Hi Kristina, it is my pleasure to host The Tension of Opposites here at Read This Book! Could you please share with us a little bit about yourself?
It is my pleasure to be here! I am a former high school English teacher turned YA author. This whole getting published thing has been a dream of mine since childhood, and I feel so fortunate to actually have reached this point. I mean, launch week? Crazy!
What first inspired The Tension of Opposites?
I was lucky enough to catch an episode of Oprah one day when she was interviewing Shawn Hornbeck, a young man who spent a little over four years with his kidnapper before being returned to his family. I was awestruck and inspired by his strength, and couldn’t get him out of my mind. Soon after, the character of Tessa began to speak to me (yes, I know this makes me sound a little loopy).
Where do you usually get your ideas?
Anywhere. Everywhere! Friends, strangers, TV, commercials, music, my past, my fears, dreams for my future . . . every aspect of my life has somehow served as an inspiration. So if you know me, or if you ever meet me, watch out!
If you were spending the day with Tessa, where would you go and what would you do?
We would hike out to the Three Sisters (three 550-year-old oak trees that actually exist within Sugarcreek Nature Reserve near Dayton, Ohio) and take some pictures. If it was a hot day, we’d go hang out by the creek for a nice chat while we dipped our feet in the water. And then maybe we’d go for some pizza. And chocolate ice cream. Yum.
Tessa, the main character, is interested in photography. Are you a photographer like her?
I love taking pictures, but mostly my photography centers around people. My love of photography was born during my first year of teaching (1997), when I became a high school yearbook advisor and had roughly 400 pages to fill. After eight years of thinking intensely about the lighting and composition of shots, it’s just part of me now. Once I had my two kids, who are still very young, my photography began to center around them.
If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be?
One?! Warning: I’m totally cheating on this question. I’m thinking Laurie Halse Anderson or Jay Asher. I would love to pick their brains! How do they formulate a plotline? Create such well-developed characters? Add in such intense tension and drama?
If you could go back in time and tell your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t give up. EVER. Because if you do, you’ll never accomplish your biggest dream.
If someone told you 20 years ago that you would be a published author, what would your reaction be?
I think I would have been surprised that I actually made it happen. This has always been one of my biggest dreams, but back then, I had no idea how to go about making it happen. I figured out, along the way, that you have to ask tons of questions, make lots of mistakes, and above all, keep going.
The Tension of Opposites deals with the aftermath of a kidnapping and the impact on the victims. Ultimately, what would you like people to take away from your book?
The most important thing in my book has been evidenced in the media several times over the last ten years. There are missing children out there who are waiting to be found and reunited with their families. These kids oftentimes have been so brainwashed that they will not attempt to get away from their kidnappers, even if they have a very good chance. These are children whose parents don’t know if they are alive or dead, and are waiting for someone like you or me to notice something and tell someone. Think of Shawn Hornbeck, Elizabeth Smart, Jaycee Dugard . . . all it takes is one person’s keen eye to save a life.
Is there anything else you would like to add before we go?
If anyone would like to know more about my book (or me) they can check out my website at www.kristinamcbride.com. Thanks so much for having me and featuring The Tension of Opposites!
Tension of Opposites is out tomorrow, you can buy it at Book Depository or Barnes & Noble or Amazon. We are celebrating the release week for Tension of Opposites all week. Full schedule here, and you might just find some intriguing teasers. All comments in the release week posts will count as extra entires for the big giveaway at the end of the week!