Frequently Asked Questions

The Official Bio: 

Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of And I Darken, the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, Illusions of Fate, The Chaos of Stars, and In the Shadows with artist Jim Di Bartolo. She has one tall husband and three small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. Visit her at www.kierstenwhite.com.

(Author photo at the bottom of this page. Common school report questions after Contact Info.)

Contact Info:

When I have free computer time I prefer to use it on blogging, facebook, and twitter, where more readers can see it, as opposed to private correspondence. Any interview, advance copy, event, or appearance requests must go through my publicists--Aisha Cloud (acloud@penguinrandomhouse.com) for the And I Darken trilogy, Rosanne Romanello (rosanne.romanello@harpercollins.com) for my HarperTeen books (The Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, The Chaos of Stars, and Illusions of Fate), and Scholastic Press for Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales.

If you have inquiries about film/translation rights, please contact my agent, Michelle Wolfson. Her contact info can be found on her website.

Shockingly enough, I'm also on Twitter.

FAQ

Sometimes people ask me questions. And, rather less frequently, I give good answers.

And I Darken:
Will there be more books about Lada and Radu?
Yes! It's a trilogy. Book two will be out summer 2017, with book three out summer 2018. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-in novel Slayer:
HOW?
I am the luckiest.
WHEN?
Fall 2018.
WHO?
A brand new slayer with some intriguing ties to our girl Buffy...   

The School Report Series:
When were you born?
I am in my early thirties. I prefer not to get more specific than that, and think it's silly for your teachers to have you ask an author their birthday : ) You can tell them I said so--in fact, please do!
Where did you grow up?
In Utah, at the foot of a beautiful mountain.
Did you always want to be a writer?
For as long as I can remember! I also thought I'd illustrate books, but it turns out they like you to have artistic talent in order to be an illustrator. Alas, I have none.
Why did you decide to be a writer?
Reading has always been my favorite activity. And when I couldn't read, or when the stories I loved were over, I'd make up new stories in my head. It was a very natural transition from being an avid reader and lover of stories to being a writer, where I could create my own stories to share with others.
Why did you decide to write for young people?
Because grownups are boring. Well, grownups aren't always boring. We get to do a lot of fun things you can't yet. But the things we deal with--bills! mortgages! kids wetting the bed! etc--are not really the things I am interested in telling stories about. What I like about writing for and about teens and children is that everything ahead of you is potential. Everything is new, and you are just becoming the person you will be. That is exciting! And terrifying! And excellent fodder for storytelling.
Did anyone support you becoming an author?
Yes! My parents always believed in me and supported my dreams of writing. And my husband did, too, buying me my first nice notebook and telling me to finally write down that story I was always talking about.
Do you base your characters on people you know?
Not deliberately. I might steal characteristics or descriptions, but for the most part my characters come alive in my head all on their own. Though I will sometimes name a character after someone I know as a joke. I've made my literary agent a character, and even killed one of my former publicists in a book. (Sorry, Casey!)
Are your characters like you?
Every character I write has to be a little bit like me, because they come out of my brain. But usually the biggest thing I have in common with my characters is my sense of humor. I don't know any other ways to be funny, so, unfortunately, neither do they.
What is your favorite book?
I could never pick just one! The first series I ever loved was Brian Jacques' Redwall series. And then when I was all grown up, the next series that reminded me how much I loved reading books written for children and teens was JK Rowling's Harry Potter. There were thousands of books in between, and thousands since, and thousands more to come!

I hope that is helpful for your assignments! I answer a few more questions after this, so feel free to keep looking around. But thank you for reading my books! I very much hope you enjoy them. (And seriously, tell your teachers not to have you ask what an author's birth date is. Kiersten White said so.)

What is your next book? Are you going to write any more PARANORMALCY books?
Endlessly finished the trilogy. I have no plans to write further in Evie's voice. However! I have a lot of stories in my brain. Regular siphoning is required. I'll continue to write YA and MG books until they pry this laptop from my carpal-tunnel-plagued, sleep-deprived hands.

Can you come to my school/library/bookstore/town?
I am not usually in charge of where I do events. I wish I could visit all my readers! Alas, geography is a cruel mistress.

How can I find out where you'll be?
Check out the "Appearances" tab--it will always list my next few signings, as well as stores you can order signed copies from.

Can you send me swag (free stuff like bookmarks, signed books, etc.) for my blog contest?
Nope. Sorry. I'm allergic to the post office.

When is the movie going to get made?
None of my books are currently optioned for film or television. But if anything changes, I'll let you know!

Please note: If/when anything of mine does get developed for film or television, I will have no say in the casting. I cannot get you a role.

How do you find time to write?
I look between the couch cushions. Spare time always falls down there when I'm watching TV.

