyone can join because I firmly believe that anyone can have a fresh start. I don’t care how old or how young you are, we all need to find our way back to the wide-eyed wonder of childhood and that’s what this is about.

I wholeheartedly agree! So what can people expect from the Rebellion?

Kate: A big part of this project, for me, is that we as the next generation have so much potential. So much energy and talent and passion. We can do great things. I’d like to build on that bedrock. So The Bubblegum Rebellion is a place where JUST PLAIN GOOD indie art is made and where beauty is celebrated. Photography, film, and writing are three major tools I hope to use.

I realize that I’m dreaming big, but I’d love work on short films and travel documentaries throughout my college career. But even if that stays out of reach, I’ll be doing the vlogs and posting poetry on the blog.

This might be an impossible question, but what was the best book you read in 2017? Or a few of the best?

Kate: Wow, Tracey. Way to send me scrambling to Goodreads.

Well, I’m going to cheat. (Surprise!) Instead of just one book, I’m going to say that most glorious adventure I went on through the pages of a book in 2017 was The Lunar Chronicles.

So many characters to love. So many ships to ship. So many friendships to laugh and cry over. Just wow. I have feels, guys.

YESSSS, a fellow Lunartic! That series completely captured my heart. Okay, now what's on your TBR (to-be read) pile?

Kate: Ooooooh. Are you sure you wanna go here?

Well, I won’t burden you with the whole length of it, but the Harry Potter series resides at the top of the prestigious pile, with The Scarlet Pimpernel and the Ilyon Chronicles nestling right underneath. I also have a fat stack of classics that WILL get read someday.

What are you writing these days?

Kate: I’m glad you asked!

Sunshine is sort of a “for-fun” novel for me. Not that I’m not passionate about it or don’t love the story and characters… I do. But I intentionally threw some very weird ingredients in the blender with this one. One of my weaknesses is writing overly dark and foreboding stories that lack humor and fun. So I called this one Sunshine, made my main character a maniacally upbeat ray of pure happiness, and tried for a lighter tone. I also struggle with my novels being too short so I expanded the cast – there are nine main characters and a dozen or so others that make up the supporting cast. I split the point-of-view up for the first time as well – nine people are sharing it and one of them is, in fact, a dragon. And, just in case things were not interesting enough, I thought it would be fun to mix things up by making the book unrealistically diverse – every single character has a different country of origin.

If the fact that it has made me laugh out loud and get teary-eyed is any indication, I think it’s going really well.

Sounds really fun, Kate! Now this question gets a bit more serious: Readers and writers alike have differing views on fiction. To some, it's an escape. To others, it's self-expression. To still others, it's a form of worship or a calling. For some, it's all that and more. So what does fiction mean to you?

Kate: I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’m still not sure that I have a good answer.

Escapism has always felt wrong to me. But now that I’m a writer, reading is a part of my job. I guess that makes me feel better about how much time I spent lost in the pages of a book? Maybe.

I just recently went to a coffeeshop for the first time in my life. It was a lovely experience and the atmosphere was my favorite part. They were hosting a music night and it had the vibe of a family hanging out, laughing, talking. The guy performing used a quote I had never heard before and it changed the way I think about fiction and escapes. He said that “art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” I like that.

Fiction has done so much for me. Broadened my horizons, educated me, taught me to think for myself, gave me a passion for telling my own stories.

But I do try to remember that moment in the first Hobbit movie when Gandalf tells Bilbo “the world is OUT THERE, not in your books.” My thirst for adventure is strong, but sometimes I need that extra push to prioritize – I should ALWAYS choose a hike in the park with my dad or a long talk about whatever with my little brother over more time reading. Every time. Make the right decision, Kate.

[via Pinterest]
(Sorry, did I take that too deep?)

Not at all. I loved your answer! It's so true that the world is out there, beyond our beloved books. What's the best writing advice you've been given?

Kate: Um.


That’s the best advice because it always works. It isn’t something that’s different for everyone or only works some of the time. There is no writing malady that cannot be solved with more writing. The more you write, the better you get. It’s as simple as that. You get out exactly what you put and you certainly have to exercise some patience – one cannot become a veteran overnight, after all – but I find it immensely encouraging to know that I will get better with time. There is no other option.

Who are your heroes?

Kate: William Wilberforce and Gianna Jessen.

Those two are the most important. But Tolkien is my writing-hero and C. S. Lewis is my Christian-hero and Louisa May Alcott is my womanhood-hero and my dad is my dad-hero and Johnny Depp is my acting-hero and Adam Young is my introvert-hero and there are probably some others I’m forgetting.

"Introvert-hero." *laughs* Love it! Okay, here's the last question(s) to wrap it up . . . Tea or coffee? Pizza or brownies? Narnia or Middle Earth? Marvel or DC? Pen or pencil? (These are important questions, okay? *winks*)

Kate: THESE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS OF ALL AND IF YOU SAY OTHERWISE I WILL… give you… chocolate??? (Nice save, Kate. Very smooth.)




