Saturday, October 15, 2016

Covers and Excerpts and Short Stories, Oh My!

First, did you see? DID YOU SEE? released the cover for NOW I RISE, and it's so stunningly gorgeous and I want to marry it, but marrying book covers is still frowned upon by polite society. Click here for a link to an exclusive sneak peek at what our darling vicious Lada has been up to since the end of book one...

Guh. I've seen it in person, and it's just as gleaming and pettable and gorgeous as AND I DARKEN.

(I'm the luckiest, always. I don't know how I have had this cover streak, but I try not to question it, and I leave bowls of milk out for the cover fairies every single night.)

Second! Have you heard of ReMade yet? It's serialized fiction, like weekly episodes of television only in written format. More info about it and how to subscribe here. Basically, it's super fun, compelling fiction sent in serialized chunks to your eReader every week! ReMade is sci-fi YA about a group of teens who wake up in a new, unknown place...after they die.

It was a pretty unique thing to be a part of. The six of us--Matt Cody, Andrea Phillips, E.C. Meyers, Carrie Harris, and Gwenda Bond--collaborated on planning the whole season based off of Matt's original concept. So, for example, I created a character named Inez, and then E.C. Meyers had the first episode from her POV. He brought things to her character I never would have imagined. Definitely an example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts!

Anyway, if you're looking for something a little different, I recommend it. And, bonus, there are already five episodes out, so you can binge in time for my first episode--"Reality No Show"--coming out this week!

Finally, reminder that I will be on tour starting the 23rd! Toronto, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, Austin, NYC, and DC...I'm coming for you.

That's all! Except that hi, I like you, thanks for your eyeballs. They're fantastic eyeballs, and they brain they talk to is even better.


Friday, September 30, 2016


The title and cover for my very first middle grade novel, coming August 2017 from Scholastic!

I love it so, so much. The dish and the spoon getting the heck out of there! Little Dead Riding Hood winking creepily at the reader! (She thinks you look delicious. I mean, umm, she thinks this cover looks delicious. Delightful. Yes. Delightful.) The leaves and castle forming a skull! Poor Jack annoyed at being tangled in yet another mess!

And I love, love, love that it looks like my regular name font, but the letters are all just a bit goofy. Much like this book.

I hope you love the cover as much as I do, and I hope you'll love the book next year!

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Will I see you? Oh, I hope so!

Catherine Egan, JULIA VANISHES
Sunday, October 23rd at 2:00 PM
Chapters Brampton

with Jessica Cluess, A SHADOW BRIGHT & BURNING
Arwen Elys Dayton, TRAVELER
Monday, October 24th at 7:00 PM
B&N # 2072 - Emeryville
5604 Bay Street
Emeryville, CA 94608

with Jessica Cluess, A SHADOW BRIGHT & BURNING
Arwen Elys Dayton, TRAVELER
Tuesday, October 25th at 7:00 PM
Books Inc. Laurel Village
3515 California Street
San Francisco, CA
In-store Panel Event
with Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, GEMINA
Arwen Elys Dayton, TRAVELER
Wednesday, October 26th at 7:00 PM
Menlo Park Public Library (arranged with Kepler’s)
800 Alma Street
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Off-site Library Panel Event
with Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, GEMINA
Arwen Elys Dayton, TRAVELER
Thursday, October 27th @ TIME TK
Old Town Library (arranged with Old Firehouse Books)
201 Peterson Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Off-site Library Panel Event
with Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, GEMINA
Arwen Elys Dayton, TRAVELER
Friday, October 28th @ 7:00 PM
Tattered Cover Colfax
2526 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
In-store Panel Event
with Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, GEMINA
Arwen Elys Dayton, TRAVELER
Saturday, October 29th at 7:00 PM
The King’s English Bookshop
1511 1500 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
In-store Panel Event

with Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, GEMINA
Sunday, October 30th at 2:00 PM
603 N Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78703
In-store Panel Event
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, GEMINA
Kiersten White, AND I DARKEN
Catherine Egan, JULIA VANISHES
Tuesday, November 1st at 6:00 PM
Books of Wonder
18 W 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
In-store Panel Event
with Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, GEMINA
Catherine Egan, JULIA VANISHES
Wednesday, November 2nd at 6:30 PM
Barnes & Noble #2889—Yonkers
2614 Central Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10701
In-store Panel Event
with Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, GEMINA
Catherine Egan, JULIA VANISHES
Thursday, November 3rd at 7:00 PM
Bethesda Library (arranged with Politics & Prose)
7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
Off-site Library Panel Event

Friday, July 8, 2016


Hello, and welcome to my website!

