Monday, May 10, 2010

Fabulous New Fiction: 2k10 Debut Author Kristina McBride

(Don't forget - all comments this month are being collected - you'll be eligible to win a copy of FAITHFUL and two cameo charms.)

I feel like I'm introducing my sister in this post...Kristina McBride and I share our agent, the wonderful Alyssa Eisner Henkin. I'm happy to say I think Alyssa knows how to pick 'em - that's my conviction after reading Kristina's remarkable debut THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES. This is a compelling new book, and Kristina is a rising star.

Congratulations on the publication of your novel, THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES. It's a fabulous story. Can you tell us a bit about it and what inspired it?

Thank you! And congratulations to you on the publication of FAITHFUL! THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES is the story of 16-year-old Tessa McMullen, whose best friend was kidnapped two years ago. The book begins when Tessa learns that her friend has been found – ALIVE – and is coming home. Tessa struggles to regain her friendship with the girl who returns, as she is so very different from the friend Tessa remembers. Tessa is also learning how to live her life again after letting go of her deep-rooted survivor’s guilt, which has kept her from enjoying the typical life most teens would lead – you know, friends, boyfriends, etc. There’s a really hot guy named Max who tries to help her along the way. But Tessa is distant, and not sure she’s ready for a relationship.

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

I have been writing for teens for several years now. THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES is my third novel, but the first to make it to publication.

We share our wonderful agent, Alyssa Eisner Henkin (yay!) Can you describe your path to the publication of THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES, including how you met Alyssa?

We’re so very lucky to be working with Alyssa, aren’t we? She is wonderfully talented! I wrote the manuscript in 2007 and submitted queries to several agents. This, mind you, was after two years of rejections on the other manuscripts I previously mentioned. After Alyssa offered me representation (holy shmoly I was so excited!), I got to work on revisions. Eleven months later (yes, you read that right, ELEVEN months later), Alyssa finally said the book was ready to submit to publishers. And she was right – she’s brilliant, I tell you. Three weeks after her pitch went out, I had three offers on the table.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

Write, write, and write some more. Read everything you can get your hands on in your chosen genre. Research agents (check, and perfect your query letter (guidelines also on Query tirelessly. Don’t let rejection get you down – at least not for longer than 24 hours. But above all, keep writing.

Can you tell us something about your personal life – inspirations, plans for the future, goals, etc.?
I was a high school English teacher for eight years before quitting my job to stay home with my first child. It was at this point that I finally had time to focus on my dream of becoming a published author. While I don’t desire to go back to the classroom full-time, I miss the interaction I had with students. A goal that I have is to be able to connect with teens again by making author visits to classrooms. I can’t tell you how much I’m craving a really cool classroom discussion!

Do you have any new writing ventures underway?

I am currently working on book 2 of my 2-book deal with Egmont USA. That’s about all I can say for now.

Do you have a website where readers can learn more about THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES?

Anyone interested can learn more about me and my novel at


Denise Jaden said...

It's always so fun to read about authors' paths to publication. Mine sounds quite similar to Kristina's.

Great interview (and it's a powerful book that everyone should read!)

Anonymous said...

Great interview. It left me wanting more! I can't wait to read The Tension of Opposites. Good luck!

Jeri said...

I cannot WAIT to read this one! It sounds amazing.

Kristina, I'm glad you didn't give up after the early rejections. Thanks for sharing your story!

Janet Fox said...

Thanks for coming by, guys - this is a seriously good book!