Kristen Kittscher is the debut author of the ‘The Wig in the Window’, the first in a hilarious new mystery series for kids coming June 18 from Harper Children’s. A former middle school English teacher and graduate of Brown University, she works as a writing tutor in Pasadena.
Ms. Kittscher will be celebrating the launch of ‘The Wig in the Window’ at Warwick’s Bookstore in La Jolla at 7:30 pm on June 25th — everyone’s welcome to join! She has graciously agreed to answer questions about her book.
For what audience do you write?
I write mysteries for middle readers; I imagine my ideal readers as between 5th and 8th grade, but precocious younger kids could certainly enjoy ‘The Wig in the Window’, too.
Tell us about your latest book
My latest (and first!) book is ‘The Wig in the Window’, a funny mystery about two tween detectives who suspect their school counselor is a dangerous fugitive…and might be right! It’s a thrilling mystery, but it’s also a story about friendship and developing confidence.Henry: I like kid’s stories that are entertaining, but also subtly convey positive values.
What will readers will get from the book?
I hope readers laugh out loud and are thrilled by its twists and turns, but is also relate to Young & Yang’s sometimes tumultuous friendship.
Henry: Young and Yang sound like perfectly complementary friends. 🙂
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
Writing the first draft of a manuscript is the most challenging for me, even though it’s the most fun and surprise-filled. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all there is to shape and invent, and lose heart.
What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?
I’ve learned that expressing what’s most true to me is what also resonates most with others.
What’s been a memorable experience you’ve had as a writer?
There have been so many memorable experiences, including having the opportunity to develop friendships with authors I’d long admired—but the one that stands out is opening up a package of letters and cards from kids who’d been inspired by a classroom visit!Henry: I was told by a parent that after reading Nimpentoad, her child now eats mushrooms. 🙂
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I don’t feel seasoned enough to give advice, but I’ll say that I frittered away a decade or so doubting myself as a writer. If you love words and telling stories, follow that passion and enjoy! No sense worrying about whether anything will “come of it.”Henry: So in addition to being a good writer, you are experienced at frittering. 🙂
Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you write?
I don’t have strange rituals, but I do write with a little knight figurine by my desk that a friend gave me: her father was a writer, and he kept the knight on his desk as a symbol of charging forward with his work. He passed away in 2006, and when my sold my first book to Harper, my friend gave the knight to me for inspiration. I like to think it works!Henry: That is a beautiful story.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I’d like to be able to stop time whenever I wished, so I could get more done!Henry: Ah, the old “stop time for everyone but me” ploy.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to get outside, whether hiking with my dog in the San Gabriel mountains up the road from where I live in Pasadena, or visiting the nearby Huntington Gardens.
What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
Where can readers find your work?
‘The Wig in the Window’ is out June 18th from Harper Children’s and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, as well as at your local independent bookstore through IndieBound. Readers can find out more about it and Young & Yang’s next adventure, ‘The Tiara on the Terrace’ at kristenkittscher.com — and see some pictures of my pets while they’re at it!
This article is also posted to the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner