Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents' tragic death and Kacey's self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would...and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.
Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?
As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.
Goodreads ★ Atria
Me: I'd like to welcome my absolute favorite author! She not only writes some amazing books, but she's also one of the coolest and funnest people I've met since I've started blogging and I hope that one day I'll be lucky enough to meet her in person.
Hi K.A. Thank you so much for stopping by again!
My first question is, “Is it your ultimate goal every time you start writing a book to drive your readers insane, to torture them or to give them heart attacks?”
KA: Actually... yes, it is :-) I never want my readers bored. I want them on their toes at all time, wondering what's going to happen. And if they've already figured out what may happen (a lot of readers did early on, in Ten Tiny Breaths), I want them biting their nails with anxiety, waiting for the bomb to drop. Those are the kinds of stories I enjoy.
Me: So, maybe I should ask, “Do you also enjoy torturing your characters?”
KA: Actually... yes, again :D Part of developing the characters is figuring out where their boundaries are and then throwing in conflict that really tests them. Doing so creates multi-dimensional characters.
Me: You first started out writing your YA series, with vampires and alternative universes, and now you’re writing a NA Contemporary. How was the writing different for you? And which genre was easier for you to write?
KA: In my YA series, I have focused a lot of effort on worldbuilding and plot. That's critical in order for the reader to relate more to the story, given the elements they can't relate to (the paranormal aspects). I find it takes a lot of planning. The NA Contemporary book kind of just happened. I had an idea, I went with it, and the story flew together. There was much more focus on the character and her personal plight. Though the setting and plot are obviously important, it didn't take up as much of my time to develop. Easier to write? For me, jury's still out. I like to walk the line between reality and "oh my God! Can you imagine if that happened?!" That's harder to do in contemporary than in paranormal (for obvious reasons). But I find it is easier to write with emotion in NA contemp. Perhaps it's because I'm also writing in first person present. I HATED first person present until I read the Hunger Games. HATED it. Now? LOVE IT.
Me: Ten Tiny Breaths was originally self-published, and then you signed with Atria. How did that happen and what was involved in the transition process?
KA: I self-pubbed as I have with my other books and the book did very well. Publishers began contacting me, inquiring if I held the rights and if I had an agent... Over Christmas, I was contacted by my lovely agent, Stacey Donaghy, who had heard about me and TTB through a fellow writer. I signed with her after New Years and then everything kind of snowballed...I was contacted by an editor at Simon & Schuster, who expressed interest in TTB. My agent put the pitch together for four books and had it flowing out to the pub houses within a day or two. The offers came in and we decided to accept the one from Atria!
Me: Did Ten Tiny Breaths change at all from the self-published version to the traditionally published version?
KA: Very little. It went through another round of copy edits and we removed a few sentences (I'm talking four or five sentences). Otherwise, that's it!
Me: Are you working on any other writing projects now, other than the two series you have already released?
KA: I don't know how people can work on several books at once. I am not one of them! I find I have to focus on each story individually to get the characters right. Right now I'm writing the 3rd book in the NA series (Four Seconds to Lose). That needs to be wrapped up in about a month. Then I'll put some real focus to Anomaly (the last book in my YA series). I have ideas floating around in my head but I have to get them on my screen. I hope to have that finished and out in the fall, however I have one last book due to Atria in November and that's a contractual deadline so I can't miss it.
Once those three books are done... I have ideas. Lots of ideas. :-)
Me: Thank you so much for stopping by KA! I sure hope this won't be the last time!
KA: Thank you for having me! I'm not going anywhere... are you getting rid of me? It's not easy.
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