Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Welcome!

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 (kierstenwhite.tumblr.com). 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along the top are links to information on my books, future appearances, and other info that is usually about six months out of date because I'm clever like that.

XOXO

Kiersten

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.
(HMMMMM.)

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 Little Dead Riding Hood and Other Scarytales next year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Presenting!

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.

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.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Six Years Later PSA

This is a blog that I repost every year, because it is something that is, for obvious reasons, very important to me to educate and inform people about. Since posting about my experience with an ectopic pregnancy and talking about it, several women have told me that knowing the symptoms was what got them to the hospital in time. Please read it. Please tell other women about it.

This is a particularly painful time for me to post this, and my heart goes out to anyone who may be struggling with fertility issues or loss. You are not alone. I wish you peace and joy in the life that you have, even if it is not the life you'd imagined for yourself, and I wish you all the strength and support you need to find that peace and joy. (And I also want you to know it's okay to not be okay now, and it's okay to not be okay sometimes even after you are okay.)

First and foremost, I'm glad I'm not dead.

Seriously. I'm really, really glad I'm not dead. That would have sucked. And, thanks to the fact that I recognized warning symptoms and had some emergency surgery five years ago today, I get to be alive to appreciate being alive. I'm a big fan.

So in honor of my not-dying anniversary, I'm doing a PSA about ectopic pregnancy. Even if you never plan on having children, these are important symptoms to know because you could very well save the life of someone you love. Or your own. (Unless you are a guy, in which case your risk of ectopic pregnancy = non-existent. Still, you like women, right?)

An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy in which a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. This is a bad thing. Usually the egg implants in the fallopian tube; occasionally it implants other places. 2% of all pregnancies are ectopic. That's 1 in 50. Certain factors increase your risks--tubal scarring, abdominal surgery, endometriosis, fertility treatments, IUDs--but it can happen to anyone. I had no real risk factors.

An even scarier statistic than the one-in-fifty? Ectopic pregnancies are the number one cause of pregnancy-related death. Part of the problem is that many women with ectopic pregnancies don't even know they're pregnant. Because your body doesn't produce as many hormones, you might continue having periods like normal, ignore the sudden pain, go to bed because you're feeling tired and dizzy, and never wake up.

I know that sounds terrible and scary. It is. It happens. So even if you don't think you're pregnant, or if you think you are just having a standard miscarriage (which was what I thought), always, ALWAYS call the doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Sharp pain on one side of your lower abdomen. When you press down on it, it will be a stabbing pain that you will feel reflected in the other side, but one side will be more tender. Once your tube actually bursts the pain will lessen considerably--DO NOT IGNORE THAT. All it means is that you are now bleeding internally.
  • Feeling dizzy and lightheaded when you aren't lying down. This would be because of the internal bleeding. Also, difficulty and discomfort breathing.
  • And finally, the key symptom: when you lie down, you have a sharp, stabbing pain in your shoulder. This is called referred pain, and is caused by the blood filling up your abdomen and pushing on your lungs. (This is also a symptom of a burst appendix and often happens after abdominal surgery, in case you were interested.) If you EVER have abdominal pain that is reflected in your shoulder when you lie down, go to the hospital immediately. And have someone else drive you.
Like I said, you may not think you are pregnant, but if there is any chance whatsoever you could be and you have these symptoms, have someone drive you to the hospital immediately or call 911. If I had ignored my symptoms and let my husband go to work that day, I probably would have fallen asleep on the couch and never woken up again. I was in surgery within two or three hours of the pain starting, and at that point I had lost so much blood I nearly needed a transfusion.

But, because I am obsessive and had researched every pregnancy-related topic under the sun, I knew something was wrong. And I'm not dead. And that's a good thing.


Here's hoping you never have to recognize the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy. But now you can, and that's the important thing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ILLUSIONS OF FATE Tour!

Hello, my lovelies. I know I've been remiss about posting to the blog. I will hopefully have more to say in the next few days leading up to the release of Illusions of Fate (!!).

But I wanted to let you know about THIS:


I'll be touring next week for the release with some of my very most favorite people in the whole world! Please see the poster for details and who will be with me where. I hope to see MANY of you! (Also, if you can't make it, you can always order signed and personalized books through Changing Hands and Blue Willow Books, two phenomenal indies.)

