Monday, July 12, 2010

Mommy Profile: Kiersten White

Meet Kiersten: Wife, Mother, Blogger, Author.

Kiersten has just published her first novel: Paranormalcy, available for pre-order on Here is her mini bio from Amazon:

Like most adults, I was once a teenager. However, I never outgrew it--literally. Standing at a daunting 4'11", I decided to write to my height peer group. Everyone knows that teenagers have more fun. Turns out writing for teenagers is more entertaining, too.

Born and raised in Utah, I was lucky enough to marry a native San Diegan and be adopted into the fish taco and beach culture. A stay-at-home mom and full-time writer (if you count scraping in whatever hours I can after my kids go to bed as full-time), I live with my wonderful husband and two adorable children in San Diego, CA. I'm currently twenty-six, but that's bound to change next year.

Desperate for entertainment, I started writing shortly after having my first baby and haven't stopped since. Being an author is quite literally a dream come true for a girl who spent every free childhood moment reading, and still spends most of her moments (free or otherwise) daydreaming.

Kiersten was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions and here is what she had to say:

Melissa:Paranormalcy is not the first novel you have written, how long have you had the dream to become a writer, and how long have you been pursuing your dream?

Kiersten: I've always wanted to be a writer, I think. I didn't start seriously writing until after my first child was born, though. My husband was in grad school and I was in a new state, lonely, housebound with an incredibly beautiful but decidedly colicky newborn. That first book (which I can now affectionately say was disastrously boring and should never, ever be read) took me two years to write. I spent another year or so very casually trying to figure out the process of getting published and finding an agent. Then I wrote a young adult novel and it sort of lit me on fire--that was what I wanted to do. I found an agent to represent me November 2008, my first novel didn't sell, and then Paranormalcy, which I'd written in the meantime, sold in August 2009.

People are amazed that I wrote Paranormalcy in three weeks, but what they don't see are the years that went into the process to get me there!

Melissa: You describe yourself as a stay at home mom and a full time writer. How do you balance the demands of motherhood and family life with the demands of writing, especially now that you have a contract?

Kiersten: I am always, always tired.

The way I see it is there is never going to be enough time, so I make sacrifices on both ends. I don't spend as much time writing as I wish I could, and I pass up on a lot of socializing and sleep to carve out time to work. I try not to let it take time away from my kids, but it's always a balancing act. What started out as a hobby is now a full-fledged career, and while I'm very grateful that it's something I can do from my home, it's definitely a challenge finding the time.

It's like anything in life: you do the best you can, and try not to worry about the things you can't!

Melissa: Paranormalcy is centered around a female protagonist, Evie. When you write your characters, do you strive to write strong female protagonists?
Kiersten: I do! I have a daughter, and female protagonists who let circumstances or other characters dictate who they are make me cringe. I write romance into the books, but I try to make the relationships an extension of the character, rather than the character simply a vehicle for the romance. Their lives don't revolve around who they like.

I'd also like to think that my protagonists don't always make the best choices, but they always try to make good ones, and in the end they're going to come away with a stronger sense of who they are and what they can do.

And, as any girl should know, the answer to that is: anything. You can do anything.

Melissa: Describe how you get into the writing mode. Do you have a method, such as a specific time frame and work space, or do you grab what time you can get?

Kiersten: I really just grab whatever time I can. Right now I am hiding in my son's room, typing furiously while my kids watch my husband play a computer game. Later tonight I'll probably be on the couch, scraping in whatever time I can before I have to crash into bed.

Melissa: What is your favorite part about writing?

Kiersten: It's such a thrill getting to create whole lives and worlds to play around in, and a nice break from reality! And that moment when you go back to a manuscript to edit and realize that what you have is actually engaging and fun and could potentially be great, there's nothing better!

Melissa: What is your favorite part about being a mom?

Kiersten: I love when their personalities reveal themselves in delightful ways and you realize that they couldn't possibly have learned that trait from you. It makes me grateful for these strange little people that came into my life and changed me more than I can ever change them.

Isn't she great? Paranormalcy comes out AUGUST 31st! Pre-order your copy on Amazon HERE. To learn more about Kiersten and Paranormalcy, you can also go to her incredibly hilarious BLOG and enter to win an advanced copy of her book!

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