If you scroll down, you'll see that my blog is...not often updated. I am more often on twitter (@kierstenwhite) and tumblr ( But there is a wealth of information here (by which I mean fake screenplays, cranky anthropomorphized laptops, and the occasional helpful writing post) from past years when I blogged regularly, and along the top are links to information on my books, future appearances, and other info that is usually about six months out of date because I'm clever like that.



Wednesday, July 6, 2016


I have felt, every step of the way, that I am getting away with something devious when it comes to And I Darken.

First, when my agent, the always supportive and incredible Michelle Wolfson, said, “Yes, absolutely write a gender-swapped Vlad the Impaler.” Even though it didn’t make the most sense career-wise. It was where my heart was, and she has always had my back.

Second, when Wendy Loggia wanted it. I had questioned whether it was too out there, too obscure, too off-putting with its unlikeable-in-the-extreme narrator. But Wendy immediately saw what it was–and what it could be, under her extraordinary guidance–and offered it a home.

[Flowers–and cover–both gorgeous pieces of joy courtesy of Wendy.]

Third, when Ruth Knowles and Random House UK jumped in with an astonishing level of support and enthusiasm. I still can’t believe I found not one but two editors–and two teams of publicists, marketers, designers, and other assorted geniuses–who so fully embraced Lada and Radu and this series.

[Stunning card and even more stunning bracelet both full of meaning from Ruth and the UK team. They probably didn’t MEAN to make me cry, but they certainly did.]

I honestly can’t believe that I hit the jackpot both here and in the UK. (And Australia, too! I want to hug that entire continent.) As an author, you write the best books you can and hope they find their audience. But you can’t do either of those without an incredible team behind the scenes. And I lucked into the greatest team possible.

[Seriously. Just, seriously.]

So, with And I Darken a week old in the US and Australia, and our gorgeous(ly fierce) Lada debuting in the UK tomorrow, thank you.

Thank you to everyone who helped usher this dream book of mine into the world.

And thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who reads it. I wouldn't have a career without you, and I'm so grateful for your brainspace and your imaginations and your eyeballs. ("Kiersten White Loves My Eyeballs" should be your bumper sticker. Creepy and cute, just like we are.)

I am the luckiest author ever, and my heart is full.



Monday, June 6, 2016

Hello! Today I’m celebrating the release of one of my favorite books, The Cresswell Plot, by Eliza Wass. And to help me, I’ve got an interview with the author herself!
Full disclosure: I know Eliza in real life. We’re legally related, actually—I married her best brother. (Which is saying something, because she has five.) So it’s been really fun welcoming Eliza to the YA world with her phenomenal debut. Read on to learn more about it!

About the book: For years, Castella Cresswell’s world has been confined to her ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. There, she and her five siblings abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father. Enrolling back in school, Castley's world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were absolute truth. Just as she begins to form a plan to escape her father’s grasp, he makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out, Castley must confront the depths of her father's lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long…

Sounds good, right? IT IS. I loved this book. I was so nervous to read it, but it floored me. I had to keep stopping to take pictures of passages. Read on for an interview that includes fanfiction, writing poetry on rock star’s typewriters, and finding yourself in the Magic Kingdom.

So your oldest brother says getting a book deal can't be that hard, since everyone in the family who tries gets one. But you've been writing for as long as I've known you. What made you decide to take the leap to pursuing publication? 

I had been writing fan fiction for years and it got to the point where I was writing literary versions of really crap novels just for a laugh. It dawned on me that fan fiction was a crutch for me; it's this very benevolent world where everyone loves you and you get immediate feedback. I realised it was preventing me from actually writing publishable stories. So I took all my fiction down and joined Twitter and immersed myself in the path to publication.

