Hello readers! Today I have a very exciting post to share with you all, because I was given the opportunity to ask the oh-so talented author of Love Fortunes and Disasters, Kimberly Karalius, a few questions to share on Zoie’s Bookshelf! As you all know, that was a book that especially connected with me, my obsession for the month of August. It was one of my favourite summer reads, and for those of you that have not yet gotten your hands on it- do it quick! But in the meantime, read below to see the interview with Kim as she talks about her experience with Swoon Reads, her writing life, and of course her book!
Zoie: You were published under Swoon Reads, a site where writers can submit their YA romances for readers to heart and comment on, and those considered the most swoonworthy are offered a publishing contract for their novel. What was your experience with Swoon Reads like?
Kimberly: I love crowdsourcing in publishing – the idea that publishers value reader opinions and feedback – and the Swoon Reads staff takes that concept seriously when it comes to how they choose which manuscripts they decide to publish. Before joining Swoon Reads, I shared by stories and novel manuscripts on teen writing site, Figment.com. So I was already used to putting my work out there and interacting with readers. When I read about Swoon Reads, I knew I had to join! The Swoon Reads community is very supportive and I love that members of Macmillan’s staff write blog posts on the site with great advice and information.
Since being published, working with Swoon Reads continues to be full of excitement and surprises. I’m glad that I took the chance and submitted my manuscript.
Zoie: I found the whole concept of the love fortunes and the believing town of Grimbaud absolutely fascinating. Where did you gain the inspiration for Fallon’s story?
Kimberly: Love Fortunes and Other Disasters came from a few silly conversations I had with my friends in college. Since girls outnumbered boys on campus, there wasn’t much opportunity for dating. My friends and I used to joke that we’d all graduate to become glamorous spinsters: mansions, butlers, and rooms full of cats (dogs for me – I’m a dog person, haha). I wanted to turn the idea into a novel, but it was tricky for YA. Why would teens worry about concepts like spinsterhood and bachelorhood when they have their whole lives ahead of them? Perhaps… if they were handed their fate on a piece of paper. Zita and her love fortunes took off from there.
Fallon arrives in Grimbaud already believing in the love fortunes. Her older brother met his soul mate with Zita’s help, and so had generations of Duprees before her. Her expectations shatter quickly and she needs to learn what’s real and what’s not in the charming town – including her growing feelings for a certain heartbreaker! I loved writing Fallon’s journey, especially since her confident personality was so fun to capture on the page.
Zoie: Are there any future works we can look forward to aside from Love Charms and Other Catastrophes, the companion novel to Love Fortunes and Other Disasters?
Kimberly: I have one more charming surprise up my sleeve… to be revealed very soon! In the meantime, I’m working on my third book with Swoon Reads.
Zoie: Are there any specific novels or authors that had inspired you to become a writer?
Kimberly: Many of the great fairy tale authors and collectors like George MacDonald and Andrew Lang inspired me since was little. Francesca Lia Block is one of my favorite authors – her books were my first introduction to magical realism, a genre I love to read widely and write in.
Zoie: What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
Kimberly: If becoming an author is your dream, be tenacious. Try your weird ideas, submit to literary journals, share your writing at poetry readings. Never give up!
Zoie: Would you rather receive a good love fortune, or partake in the rebellion to remove Zita’s tyranny from Grimbaud?
Kimberly: Tough question! As much as I’d love a good love fortune, I’d go with joining the rebellion any day. Underneath Grimbaud’s cheerful, pink veneer lies the negative effects of Zita’s hold on the town, most evident in the existence of the Spinster and Bachelor Villas. I’d love to be part of the group that ends that. Besides, how could I pass up on seeing Femke and Mirthe in action with their weather charms?
Zoie: Seeing the twins in action with their weather charms would be ultra awesome for sure!
I’d really like to thank author Kimberly Karalius for her generous time and in-depth answers. I truly, truly appreciated them! I hoped all the readers out there enjoyed the interview, and are now itching to go get your hands on Love Fortunes and Other Disasters! It has definitely become one of my all-time favourites, and is on my MUST READ list as well!
Again, thanks to Kim for everything- without her this interview or her book would never have happened! You really are an amazing author!
Make sure to check out her blog- www.kimkaralius.com
Read my review on Love Fortunes and Other Disasters here!