Monday, July 14, 2014

Author Interview – Kimberly Garnick Giarratano (Grunge Gods Tour) + Giveaway

I love author interviews!! I know I know – I did JUST mention this in the other interview I did today – but I felt like it needed to be said again. Other than reading, it is the BEST part of having a book blog. There are so many AWESOME authors out there and, in all honesty, RED ADEPT PUBLISHING has probably the best authors ever. No, I am not sucking up :p EVERY book I have chosen to read from the vast list of books they have published has been 4 and 5 star material – and I have thoroughly enjoyed each one.
     Which brings us to Kimberly. She is the author of Grunge Gods and Graveyards and I will be reviewing this tomorrow. This is one of those books that I selected based on cover alone – yes, those of you who follow my reviews (wherever you may read them) know ALL about this selection process of mine. It is beautiful.
     But enough of all that. This post is about Kimberly and not her book…

Hi, Kimberly. Welcome to The Gal :) Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Kimberly. I'm originally from New Jersey, but I now live in the woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania. It's crazy rural here. The supermarket is 35 minutes away so I drive a lot and listen to NPR. I'm married with three kids; my youngest being only a couple of months old. So my writing routine is all wonky right now. So is my sleep. If I get any.

What are 5 things about you that most people don't know?

I'm left-handed. It's not unusual, but everyone seems to comment on it.

I went to bartending school the summer after my sophomore year in college and I can only make White Russians.

I've been to Spain on five separate trips. Viva Espana...

I did original research on Jewish colonization schemes in 1920s Mexico when I was an undergrad in college.

According to my grandma, her aunt was somehow connected to Bugsy Siegel's Murder Incorporated. She may or may not have had a book with the list of murder victims.

What is the first book you remember reading?

The first book I remember being read to me was The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree. "Do they dare climb over sleeping bear? Yes, they dare." Huge hit in our house. The first chapter book I remember reading was The Babysitter's Club #3: The Truth about Stacey.

What inspires you most?

I'm inspired by people. I'll meet someone and in my head, I'll exaggerate their quirks and make them larger than life. I'll turn them into a character. And that character will drive my plot.

What books have most influenced you?

Holly Black's Tithe really influenced my writing. Her style is beautiful and she has a way of crafting imagery that puts you right into the story. You can visualize everything. Her characters are flawed, plus she paints each scene with grit and beauty. And she's a Jersey girl and totally nice in real life. I also love Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys and The Scorpio Races. Those books are ahhhh-mazing.

What made you decide to begin writing in the first place?

I've always written. For the longest time I wanted to be a reporter until I got to college and realized I didn't have the sharp edge for journalism. However, being the news editor for my college newspaper really honed my writing skills. I majored in history and learned how to write succinctly and clearly. It wasn't until I became a YA librarian that I decided to learn about the writing craft. I had always thought I needed an MFA to be an author when really I just needed to learn how to structure a story. I read a lot of books on craft. I took a few online writing courses. I invested in Scrivener and Snowflake. Now, I can't imagine not writing fiction.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I usually write in bed. It's not ideal, but it means I'm writing at night or when my kids are napping. It's comfy, but it doesn't feel very authorly.

Which of your characters do you think is the most like you?

Lainey and I have the same taste in music and that's where the similarities end. None of the characters are like me because if they were, they'd be uber boring.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

My biggest challenge is making time to write with three kids. I also find it hard to be disciplined. I'm more distracted as an adult than I was as a teenager. It feels impossible to focus on one task and I need monastery-like silence to work efficiently. Also, I find it hard, but absolutely necessary, to write scene lists. Those take awhile to do.

What do you think makes a good story?

Conflict and scene twists. And characters with flaws. I want characters who seem like real people. Quirky. Weird. Honest and ugly. And I love sympathetic villains. Think Klaus on The Vampire Diaries. He's an awesome villain because I feel for him too.

Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Not that I know of, but I never say never. I could develop something funky in the future.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I'm drafting a YA ghost story/mystery set in Key West. I'm outlining a YA historical mystery set in 1955. I want to write a cozy mystery series and I have an idea for a middle grade humor/historical series with my grandparents as the main characters. Lots of fun projects planned.

Sounds like you are one busy gal with three kids and all those upcoming books. Please, let me know – they all sound like lots of fun :) Especially the one with your grandparents - you sound like you have a crazy fun family history haha.  Thanks again for being here and you're welcome back any time.
     One more thing, though, before you go. Where can we find you?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kimberly said...

Thanks for having me!

Meghan H said...

You are very welcome, Kimberly!! :D Thanks for stopping by.

Jill said...

Nice interview! I especially like the question about first favorite book. :) cool research project too!

Meghan H said...

Thanks, Jill. That is one of my favorite questions - I love finding out what book everyone's reading passion began with.

She had some pretty amazing answers, didn't she?

Thanks for stopping by :D