Aww! A lot of YA authors started in fanfiction. It’s a great community! But I’m so glad you took that leap. One thing I love about you is that you are always determined to find your own way. I have complete strangers ask me for help getting published. We're family, but I had to beg you to let me read your book! I saw a lot of that same fierce independence in Castley, your main character. But she wasn't originally the point of view in the first draft. How did you discover Castley and her voice?

Yeah, so the very, very first version of this story was from Caspar’s perspective, and then it was from his girlfriend’s perspective and I was really struggling with it for a long time. I kept getting the same feedback: what are the stakes? It took me ages understand what that meant but I finally realized it was the Cresswells who had the most at stake, and so the story needed to be from their perspective.

Something that really stood out to me in The Cresswell Plot is that you work with such a large family. Typically in YA we see only children, or maybe one or two siblings, maximum. And parents are frequently absent or killed in the epidemic of tragic and mysterious car accidents some of my own fictional parents have fallen victim to! Juggling such a large cast--and making them all memorable individuals--is no small task. You did it so well. I still think about Baby J sometimes, and she doesn't say a word in the book. Tell us a little about how you tackled such complex characterization?

I think it helped that I had written so many different versions of the book, so I felt like knew the characters. But more specifically, I wanted them to represent different ideologies. So Caspar is supposed to be representative of pure religion where Mortimer is a nihilist, and within the story you see how both schools of thought are problematic. For example with Caspar, his capacity for love and forgiveness in some ways seem to enable the abuse and with Mortimer, he's just taking whatever route is most damaging to himself because he feels he is already screwed no matter what. Hannan I wanted to be someone who is just trying to survive and Delvive is judging everyone while Baby J has completely switched off. For me I think it was a matter of dividing different aspects of my own psyche up between characters and having Castley as the one who is interpreting all of these different schools of thought or reactions.

I hadn’t thought of it that way! Such a smart lens to explore that many voices. Main character Castley begins to find her own voice when she's finally able to be an individual in drama class, away from her family. Did you have something in high school where you felt like the future opened up and you could see your way through to being the person you wanted to be?

Not so much in high school; it took me a long time to believe that I could be anything other than what had been dictated to me. Probably the biggest moment for me was when I went to work at the Magic Kingdom and was living separately from my family and also from the religious University I was attending and I was able to just see what it would be like to be myself, the way I was when I was alone, all the time.

That notion of performing identity for others comes across so well. You really captured it. Religion is also obviously a huge theme in the novel. The "scriptures" written by Castley's father are so odd and haunting. Did you do anything special to get into the right frame of mind to write them?

This is kind of a funny story: I was in Barcelona with my husband and his friend Peter Doherty from The Libertines on the roof of a hotel after dark. Peter was carrying around this typewriter and I wanted to really impress him with my brilliance and I wrote some of what later became the Cresswell’s scriptures. And I remember Peter was like, “who wrote this?” I mean, clearly he was blown away by my genius.

As well he should have been! I loved those sections. One of my other favorite parts of the book was watching Castley's internal arguments as she tried to move away from her father's teachings while still dealing with the fear that maybe he was right and she was damning herself. I read it less as a condemnation of religion in general, and more an exploration of how hard it is to claim yourself in the face of outside ideas eating up so much space in your soul. As someone who left a pretty intense religion you were raised in, how did you capture that tension of chafing to be free and also sometimes wishing to go back to the relative ease of simply stepping in line?

A pretty big aspect of what I wanted to portray was the fact that it is very difficult to determine what is right or wrong when you decide to step away from the rules that are imposed on you. Any choice you make will have both good and bad consequences. When you decide to think for yourself you're basically taking away the barrier that can shield you from the consequences of your own actions, because you can no longer blame them on somebody else. As you have suggested, you are making your life more difficult, but I also wanted to show how that makes you stronger and more self-actualized.

Okay, so, interrogation over. Almost. Tell us whether my husband is your favorite of your five brothers. No, that's okay, just nod. We won't tell the others.

Imma let you finish, but J is the best of all time. 

(J is her favorite nephew. I happened to give birth to him. And if you want to read my favorite book by a family member—and my favorite YA read of the year—pick up your copy of The Cresswell Plot today!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hello, friends!

We now have only two months (TWO MONTHS!!) until And I Darken comes out. I can’t quite believe it. This is the longest I’ve ever had from idea-to-published-book. It doesn’t quite feel real. But this massive, brutal, very different book has already accomplished something none of my other books have! …which I can’t quite tell you about yet, but soon.

