Oh, my, here we are in August as I welcome one of my dear friends, Kristi McBride, to the spotlight. Who knew, when we began teaching together all those years ago, that she would follow her dream and become a successful YA author? Pick up one of her haunting novels and enjoy the read!
Kristina McBride has published four novels for young adults – THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES (2010), ONE MOMENT (2012), A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT (2016), and THE BAKERSVILLE DOZEN (2017). Kristina is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, and has served as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. Kristina has a thing for music, trees, purses, and chocolate. You might be surprised to learn that Kristina was almost kidnapped when she was a child. She also bookstalks people on a regular basis. Kristina lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. You can learn more at http://www.kristinamcbride.com.
J. I.: Why do you write Young Adult fiction?
K. M.: Having taught high school for eight years, I have a strong connection to and understanding for teens. The first novel I wrote was for adults, but featured a teenaged character. The book didn’t sell. However, I learned a great deal as I moved through the stages of writing and editing the manuscript. The teen character leaped off the page – he was by far the most developed and “real” character of them all. I decided to go with YA for my next novel, and I haven’t turned back since.
J. I.: What is the most challenging aspect of your writing life?
K. M.: The Hurry-Up-And-Wait aspect of the business is so challenging for me! I’m always surprised at how much waiting there is at every stage of the game – when you send along drafts for feedback, when you submit a final draft, when you wait for a sale, when you have a sale and are dying to announce the deal, see your cover, hear the marketing plan, hit publication day . . . I’m not very patient by nature, so I suppose I’m learning a life lesson here.
J. I.: What piece of writing advice has had the most influence on you?
K. M.: I once presented at a conference for librarians. At the event, I met Dandi Daley Mackall, who has written more MG and YA books than I can count. I asked her this same question, and her answer happens to be the best piece of advice I’ve ever received. She said to do whatever I have to do to stay in love with the act of writing. There are so many things that can get in the way of that love – rejection, frustration, and defeat are just three of my many writing demons – but the most important thing to remember is the love that called me to the art of writing from the beginning. The love of discovery and creation, the love of being swept away by something that feels a little like a dream and a lot like magic. When I feel those writing demons creeping in, I always remind myself of this piece of advice. It helps me forget the business side of things and center myself on the most important part of writing – my love for the act itself.
Just for Fun:
J. I.: Name a favorite food you use to reward yourself.
K. M.: CHOCOLATE. Ice cream, M&Ms, chocolate chip cookies . . . is there any greater reward?
J. I.: If you could be any fictional character, who would you be? Why?
K.M.: I’m not sure that I’d like to BE any fictional character. But I’d love to meet some! Margo Roth Spiegelman from John Green’s Paper Towns is a favorite of mine. She’s smart and savvy and a little devious. A fun-filled night with Margo would not disappoint. As crazy as this sounds, I think I’d love an evening hanging out with Nick and Amy Dunne from Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. They’re sick and twisted and I’d love to see what they’re up to these days.