Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Release Feature A Winter Wonderland anthology + Q&A w/Kristina McMorris

Q&A with Kristina McMorris
A Winter Wonderland

It’s my pleasure to introduce to the forum Kristina McMorris. She will also be my guest author in January when we read and discuss her novel Bridge of Scarlet Leaves.

Kristina, welcome to the General Fiction forum.
Debbie - Can you tell us a little about the Anthology A Winter Wonderland?
Kristina - Thanks so much for having me! I'd be thrilled to chat about A Winter Wonderland. Ideally enjoyed by a cozy fire and with a cup of hot cider (splash of brandy optional), the book is comprised of four novellas: "A Winter Wonderland" by Fern Michaels, about a snowboarding accident that leads to surprising love; "The Joy of Christmas" by Holly Chamberlin, spotlighting the rekindled romance of a Christmas Scrooge; "The Christmas Thief" by Leslie Meier, about an investigation of stolen jewels that uncovers so much more; and "The Christmas Collector" by...you guessed it, me.

My particular story features an estate liquidator named Jenna Matthews, who, as t
he daughter of a former hoarder, seeks catharsis through her career. While preparing a sale in time for Christmas, a materialistic season of "junk" exchanges in her mind, she stumbles across a shoebox of World War II keepsakes. All tied to the secret past of an elderly woman, the mysterious collection forces Jenna to reexamine the true value of life, holidays, and memories -- both those we'd like to forget and the ones we hope to keep.

What I especially loved about writing this novella was the inclusion of two elderly characters who were young in my debut novel, Letters from Home!

You are no stranger to the spotlight.
Tell us about your five year stint hosting a children’s television show starting when you were 9. (there’s much more I’d love to ask, but I’ll save it for your next interview)
I had just started fifth grade when my mother heard about an audition for a weekly TV show host, and thought it would be fun for me to simply try out. I was originally a pretty shy girl, so any activities to help boost my confidence weren't uncommon. Well, when the casting director gave me the cue to run into the audition room -- where I was to hop onto the chair, pretending to be late for the program, then launch into a reading of the teleprompter -- I wasn't expecting the chair to be on rollers. Yep, off I flew onto the floor. Laughing heartily, I popped back up and managed to get through my lines. Next thing I knew, oddly enough, I was hired.

I admit, it was an interesting way to grow up. Although I had to make a number of sacrifices due to a pretty rigorous shooting schedule, there were many, many benefits that helped shaped my personality early on, namely a strong work ethic that yes, occasionally borders on obsessive. And n
ow that I have a nine year old child myself, I was recently struck by the thought, Wow, I was THAT young when I started working? :)

Kristina, as you know I’m a friend of yours on FB and so I see all the snippets we see through the eyes of your six year old.
Here is an example –“ The 6yo trying to understand how babies eat before birth: "So, I was in your belly..." Me: "That's right." The 6yo: "And when you ate food, the vitamins went through the cord to my belly button." Me: "Yep, you got it!" The 6yo: "And when I was full, I just...took the cord off?" (A better mother would have restrained her laughter.”
Do you think social networking with your readers is important?
I honestly don't know that it's as important as it is fun. The conversation above is just a small sample of the hilarious exchanges my kids and I have on a daily basis. I can't imagine not sharing the laugh with others. Social media sites are also a great place to ask research questions or opinions on aspects of developing stories. Of course, if any of your readers are interested in contributing or watching me babble, feel free to friend me!

Do you write full time?
By full time, if you mean typing like crazy whenever I possibly can between driving my kidlings to soccer games, school events, art and science camps, and a never-ending series of birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese -- then, yes. Yes, I do. Ha! Seriously, I'm very fortunate in that I do get to write full-time during their school hours and also have the amazing benefit of being there when they get home.

Do you belong to a writer’s group?
I actually belong to several online groups, and the camaraderie is wonderful. It's always reassuring to know you're not alone -- whether it's in celebrating achievements, venting occasional frustrations, or seeking advice on a million topics. For example, I recently posted a comment about hitting a point in my current work-in-progress that left me questioning if the whole thing was as exciting as watching paint dry. As you can imagine, I was SO relieved when at least two dozen other writers -- many of whom are hugely successful bestselling authors -- said they all feel the exact same way in the midst of editing or writing every one of their books. In other words, my neurosis is apparently the norm.

Do you have any Barnes & Noble events or signings planned?
Not at the moment, but I certainly plan to when my next novel releases!

Kristina, thank you for sharing a little with us now. I look forward to our next interview where I expect to learn all your secrets.
Thank you and good luck with the anthology.
It's been a pleasure. Thanks for the warm wishes. I'll be sure to dust off plenty of "secrets," so we'll have lots to dish about during our next interview.
Buy the book here visit the author's website here

Here's Kristina on the cover of my favorite magazine

 And her other works

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