I will sign any/all of my books (and Stephanie's, too!), but please remember it's good manners to purchase at least one book at the store holding the event.

You can get this beauty:


And take the cover off to see this gorgeousness:


And open it up to see whether or not it was dedicated to you (I suspect it was):


And, unavailable anywhere else, I'll have some special items! Calling cards for various characters in the book:


Custom-made tarot cards that play a pivotal role:






And chocolate bread pudding!



Wait wait no, I will not have that with me at tour events. But The Chaos of Stars is also coming out in paperback on September 9th, and chocolate bread pudding is practically a side character in that book, so it's only right to include it here.

More soon.

XOXO


Thursday, May 22, 2014

NEW BOOKS NEW BOOKS HOORAY!!!

I am positively EXPLODING (but not literally exploding because eew) on account of the news I have for you today. Allow me to screencap:



EEEEEEEE! First of all, let me tell you how wonderful Wendy Loggia, my editor (my editor!) is. She is a delight, and so smart, and such a smart delight, and I cannot wait to develop this series under her editorial guidance. Plus I get to work with Annie Eaton and Ruth Knowles, who are in the UK, which means I automatically love everything they say on account of ACCENTS. (Plus the whole team is amazing and talented and professional but seriously: ACCENTS.)

Second of all, I'm beyond thrilled to be joining the Random House family at Delacorte. True story: way way back when I wrote my first manuscript, I decided Delacorte was The House For Me. It didn't work out (on account of the manuscript was terrible), but it feels right being with Wendy at Delacorte as I embark on this new adventure in storytelling. In fact, I maybe have devolved to junior high level of crushingness on Wendy and Delacorte. Observe:


I can't believe I get to work with Wendy and the Delacorte team, and I super can't believe I get to write these books.

In 2010, my husband and I visited Romania. Noah (and yes, I'm not going to pretend anymore like the internet can't figure out his name simply by opening one of my seven books) had lived there for two years, spoke the language fluently, and was deeply in love with the country, its people, and its history. I joined him in that love. If ever there were a country designed to feel your inner creative soul, Romania is it. We stayed in seven hundred year old buildings, visited fortified churches and castles, and kept running into the old stomping grounds of this dude:

 
Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad the Impaler, aka the prince so historically notorious Bram Stoker based Dracula on him. (Yup, Transylvania is a real place. We stayed there. It's blow-your-mind beautiful.)

We saw where he was born, before his father Vlad Dracul took the throne.


We saw the castle where he was held captive by his own allies.


We saw the slugs that haunted his pathways, growing to nightmare lengths by feeding on the souls of the dead. (Maybe I made that up, but I think it's accurate.)


We hiked to his fortress, up thirteen-hundred stairs through clouds clinging like memory to the sides of the mountain.


And then we came home.

And then four years passed.

And then I listened to Noah telling my mom the familiar histories of Vlad the Impaler and his ties to history. Vlad had grown up a political prisoner in the Ottoman courts, a peer and contemporary of Mehmed the Conqueror, the sultan who overthrew Constantinople as a young man. Vlad's own brother, Radu the Handsome (let's all pick our historical names now, okay? Mine will be Kiersten the Effortlessly Charming, or maybe Kiersten the Fustigator if I'm feeling cranky), converted to Islam and joined Mehmed's courts--and was even rumored to have been part of Mehmed's secret male harem.

The Ottomans put Vlad on the throne, thinking he was loyal to them. He showed them just what he thought of their loyalty, on the end of a stick. Actually, on the end of many, many sticks. 20,000 impaled soldiers, if history is to be believed.

But I already knew all of this. It wasn't my story.

And then--and then--that magic moment my fellow writers know so well happened, where suddenly something shifted, falling into place with a sharp snick and my mind was off and running and I knew I had to tell a story and I knew exactly what it would be.

Because what if Vlad the Impaler, the brutal prince, had been Lada the Impaler, the brutal princess? And what if Lada, Radu, and Mehmed had been locked in a poisonous triangle, with their ruthless ambitions second only to their love for each other?

