In Conversation with Kate Milliken

Kept Animals is one of those books that is about everything; while the main plot centers around a tragedy that ties three girls together, the book also explores the dynamic between mothers and daughters, the connection we sometimes have to animals, and how tragedy reverberates throughout a community. Upon finishing the book, I was awestruck at just how much author Kate Milliken was able to squeeze into a book of such standard length. This is a novel that I can’t stop thinking about, by a writer showcasing total control of her craft.

Milliken's Kept Animals is OUT TODAY. We discuss her inspirations, whether or not this novel fits into the ‘girl and her horse’ genre, and what’s coming next.

Hunter Mclendon: Most of Kept Animals takes place in Topanga Canyon, California. I read that you grew up riding horses there, and it’s clear from the way you’ve written about this place that you have a deep love for it. Do you find it easier or harder to write about places you love? Is there more pressure of getting it right, so others can see the same love you have for it?