I had the pleasure of meeting Kitty Keswick about her debut novel Freaksville that is scheduled for release January 8, 2010. If you haven’t heard about this exciting new novel; I am bringing it all to you here.
Freaksville Book Description:
High school is hard enough when you’re normal. There’s peer pressure, book reports, the in crowd and the enormous zit that has a life of its own. Having a family whose skeletons in the closet lean toward the paranormal is not a topper on anyone’s list. Sophomore Kasey Maxwell is busy juggling the typical teen angst. Add visions, ghosts and hairy four-legged monsters into the mix and you get FREAKSVILLE. It’s a wonder Kasey has survived.
Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. A talent sixteen-year-old Kasey would gladly give up. All she wants is a normal life. Shopping and talking about boys with her best friend and long-time sidekick Gillie Godshall consume her days. Until Kasey has a vision about Josh Johnstone, the foreign exchange student from England. The vision leads her into new waters, a lead in a play, a haunted theater…and into the arms of the Josh. Yet, both Kasey and Josh have secrets lurking in dark corners. Can Kasey’s new romance survive FREAKSVILLE?
As I said before I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Ms. Keswick check out what she had to say below:
1) For those who have not heard please tell us a little about Freaksville, and what to expect from this debut novel.
It’s a bit nerve-wracking sending your baby out in the world. My hopes are that people will be drawn into the world of Freaksville as much as I was. If that happens, I’ve done my job.
The story is told by the sixteen-year-old heroine Kasey Maxwell. Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. Kasey feels her gift makes her a freak, she doesn’t see it as a gift--until she starts helping people…or one really hot guy. Toss in a few ghosts, add a furry beast or two, and things get a little hairy.
That said, here’s a teaser (This is one of my favorite scenes.):
Suddenly the lights failed. The tunnel was shrouded in darkness. A deep throaty growl vibrated a few yards away.
“Stay still,” I whispered.
This was the end. I wanted to grip Gillie’s hand for comfort. But didn’t want to see my best friend’s last moments in my head.
My strange list-making compulsion shoved at my thoughts. I didn’t fight it when my brain filtered through my mental catalog. It helped me process.
I knew three things:
1) That was a real growl.
2) It sounded hungry.
3) I was on the menu.
2) I found myself very impressed by the book trailer for Freaksville. Who created your trailer, and what were your initial thoughts upon seeing it? Was it everything you hoped it would be?
Thanks, I thought it rocked, too.
I was lucky enough to have a very talented teen, Madison Myers with M2 Productions, create the trailer for Freaksville. I had seen some of her trailers and was very impressed. (I’m certain we will be watching her movies on the big screen someday.) When she sent me the trailer, I was speechless—for about a minute—and then I started jumping up and down and screaming. I made so much noise, my neighbor came over to check on me. She was impressed with it, too. Everything Madison did, from the music to the pictures was amazingly cool. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out here:
My fellow YA author Judith Graves liked my trailer so much that she had Madison design hers for Under My Skin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s3kQ4nnSEk). And since I’m co-president of the Class of 2K10, we hired Madison to design one for our class ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0H79WFPYpc&feature).
3) Where did you come up with the idea for your new book? I have read on you blog that you keep a dream diary. Can you tell us little more about the various ways you come up with ideas for stories?
I’m very visual. And my dreams have always been extremely vivid. I dream in full color, complete with sensations. It’s strange, but it makes for great writing. I do some of my best plotting while I’m catching forty winks. Sometimes I’ll just get snippets of the story. For Freaksville it started out with Gillie and Kasey sitting on Kasey’s bed. She was gushing over this hot new guy in class and drooling over the fact that he was British. I had a few more Kasey and Gillie dreams and started to formulate the story around them Then I added a paranormal twist.
4) Your website detailed that this is the first in a new paranormal romance series; do you anticipate a very long wait for the next book in the series?
I’m in edits for book two, Furry and Freaked right now. There’s a teaser of the first chapter at the end of Freaksville. Tentatively Furry and Freaked is scheduled for a fall release. So fans of the series will only have a few short months to wait for the sequel. I write fairly quickly, but I do go back and edit a lot, adding to the story. Sometimes I write a shell of the scene, such as the dialogue, and then go back and flesh it out.
5) Freaksville is published by a new face in the literary world. Can you tell us a little more about Leap Books and your experience in working with them?
Leap Books (www.leapbks.com) is my dream publisher. They are sooo author friendly. I love the energy the staff has; they are really dedicated. They also are willing to do things a bit differently and favor the funky. They're really into Girl Power and so am I. Freaksville is full of girl power, no wimpy wallflowers for heroines.
They hired an amazingly talented graphic artist, Val Cox, for my book. Her style is hip with a smidge of the gothic. So I was thrilled to have the chance to have my world of Freaksville illustrated by Val.
Leap gets teens. They want to publish books that are fun and maybe a bit on the wacky side, too.
6) The release date for Freaksville is scheduled for January 8th, 2010, what big plans do you have in store for this big day? Where should readers expect to see you following this awesome day?
My publisher is having a big Grand Opening starting in January. They’ll be giving away a lot of neat swag. I’m booked on a pretty awesome blog tour with Traveling to Teens. I’m also planning a few surprises on Wolfy Chicks, the blog I share with author Judith Graves. We both write about werewolves. And there are some fun happenings going on with the Class of 2K10 (www.classof2k10.com).
7) Rumors are running wild that you and Judith Graves will be teaming up for a book; can you tell us more about this book and what to expect?
Oohh rumors…gotta love them. They spread like wildfire. Yes, Judith and I are working on a series together. It’s a bit darker than Freaksville and is set in a paranormal town where the paranorms live openly. Our voices and writing style meld really well, and the Skype chats to plot the series have been a blast. (I live in the U.S. and Judith lives in Canada.) It’s not at the stage where I can say more. But I love the story so far. I just need to get through Furry’s edits and outline book three in the Freaksville series first. Judith is working on her Skinned series as well.
8) What are your thoughts on book bloggers and their position in the literary world?
I think the whole book blogging phenomenon has set the publishing world on its ear—in a good way. What better way than to have the people you write for talk about your book? I write for the readers and for the joy of the story, so I’m thrilled at all the letters I’ve received from teen bloggers wanting to know more about Freaksville.
I started writing in high school. If blogs were around in the dark ages,I would have been a book blogger, too. Also to be able to inspire someone to achieve something they’ve dreamed about is pretty darn cool too.
I blog now. It’s fun. I’ve had the chance to interview a lot of very talented YA authors, and it’s helped open my eyes further to the world around me. I think as the publishing world moves into this new electronic era, bloggers will play a bigger role. Just remember: never write anything down that you don’t want the world to see. The Internet is out there forever.
This was BookWhisperer’s first author interview, and I don’t think I could have found a better or more understanding author to work with through my crash course in interviewing . I thank her for her wonderful compliments about my interview, and look forward to following her progress in years to come. I anxiously awaiting Freaksville release.