Blog Tour: Interview: Kristin Bartley Lenz (The Art of Holding On and Letting Go)

Donnerstag, 8. September 2016

   Hello and welcome to my stop of the blog tour for The Art of Holding On and Letting Go by Kristin Bartley Lenz.
   When I was presented with the opportunity to read and review this book, I was immediately intrigued and said yes. Said review can be found here. Then I also got the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, to which I obviously said yes, too, because you guys know I love debut authors and interviewing them about their books, so how could I not say yes? 
   So below you can find all about the book and Kristin's As to my Qs:

The Art of Holding On and Letting Go by Kristin Bartley Lenz
Expected publication: September 12th 2016 by Elephant Rock Productions, Inc.
Number of Pages: 307 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   A Junior Library Guild Fall 2016 Selection
   “When every piece falls into place, it’s like a dance, a delicate but powerful balancing act. The art of holding on and letting go at the same time.”
   Competitive climber Cara Jenkins feels most at home high off the ground, clinging to a rock wall by her fingertips. She’s enjoyed a roaming life with her mountaineering parents, making the natural world her jungle gym, the writings of Annie Dillard and Henry David Thoreau her textbooks. But when tragedy strikes on an Ecuadoran mountaintop, Cara’s nomadic lifestyle comes to an abrupt halt.
   Starting over at her grandparents’ home in suburban Detroit, Cara embarks on a year of discovery, uncovering unknown strengths, friendships, and first love. Cara’s journey illustrates the transformative power of nature, love and loss, and discovering that home can be far from where you started. (

Interview with Kristin Bartley Lenz

   1 - Describe The Art of Holding On and Letting Go with a haiku (or twitter pitch).
   Climb, explore the world
   Family, friendship, love, loss
   Nature heals your soul

   2 - What was the first initial thought or thing that sparked the idea of The Art of Holding On and Letting Go?
   My husband and I became immersed in rock climbing when we moved from Michigan to Georgia, and then to California. We followed the careers of well-known mountaineers, and one by one, each of these climbers died attempting epic summits, leaving their spouses and children behind. I began to wonder what it would be like to be the child of a famous mountaineer. How would that child’s upbringing be different? And what if both of her parents were extreme mountaineers, not just one? How would this shape her world?

   3 - What do you like most about your protagonist Cara?
   I like that she has grit and tenacity and a big heart.

   4 - What was the most challenging about writing The Art of Holding On and Letting Go and which scene was the most fun to write?
   It was challenging to describe rock climbing without being too technical. My favorite scene to write was when Cara climbs at the viaduct by her grandparents’ house. It was fun to play with the language, and it was in that scene that I found the book’s title – The Art of Holding On and Letting Go.

   5 - How long did it take you from first thought until publishing deal?
   Ten, very long years! I worked as a social worker and wrote other stories during those years, but TAOHOALG was revised, submitted, shelved, and revised again every few years until I connected with the right editor who shared my vision.

   6 - How do you feel about the fact that in a couple of weeks, hundreds of people will be able to read your book?
   It’s nerve-wracking! This manuscript has received a lot of praise and support from agents, editors, and fellow writers over the years. I’ve grown as a writer through this process and I’m confident that I’ve produced a work of quality literature, but I know it won’t be for everyone. Very rarely has my book club ever unanimously loved a book; we’re all drawn to different aspects of stories. But it’s been so fun to correspond with some of the early readers who have really connected with my book.

   7 - 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?
   The more time I spent in Cara’s world, the more details I wanted to add. I could revise endlessly, but at some point I needed to stop and trust that I’d shared enough of her story for readers to understand and make it their own. I’m happy with the book, and ready to move on to a new manuscript.

   8 - While writing the story did you ever imagine how a cover might look like and what do you think about the absolutely gorgeous final version?
   It is gorgeous, isn’t it?! Amanda Schwarz designed the cover, and I was so impressed with her vision. I thought the cover should incorporate mountains in some way, and I knew what I didn’t want (an overly romantic cover with a couple kissing), but I didn’t have a clear picture beyond that. I shared some of Amanda’s cover creation process on the SCBWI-MI blog. You can read that post here:

   9 - Did you listen to any particular songs or artists while writing The Art of Holding On and Letting Go? If so, could you give us an example?
   I love when writers share their music influences, but my answer is pretty boring - I have to write in silence. But once I’m done writing, I head to the kitchen to make dinner, and that’s when the music comes on. Cooking requires music, and Eminem is the best for chopping veggies. ;)

   10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   Connect with other writers in your area or online to share resources, give and receive feedback, and encourage each other to persevere along the bumpy path to publishing. SCBWI is a really supportive organization if you’re writing for children and/or teens.

   11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
   Invisibility. There are so many times that I want to be a fly on the wall and just observe. I love watching and listening much more than talking.

About the Author

   Kristin Lenz is a writer and social worker from metro-Detroit who fell in love with the mountains when she moved to Georgia and California. Now she’s back in Detroit where she plots wilderness escapes and manages the Michigan Chapter blog for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her writing has been published by online literary journals, including Hunger Mountain and Great Lakes Review. The Art of Holding On and Letting Go is her first novel.

   Links for purchase:

   Link to publisher’s website:

Mon., Aug. 22 – Kristin makes a guest post on Making Connections
Fri., Aug. 26 – Kristin interviewed on Fiction Over Reality
Tues., Aug. 30 – Kristin interviewed on A Leisure Moment
Thurs., Sept. 1 – Kristin interviewed on Crazy Book Obsessions!
Sunday, Sept. 4 – Kristin makes an appearance on black plume
Tues., Sept. 6 – Kristin makes a guest post on Books Are Love
Thurs., Sept. 8 – Kristin interviewed on Alice Reeds
Mon., Sept. 12 – Release day post on Making Connections
Mon., Sept. 12 – Kristin makes a guest post on Books & Tea
Mon., Sept. 12 – Kristin is interviewed by her agent, Carrie Pestritto, on Literary Carrie
Thurs., Sept. 15 – Kristin interviewed on Books Are Love
Tues., Sept. 20 – Kristin makes a guest post on The Reading Date
Friday, Sept. 23 – Kristin makes a guest post on Twenty Three Pages
Mon., Sept. 26 – Kristin interviewed on Literary Rambles
Wed., Sept. 28 – Kristin interviewed on Wandering Educators
Wed., Oct. 5 – Kristin interviewed on Operation Awesome 

1 Kommentar:

  1. Thanks for your support, Alice, and best of luck with your own writing too!