Heidi R. Kling Interview on Book Divas™ by Lisa Loucks-Christenson
Heidi R. Kling
Paint My Body Red
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
BOOK DIVAS™ INTERVIEW WITH HEIDI R. KLING
By Lisa Loucks-Christenson Interview Published: 11/1/2015 Check our review of PAINT MY BODY RED
Book: PAINT MY BODY RED
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: 11/2/2015
ISBN 10: 1633754103
ISBN 13: 9781633754102
Author website: http://heidirkling.com/
Publisher Website: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/paint-my-body-red/
"[T]here has only been one other book that has reveal the true impact of suicide to another as this book had: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Heidi R. Kling hit the nail on the head." - Rachel Harrell, Bookwonderland
"An amazing and moving novel. Heidi Kling's prose is gorgeous and brings this story to life." - Ingrid Paulson, author of VALKYRIE RISING
"Read it. You won't regret it [...] P.S. This book is also going on my physical copy wish-list. And that is the ultimate compliment I can give any book. I love it so much that I need a copy to own." -Hristina Petrov, Books and Tea
EXCERPT from Chapter Three, Page 28:
I glance over at my dad who is staring straight into the unlit fireplace. Jake kneels beside his wheel, confidently busying himself with Dad’s tubes and wires like it’s second nature. He’s saying something to him, something too low for me to hear. Now he’s walking over to me.
“Come on into the kitchen and help me get some tea, will you?”
I jump off the couch like its coils sprung me off. Jake stops short halfway down the dimly lit hallway, and I crash into him in an awkward way that sends unwelcome heat up my arms. He steadies me with a strong hand on my elbow and says in an insistent whisper, “You talk to him, Paige. He can hear you same as I can. His body is fading, but his brain is perfectly intact. You can’t have him thinking you’re afraid of him, of the way he looks.” His eyes dart away before he says, “He’s afraid enough as it is.”
He loves him. Jake loves my dad. I can tell. Why can’t I remember this sweet cowboy? It’s like everything good in my memories has been washed away by everything bad at home.
I fight away tears. “I’m sorry. It’s...I don’t even know him, anymore. Not really.”
He shakes away my words like they’re ridiculous. “He’s your father. Of course you know him.” His eyes steady me. Why do they have to be so, so blue? It’s like he can see into what’s left of my soul and is trying to rescue the remnants.
I suck in a breath. He’s standing so close to me. The soothing cadence of his voice makes me feel pangs of emotions I haven’t felt in a long time. Safe. Heard.
Why does it have to be so dark in this hallway?
He sucks in a deep breath, as if steadying himself, too. “Don’t be sorry, Cowgirl,” he says, softly. His words are harsh, but his voice is kind. "And don’t make excuses. Not to me, not to yourself. Excuses don’t work here on the ranch, remember? Just do better.
He knows me. From before.
Something clicks, and just like that I remember him.
Heidi Kling writes contemporary novels about young women in fantastic situations and fantasy novels set in our contemporary world. Her bestselling Spellspinners series is a popular serial series leading with WITCH'S BREW about estranged but destined witches and warlocks. THE GLEANING, DEVIL'S FROST and BEAUTIFUL MONSTER are out now with more adventures to follow. Her beloved debut contemporary, SEA, set in the aftermath of the tsunami, was a Summer 2010 IndieNext Pick, Northern California Book of the Year finalist, Gateway Readers Choice Award winner and Scholastic Readers Pick. Her forthcoming contemporary novel, PAINT MY BODY RED, is a mysterious romance about a haunted girl escaping the pressures of the Silicon Valley after her involvement in a series of "contagious" teen suicides at her prestigious high school. As she learns to face the past while dealing with her father's dilapidated Jackson Hole, Wyoming ranch and withering health, she leans on magnetic ranch hand Jake. After earning her MFA in Writing for Children from the New School, she returned to the Bay Area where she lives with her husband, two children and the fluffiest accidental puppy mix ever, Sailor Lily, just over the coastal mountains from the sea.
BD = Book Divas™ Lisa Loucks Christenson
Author = HEIDI R. KLING
BD: Do you remember the first story you ever read? If so, what was it, and what pulled you into it?
AUTHOR: I can only think of Judy Blume. She was my first favorite author. What drew me in was the honesty of her voice and normalcy of her plots. She knows kids and teenagers inner workings so well.
BD: What challenges have you faced writing YA?
AUTHOR: The idea that some people assume YA books are “for kids”. My novels are for teens and adults alike.
BD: What drew you into writing a book about teenage suicides?
AUTHOR: I live in a town that has had two horrific strings of “contagious” suicides, which disrupted and continues to haunt our entire city---a place otherwise known for huge innovation (home of Apple and Facebook!) so the juxtaposition of teens wanting to die in this town where EVERYONE else seemingly wanted to live made me want to explore that idea, even though the material was tough to write about.
BD: What input did you have in the creation of your cover and title?
AUTHOR: I wrote the title. It’s from a quote by Crazy Horse that I stumbled upon. It fit perfectly with the theme. I got lucky. As to the cover, they asked me for my thoughts. I wanted something dark and the colors I chose were black, white and red. I think the cover is stunning.
