"Falling is like this" for NJ author Kate Rockland

Kate Rockland’s (http://www.katerockland.com/) post-college life sounded like a scene out of the movie Almost Famous by Cameron Crowe. A young writer working for Rolling Stone and the New York Times, follows the NJ punk rock scene, interviewing and hanging out with the bands, even dating a rocker.  Now the Hoboken nursery school teacher turned novelist is set to release her debut book Falling is Like This in May from St. Martin’s Press. 

The novel, vividly set in The East Village and New Jersey, follows the love rollercoaster of Harper, a writer who falls for the lead singer of a NJ punk band.  While the book is not autobiographical, many of scenes and experiences reflect Kate’s professional and personal life since graduating from Rutgers University.

Kate grew up in Morristown and graduated from Morristown-Beard in 1999.  While at Rutgers, she started the first ever sex column for the school paper, Targum, and went on to work for Rolling Stone Magazine.  After the magazine went through layoffs, Kate spent 6 months drinking tons of coffee, observing and writing.  As a result, Kate created a “love letter to two places I have lived: The East Village and New Jersey”

Naturally, we wanted to learn more about this promising new author and how love and punk music has inspired her.

What was the inspiration for Falling is Like This?
I loved the world of punk rock in NJ, its epicenter in New Brunswick and Asbury Park, the charming yet cheeky boys in punk bands. I got a feel for the lifestyle of artists and really liked it. 

Explain how the NY and NJ scenes became like another character.
I wanted to show how comforting the space around Newark airport is: the factories, car lots of Elizabeth, the power plants and the Turnpike. I find beauty in the massive steel structures.

In the first chapter, Harper meets her future love interest Nick at Mudd café in NY. Does it really exist?
Mudd cafe is in the East Village, on 9th street near 2nd avenue. I wrote a lot of the book sitting at one of their little wooden tables, watching the characters of the Village stroll in.

Of all of the NJ bands you’ve interviewed, who were some of your favorite?
I have a great love of New Jersey punk bands such as Lifetime, The Bouncing Souls, and Sticks and Stones.

Did you ever date a punk rocker?
Yes. He never went to college but was smarter then anyone I knew.  I quickly realized that guys in bands will always love their band more then you. Beware, girls!

This is a reprint of my interview with Kate Rockland for NJMyWay.com. View the original here.

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