I’m so excited about today…not only because it’s Friday and the weekend looks bright but because I’m interviewing blogger extraordinaire and future NYT Bestselling Author Kiersten White. I asked her a slew of questions about how she got her start and what’s propelled her to where she is today: on the precipice of her YA novel breaking out.
1-Your debut novel, Paranormalcy, comes out August 31st from Harper Teen. What’s it about?
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.
2-What inspired you to write it?
A shiny pink Taser showed up on my doorstep one day, and as I considered its various uses a tall dark man sporting some very sharp canines jumped out of the bushes and lunged for my neck. Luckily my finger was already on the trigger and he was in for a shock. After I subdued him, several people in suits showed up and said they’d take it from there. Which got me thinking–if the goal were to neutralize vampires and other dangerous supernatural creatures without killing them, what better way to do it than a secret, international government group? And who better to work for them than a sarcastic, delightful sixteen-year-old girl?
Except minus the part where I got a Taser and took out a vamp.
3-What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
Finding the time. I love writing first drafts and I love editing–but as a stay-at home mom to two energetic young kids who have issues with bedtime, finding the time to do any of it is a daily challenge!
4-What would you say is the easiest?
I love editing. I know that makes me weird, but I really enjoy having a finished draft that I can then tweak and rearrange and smooth and prune. It’s not as much work as actually creating, and I love seeing something that I made progress and become what I’d hoped it could be!
5-How long did it take you write Paranormalcy, find an agent, then sell it?
I already had my agent when I wrote Paranormalcy. Another novel of mine was on submission with editors and I needed something to distract me. I wrote the first draft of Paranormalcy in three weeks, edited it a couple of times, and then set it aside. When we decided to pull the book on sub, I went back to Para and spent a solid three months editing it–sending it to critique partners, cutting 10,000 words, smoothing it out, and even going so far as to read the entire thing out loud to myself to make sure it was in the best possible shape. My agent loved it, editors immediately responded, and three weeks later we had a three book deal with HarperTeen in a pre-empt. It was definitely a whirlwind, and much, MUCH more fun than the first book that never sold.
6-Finally, do you have any advice for writers seeking publication?
Work! People freak out when they hear that I wrote Paranormalcy in three weeks, but what they don’t see are the four years I spent writing before that novel, or the months I spent editing, using everything I’d learned through reading, my own writing, and from my critique partners. Writing is fun and engaging and wonderful, but if you really want to get published, you’re going to have to put an insane amount of time into it. You’re going to have to sacrifice. You’re going to have to work, and it’s going to be hard.
But is it worth it? Absolutely!
Thank you so much Kiersten, for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by Pararomance and answer some questions! I, for one among many, can’t wait to get my hands on Paranormalcy come August 31st.
I’m already counting down…