Middle Earth. Sorry, Narnia-fans. The nostalgia is definitely there for me too, because The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe was one of the first books I remember my dad reading aloud to me, but when I revisited the series as an adult… I couldn’t see past the sloppy writing and weak worldbuilding. Yes, I know they are for kids – much The Hobbit. But it’s not for me. The books got better as he continued to write them but in the end, there is no way that Middle Earth can’t win this fight. Tolkien is too brilliant.

Marvel. I haven’t watched many of the films – three Marvel and only one DC – but I’ve done enough research to consider myself something of a nerd and while DC’s aesthetic and soundtracking is better, Marvel’s acting and stories appeal to me more. I think it’s the large cast and the variety of dynamics. Natasha’s friendship with Tony is different than her friendship with Clint which is different than her relationship with Steve. I love that. But I do love Superman. And the kid playing the Flash in Justice League. And I’ve heard some good things about Wonder Woman. So…?

Pen. Pencils smudge and scratch and need sharpened. Not a fan. Writing in pen is confident and permanent.

Thank you so much for having me, Tracey! It was a pleasure.

Thank you, Kate! It was so much fun interviewing you and hearing more about the Bubblegum Rebellion! If you guys are looking for a place to rebelliously joyful, go check out her blog! I believe she has some exciting things in the works, so be sure to follow her so you don't miss a thing. And if you have any questions, leave them here in the comments!


  1. MY KATE ON MY TRACEY'S BLOG. THIS IS GLORIOUSNESS!!!!!! When I saw this on my dashboard I got a big grin on my face, which continued to widen as I read this delightful post!

    These were fantastic questions, Tracey! And, Kate, YOU ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATION. I just get filled up and happy and motivated every time I read about your life goals and ambitions and hope for The Bubblegum Rebellion.

    "The Bubblegum Rebellion is a place where JUST PLAIN GOOD indie art is made and where beauty is celebrated." <---THIS. This is so beautiful and good and perfect. I'm so tired of stories being bogged down with agendas. Or cheapened with lazy writing. Can't we just make GOOD art anymore? Again I say, YOU INSPIRE ME. Don't ever, EVER stop dreaming big. You're gonna do amazing things, and I can't wait to see what all God has in store for you!

    The Lunar Chronicles is the best. That is all.

    Harry Potter and The Scarlet Pimpernel are on my list as well! I thought I was like the last person on this earth who hadn't read those things. BUT SOON. Especially HP. I really hope to dive into it very, very SOON. *nods* (Also, the Ilyon books are fantastic!)

    Whoooa wait. Your book Sunshine has a dragon?!?! I DON'T THINK I REALIZED THIS. DRAGOOONNNN. I love that you're just being wild and free with that novel and writing it for fun. So often we turn writing into a chore and forget it's a JOY and to just have fun with it and let our creativity run free.

    "Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable." Whoa. That IS powerful. Thank you for sharing that with us, Kate! It's so, so true! Your answer to this whole question was beautiful. ^_^

    I love all your heroes! Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are mine as well! Also..."Adam Young is my introvert-hero" DYING. XD I'm not an introvert, but I adore and admire Adam Young with all my being. He's too precious for this world. <3

    This whole interview was just so joyous and inspiring. Thank you both for sharing with us! <333

    1. *screeeeeeek*


      Yesssssss. I talk about this with my brothers all the time -- good art is so rare these days and I just want to asd;lfkjasdlfkjasd;lkfj CHANGE THAT.

      *violent sobbing* Aghhhh, your belief in me means the world, Christine. Seriously. That fact that there are people in this amazing community who think that I'm going to make an impact... it boggles my mind. I WILL TRY MY BEST NOT TO DISAPPOINT YOU!! *charges forward with sword*


      Whoa. Twin moment. *fistbump*

      IT DOES. My main character is just so much fun. She is sweet and innocent and RIDES A DRAGON and fights crime and just... I aspire to her level of wide-eyed happiness. So yeah.

      One of my new favorite quotes, I think!!!

      ;)))) I LOVE HIM. Like seriously, I relate on a spiritual level to all of his songs.

      Thank you so much for reading and for your precious comment -- as always!!!

    2. So very happy you enjoyed the interview, Christine! (I still need to read your interview with Kate too! I'm so behind on people's blogs. XD)

      SO MUCH YES TO THE GOOD ART THING. I hate how everyone seems to care more about their own agendas than the actual STORY. Please, people, just write a solidly good story and the rest will take care of itself.

      You're not the last person on earth to read HP or The Scarlet Pimpernel. I've yet to read either. ;)

      I love that quote too!!! I'm so glad you shared it with us, Kate. <3

  2. This has to be one of the funnest interviews I've read in a long while! First, I'm so interested in the blog.. will check out as soon as I comment. I so love all your answers! I love the quote about comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable... something I so want to do in my writing... and YES! TO WRITE ONE MUST WRITE! I love the answers to the important questions ;) though, I love both DC and Marvel... at times I like DC a little more just as I can relate to the characters on a deep level. Though DC can tend to be a little dark and depressing.