Heads will roll. Bodies will be impaled. And hearts will be broken.

Daughter of the Dragon, coming in 2016.

XOXO
Kiersten

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Join Us IN THE SHADOWS!

I am happy today. Content, even.

That's weird, guys.

Past book releases have been filled with nervous, panicked, frantic energy. I didn't know what to do with myself. Today, I am playing with my baby. Enjoying the sunshine. Working on some editing.

Peaceful.

I think part of that is because this is book number seven. (SEVEN.) One can only be an anxious wreck so many times before one gets tired of it. But I think it's mostly to do with the fact that I am so ridiculously proud to be a part of this book. And just that--I'm only a part of this book. It's not mine. It's ours, Jim Di Bartolo and me. The whole process was different. Working with a partner was an incredible, energizing experience, and I do believe that what we created is bigger than the sum of its parts. (Well, if you've seen Jim's biceps, admired by librarians around the world, you might disagree with me on the book being bigger than those.)

Along with that, I want you (yes, you) to experience the book. Because it is a book to be experienced--the combination of art and words, the way in which the two storylines dance around each other, the satisfaction of a mystery lived and solved at the end--is unlike anything else in the YA market right now. And Jim's art (his glorious, glorious art!) is on a whole new level. You can see a bit of the process here to understand just how much work went into this book:



I still remember the first piece of art he sent me--stunning, bright, beautiful, but also layered and atmospheric. I wanted my writing to be the same. I think you'll be surprised by it. I hope you'll love it.

Along with that, I've been teasing photos of some of the covers hand-painted by Jim:

 Amazing, right?? As if the 5,000-8,000 hours he already spent creating art for this book wasn't enough. And it just so happens I have one of these painted cover books...for you.

Well, one of you.

Here is what you can do to enter to win this one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Step one: Buy IN THE SHADOWS.
Step two: Take a photo of the book. Be as creative or wacky or boring as you want.
Step three: Post that photo somewhere online (Twitter! Tumblr! Facebook! Blog! Instagram!) with the phrase, "I got lost IN THE SHADOWS."
Step four: Email me the link to your post at intheshadowsbook@yahoo.com. (If your accounts are private, which I totally understand, you can email me a screenshot of the page instead.)
Step five: Do all this by May 20th.
Step six: Wait and see if you win the random drawing of all the entries!

(Please note: I will be posting many of the pictures I receive, so be aware of things like giving away your location, including your children, etc. Safety first!)

And that's that! I hope you enjoy the book as much as Jim and I enjoyed creating it for you.

XOXO

Kiersten

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

In The Shadows teaser trailer!

Hello! You look lovely this fine Tuesday morning! You know what else looks lovely? The calendar, which informs us there are only THREE WEEKS LEFT until the release of In the Shadows, my delicious gothic-horror-romance-supernatural-story-in-two-parts novel with artist Jim Di Bartolo!

So, to that end, behold: a teaser trailer! You can see some of the art from the first "prequel" art chapter! Isn't it amazing??



Mad props to Jim for not only his jaw-dropping art, but also all the time he put into making that trailer. (Which I made the mistake of watching with my kids in the room, who were freaked out by the sound effects. "What are you watching?!")

I am so very excited for the twenty-ninth, when we can share the rest with you. Along with that, Jim and I will be at TXLA on Thursday, on the "Other Worlds" panel, at the Tea Time, and signing. We love Texas and we ultra-love librarians, so we hope to see many of you there. Our book will be available early, and we'll have bookmarks!


After that, we'll be at Wondercon in Anaheim on Friday, the 18th, on the What's Hot in YA panel. (Note that it's not "Who's Hot in YA," which would be a very different sort of panel.) And then, on Sunday, the 27th, we're having an early launch party at the Cedar Hills Crossing branch of Powell's in Portland, Oregon.

Can't make it? You can order a signed copy through Powell's! It'll be signed by both of us, and I suspect even doodled in by Jim!

BOOKS. YAY BOOKS. YAY ART. YAY ART AND BOOKS GETTING MARRIED AND MAKING BEAUTIFUL HYBRID BABIES.