Karri Thompson is a writer, wife, mother, and high-school English teacher living in San Diego, California. She holds a BA in English and MA in education from SDSU. Her debut novel, “Amateur Angel”, is currently on shelves, and Karri’s young adult (YA) trilogy, “The Van Winkle Chronicles”, recently found a home with Entangled Teen. The first book in the series, “Mirror X”, launches in the Fall of 2013.
Karri has graciously to tell us a bit more about herself and her work.
For what age audience do you write?
Technically I write for young adults, but I like to say that I write for anyone who is 12 and up. “Amateur Angel” is a paranormal romance, and my new trilogy, “The Van Winkle Chronicles”, is dystopian.
Tell us about your latest book
“Mirror X”, the first book in the trilogy, is about a girl who wakes up in a hospital over 1,000 years into the future. Naïve and alone, so longs for home and has trouble adjusting to the new, dictatorial 31st century government. A geneticist at the hospital where she was revived comforts her, but he refuses to answer many of her questions, such as why she is in genetics hospital in the first place, and why several of the people around her seem so familiar, including a hot and edgy boy she is fated to meet. Eventually she discovers there is a sinister answer to all of her questions, and that the government wants something from her that only she can give.
What will readers will get from your book?
From “Mirror X”, I hope readers gain a new respect for human life and a deeper appreciation of all the freedoms granted to us under the Constitution.
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
When it comes to writing, my biggest challenge is finding the time to write. Working full time as a high school English teacher does not give me a lot of writing time during the week, so I have to write for eight to ten hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays in order to reach my goal of 35 to 50 pages a week.
Henry: I feel your pain. I have a “regular” job in addition to writing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
What’s a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?
I’ve learned several powerful lessons as a writer: accept criticism gracefully, don’t let rejection bring you down, and be patient. The waiting game, in terms of receiving an answer from a publisher or even waiting for edits or a peek at a cover, really stresses me out. Publishing runs as slow as molasses. I have to keep telling myself that, and remember that it can take months for my agent to hear back from a publisher, and up to two years for a book to appear on shelves.
Henry: I am grateful that you responded to my request for an interview so promptly. 🙂
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
The best advice I can give to aspiring writers is to never give up, and do anything they can to hone their craft, such as attending writers’ workshops and reading books in their genre. There will be a lot of rejection and disappointments along the way, but don’t stop trying.
Henry: So, be “the author that could”. I think I can. I think I can.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I’d want the power to fly. How cool would that be?
Henry: That is a popular answer. I suspect no more being stuck in traffic is a major motivational factor.
If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?
I’d pick William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald can bring the mint juleps.
Henry: And Dickens would keep asking, “Please sir. May I have some more?”
What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?
My favorite creature that exists only in literature is the elf, specifically the elves in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”, and more specifically – Legolas. If I could be any literary creature, I’d definitely be an elf.
Henry: If you like Legolas, check out the even more heroic High Elf royalty Fingolfin and Finrod from Tolkien’s “Silmarillion”.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m teaching, grading papers, or driving my son to football practice – at least that’s what it feels like. I also jog 6 to 8 miles a week, listening to hard rock and going over different plot lines and character dialogue in my head while I run. Jogging gives me some “me” time.
Where can readers find your work?
“Amateur Angel” is available at Barnes and Noble, bn.com, and Amazon. Under Entangled Publishing’s digiTeen imprint, “Mirror X” will be available in the Fall of 2013 as a digital download for Nook, Kindle, etc. You can also visit her website, “like” her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter (@KarriThompson).
This article is also posted to the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.