Hi, everyone! This week the whole RNSL team was lucky enough to be able to make the release party for Kirsten Kittscher's debut middle grade mystery novel, The Wig In The Window at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena. We here at RNSL are big fans of Kristen's and are so excited that her book is finally out in the wild.
Upon arrival, we found a lot of fun things set up for the guests, including awesome yin & yang cookies (main characters in her book are Young & Yang) as well as a really fun photo booth (which we did use and which I will show you later). Luckily we got there a little early and had a friend (thanks, Aly!) who was able to save us some seats. The event was very, very well attended and all of the seats were filled as well as the standing room in the back and even down the stairs. There were a lot of local YA authors in attendance as well including Helen Stringer, Lisa Yee, Gretchen McNeil, Amy Tintera, Jenn Bosworth, Lissa Price and Sara Wilson Etienne.
Kristen started off the event with a really lovely speech thanking a lot of the people who helped make the book possible. She then introduced Jackie and Amelia, two young ladies who claim that they are the real Young & Yang. She showed the hilarious interview that they did with her a couple of months ago. Kristen thanked her former middle school students (some of whom were in attendance) and talked about how her years teaching at a middle school inspired her to write the book.
We then moved into a live reading of a scene from the book with a full ensemble cast that included Bess Armstrong of My So Called Life fame, who is a relation. The reading was pretty awesome. I have a video of it which I a hoping to put up at some point. After the reading Kristen opened it up to some questions.
(Warning that these are not in any order whatsoever. I should have taken notes but I didn't so I am just going off of my shoddy memory.)
Are you more like Yang or Young?
Kristen thinks that she a bit of both in her. After reading the book, Kristen's childhood friend who used to the neighbors with her, said that she thought Kristen was the Yang of the pair. Kristen was surprised by this because she never saw herself that way.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Believe in yourself. It's really easy to think that you can't do it or that you should prioritize other things but just get over that hump of doubt. Just say that it's what you are doing and move forward.
How did the story of The Wig In The Window develop?
Kristen found an autobiographical paper she had written while she was at a retreat. In it, she talked about her childhood antics spying on her neighbors. She had written a note on the page that said something alone the lines of Rear Window meets Nancy Drew or Harriet the Spy because she thought the story would be a good idea for a book.
One guest was very impressed by Kristen's knowledge of feng shui and FBI protocol and asked if she did a lot of research on the subjects for the book.
Kristen said that she did not do a ton of research beforehand but Googled as she wrote.
There is a lot of Tai Chi in the book and the fight scenes seem very authentic. Did you stage any of the fight scenes with your husband to write them or did you just make them up?
Kristen says that she did not stage any fight scenes but that she did watch a lot of Tai Chi videos to learn about the various moves. Then she wrote the scenes according to what she thought would work in her head.
Why is the book called The Wig In The Window?
Kristen wouldn't reveal any secrets and instead let one of the audience members guess why the book was titled that way. Their guess was the the school counselor wore a wig, perhaps because she was undercover. Kristen would neither confirm nor deny...
What were some of your childhood influences and/or favorite books?
Kristen said that she was a very indiscriminate reader as a child and read anything and everything. She liked mysteries but read all genres. Judy Blume was an early favorite as was the novel From The Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankenweiler.
|real life young and yang aka jackie and amelia|
After the Q&A, it was time to get our books signed. The signing line was quite large and I was hear the end of it. I squeaked in just as the lights turned off for closing time. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of Kristen signing due to said lights being turned off.
Congrats again to Kristen. I am super excited to read The Wig in the Window. Our friend and RNSL contributor Kimberly is giving away a signed copy of Kristen's book on her blog this week. You can check it out and enter here. You can also go to our Facebook page to see more pics from the event.
As I mentioned before, the event has a photo booth set up for the guests. Photos taken at the booth will be available at this link shortly. They're not up right now but they will be soon. To tide you over, here is a picture of me and Kimberly from last night. Thanks for reading!
|go read the wig in the window!|
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