Thursday, April 8, 2010

Talk Back Thursdays: Kiersten White

Welcome to the first edition of Talk Back Thursdays. I've designated this month "Authors in April" so the first few issues will be with authors.

For the first interview, I present Kiersten White. Also stop by and check out her blog.


Welcome to the first episode of Talk Back Thursdays, and the first edition of Authors in April, Kiersten.Congratulations on your new novel. So you’ve got your first copy of PARANORMALCY in hand. Does it feel real yet?

Every stage feels a little more real than the last! Although I do sometimes forget, and seeing that cover with my name on it is always a happy surprise. It's actually happening! How odd.

Tell us a little about your publishing journey.

I started writing about five years ago, after my first child was born. Initially it was just a hobby, something to pass the time. I didn't get serious about pursuing publication until I started writing YA novels. I wrote the first one of those in June of 2008 and signed with Michelle Wolfson, my agent, that November. I wrote another novel that December, and PARANORMALCY that January. When the first novel didn't sell, I decided Para was the one to pursue and spent several months editing it. Michelle went out with it the end of July, and by mid-August we had a three-book deal with HarperTeen, and my brain exploded with joy.

I don't think my brain has quite recovered yet, in all honesty.

Right now I've turned in the first sequel, am editing a previous project, and drafting an entirely new book that will hopefully turn into something wonderful. I like to keep busy.

From your ravings (and Tawna’s) I deduce that Michelle Wolfson is either a superhero from another planet or an angel. Is it possible to be both? What’s your relationship like?

Michelle is fabulous to work with. She's warm and funny and approachable, but also very aggressive. I never doubt her drive or business savvy, and I know she got me the best possible home for my books. She responds quickly to any and all questions, is always professional, but also delightfully (and occasionally wickedly) funny. I adore her.

You’re a fulltime Mommy and wife. How difficult is it to squeeze in writing? What’s a typical day like in the Kiersten White household?

My days involve feeding kids, dressing kids, feeding kids, re-dressing kids, running errands, feeding kids, and putting kids to bed. And feeding them. So yes, the days are very, very full and it can be hard to get in any writing time. Typically I try to write in the evenings after they go to bed, but anyone who has kids can tell you how frequently bedtime is either challenged or messed up. So, like anyone else, finding the time is always the challenge.

So PARANORMALCY? Interesting name. Tell us about the book.

PARANORMALCY follows Evie, a sixteen-year-old girl working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. In a world surrounded by the paranormal, Evie desperately wants a little normal. But when someone--or something--starts murdering immortal paranormals, she's got to decide which is more important--figuring out how to be normal, or accepting who she is and, you know, saving the paranormal world and stuff.

Evie sounds awesome. Is she a lot like you? What would be Evie’s ideal Saturday night? Does she like mayonnaise on her French Fries? (I mean inquiring minds are dying to know!)

Evie has a similar sense of humor, but that's about it. Evie's ideal Saturday night would be to go on a date with a cute boy and have as normal a teenage experience as possible. So, if she thought putting mayonnaise on french fries was normal no doubt she'd at least try it. But I'm pretty sure that's the strangest thing I've ever heard...

Finally, any advice for those aspiring to get to where you are?

Work. Writing is wonderful and fun and engaging, but if you are determined to get published, you really, truly have to work at it. Hard. A lot. It's gonna take some sacrifices, and a whole lot of drive on your part. So decide whether or not it's what you really, truly want. If it is, full speed ahead!

Thank you Kiersten, for your time. Good luck with the novel.
PARANORMALCY will be out September 21st. Get thee to the store nearest you and pre-order it now!


Stay tuned next Thursday for the next installment of Talk Back Thursdays. I hope you enjoyed it!


Cynthia Reese said...

Great interview! I have it on the best authority that Michelle Wolfson IS a superhero-alien-angel -- my CP Tawna adores her. Congrats, Kiersten!

Marsha Sigman said...

AWESOME!!! Great interview!

Anonymous said...

10 out of 10 interview!
Actually I've just found your blog and am completely hooked! You are quite some lady. I read your "about" page and well... it's some intro! Very inspiring. Wishing you ever success and all the luck in the world with your writing career.
with love Caroline x

Tawna Fenske said...

I second Kiersten's declaration of Michelle's awesomeness!

And I also second everyone else's declaration of Kiersten's awesomeness!

Great blog post!


Kiersten White said...

Thanks again for the fun interview, Claire! Also, four languages?? Color me impressed and jealous.

Claire Dawn said...

Thanks everybody.

You're welcome Kiersten. I tried to capture a little bit of the spirit you have on your blog in the questions.

As for 4 languages: color me crazy :S