Thursday, May 27, 2010

TENNER OF THE MONTH: Kristina McBride

If you've been going around blogosphere (which damn right you are, I bet!) you'll know that The Tension of Opposites is all the shiz.
It's YA.
It's Edgy.
And it's a debut novel.


And in case you're in the dark about it, here's how it goes:
Two years ago Noelle disappeared. Two long years of no leads, no word, no body. Since the abduction, Tessa, her best friend, has lived in a state of suspended animation. She has some friends, but keeps them distant. Some interests, but she won’t allow herself to become passionate about them. And guys? She can’t get close—she knows what it is like to really lose someone she cared for.

And then, one day, the telephone rings. Noelle is alive. And maybe, just maybe, Tess can start to live again, too.

A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath a kidnapping can have on the victim, and on the people she left behind.

And who joins the list of Must-Watch-Out debut YA novelists?

Yep, that's Kristina McBride all right.
And she's a former high-school English teacher and yearbook advisor, who wrote The Tension of Opposites in response to the safe return of a child who was kidnapped while riding his bike to a friend’s house. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two young children. This is her first novel. 

And since I LOVE interviewing authors (especially debut authors), I snapped her up too (sheesh, how does that sound?). Lol. Here's the lets-get-a-bit-formal chatter we had:

A one line memoir for you would be . . .  
Shy book lover turned high school English teacher turned YA author. (YAY!)

What is the most amazing thing about writing YA?  
The characters! I love teen characters – the ups and downs of their friendships and relationships, the opportunity for personal growth, and the potential for tension in every their day lives.

You had a brush with kidnapping as a kid. Did it play into writing The Tension of Opposites? 
I think my almost kidnapping during a burglary-gone-wrong when I was a young child colored my view of life in general. Hearing that specific story my entire life definitely helped pique my interest when I first heard about Shawn Hornbeck, a young man who was kidnapped at age 11 and returned to his family at age 15. His story kick started the formation of the plot for The Tension of Opposites.

What has been the toughest challenge about writing TENSION?  
Revision. I wrote the first draft in four or five months. After landing my agent, I spent eleven months revising with her direction. Six months in, I deleted all but five chapters and started over. It was painful, but worth every moment of the challenge to get the story right.

The cover is so fierce and attractive. Did your input go into it?  
Thank you! I feel so fortunate to be working with the very talented people at Egmont USA. I had no idea what they would do as far as the cover, and vividly remember the moment I opened the file and saw the artwork for the first time. It was a surreal moment, a beautifully surreal moment. I loved it! Egmont made most of the minor changes on their own, but they were very open to suggestions. One of the most major things that changed was the tint on the girl’s face. Initially, she was colored with a greenish sepia tint, giving her a darker, more ominous quality. My agent and I wanted to see a lighter, more rosy tone, and when the change was made, it stuck.

You own a pretty cool blog. How important is it for a writer to have a strong web presence? 
How fun that you’ve stopped by! I think a strong web presence is essential for a debut author. Most authors have a website and a presence on Goodreads, MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter. I believe this is the best way to reach bloggers (who have been overwhelmingly supportive in my case!) as well as potential readers. It’s also been wonderful to join some cool author groups, like the Class of 2K10 and The Tenners who are there when I need support or to have questions answered.
  
Rapid fire --
    Write what you know VS Write what you want to know?  Write what you know.
    Outline or Wing It?  Wing it – then outline it – then wing it some more.
    Fictional character you'd love to be?  Margo Roth Spiegelman from John Green’s Paper Towns – not sure    if I’d rather be her or be her best friend . . .
    Fictional character you'd love to date?  Wes from Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever. LOVE him!
    Biggest writing dream?  To win a cool award or hit a bestseller list would be awesome, but really, I just want people to like and connect with my book.

Quick tip on how to get published. (Spill us a secret or two :P)  
Don’t give up. Ever. Keep writing. Research your genre and how to land an agent. Query tirelessly. And don’t allow rejection to get you down. (At least not for too long.) Chocolate is essential for those tough moments.

And the easiest (or toughest) --why did you choose to be a writer? 
It wasn’t so much a choice as an insatiable need to put words on paper. Even if no one would ever read them. It’s just part of who I am.

(Best answer ever.Don't we all just know the 'insatiable need'?)

Tenner of the Month? Oh yeah, she's it. The Tension of Opposites released on the 25th of May and is available HERE and wherever books are available (this I'm guessing, since it's not exactly possible for me to go around confirming with every darn bookstore, library yada yada).
Also, the trailer..is just darn fantastic. Feast your eyes.


                                                      


PS. I realised just a little too late how small this blog is. Sigh.

16 comments:

mariska said...

Very interesting interview.
This book's up on my birthday wishlist =)

Nomes said...

Awesome interview. I really want to read this book! I'm impressed with how extensive her revision process was. whoah. Also, LOVE the cover and the title.

And, yeah, go Wes :)

Tahereh said...

another fantastic interview! i don't know how you do it!! i've seen this book around but i was never sure if i should pick it up -- thanks for the push!!

also: LOVING your new layout!!

LM Preston said...

Oh this one really sounds good. The cover sets the stage for the suspense highlighted in your review.

Bee said...

Mariska ~ Bet Kristina will be glad :)

Nome ~ *joins in* GO, GO, WES!

Tahereh ~ oh, guess what, I'm sucking on your awesomeness. Boy, can I get over you? Lawl..

LM ~ Thank YOU!

Emilia Plater said...

Amazing interview!! I've heard of this book before, but never what it was about, & it sounds really great. Kristina is adorable, too!

p.s. you could try going into the HTML blogger editor and changing the width of the video =] that's what I do.

Bee said...

Emilia ~ thanks for the tip! I'm so technologically inept. Sigh.

Bee said...

And, edited!

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