Introduction by Melissa Amster
**Giveaway is now closed**
First thing I need to mention is that Kristina Riggle's eyes are a beautiful shade of blue. I could get absorbed in them as easily as I am becoming absorbed in her fourth and most recent novel, "Keepsake" (reviewed here), which is about a compulsive hoarder and her relationship with her estranged sister. She's been kind enough to indulge my embarrassing hoarding tendencies, which this novel keeps triggering.
Kristina Riggle lives and writes in West Michigan. Her previous three novels have received various honors and I have a feeling it won't be long before "Keepsake" does the same! Her debut novel, "Real Life & Liars," was a Target "Breakout" pick and a "Great Lakes, Great Reads" selection by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. "The Life You’ve Imagined" was honored by independent booksellers as an IndieNext “Notable” book. "Things We Didn't Say" was named a Midwest Connections pick of the Midwest Booksellers Association.
Kristina has published short stories in the Cimarron Review, Literary Mama, Espresso Fiction, and elsewhere, and she works as co-editor for fiction at Literary Mama. Before she turned her focus to creative writing, she was a full-time newspaper reporter. Along with writing, she also enjoys reading, yoga, dabbling in (very) amateur musical theatre, and spending lots of time with her husband, two kids and dog.
Today, Kristina is getting lyrical with us by chatting about music. Thanks to HarperCollins, we have TWO copies of "Keepsake" for some lucky US readers.
If you want to learn more about Kristina (oh, you will!), she can be found at her website and on Facebook and Twitter.
If you could name your next novel after a song title or lyrics, which would you choose?
You know, I try to think of titles like this all the time, because I think they're great. I'm terrible at it, though, and my choices always seem hokey and obvious. Oh, I did once name an old, unpublished manuscript LIKE A LANDSLIDE, inspired by the Fleetwood Mac song. No one else liked that title but me. Anyway, no one liked the manuscript, either, so it's just as well.
Have you ever played an instrument? If so, which one? If not, is there something you'd want to learn?
I played the violin starting in fifth grade all the way through high school, and off and on beyond that. One of my greatest treasures is my great-grandfather's violin, handed down to me by grandfather (skipping
my dad's generation; they all played band instruments). I have an old photograph of my great-grandfather with his violin (maybe the one I have now? not sure) and his band is called The Dirty Half Dozen, which I love. I made my best school friends in the band and orchestra.
I would love to play the piano someday.
Song which reminds you most of your teenage years:
Hands down, "Sweet Child of Mine," Guns-n-Roses. I loved that song, and still do. I snuck the tape inside my house when I was fourteen, hiding it because it was called "Appetite for Destruction" and had lurid art inside. (Sorry, Mom.) I'm none the worse for wear, though. A close second would be Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", because my senior year saw the beginning of grunge.
Favorite song to "get ready" to:
Gosh, I haven't danced around while getting ready in so long I had to really think. (These days, I'm cooking dinner for the kids and trying to put on my makeup while writing a note to the babysitter). I used to play the Pulp Fiction soundtrack over and over and over again, so "Son of a Preacher Man" is probably a good candidate. My college roommate used to play the 90's remix of "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" nonstop. She has since apologized for the musical trauma.
Has a song ever inspired you to write? If so, which one?
My dad always thought I should write a short story based on the Eagles' "Hotel California" (which is really a short story in itself already) so to make him happy, I did. I never submitted it anywhere; it was just for fun.
Line from a song that you could apply to your own life:
This is a little corny, but "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" from The Sound of Music. I'm determined.
If "Keepsake" could have a soundtrack, pick songs that would be featured:
There's so much nostalgia in Keepsake that the songs would all be from Trish and Mary's youth. "Home Sweet Home" by Motley Crue would be on there for sure; it pops up in the book a few times. Also some
fingerless-lace-gloves era Madonna. I edited the book while listening to my current obsession, Adele.
A little off-topic, but there's a song by blues singer Carolyn Wonderland called "Long Way to Go" which I love, and always thought would be a great song to play over the closing credits of a movie version of, well, any of my books. My novels don't wrap up with perfect, shiny endings. My characters always seem to have a long way to go, one way or another. (Don't we all?)
Favorite TV theme song:
Oh, the M*A*S*H theme. Gosh, I loved that show. I had a crush on Hawkeye.
Special thanks to Kristina for the trip down music memory lane and to HarperCollins for sharing "Keepsake" with our readers.
How to win "Keepsake":
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)
Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: Which song reminds you most of your teenage years?
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US only, no PO Boxes. Giveaway ends July 10th at midnight EST.