    1. *screams incoherently* Keturah, you have no idea what a compliment that is!!!

      YES YES YES.

      Truuuue, DC has a great aesthetic. Sort of dark and foreboding and shadowy... honestly, it's a hard-won battle between the two...

    2. A well deserved compliment! Your blog is gorgeous... I just couldn't find a way to follow?

    3. Keturah, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And I agree, that quote is amazing.

      Heehee, I'm Marvel all the way, guys. XD

    4. @Keturah -- I will add a button for that immediately!! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

      @Tracey -- yasss Marvel!!

  3. It's great to see you here, Kate!
    I'm looking forward to perusing the awesome creativity you will have up on Bubblegum Rebellion!

    1. I'm looking forward to it too, Blue! :D

    2. @Blue -- HIIIII!!! (al;sdjkf;asldkjf you guys are so sweet!!) I am so excited about sharing with you all!!

  4. ......*stares*


    ........*stares some more*

    .......How have I not looked at The Bubblegum Rebellion yet?

    *hurriedly runs off to remedy this travesty*

    1. @Megan HEY YOU!!! Don't worry about it - I set it up a while ago, yes, but it won't be ACTIVE until September and the whole point of the interview was to SPREAD THE WORD!!! *hugs*

  5. Great interview! I like Kate already. :D

  6. Adam Young is my introvert hero toooooo!!! He's awesome!

    This was an amazing interview. The more I hear about The Bubblegum Rebellion, the more interested I am in it!

    And WOW, that quote is... wow. Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable. Love it!!

    1. Haha, this reminds me of something I saw somewhere (Pinterest, probably): "INTROVERTS UNITE! ...Alone in the privacy of our own homes." XD

      Yes! Go follow her! :D

      I adore that quote too. It puts into words something I've felt about art for a long time.

    2. @Lila -- Isn't he simply precious (my favorite lyric of all time: "and like an introvert/i drew my overshirt/around my arms and began to shiver violently" it just... sums up the introvert experience so completely. ;))) ???

      asdlkfja;sdlkfj I am so pleased to hear that, Lila!!!

      Right?? I feel like it really captures the fact that fiction is SO POWERFUL. It can bring healing, but it can also inspire CHANGE.

      @Tracey -- SAME AND I LOVE IT. (I need a tshirt, guys.)

  7. Oh I remember finding Kate's blog, she is awesome!
    Great interview!

    1. She sure is! Glad you liked it, Skye! :D


  8. This was an awesome interview!! ^_^ Adam Young is totally my introvert hero too. He's so amazing!! :D

    And YAY! LUNARTICS UNITE! *high fives all fellow fans*

    1. Yessssss, he is just... THERE AREN'T WORDS. He is brilliant, for one thing. And so true to himself and really just seems like a sweet guy with his priorities in the right place.


    2. I agree with both of you guys! (Who else can't wait for Cinematic to come out???)

      *joins the loud and proud high fives*

  9. I heard of the Bubblegum Rebellion when I read Kate's interview on Musings of An Elf, and I looked her blog over. I the idea of the Bubblegum Rebellion! This was such a fun post to read!

    1. Hi, Hanna!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and that you're interested!! Gosh, you guys are so flattering. *is blushing*

    2. Glad you liked it, Hanna! <333

  10. Hey, Tracey!!! Just wanted to say a huge thank you for letting me "borrow" your blog and talk about the things I'm passionate about!! I OWE YOU ONE!!

    1. Anytime, Kate! Thanks again for "being here!" ;D It was so much fun to interview you.

  11. EEEEP! This interview was absolutely wonderful!!! ACK! I am so excited for the Bubblegum Rebellion... *squeals for 3,000 years*

    Also. HI. I'M KENZIE. *waves* I don't think I've ever been to your blog before, but OH MY WORD THIS IS GORGEOUSNESS??? I am following. *punches follow button*

    I am SO excited about the just plain good indie art. I LOVE indie things, and I'm actually trying to absorb more of the indie this year. SO YES. YES TO ALL OF THE THIS. (also, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with dreaming big, Kate!! You go and dream all of the dreams! That's what dreams are for, after all! <333)

    Also, Tracey, THAT QUESTION ABOUT WHAT FICTION MEANS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE...? That was absolutely amazing. You deserve the Ultimate Interviewer award. XD

    (wow, this comment was really scattered. #oops. I'm just really excited, apparently. XD)

    1. HI, KENZIE! I think I've seen you SOMEWHERE in the blogosphere... maybe Musings of an Elf? Unless that was a different Kenzie, or I'm remembering totally wrong. XD Thanks so much for the follow!!!

      Yessss, good art! Good indie art! I'm slowly getting better at finding more of it. XD ("Go. Live your dream." <--Tangled much?)

      Awwww, thank you! That's a topic very near and dear to my heart.

      Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview so much! ^_^