Kiersten White has one tall husband and two small children. She lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. This abundance of normal led her to a fascination with all things paranormal, including but not limited to vampires, faeries, and pop culture.
She joins us this week to celebrate the publication of her debut YA novel, Paranormalcy, out now from HarperTeen.
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.
Kiersten White Takes the Deb Interview!
Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.
I don’t think enough can be said for surrounding yourself with supportive, wonderful people. My editor, Erica Sussman, makes me laugh nearly every day with her funny emails, and my agent, Michelle Wolfson, could not be more fabulous. I also have incredible critique partners.
But right now this very instant? The fact that my six-year-old daughter just lost her first two teeth and is walking around the house declaring, “NOW I look like a REAL first grader!” Ah, childhood rites of passage.
Which talent do you wish you had?
Honestly, I’d love to be able to dance. Not ballet or anything beautiful, but just to be able to shake my groove thing on a dance floor without looking like I’m either mocking myself or having some strange reaction to the shellfish at dinner. I sometimes imagine dancing to the music I’m listening to, but it inevitably depresses me as I am utterly lacking in both grace and coordination.
Thus, I write.
What time of day do you love best?
Is it terrible to say when my kids fall asleep for the night? Lest you think I am a bad mom, I love it when they’re awake, too, but there’s nothing quite so beautiful as a sleeping child. I love sneaking in and looking at them dreaming away.
Of course, if they weren’t my children that would make me a truly terrifying person, so it’s a good thing I can claim the title of “Mom” in this case.
Share one quirk you have that most people don’t know about.
I give really stupid answers to interview questions.
And, in a less stupid answer, I scowl while reading or writing. I don’t mean to do it, but when I’m concentrating I usually end up bringing my eyebrows together. My kids always ask why I’m mad at my books. What can I say, reading pisses me off. Umm, kidding, of course.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Just have fun! And, in direct contradiction to that, work your freaking butts off.
The “fun” comes in because pre-contract is the only time you are genuinely free to write whatever you want, to experiment, to write just for the sheer joy of building worlds and creating life with nothing but words on a page. But if you really want to be published, you’ve got to know that it’s a long and involved journey. It doesn’t matter how good you are now–be better. Learn. Study. Edit. Don’t be afraid to throw things out and start over. The only way to get where you want to be is to grow as a writer, and the only way to grow is to suck, then suck it up and improve.
Also, again, have FUN. Because if you aren’t having fun, why are you writing?
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
If you ever meet me in person you’ll see that I stand a daunting 4’11” and have a rather small frame. I can no longer claim this, but when I started college I weighed around 100 lbs, and I got hired working at a grocery store…unloading trucks. Yup. Because nothing screams “intense manual labor” like a girl the size of a twelve-year-old.
My YA novel, Paranormalcy, is out now in bookstores everywhere. I think you should read it. Then again, I may be a little biased.
Thanks for coming by! You can check in with Kiersten at her blog, or chat and ask questions in the comments below!