Thursday, August 30, 2012
Lucky to know Kristyn Kusek Lewis...plus a book giveaway
Today we consider ourselves lucky to introduce you to Kristyn Kusek Lewis, debut author of "How Lucky You Are" (reviewed here). Her novel is as intriguing as she is and we think you'll really enjoy getting to know her.
Kristyn Kusek Lewis holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has worked in magazines for over 15 years. She has written for the New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Glamour, Allure, Good Housekeeping, Self, More, and Redbook, among other publications. The topics she covers both in her fiction and her magazine work, reflect what she's most curious about in her own life, such as navigating modern-day motherhood and obtaining a thoughtful, fully realized life while enjoying the journey that goes along with it. Kristyn lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughters, and two big dogs.
Thanks to BookSparks PR, we have one copy of "How Lucky You Are" for a, shall we say, "lucky" US reader.
You can find Kristyn at her website, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
First off, tell us about your awesome book, "How Lucky You Are," and what inspired you to write it…
When Publishers Weekly recently reviewed the book, they said that it explored the “consequences of accrued secrets and growing pains of long-lived friendships” and I just loved that. I set out to write a book about old friends and the way that our relationships can change as we grow older, and the story concerns three women: Waverly, a bakery owner; Amy, a stay-at-home mom; and Kate, a politician’s wife. Several secrets unfold throughout the book, so I’ll keep it at that!
I’d actually just finished writing another book when I started it. I knew that that story wasn’t "The One," and when a close friend and fellow writer challenged me to do National Novel Writing Month, an annual event where you spend the month of November writing a 50,000 word novel, I thought it was as good a time as any to get started on the next one.
At what age did you discover writing?
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. In middle school, we had to write a poem based on Joyce Kilmer’s "Trees" poem, and I distinctly remember sitting on the front stoop of my childhood home, very earnestly attempting to get inspired—ha! I was always a big reader as a kid—Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, "Sweet Valley High," all of that stuff—and I started crawling into bed with a notebook and pen when I was probably 12 or 13. I’d stay up late and write for hours. I moved to New York a week after I graduated from college and got a job at Glamour magazine. After a few years of editing and doing freelance writing on the side, I bit the bullet and started freelance writing full-time for national magazines and newspapers. It’s really all I’ve ever done.
Describe your writing in three words.
Honest, emotional, sensory.
Which authors have inspired you?
Nora Ephron has been my forever answer to “Who’s your favorite writer?” I just admire her ability to write about relationships in such a smart, funny way. Also, Mary Karr, E.B. White, Grace Paley, Anna Quindlen, Abigail Thomas, Toni Morrison, Jhumpa Lahiri, Susan Orlean, Stephen Dunn, Maya Angelou, Tom Wolfe, Kate Chopin, Jennifer Weiner…I can go on and on.
If "How Lucky You Are" were made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
What a fun question! For Waverly, maybe Christina Applegate or Kate Winslet. For Amy, I’d go with Reese Witherspoon or Jennifer Garner—somebody very all-American. And for Kate, definitely Gwyneth Paltrow.
(CLC: Melissa A. had completely different ideas in her review, but could easily see why Kristyn made these choices. All fabulous actresses!)
If you could live anywhere in the world, besides where you’re currently living, where would it be, and why?
I know that I should say something more exotic, but honestly? Cape Cod. Growing up, I spent a lot of time there and I was lucky enough to spend three weeks there this summer. I just love everything about it—the quaint towns, the style of the homes, the peaceful beaches, the weather (yes, even in the wintertime!), and, of course, endless opportunities to eat lobster rolls.
What is your theme song?
I’m working on my second book so probably “Everyday I Write the Book” by Elvis Costello or “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles. That said, I’ve always joked that if I became a major league baseball player, my at-bat song would be “Tootsie Roll.” Guilty pleasure!
What is your go-to breakfast item?
Well, I can’t not say doughnut muffins—they figure prominently in the book!
I usually drink a smoothie--frozen berries, unsweetened almond milk, a banana, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, and a handful of baby spinach or a scoop of kale powder. I’m not going to pretend that I’d pick it over a plate of eggs benedict, but it’s my perfect “busy weekday morning” meal.
Special thanks to Kristyn for chatting with us and to BookSparks PR for sharing "How Lucky You Are" with our readers.
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US only. Giveaway ends September 4th at midnight EST.