Title: Down with this Ship
Author: Katie Kingman
Review by: Dani Hoots
Kole Miller is the best writer at the prestigious Crystal Lake High. But no one knows it—not her creative writing classmates, or even her academic arch nemesis Colin (aka Mr. Valedictorian). That’s because Kole’s best work is a secret fanfic based on The Space Game, her favorite show.
When Kole’s fanfic wins a major contest, her readership skyrockets. Suddenly, Kole finds herself stuck in the heated ship wars, as her new readers pair characters from the show together as romantic couples. Worse yet, Kole’s classmates discover that she’s the fanfic’s author. Now it isn’t just The Space Game everyone is arguing about: they start shipping Kole with her classmates.
With her romantic life in shambles and her anxiety through the roof, Kole must face both her inner demons and the ones at her school. She has one chance to reclaim her fanfic—and the guy that Kole now realizes she’s shipped herself with since episode one of the school year.
*I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review
This book is a great romantic comedy for anyone who loves to write stories or fan fiction. When I was in high school, I liked to write a lot and wrote fanfics, mainly Star Wars, so I really could connect to Kole. I didn’t keep it a secret, since everyone already knew I was a big nerd, but I couldn’t imagine what Kole went through when other people found out and she started getting bullied online with comments when her fanfic won.
I loved watching Kole figure out her demons and become a stronger person. I also loved the romantic elements and love triangle. Kingman does a great job of making you connect with the MC and rooting for her the entire time. I recommend this to anyone who loves romance, coming of age stories, and people who write fanfics!
Check out the Q&A with Katie Kingman below!
Q&A With Katie Kingman!
I haven’t really written fan fiction before, but I remember being super proud of fanart I drew of Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the 90s. I was a huge David Boreanaz fan — ha!
If so, what fandom? If not, what fandom would you consider writing fan fiction for?
If I were to write fanfic I would rewrite the entire last season of Penny Dreadful. There were some parts I liked, but there’s no way I would let that ending slide! I’d do Ethan and Vanessa justice, and make the arc of her faith make sense. I would also give the side characters more justice — particularly the creature and Victor.
What made you want to write this book?
I was fascinated with the idea of a creator coming face to face with their critics — and not being able to shut them down because they’re forced together; in this case, it made sense to make them in classes together. It makes the tension unavoidable, and I love to give my characters a hard time!
Is this the first book you ever wrote, or do you have another story hidden in a drawer somewhere?
This is the second — the first is actually THE SPACE GAME that Kole is obsessed with, or a space opera that was sitting on my drive called THE SEVEN SKIES. I wasn’t ready to let go of the idea of it, and in that sense, DOWN WITH THIS SHIP is fanfic of that manuscript. The snippets in this novel are from that draft.
Have you always wanted to write, or did you decide later on that you wanted to become an author?
I remember saying I wanted to be a writer in high school, but that was because I’d impressed my teacher with a short story I’d written for an assignment. It wasn’t until I was much older and a parent that I found myself needing an escape and writing provided that outlet.
What is your favorite ship in your favorite fandom? What about your book?
Well, I think the one I was most engrossed in first was Buffy and Angel (sorry Spike fans!), but then it evolved to many, many others. I also loved Luke Skywalker and Callista in the extended universe novels (not so much Mara Jade). My most recent, and most heartbreaking ship, is Bellarke. Unfortunately my ships don’t often get happy endings. In my book, I love the rivals to enemies element, which means I’d have to side with Kole and Colin. But I adore Noah too!
Do you write with music? If so, do you have any songs from your playlist you would like to share?
Definitely! I’m always writing to film scores. Bear McCreary and James Horner are my favorites, but I love Hans Zimmer as well. I can’t do lyrics when I write as I find them distracting.
Lastly, do you have any inspiring words for writers who want to be published some day?