Sunday, December 11, 2016

Author Interview: Kim Briggs

Kim once smashed into a tree while skiing. The accident led to a concussion, a cracked sternum, temporary notoriety as a sixth grader returned from the dead, and the realization that fictionalized accounts are way more interesting than just slipping on the ice.

An unhealthy obsession with conspiracy theories combined with a love of travel and happily ever afters led Kim to write her YA novel, Starr Fall, where a secret organization decides Starr Bishop would make the ideal assassin. While in hiding, Starr meets dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood. Cue the swoon worthy music. But it’s not all happily ever afters for Kim, her NA novel, And Then He, explores the dark and scary corners of the human psyche. Following a night of innocent flirting with a handsome stranger, Tiffani finds herself in the midst of a nightmare she can’t escape. And Then He is available now through Amazon and other major book retailers. Starr Fall will debut November 2016 with Inkspell Publishing. Starr Lost will release in January 2017, followed by Starr Gone in June 2017.

When she’s not doing something writerly, Kim can be found jumping into snow drifts with her three kids, husband, and dog. She’s careful to avoid trees.

Casey Marie: What was the inspiration behind Starr Fall?

Kim Briggs: The inspiration for Starr Fall came in the form of a dream. I’m always chased by bad guys while I sleep—I blame an overactive imagination combined with consuming one too many action and adventure movies. One night I woke up in a cold sweat. A secret organization wanted me as an assassin. Me? No one wants to read about me, but Starr Bishop? That’s a character readers can get behind. I added Christian, because who doesn’t need some kissing and a dreamy hero in their life?

CM: You do have a point. How was your writing process for Starr Fall different from your writing process for And Then He?

KB: Young Adult Fiction is my passion, my true love. Through Starr Fall’s storyline (and others in the works) I can create stories that readers can devour. Young Adult fiction consumes me, but once in a while everyone needs a crush and New Adult fiction writing like And Then He feeds that need.

CM: Describe your writing style in five words.

KB: Fast paced. Direct. Romantic. Sarcastic without the snark. (That’s more than five, but what do you want from me? I’m a writer ;)

CM: I completely understand. What are you currently working on? 

KB: I’m taking a break from Starr and her friends for a month or so and working on a young adult urban fantasy combining Celtic Mythology with werewolves. The Antigoddess by Kendare Blake meets Avril Lavigne, before she got pretty. (She was always pretty, but during her middle finger to the masses years.)

CM: Can you tease anything from book two of the Starr Fall series? Is there a title or an expected release date?

KB: I can tease! Starr Lost, Book Two of the Starr Fall series releases January 5, 2017. You can pre-order now so you don’t miss it. (What’s better than an ebook to start the new year?)

Here’s the cover and blurb: (Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL?  I love it so much!!)

A Starr falls, and a family is found.

On the run from the Organization, Starr and Christian find safety on the Qualla Boundary with their friends, Ben and Coda, but Starr needs answers. She owes her dear dead friends, Sami and Jody, that much. She forms a team of her own to fight the general and his recruits.

Di, a mutual friend and anti-everything is a no-brainer, plus her Taser will come in handy. Frank, Starr’s BFF, will put his life on the line for her. Ben and Coda, not to be outdone by Starr’s friends, also swear their allegiance. Christian’s the only hold out. He knows what the Organization is capable of. He has the beaten body to prove it, but when Starr wants something, she gets it.

Now that the team’s together, everything should be perfect. Trouble is Starr loves Christian but so does Di. And Frank, well, he’s never been very good at hiding his love for Starr. Will his four year long crush on her threaten the safety of the team?

Life becomes tense on the Qualla Boundary, sparks fly, and the Organization is about to smash in their door.

CM: That cover is gorgeous! I did not think the covers could get any more gorgeous, but they did! How long will the Starr Fall series will be?

KB: Definitely four, possibly five books. In Starr Lost, I introduce Di, Starr’s Goth friend from Starr Fall, as a second Point of View. She’s a kick ass heroine and she wants her own story. She’ll probably get it. No one can say ‘no’ to Di. No would dare say ‘no’ to Di.

CM: Do you have an advice for inspiring authors?

KB: Be stubborn. Read a ton. Write a ton. Know I’m rooting for you. Keep going.

CM: Diversity in Young Adult literature is always a hot topic. What inspired you to make Christian part Cherokee? 

KB: You know, I never thought about writing a diverse book. The characters came to me and I wrote them down. Christian is a part Cherokee Goth. Ben and Coda are his friends who happen to be from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Frank is Starr’s best friend from school. Just people. Just faces I see everyday.

