August 07, 2017

#CQWeek2017: Interview: @kestrester #Giveaway #Interview @CuriosityQuills

Welcome to this year's #CQWeek were so excited to share these titles with you!  We loved this title and the story was so good!  Check it out and don't forget to enter the giveaway and come back later for more! 
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Twitter: @kestrester
Instagram: @kestrester

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

It’s called A DANGEROUS YEAR, and it’s Book One in the Riley Collins series. 
“Ambassador’s daughter forced to adapt to American culture at Connecticut boarding school steeped in mystery, intrigue, romance, and murder.”

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

On the cover of A DANGEROUS YEAR, my publisher prominently notes there are more books to come, so I can’t disappoint! The next two books are plotted out, and I am halfway through Book Two (tentatively titled A DANGEROUS GIRL). My agent also has book one in another series I hope to write (think “Heroes” told from a female YA perspective), and fingers crossed it will go out to publishers soon.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

This answer could get me into trouble! Sometimes I borrow friends’ names, and I’ve been known to use ex-boyfriends’ names for the more unappealing characters and/or murder victims (also known as writer’s revenge!). One thing you may discover when more of my books come to market is there will be a unique name in one book that will pop up in a completely unrelated book. It’s my own way of connecting my work, even if I’m the only one who notices!

Do you choose a title first, or write the book and then choose the title?

I wish I were clever enough to come up with a brilliant title out of the gate, but that has never happened. A DANGEROUS YEAR started out life as COLLISION because I envisioned it as a collision of cultures. However, it evolved into so much more than that, and the title no longer fit.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along? 

I often “cast” my characters before I write them, in that I will envision a certain actor from a given role as that character. I will post headshots of the actor in character over my desk, and I will filter the character’s dialogue through that fictitious personality. I will often add or subtract traits as needed to build a compelling character, but the basic inspiration is already there.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?

You know how people are always glued to their phones when they have five seconds of downtime? That was me with a book. I have always been a voracious reader and prolific writer, and my writing ability was one of the biggest factors in my professional success prior to being a novelist.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

I was in Hollywood for many years, first as a feature film development executive and then as a TV commercial producer. That’s what paid the bills, and writing was something I did for fun. It was only when writing became an overpowering obsession that I got serious about changing careers.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?

For two years I didn’t tell anyone I wrote every night. It wasn’t until I’d completed my first novel and revised it about twenty times that I got up the nerve to admit my secret passion. It was at a Hollywood party, and I was chatting with an interesting woman over drinks. When she asked what I did, I blurted, “I’m a writer!” To my complete horror, she said, “Me, too!” and then proceeded to tell me about the many movies she’d written, which I’d seen and liked. She was so encouraging when I confessed my newbie status that she ended up becoming a good friend and writing mentor.

Paperback/Hardback or E-book?

When my house’s many built-in bookshelves started spilling over, I knew something had to give. At first I didn’t think I could ever get used to e-books, but now I treasure carrying my library around with me. I travel a bit, so with my tablet I’m never without the latest bestsellers, my favorite writing and reference books, and the wonderful e-ARCs I get sent these days. I’m an e-book convert.

Thank you, Jessica, for the opportunity to talk about writing and A DANGEROUS YEAR! This was fun!

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