Seriously? I don't watch much TV. I also regularly pass on social activities. I stay up too late. I write like a fiend when I have a chance/inspiration, and if I have a period of time when I can't write because of the business of living and being a mom and a wife and a friend and a sister and a daughter, well, I don't beat myself up over it. But I do go a little nuts without imaginary friends to talk to.

If it is important to you to write, you'll find a way to fit it into your life. You'll have to sacrifice some things. (Please make certain those things are not partner and children relationships. Those need to take priority.) And if you aren't ready to sacrifice fun things to make the time, that's okay, too. We can't all be psychotic, anti-social, sleep-deprived writers. 

Thank heavens.

Where do you get your ideas?
I buy them in a back alley of downtown San Diego. The serial numbers are all scratched off, and I'm sure it's not legal, but you can't find premium ideas any cheaper.

(Real answer: movies! music! good books! nature! history! visiting new places! talking to interesting people! asking new questions! letting your mind go crazy with "what if" combinations! so on and so forth.)

How can I get published?
The very first step, and some would argue the most important one, is to write a book.
Seriously. Most people who ask this have never written a full book. After that, you'll want to find a literary agent who can guide you through the process and be your business partner.
Can you take a look at my book/query/synopsis/posted chapters?
No. Sorry. I wish that I could help everyone out as much as they want me to. But I've got my own writing that takes up quite a bit of time, and a group that I already trade critiques with. There's also the whole liability issue, and while I know no one cool enough to be reading the FAQs on my website would ever accuse me of plagiarism, we live in a litigious society and it's a sad fact that authors have to be safe to avoid becoming sorry.
HOWEVER. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have critique partners--good, thoughtful, smart people who a) will be kind and b) will also tell you the truth. I know my writing improved dramatically with the help of my friends, all of whom I found online.
If you are looking for help on a query, there are many blogs and websites out there that volunteer advice. You also can't go wrong by reading up on the basics on Nathan Bransford's blog.
If you still insist on sending me something, I will delete it sight-unseen. And feel very bad about it, too, so please don't do it.
Could you take me in a fight?
That all depends on whether or not I have the element of surprise and if I'm allowed nunchucks. Never underestimate small people. Especially small people with nunchucks.
How long did it take you to find an agent?  How long did it take you to sell?  Was Paranormalcy your first novel?
I queried on and off for about a year with a disastrously boring middle grade project that will never, thankfully, see the light of day. After I wrote Flash (which should answer that question about whether Paranormalcy is my first novel--it is, in fact, my fourth), I queried for about three months before Michelle and I found each other. (45 queries, if you're really curious, and if you're reading this section, odds are you are.)
While Flash was on submission early 2009 I wrote Paranormalcy. When Flash didn't sell, I decided that Paranormalcy was the book to pursue. I spent a few months editing it (and editing it and editing it and editing it), and then sent it to Michelle, who agreed that we had something special.
Fortunately many editors agreed, as well. It was on submission for less than a month when it sold to Erica Sussman (yay Erica!) at HarperTeen in a significant pre-empt.
So, I'd been working toward this for a while, but I can't imagine it turning out a better way.
Can I have an ARC or review copy of [Whatever Book Is Next] to review on my blog?
I am not in charge of distributing ARCs and get very few copies myself. If you are interested, your best bet is to contact my publisher (Delacorte for the And I Darken series.)
Can you send me a signed copy of [Whatever Book I Want]?
No. Sorry. If you see I'm going to be signing at an independent bookstore soon, you can always call and order a signed, personalized book through them. I'll sign it when I'm there and they'll ship it to you. I do not ever send out books for review once they have already been published. If you can't afford to buy books (and I understand!), please visit your local library and request them there!
Do you read novels for review or potential blurbs?
Sometimes. It depends on how much time I have, and whether the novel sounds like something that is to my taste. I do not blurb many books (only one or two per season). You are welcome to have your editor or agent send along the request to my editor or agent.
Can you give away my [book, product, child] on your blog / twitter or announce my giveaway?
As much as I would love to help out, I try to keep my blog as professional as possible (you can tell this is true because of how often I talk about vomit--nothing says professional like vomit!). It's very important to me that if I recommend a book, my readers know it is because I genuinely love it and think they will, too. I may occasionally link to giveaways or contests if they are for books that I recommend. I won't promote or endorse any products other than Dr Pepper (and I've yet to be paid for that, although I wouldn't complain), and I cannot give away your child on my blog because that would be illegal.
So please don't ask me to host a giveaway for anything, because I'll have to say no and I'll feel really, really bad about it.
What if you didn't answer my question on this page?  Which, by the way, you totally didn't.
My apologies. I told you I wasn't very helpful.
Do you have an author photo I can use on my blog post/newspaper article/dartboard?
Why yes, yes I do.  Please email me if you need a higher resolution version!