CM: What is at the top of Starr and Christian's Christmas wishlist? How are they celebrating the New Year?

KB: I’m sure Christian’s planned something romantic for Starr. Most likely a campfire with s’mores and mountain pies, possibly some kissing. Who are we kidding? Definitely some kissing. Starr will let Christian distract her for the holidays, but then on January 1st it’s back to work to figure out who (or what) is behind the Organization. She’s got Starr Lost, Book Two coming out January 5—she’s got a lot of work to do.

CM: Do you have any favorite holiday books?

KB: My favorite holiday books are of the picture book variety. A Country Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Snowballs, and anything with snow in it.

CM: What books would you recommend teens add to their Christmas wishlist? 

KB: Well definitely Starr Fall and Starr Lost by Kim Briggs
The Raven Boy series by Maggie Steifvater
The Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFever
The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield
Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

CM: How would your characters from Starr Fall and And Then He react if they met each other? Would they become fast-friends or enemies?

KB: Oh god that’s a scary thought. Starr and Christian would definitely recognize that something is off with Jeb. They’ll help Tiffani see his dark side, but Starr might be too Type A for Tiffani. Tiffani is still figuring out what she wants in life. Starr thought she knew but then the Organization wanted her as an assassin and ruined her plans. Plus she met Christian, so kissing preoccupies much of her spare time now.

Casey, I loved getting my brain picked by you! Dive into everything you do with enthusiasm and without an ounce of regret, and remember I’m rooting for you!




About Starr Fall (Starr Fall #1)

Summary: On the run from the Organization, Starr never planned on falling in love.

Starr Bishop’s the complete package. A perfect smile, brains to match, and a winning attitude. Boys want to date her and girls want to be her. She’s the type of girl you want to hate, if only she wasn’t so damn likable. But don’t worry, she’s not interested in your boyfriend. Boys are one complication she can live without.

When the Organization decides she’s not only the model student but the ideal assassin, Starr’ll need a lot more than high test scores and extracurricular involvement to get herself out of that commitment.

Dark, moody, and dead sexy Christian Evergood is the last person she’d expect—or even want— to come to her rescue. From opposite ends of Webster Highs social hierarchy, their lives collide in one electrifying moment. Christian isnt the Goth loner he pretends to be, hes a part Cherokee, All-American boy who wants to be a hero, Starrs hero. Christian makes Starr forget that the Organization is after her, but nothing will stop the Organization from collecting their top recruit.

By the way, the spot for junior class president just became available.

Release Date: November 4, 2016

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-939590-94-7

Purchase Links: Amazon  I  Kobo

“I didn’t tell you about my aunt,” he smiles.
“Is she a secret agent? Because that would really be convenient.”
“No, but almost as good, she’s a doctor. She works from time to time in hospitals, but her true passion is Doctors without Borders. She stayed home most of the summer and fall, but she’s not as happy in the states as she is in the field. A month ago, I finally convinced her I would be fine on my own.”
“So, let me guess. She’s on assignment?” I eye him warily.
“You got it. Darfur to be exact.”
“How long?” He turns to me. A crooked smile crosses his face. “Months and months.”
I almost get lost in his smile, but I catch myself. I can’t get distracted. “No.”
“No?” he says, “What do you mean ‘no’?

“I mean that you are not risking your life for me. Enough people are,” I gulp, “dead because of me. I will not put your life in harm’s way.”
“Too late,” he replies.
“No, it isn’t. Drop me off on the road, and I’ll figure this thing out.”

“No? What do you mean no? Drop me off on the side of the road. I’ll be fine. I’ve survived this long, haven’t I?” I shout as I sit up in my seat. I tick off everything I’ve done over the past four days. “I escaped the test site, swam Lake Ontario, and have managed to hide out without getting caught. I am doing a damn good job of going underground.”
“No, you aren’t,” he says.
I could spit fireballs at him. “What do you care? I thought you were, and I quote, ‘done helping people.’”

He pulls over to the side of the road and puts the car in park. His expression gives no hint to his mood. “Because of this,” he says and locks his fingers in mine. Electrical currents surge through them. The wall I’ve kept up for days and days crashes down as I lose what control I had left. The thread is broken. 

*As a bonus, Kim’s supplied the playlist for Starr Fall. Dive in and give a listen.

1 comment:

  1. Great post and review! This book sounds super interesting!
    I'm following your blog! :)