Author Q&A with Karri Thompson!
Karri Thompson, a.k.a. sci-fi freak, football fanatic, and rock-concert junkie, grew up in California, enjoying San Diego's awesome weather and beautiful beaches. She attended SDSU where she earned her BA in English, MA in education, and high-school teaching credential. She's a wife, mother, and high-school English teacher in her home town. When she's not writing, editing, cooking amazing meals for her family, or nerding out at Comic-Con, she's probably watching reality T.V.
1) What inspired you to write your book? (From @book_lande on Instagram)
KT : Hi @book_lande. There are lots of things that inspired me to write the Van Winkle Project series. One has to do with the fact that there are a lot of people I would have liked to have met whose lives were tragically cut short, making that impossible, or they lived before I was even born, also making that impossible. One person I would have loved to have met was James Dean. If we could only clone him, right? Of course, there would be plenty of ethical issues involved, and it's currently impossible to clone a human, so it would never happen. But that thought, helped inspire these books.
2) Are there any aspects of your own personality in the main characters? (From @booksandskittles on Instagram)
KT : Hi, @booksandskittles. I think I do have a lot in common with Cassie when it comes to personality. She is dependable, honest, and has a love for learning. I'm like that, too. She is also very brave. I consider myself a brave person, but I think she has more courage that I do. I could only hope that if I was being attacked and shot at that I'd be able to react as quickly as Cassie did.
3) If you could pick one song, what song would summarise the whole book? (")
KT : I would have to pick "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragon - not that Cassie is literally radioactive, but there is something about her that makes her different from everyone else and gives her power over others in the year 3025. She awoke in the future, so these lyrics fit : "I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones. Enough to make my system blow. Welcome to the new age, to the new age. Welcome to the new age, to the new age. Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive. Whoa, oh, oh, oh , oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive." And this line fits, especially when it comes to what's going to happen in the third book in this series, "I raise my flag and dye my clothes, It's a revolution, I suppose. We're painted red to fit in."
4) If you hadn't become an author, what would you have done instead?
KT : I'm also a high school English teacher, so if I wasn't a writer, I'd probably just be teaching. But if I wasn't a teacher, I'd want to play a role in the publishing business, maybe an editor. Definitely not a literacy agent. I would feel terrible every time I rejected a manuscript.
5) At what age did you decide you wanted to become an author? How did you know that was what you definitely wanted to do/be?
KT : I've always loved writing fiction. As a kid, I used to write short stories all the time. When I was majoring in English as SDSU, I took a class called "The Writing of Fiction." For one of the assignments, I wrote a short story, and the professor actually called me at home on a Saturday to tell me that he just read my story and loved it. That's when I decided that some day when I had the time, I'd write a novel.
6) If you only had 5 words, how would you describe Ascendancy?
KT : Unique, unpredictable, exciting, disturbing, emotional.
7) Who are some of your favourite authors?
KT : Charles Dickens, J.K. Rowling, and J.R.R. Tolkein
8) What are the best and worst things about writing?
KT : For me, the best thing about writing is getting to meet and talk to people who have read my books. When I talk to a reader about one of my characters, it's like we're talking about someone we both know. It's great to have that kind of connection. The worst thing about writing is receiving a rejection. I know it's going to keep happening during my career, and when they do, they never make me give up, but it sucks. I know I shouldn't take it personally, but it's hard not to.
9) Do you think of writing as your job or more like a hobby?
KT : I definitely think of writing as my job, since I have to be disciplined in terms of meeting deadlines fro manuscripts, edits, etc.. and even though my publisher has an amazing publicity team, I still need to market myself and my books. I do have my job as an English teacher, but as much as I love my students and teaching, I hope that someday writing will be my only job.
10) Has there ever been a time that you doubted ever getting your work out there? Did you ever think about giving up?
KT : I think that at one time or another in the beginning, every writer has thought about giving up. The first manuscript I wrote (an adult sci-fi in third person) was rejected by every agent I sent it to. I was ready to give up, but instead I decided to put it on the back burner and write another novel, this time a YA titled AMATEUR ANGEL. With this novel, I signed with an agent, and she sold it to a publisher. Then I went back to my adult sci-fi and rewrote it as a YA and in first person. My agent pitched it, and it was sold to Entangled Teen in a three-book deal. That book is Mirror X! So never give up!
11) What is your best advice for aspiring authors?
KT : My best advice is not to give up when (not if) you receive a rejection from an agent or a publisher. This business is so subjective. Everyone has had rejections - many of them. In addition, keep continuing to hone your craft by attending writers' conference or online workshops. I still do many of these. You should also join a critique group.
Mirror X (#1 Van Winkle Series)
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18652641-mirror-x?from_search=true&search_version=service
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Mirror-X-Karri-Thompson/9781500552992
Ascendancy (#2 Van Winkle Series)
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27396930-ascendancy?from_search=true&search_version=service
BD - http://www.bookdepository.com/Ascendancy-Karri-Thompson/9781682810248
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