In the meantime, two exciting things:

1. I’ll be at YallWest this weekend! April 30-May 1st. If you can get to LA, you definitely should. It’s basically the biggest book party of the year. I’ll be on two panels and signing on Saturday, and then on Sunday I’ll be EATING CUPCAKES WITH YOU along with several other suuuuuuuper cool authors, thanks to First In Line and Random House! I’m so excited. I hope I see you!
2. Are you an aspiring writer? Would you like to come to a retreat where you can connect with other aspiring writers as well as participate in hands-on, intensive workshops with published authors…such as yours truly? I’ll be teaching HERE, with Madcap Retreats. If it’s something you can do, I highly recommend it. (I don’t make money off it. I agreed to do it because the writing community has given me so much, and I love opportunities to return the favor. Come learn in a few days what it took us years to figure out!) The application deadline is May 1st, and I don’t know how many slots are still open, so apply now if you want to do it. I can’t wait!
And that’s it for now. If you can’t come to LA or Tennessee, I’ll be in a lot more places this fall. Hopefully one that you are in, too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Book!

Some of you may know that I started out on my writing career wanting to be a middle grade writer. That love of middle grade storytelling has stayed with me lo these many YA books. Cut to a few months ago, when I was joking around on twitter about making the Disney princesses into serial killers and fairy tales into (even more) macabre horror stories.

That was when Erin Black at Scholastic, who is an utter delight, emailed me. “I think there’s something there,” she said. We went back and forth for a while, tossing around ideas, when I realized I finally had it. THE middle grade I was destined to write, combining my love of fairy tales, scary stories, and pee jokes.

It’s funny. It’s silly-scary. It’s sly. It’s a bit like if Captain Underpants and A Tale Dark and Grimm had a weird little book baby. And it is so. much. fun. to write. I love my YA books, but I can’t exactly say to my kids, “Hey, come tell me if I’m describing this impaling with enough visceral horror.” I can, however, say, “Hey, come listen to this so I can see if you laugh.”

I’m so excited to be working with Erin (we’ll be Black and White and read all over!) and Scholastic to bring you Scarytales next year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


The drop-dead gorgeous cover of AND I DARKEN, coming June 28th!

It's even more beautiful in person. The cover is velvety-soft, with raised shiny letters and a metallic sheen on the spear. I looooove it. I talk about it more in this interview on Bustle!

Feel free to add it on Goodreads, or to preorder from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. (When you preorder, you get the best price available between now and when it comes out!)

Friday, October 16, 2015

An October Story

First, some background. My son, nine years old, has always had a lot of sleep issues. He wakes up a lot, and usually in a panic. It’s been better lately, but all that did was get me used to the luxury of sleep only to snatch it away again. My daughter, eleven, never wakes us up. She’s calm. Quiet.

Very quiet.

So this morning at 4 AM when my son entered our room, freaking out about a buzzing noise in his ear, I tried the usual. Make him pee, give him a quick kiss, collapse back into bed silently burning with resentment that somehow all those years ago I became the Middle-of-the-Night-Parent. (I love you, husband, but yes: BURNING WITH RESENTMENT.)

Two minutes later the sound of footsteps racing down the hall yanked my weary eyes back open. “The buzzing! It’s back!” My son trembled, hands over his ears, eyes so wide even in the dark I could see the whites.

I begrudgingly trudged back to his room. I swept across his pillow, half-heartedly searched for the source of the noise. I looked and listened for any bugs. There was nothing.


I told him as much, but he was still shaking. He refused to lie back down in his bed, bathed in the orange glow of his salt-rock lamp.

“Sweetheart,” I said, exhaustion putting an edge on my normally patient voice. “There is no buzzing. There is nothing here. Go back to sleep.”

“Is he talking about the buzzing?”

We both turned, startled, to see my daughter. She leaned in the doorway. When she had gotten there, I had no idea. She doesn’t wake up. She doesn’t cause problems.

“The buzzing,” she said again, her voice quiet and lacking any emotion. “I used to hear it, too.”

And then, as quietly as she had appeared, she melted back into the darkness.

Anyway, that’s the story of how my son will never sleep again, and neither will I.