Ask the Author: Heidi R. Kling (Paint My Body Red)

Samstag, 2. Januar 2016

   Welcome to my first post of 2016!
   For this weeks edition of Ask the Author, the first one in 2016 (!), I'm bringing you the amazing Heidi R. Kling, author of Paint My Body Red, Not Okay, Cupid, and more! Ever since I read Paint My Body Red I've wanted to interview Heidi, even more after I read and loved Not Okay, Cupid, so I'm happy that it finally happened. 
   Check out her books and her A's for my Q's below!

Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. Kling
Published: November 2nd 2015 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Teen)
Number of Pages: 350 Pages (Kindle)
Series: No

   The world isn't just black or white. Sometimes it's red...
   They think I'm next. That I'll be the seventh kid to step in front of a train and end my life. With the rash of suicides at my school, Mom's shipped me off to my dad's Wyoming ranch for “my own safety.” They think I’m just another depressed teenager whose blood will end up on the tracks. They don't know my secrets...or what I’ve done.
   I wasn't expecting Dad to be so sick, for the ranch I loved to be falling to bits, or for Jake—the cute boy I knew years ago—to have grown into a full-fledged, hot-as-hell cowboy. Suddenly, I don't want to run anymore, but the secrets from home have found me...even here. And this time, it's up to me to face them—and myself—if I want to live... (goodreads.com)

Not Okay, Cupid by Heidi R. Kling
Expected Publication: January 11th 2016 by Entangled: Crush
Number of Pages: /
Series: Yes, #1 of 3

    Her wicked revenge, or his wicked heart...
   Hazel McCallister loves her life. Perfect grades. Perfect best friend. Perfect boyfriend. Until her perfect boyfriend cheats on her with her perfect best friend. Now Hazel’s in free fall—until her best friend’s brother, Felix, gives her the perfect idea. Reclaim her power by taking revenge on her cheating ex.
   Felix James loves his life. Casual relationships. Loads of surfing. He’s as drama-free as they come. But he can’t stand by when his sister steals her best friend’s boyfriend, and the dude insists it was Hazel’s fault. So Felix vows to help turn Hazel into a girl her ex can’t resist—so then she can break his heart.
   With an alliance in place, Hazel’s revenge is all but assured. But with each piece of payback, she feels a stronger attraction to Felix, even though revenge will turn her into a girl Felix could never be with. And soon Hazel has to make an impossible choice: revenge...or Felix, the boy who’s stolen her heart.
   WARNING! This book contains betrayal, revenge, and that most tempting vice of all, the bad boy you know you can't have. (goodreads.com)

Interview with Heidi R. Kling

   1 – Describe Paint My Body Red with a haiku (or a twitter pitch).
   A troubled girl, with help from a steadfast cowboy and a wild horse, rebuilds her life.

   2 – What sparked the idea for Paint My Body Red? Was it the simple idea of wanting to write a story that tackled the complicated topic of suicide or something completely different?
   Teen suicides happened in my town in two separate clusters, five years apart, devastating the community. Everyone has their theories as to why, and how to prevent more tragedies, which prompted the idea for PAINT. My dear uncle died from complications of ALS; and since I've wanted to write about it to pay homage to such a great man, and to educate the public a about a little known disease.

   3 – What do you like most and least about your protagonist Paige?
   I like her guts and her honestly. I like that she's not afraid to fail, and that she takes risks. I like that she is eager to grow even though growing and changing and healing is scary.

   4 – Not Okay, Cupid and Paint My Body Red are so different in every way, how did those two stories happen? What lead you to deciding that you wanted to write something much lighter after PMBR?
   My editor approached me while I was in revisions for PAINT asking if I'd like to try a rom-com. I love reading and watching rom-coms so I said yes. Readers are describing CUPID as "light, frothy, fun" and it was exactly what I needed at the time as well. I enjoyed writing it so much, I pitched a Holiday Trilogy to EntangledTeen which they accepted! Paige taught me a lot of things, and taking risks was one of them. I happily put myself out there now. The worse thing that can happen is rejection, and that's not that bad. So I have two more books following CUPID--MASQUERADE GIRL, which I'm working on now, about the daughter of a famous movie star couple in New York who hides her real identity from the costume shop employees she's working with, and a Christmas book (still untitled).

   5 – In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
   Which one? No, I'm pretty happy with both PAINT's ending and CUPID's.

   6 – As I mentioned to you and in my review, I think books that tackle hard topics are immensely important, and seeing as you wrote a story that does so, I believe you think the same. How important do you think is it for authors to do it in YA literature and do you think it’s a good way to make young people think about these things and discuss them?
   I do. I'm working on book club questions for PAINT MY BODY RED because that book brings up so many things parents and teens seem to suppress and/or hide from one another; from sexuality, to suicidal thoughts, to very basic things such as trust, and trying to heal familial relationships. I'd love to see PAINT be read in Mother/Daughter bookclubs.

   7 - How did you feel when you first realized that this story you had written would soon be read by thousands of people and how do you feel now, years later, before your next book will be released? Did the feeling change or is it still the same?
   It's extremely surreal. I try not to think about it too much so I don't get spooked. :)

   8 – What lead you to writing and wanting to be an author? Is it the way you imagined it would be?
   I've always wanted to be a writer. I think in TV and in movies, a writers life is much more cinematic and dreamy--lots of angst, and quiet walks on the beach where a woman brainstorms with sea wind flowing through her hair. My life is not like that. I'm very busy with my family and my business. I seem to mostly do dishes. So that part of it is not similar. The rest is though. I feel very blessed to be writing and published and that readers seem to relate to, and enjoy, my stories.

   9 – Which of your books has so far been your favorite one to write?
   CUPID was probably my favorite to write because compared to SEA and PAINT it was so easy. I wrote it in a month, whereas SEA took 3 years and PAINT took 5. But they are like kids: I can't choose a favorite.

   10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   Write the book you want to read, and read the kinds of books you want to write. Learning is doing. And don't give up.

   11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
   To fly. That would be so epic!

About the Author

   Heidi R. Kling writes about normal girls in fantastic situations. PAINT MY BODY RED, a romantic thriller about a girl fleeing secrets from home launches November 2 with EntangledTeen, followed by several more novels on various Entangled imprints. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the New School, but has been writing books, plays and screenplays since she could practically hold a pencil.

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