Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fabulous New Fiction: 2k10 Debut Author Kitty Keswick

Kitty Keswick's debut novel, FREAKSVILLE, is an enticing mixture of romance and suspense. The cover is to die for! I'm so pleased to bring you this interview with Kitty.

Congratulations on the publication of your novel, FREAKSVILLE! Can you tell us a bit about the story and what inspired it?

A group of teenagers, trapped in a haunted theater on the night of a full moon, find out that ghosts are the least of their worries…

"Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. A talent sixteen-year-old Kasey would gladly give up. All she wants is a normal life. Shopping and talking about boys with her best friend and long-time sidekick, Gillie Godshall, consume her days. Until Kasey has a vision about Josh Johnstone, the foreign exchange student from England. The vision leads her into new realms, a lead in a play, a haunted theater...and into the arms of Josh. Yet, both Kasey and Josh have secrets lurking in dark corners. Can Kasey’s new romance survive FREAKSVILLE?"

You’re supposed to write what you know, and working on FREAKSVILLE was no different. I studied theater in college so I based some parts of the story on my experiences. Every theater I worked in seemed to be haunted, so it fit the plot of the novel nicely. I added a paranormal twist. I’m also a huge Anglophile so, naturally, Kasey my heroine shared my passion; she got lucky and landed herself a British hottie.

So very enticing! How long have you been writing for children/teens? Have you written other books or is this your first effort?

I’ve been writing since I was in high school. Back then my stories were written in notebooks. Come to think of it, that hasn’t changed. I still keep notebooks full of ideas and other goodies. If I have writer’s block while I’m on the computer, sometimes writing the scene out longhand will help.

I wrote FREAKSVILLE in 2000-2001 and sold it in 2007. FREAKSVILLE is my debut YA novel, so I’m lucky enough to be part of a wonderful group of debut MG and YA authors, the Class of 2K10.

Yes - the Class of 2k10, of which I'm a member, and whose other books I'll be featuring all year. Can you describe your path to the publication of FREAKSVILLE?

The first place I sent FREAKSVILLE to rejected it. They had closed their Young Adult line. I didn’t know it at the time. The manuscript was filed under my bed hanging with the dust bunnies in Rejectland. A few years later, I revamped it and sent it out again. I got a request for a full and about fell over. I had gotten really close with a few other stories. Editors had liked my voice but said the premise wasn’t right…

So the moral is, keep sending the submissions out. You won’t sell any manuscripts if they’re living in your sock drawer or under the bed.

Oh, that is so true! Editors do not come knocking. Do you have any other advice for beginning writers?

Read, Write, Read. And keep at it. Everyone gets rejections. Learn to plot stories with strong conflict—the lifeblood of a story. Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself. Write what you love, what you are passionate about. Let your emotions bleed into your words.

Can you tell us something about your personal life – inspirations, plans for the future, goals, etc.?

I plan to keep writing and maybe someday open up a bookstore.

A bookstore - good for you. So, do you have any new writing ventures underway?

I’m editing book two, FURRY & FREAKED, in the FREAKSVILLE series and working on a joint YA project with author Judith Graves (another 2k10 author.)

Do you have a website where readers can learn more about FREAKSVILLE?

www.kittykeswick.com, www.leapbks.com, www.classof2k10.com

Thanks, Kitty!

FREAKSVILLE, by Kitty Keswick
ISBN-13 978-1-61603-001-8, ISBN-10 1-61603-001-1, Release Date: January 8, 2010


Denise Jaden said...

Another great interview, Janet! And all the best with opening that bookstore, Kitty (you will carry MY book, right? haha)

Leah said...

Great interview! So all theaters are haunted, huh? Something to keep in mind...

Judith Graves said...

So glad you gave Freaksville another shot, Kitty. Really does proove that we can't ever give up on our writing. Congrats on your first of many!

Kitty Keswick said...

Thanks Janet for having me. I have to say the theatres I worked in had their share of ghost stories. I use to operate the light-board strike the sets after shows, I had a few goosebumps moments.

Anonymous said...

Kitty, I love that you want to open a bookstore -- what a great dream!

Looking forward to Freaksville!

Shannon Delany said...

Terrific interview, Kitty and Janet.

Kitty, I love the way you "write what you know" in FREAKSVILLE thanks to your experience in the theatre. I remember hearing that certain lights were traditionally left on to scare away the ghosties... Can't wait to read your debut novel! :-)

Janet Fox said...

I don't think I'll sit in a theatre again without thinking of Kitty's book!

Thanks for commenting, everyone.

Jame said...

Those dust bunnies can be tough critics! Great interview guys. Congrats Kitty!

Lisa Green said...

Oooh I can't wait to read the book!! It's always encouraging to hear a success story in this business and this sounds like a great read.

Janet Fox said...

Thanks, Lisa! Yes, it is nice to hear that great reads do make it. :)