Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blooming Author: Kiersten White!

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ~ George Sheehan

Kiersten White is a YA writer whose book, Paranormalcy, will be available from HarperTeen in August, 2010.

Tell us about Paranormalcy. What is it about and where will it be available?

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 will be available in all major bookstores and on Amazon!

What were your inspirations for Paranormalcy? What sorts of thing inspire you as a writer in general?

I was mostly inspired by ideas of supernatural creatures and a desire to both take them back to more original mythology and also kind of play with the pop culture ideas of them. Everything spun out from there.

I'm always inspired by dramatic landscapes--I took a trip to Romania this summer and now I have a whole book in my head set there! I also like music that inspires a lot of emotion, and I like researching mythology. There's so much there that can spur ideas.

Let's talk about your process. How do you approach a story, do you start with outlines or something else? Where did you work when writing Paranormalcy? Do you think it
was the optimal writing environment for you?

I'm a stay-at-home mom to two young children, so I write wherever and whenever I can! I started writing Paranormalcy sitting on my bed while my son napped and my daughter played, and most of it was written there or on the couch. I can't be picky about my working environment or I'd never get anything done!

I very rarely outline. I start a story in full voice, let it churn in my mind, and then go from there. I will take notes on what needs to happen overall and in the next chapter, but I never do full outlines. I find that if I take away my characters' ability to surprise me, I lose interest in the story or force it to go in a way that isn't the best course.

Tell us about your "story of getting published." How long did you submit before you were accepted? How did it feel to get accepted?

I queried off and on for a year with a disastrously boring middle grade project before writing my first YA novel. I sent out forty-five letters for that one before finding my fabulous agent, Michelle Wolfson. She sent that book out on submission in January of 2009, which was when I wrote Paranormalcy. When the other book didn't sell, I went back and edited Paranormalcy. We sent that out at the end of July and it sold in a pre-empt mid-August.

It was certainly a roller coaster! After the very disappointing experience of waiting month after month only to get more rejections on my first book, getting offers so quickly on Paranormalcy was surreal. When Michelle called with the pre-empt from my dream house, I sank to the floor and just laughed. It still feels unreal most days!

What are the publicity plans you have coming up?

I'm going to do a few big contests on my blog--one going right now--as well as signings in several different cities when the book comes out. Currently all I have set is Oceanside, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah, but I'll keep everyone posted! I've thought about a few other promotional things, but I'm not really sure what's worth it when you weigh the effectiveness versus the time/cost. It seems to me it'd be very easy to go overboard on a lot of little things that won't reach very many people. Regardless, I'll keep up my blogging and presence on Twitter and figure out what else to do!

You can also find Kiersten online at

1 comment:

  1. Aww, I love her story about submissions, and the contrast between the MG and YA books she sent out.

    Great interview, thanks!