Thursday, August 5, 2010

Author Interview: Kiersten White

As promised, today I have the pleasure of interviewing Kiersten White. You might know her from blog Kiersten Writes, which is made of awesome just like she is, or perhaps you've heard the name alongside the title of a little book called Paranormalcy. Regardless of whether or not you already know her, you should. I'd tell you to go check out her blog and come back, but I know you'd just get lost in the wonder that is the Yeti-Leprechaun love story, so you'll just have to go look at it after the interview. : )

About Kiersten: 
"I'm a YA writer represented by the wonderful Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary. My first novel, PARANORMALCY, will be published by HarperTeen in August, 2010, with two sequels to follow. Which makes me all sorts of happy . . .
When not lost in a Word document or cyberspace, I spend time with my wonderful husband and two rather adorable children. I prefer mountains over beaches (a bit of a problem when you live in San Diego), Dr Pepper over Coke (but should probably quit drinking either), and parenthetical statements over dashes (but only in theory--clearly I use dashes more often)." -- from her blog made of win.
Check out her website, or visit her on Twitter.
On to the interview!

Yours Truly: Your book, PARANORMALCY is about a girl who “bags and tags” paranormal creatures for a company; even though it’s not out yet, we all know Evie has a fascination with the color pink and great taste in boys, but what’s something we don’t know about her?

Kiersten: Evie's never had a family that she can remember (she went from the foster system to IPCA).  Because of this she tends to idealize "normal" life, fantasizing about high school and lockers and things the rest of us would find very banal.  She's very determined to be as normal as possible in the midst of so much paranormal.  Because of this, she has a bit of a hard time admitting that maybe she isn't quite so normal as she'd like to believe...

YT: Now I want to give her a hug. So, PARANORMALCY took you an entire three weeks to write (not counting those lovely months of revisions), but it wasn’t your first novel; what is the longest it has taken you to write a first draft? By the way, I’m still not entirely sure how you and Natalie both write so incredibly FAST. I’m only slightly jealous.

K: If it makes you feel any better, I have slowed way, way down in the last year. (It doesn't make me feel any better, though!  I miss those lightning drafts.) 

(Yours Truly still thinks Kiersten is a writing fiend. A FIEND, I tell you.) 

The first novel I ever wrote, a 40k word middle grade time travel fantasy, took me nearly two years from start to finish.  It was also disastrously boring and really, really the wrong genre for me.  Once I started writing YA, I really took off with writing.  I suppose you could say I found my calling/obsession.

YT: You’re working on some super secret stuff that you’re keeping close to the chest; is there anything you’re working on that you can tell us about? Any teasers for us?

K: Yes!  I have a finished manuscript that I hope will be my next non-Paranormalcy project (I still have to write the third and final book of Evie's series).  It's a YA novel called Dream of Me.  It's about ghosts!  And obsession!  (And Florida! and fire ants! and kissing!)  I'm absurdly emotionally invested in this manuscript and am both very hopeful that it will get picked up by a publisher and vaguely terrified at the same time.  I put a lot of myself into this one; hopefully you'll be able to read it someday!

YT: SQUEE!!! Okay people, don't forget to breathe! Excited. EXCITED! Ahem. Now then, for the writers out there, you’ve said before that you walk the line between being a pantser and an outliner, but do you have a writing routine of any sort? Must there always be a can of Dr. Pepper at your side before a single word can be typed?

K: If I had a checklist of things that needed to be in place in order for me to write, I'd never get anything done.  I have to take what time I can, where I can, and how I can.  I used to love writing on my bed during naptime with a bowl of popcorn and a can of cold soda.  Then my kids stopped napping and I found out microwave popcorn is freaking toxic.

This may be a key factor in my dramatic reduction of productivity...

YT: I'd heard you say that about popcorn before, and while I can't bring myself to throw it away, it just sits on the shelf staring at me now. Moving on, you write first drafts so quickly and spend more time doing revisions, what is your favorite part of working on a new work-in-progress?

K: I love that thrill of discovery when a character starts talking to me and telling me what their voice sounds like.  I also love writing dialogue--interaction between characters is my absolute favorite thing to do.

It's also always fun reading back over a first draft and hitting funny parts I'd forgotten about that still make me laugh.  That feeling of, this isn't perfect but it's something!

YT: It really is a great feeling, discovering your words aren't a complete and total waste, haha. And one last question for fun, if you could see any book made into a movie, what would it be and why?

K: You know, I actually hate it when a book I love gets made into a movie!  Either it will be amazing and replace my vision of the books (like Lord of the Rings) or it will fall flat and be a disappointment (like pretty much every other book adaptation imaginable).  Regardless, I prefer the way books play out in my head.  Movies are so limited in their ability to convey things and so truncated by time issues that you never get the level of character development you find in books.

Which is why I prefer movies in which a lot of things explode.

That being said, I'm very excited for the adaptation of The Hobbit.

YT: Completely understand being wary of movie adaptations as most of them don't live up to the books. And I'm super excited for The Hobbit as well! (If they'll ever get started on it.) And YES to things exploding. : )

K: Thanks Amanda!  You're wonderful.  Thank you for being so excited and supportive!

YT: No, thank you for taking time out of your super busy schedule to come and talk to me! I mean, us. Yes, all of us. 

Isn't she great? And for those of you who have been living under a rock,  a little bit about the upcoming Paranormalcy, because I'm a fangirl and love spreading the word about this book.


Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.
Paranormalcy hits shelves August 31st, so get ready for it!

Buy the book: Amazon | B&N


Kristan said...

"Which is why I prefer movies in which a lot of things explode."

LOL. Great interview, girls, thank you both!

Talli Roland said...

Brilliant interview! Thank you both!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview! This book sounds great and I love the cover :)

reberto.alberto said...
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Renee Collins said...

Kiersten's awesome. So is Paranormalcy I knew when I read it (back before Kiersten was famous ;)) that it would be huge.

Also, as a side note, I like to think I was the one to guide Kiersten to the Trueness of Dr. Pepper. I'm a good friend like that.

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madameduck said...

Just found your blog and I'm loving it! you write great reviews/interviews. I'll be coming back! :)


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