Today I'm happy to present an interview with Kristen Orlando! Ms. Orlando is the author of the YA book You Don't Know My Name, which releases today! :)
Here's the interview!
The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.
Would you please describe your book, You Don't Know My Name, in seven words?
Teen spy living a dangerous, double life.
This sounds like my kind of book!
I love spy novels! What are some of your favorites?
You know what’s funny, I never read a spy novel until AFTER I wrote this book. So crazy I know! YOU DON’T KNOW MY NAME came to me in the shower of all places (I swear! The best ideas totally happen in the shower, don’t they?) after watching the movie Red which is about a group of retired CIA agents who have assassins after them. I remember shampooing my hair and thinking, Wow…what would it be like to be the child of one of those CIA agents? What an interesting and dangerous life you’d lead. And then I realized, oh my gosh that’s a book! I had half the plot figured out before I was finished and I literarily ran down the hall, wrapped in a towel and dripping wet, to tell my husband the idea. He loved it and encouraged me to write it. I could have read Ally Carter or some adult spy books for research, but I purposefully stayed far away from all spy books and spy movies while I was writing the manuscript. I did really detailed research about weapons and martial arts and the CIA to make the story seem as real as possible, but I also wanted to use my imagination. I didn’t want to be influenced by other people’s work. Since writing the book, I have started reading Ally Carter’s brilliant Gallagher Girls series and I love it!
Random question! Favorite singer/group?
Oh man…super tough one. Frank Sinatra. I could listen to him sing for hours and be super happy.
I love his voice!
What's one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?
My father once told me: “Never be satisfied with success and never fear failure.” It’s the never fear failure part that I really apply to my life, especially when it comes to writing. There are so many road blocks you can put up that will stop you from writing: I’ll never get an agent. Publishing is such a hard industry to break into. It will never happen to me. If you listen to that mean voice inside your head, you’ll never do it. That’s why I’ve tried to live by the motto of never fearing failure. If you fear failure, you’ll never know what you can accomplish. So if you want to write a book, go for it! Put your head down, work hard and give it your best shot. I promise you…you’ll never regret trying. And if the first book you write doesn’t get you an agent or sell, dust yourself off and try again. I can’t tell you the number of successful authors I’ve met who say it wasn’t their first or second or even tenth book that got them a book deal. If you truly love writing, just keep working at it. It takes practice, determination and bravery.
Love this advice!
What are some MG and YA books you're looking forward to in 2017? And if you've already read some '17 books, which books have you loved?
So many!! Jilly Gagnon’s #FAMOUS is a book I’m really excited about. Some of the others on my list are THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE by Kayla Olson, THE HUNDRED LIES OF LIZZIE LOVETT by Chelsea Sedoti, KAT AND MEG CONQUER THE WORLD by Anna Primeza, and DARE MIGHTY THINGS by Heather Kaczynksi. Super pumped for CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber, THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas, SAD PERFECT by Stephanie Elliot, and KISSING MAX HOLDEN by Katie Upperman. There are seriously so many I’m leaving out but all of the Swanky 17ers are so talented and so awesome. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them all and cannot wait to read all their books!
There are so many good sounding books releasing in 2017!
Thank you so much to Ms. Orlando for participating in this event! :)
Author bio: Writing is one of the great loves of Kristen Orlando's life and she has been lucky enough to make it her living, first as a television producer, then as a marketer, and now as a novelist. Kristen graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from Kenyon College. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with the other great love of her life, Michael. You Don't Know My Name is her debut novel.
Here are a few links: