Today we have a wonderful interview with Kristina McBride, an old hat at this event. I’m so glad to have her back on the blog again today.
1. Welcome back Kristina. What have you been up to in the past year?
This past year has been busy for me. My third novel for young adults, A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT, released in July of 2016, which was very exciting. In addition, I’ve taught creative writing at the college level, plus I was fortunate enough to be chosen for a writer’s residency at a high school for the arts in South Carolina. I visited SC for two separate weeks, but the work spanned most of the school year. This residency was one of my favorite things – I led roughly 250 students to write short pieces that were compiled for a publication.
2. What is your favorite book that you have written? Why?
My favorite book of my own (that is currently published) is A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT. I love the twists and turns in the plot and how everything unfolds at a breakneck speed. It’s dark and edgy, but also has plenty of light and fun moments. When I began A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT, I wanted to play with structure. The story splits in the beginning as the main character makes an important choice, and the readers follow her as she plays out both versions of the events in alternating chapters. Things come back together for a grand finale that was so much fun to write. I hope it’s as much fun to read!
3. There was a big gap between your 2012 release (One Moment) and your 2016 release (A Million Times Goodnight), can you talk about that a little bit?
I was juggling multiple things between the two releases—raising two little ones, teaching college level courses, school visits—much of which I already mentioned above. In addition, I was writing. But I was also dealing with the closing of my first publication house, Egmont USA. With the major change, it was a tricky time where I was trying to find a new place for myself in the publication world. (It was actually a lot worse than that, but I’ve had enough distance that I can finally discuss it without feeling like the world is about to end.) Funny enough, I actually sold A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT twice! First to Egmont USA for a June 2015 release, and then, after Egmont closed and the book died, it was sold again to Sky Pony Press for the July 2016 publication. I’m so happy I landed at Sky Pony!
4. Can you talk a little about your 2017 release (The Bakersville Dozen)?
THE BAKERSVILLE DOZEN was a blast to write! I wanted to play around with a darker theme, hence the missing girls/serial killer aspect. I also wanted to tie that to something seemingly innocent, which led to the inclusion of the scavenger hunt. In addition, there’s a viral video featuring thirteen girls (including my MC) in some less-than-desirable situations. The set-up opens on the last day of school when my main character receives the first clue in this hunt, one that she believes will be a fun way to kick off her summer break. But then she finds the first treasure—the dead body of one of the girls who have recently gone missing. Is she the only one who can save the remaining girls, and keep herself from becoming the next victim? Or will her choices lead her right into the killer’s trap?
5. What would you say to an aspiring author if you could only give one piece of advice?
Write. Write. Write. And then write some more. Write everything that comes to mind. Play with it. Mold it into something new. Above all, have fun! You can’t become a strong writer unless you put in the time writing.
6. If you were book swag what item would you be and why?
I love this question. I’d be a bookmark—something that has multiple uses (seriously, they do), can be taken anywhere, and is well-loved. (We all love our bookmarks, right? Or am I the only one?)
7. What is your favorite thing about finishing a book?
The feeling of accomplishment. It lasts for about 3.2 seconds, and then my brain is on to revision. But it’s the best feeling in the world while it lasts.
8. What is your favorite part of the publishing process?
Besides holding my book in my hands for the first time? The anticipation. How will the publisher design my cover? Will people read this book? What story will I write next?
9. What books would you recommend to people who like your books?
My most recent books have an edge. Think THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by Mindy McGinnis. Also Barry Lyga’s I HUNT KILLERS trilogy. Or many of the books written by Gretchen McNeil.
10. Anything else you’d like to talk about?
With the closing of Egmont USA, I lost not only the original deal for A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT, but my second novel, ONE MOMENT, went out of print. It was a double devastation for me. I’m so happy to share that ONE MOMENT was re-released with Sky Pony Press in January 2017. I am to-die-for in love with the new cover design and so happy that this book still has a life left to live.