BD: What is the most important message you want to leave with YA fans with this new book?
AUTHOR: Live. Choose life. It gets better. It really does.
BD: Is there a particular line or scene that you worked extra hard on, one that you had to dig deep inside to find the right words?
AUTHOR: Yes. Actually, the whole book I wrote with care. I redid entire passages over and over. I especially like the bit with Ty and Paige where he comments about Betty Davis, and there’s that foreshadowing line about how he’s speaking about her in the present though she’s been dead for years. Also, you know that part that stems from the tagline, “The world isn’t always black and white---sometimes it’s red”. Well, in the novel, I have a line about black and white, only it doesn’t hit on the “red” aspect. I noticed in CE (copy edits) that this was a blaring mistake…and I expanded it. It’s now one of my favorite lines in the book.
BD: What could you share with other would-be writers, who want to write a story like yours, but don't because they aren't sure they would be acceptable, or fear ridicule from family, friends, peers?
AUTHOR: Oh dear, I’m not sure MY story is acceptable. I’m not sure I won’t face ridicule! It’s extremely scary launching a book like this. I had no idea if people would like it, hate it, whatever. I’m incredibly relieved that our reviews have been so positive. This book---and it’s message---is so important to me. So my only advice to new writers would be, write the book of your heart. Write the book you can’t-not-write. And take a risk. Without taking risks what do we get out of life? Not a lot.
BD: What is the easiest part about writing for you?
AUTHOR: Characters. They just pop into my head, and start talking. They do the bulk of the work for me.
BD: When did you first decide you wanted to write a book, and what led you to the decision to write in this genre?
AUTHOR: A book in general or this particular book? I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I’ve always been writing. I wanted to write PAINT in twofold: one, I wanted to explore the idea of what a series of “contagious” teen suicides would have on a community, and two I wanted to honor my Uncle Mike, an incredible man—a teacher, a cook, an avid traveler, and one of the best people I’ve ever known-- who graciously died from ALS. This book enabled me to do both.
BD: Do you write in any other genres? If so, which ones?
AUTHOR: I have a contemporary fantasy series about estranged witches and warlocks called THE SPELLSPINNERS OF MELAS COUNTY. It’s so fun to write!
BD: Which comes first for you, the plot or the characters?
AUTHOR: See above about my characters, but I usually get an idea for a book first, so I guess the plot (or at least the theme or idea).
BD: When you are all wrapped up in the story, do you write the chapters in order, or do you jump around as you get ideas for each section?
AUTHOR: I do write the chapters in order, but I usually know how the novel will end before I start writing it, which gives some order to the journey.
BD: Do you write every day, or what kind of a schedule do you have? Do you write full-time, or do you have a “day job”?
AUTHOR: Both. I run my own afterschool theatre program where I teach drama and creative writing to elementary school kids. So I have the best of both worlds: I write and run my whole “author life” in the mornings; and I teach in the afternoons. I also have two kids who I take care of full time (no nanny or afterschool care), so I have three full time jobs, and wouldn’t change a thing.
BD: Other than your writing, what do you enjoy doing? What is the most important thing to you in your day-to-day life?
AUTHOR: My family. My kids mean the world to me. Watching them turn into unique, hilarious and insightful human beings is my greatest achievement. I also love to play with our shaggy puppy, Sailor, hang out with my friends, practice yoga (this keeps me sane!), shop, watch TV, read, travel—the only thing I don’t like to do are chores. I hate laundry. Fortunately, my husband has taken over this task, and he’s far more successful at it than I am.
BD: Who are your favorite authors? Do you try to emulate them, or their techniques in your own writing?
AUTHOR: My favorite authors are everyone’s favorite authors. A good book is a good book. No, I don’t try to emulate them. But when I read something someone does and it’s something I’m trying to do, like write upper YA about 18 + main characters for example, like Gayle Forman does, I think, “Cool! Maybe I can pull this off too!”
BD: Heidi, thank you for your time and interview. You've given us a lot to think on and your new book will be one I keep to read again.
Thank you Entangled Publishing, LLC for permission to use the excerpts and quotes.
Check out our review PAINT MY BODY RED
Author website: http://heidirkling.com/
Publisher Website: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/paint-my-body-red/
Where can people buy the book? Amazon.com, B&N.com, iTunes, Kobo, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Paint-Body-Red-Heidi-Kling-ebook/dp/B014PDW76M?tag=entangpublis-20&link_code=ur2&creative=9325&camp=211189
BN Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/paint-my-body-red-heidi-kling/1122600083?cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-je6NUbpObpQ-_-10:1
FTC AND PUBLIC NOTICE DISCLOSURE: Lisa Loucks Christenson is a member of the media, she asked to interview Heidi R. Kling. There's no expectation of a product to be sent or given to receive an interview. There is no expectation to advertise.
For the Book Review: One electronic book from the publisher was sent to the reviewer, who read and decided to submit an honest review. The publisher provided a free e-book hoping I would mention it on my blogs. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I'm disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
©2015 Lisa Loucks Christenson, Book Divas™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED