Author Interview: Kristen Zimmer and a Giveaway

Kristen Zimmer’s new adult novel, The Gravity Between Us, has been on Amazon’s top ten list for lesbian romance for many weeks now and it has over 100 five star reviews on Amazon.
Gravity_Front
Earlier this month I read Zimmer’s novel and really enjoyed it. When I tweeted her that I liked her novel, she responded. I love it when author’s respond to a tweet or email. We started talking and today I’m honored to have her over for a chat. After the interview you’ll find details about the giveaway, which is open internationally. Please welcome my guest: Kristen Zimmer
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
KristnHeadshot2.jpgA: I’ve always been a voracious reader, and knew fairly early on in life that I wanted to do something that involved the written word. I just really adore words, so naturally, I ended up in the editorial field. I’ve worked in the academic arena, as well as with non-fiction authors, but my passion is for fiction. I love having a hand in helping other writers become the best writers they can be, and I love learning from other writers how to be the best writer I can be. I like to entertain people with stories, and to be entertained by and expand my mind with others’ stories.
How did it feel to publish your first novel, The Gravity Between Us?
A: It was nerve-racking at first, worrying about how well the book would sell and if it would get good reviews. When you pour your heart into something, you really want people to enjoy and appreciate it. But I received a lot of support from Bookouture, my publishing company, and I’ve gotten a lot of lovely feedback from readers, so it’s been a really gratifying experience. At the end of the day, being a published author is a dream come true for me.
Your novel falls into the YA/NA categories. How do you define the difference?
A: While writing, I came to the conclusion that the difference between Young Adult and New Adult goes beyond curbing myself from dropping however many f-bombs I want throughout my book, or even crafting a racy-yet-appropriate “intimate” scene for an under-17 crowd, it’s recognizing that adolescence doesn’t necessarily end once you graduate from high school, that no miraculous chemical reaction occurs in your brain the day you turn eighteen, thus magically transforming you into a fully mature adult. Adulthood takes years to reach, and everyone gets there at their own pace. YA doesn’t always address the real-life issues that older teens and twentysomethings encounter—moving out of your parents’ house, finding an honest-to-goodness job, paying rent, utilities, student loans, etc… Basically, just learning how to stand on your own two feet without toppling over and hurting yourself. The New Adult category gives you more room to tackle all of those things.
 The Gravity Between Us has been topping several Amazon lists. What do you think attributes to the success?
A: I think it’s that I tried to create people rather than characters. Kendall and Payton put all their emotions, their fears and worries, on the table for the reader to experience. Things are happening to them that they don’t necessarily have any control over, they’re faced with difficult decisions and their circumstances ring true to life, even if the setting is a bit more glamorous than most of us are used to. They’re just honest, real people figuring out how to be who they are, both as individuals and as two people who genuinely love each other.
Who are your favorite authors?
A: Oh, I have a list a mile long! Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury. Some of the newer authors I love are John Marsden, Malinda Lo, and of course, Suzanne Collins. There’s something about Dystopian fiction that captivates me; I can’t get enough of it.
Are you working on a new project?
A: My next book is in the works, yes. It falls into the category of SciFi/Dystopian. It’s kind of an experiment for me, but I’m having a lot of fun with it. What more can you ask for as a writer?
What advice would you give to a new author?
A: I’m an editor by trade, and I’ve worked with first-time authors who were sometimes frustrated with the changes I suggested—especially structural changes to the story. I admit, I was one of those first-time authors, but now, having been on both sides of the writing process, I can say this: don’t be afraid of edits. The process can seem overwhelming, but editors really are your friends. A set of fresh eyes going over your work and pointing out issues you may have missed are worth their weight in gold. The Gravity Between Us ended up being something I’m quite proud of because of my editors, Jenny Hutton and Jena Roach. They made wonderful suggestions that helped shape the story into something lovely—a bit different from what I’d written originally, but in the absolute best possible way.
Describe your perfect day. 
A: There’s a park close to my house that has the most amazing view of New York City. On sunny, spring days, I like to take a blanket, a book and my iPod to that park and just relax on the grass. Those are some of my favorite days.
Giveaway!
Entering the contest is pretty easy. All you have to do is leave me a comment below letting me know if you would prefer a mobi, epub, or pdf file. One random winner will be selected on Friday, February 28th.
The novel is available on:
Where to find Kristen Zimmer:
Thanks so much Kristen for popping by today. It’s always fun to chat with a fellow author and I wish you continued success!
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About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
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29 Responses to Author Interview: Kristen Zimmer and a Giveaway

  1. Great interview! I really like Kristen’s definition of New Adult. And although I haven’t heard of The Gravity Between us before, wow, being on a top ten list and with so many five-star reviews, too, is so, so impressive. Glad she’s had such good success with this book!

  2. bulldog says:

    Great interview as usual…

  3. This really was an interesting interview, especially seeing her point of view as an editor first and author second. It makes her more open to suggestions which I think will make her very successful. It’s funny too that she mentioned John Marsden as one of her favourite authors. I had never heard of Marsden until a friend of mine moved back to Canada from Australia and convinced me to download the series. Lately I keep hearing his name, so I think I should move his books up my TBR list.

  4. Great interview, TBM! I loved Kristen’s explanation of the difference between YA and NA. I’ve been interested in possibly writing a NA, but I’ve been a little fuzzy on the differences, but not anymore, thanks!

  5. Beth Ann says:

    What another great interview!!! Thanks for sharing Kristen with us!!! I would love a PDF if I win!!! You find the greatest people! I think it is because you are so great yourself!!!

  6. What a wonderful interview, TB. Thanks for the introduction to Kristen. Margaret Atwood is my favorite author, so I was interested to see that Kirsten enjoys her work, as well. I look forward to reading The Gravity between Us (great title, by the way), and the dystopian novel sounds fascinating, as well.

    By the way, just posted a chapter of my mafia memoir. Would be interested to know what you think.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • TBM says:

      I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read any books by Atwood yet, but I know she’s on my 1001 list. I’ll pop over in the morning to read it. So much easier reading on my laptop than on my cell phone. Looking forward to it.

  7. Pat Hatt says:

    Edits sure have to be done, wow to 100 reviews to, that is a ton

  8. Editing rocks! Congrats to Kristen on all those awesome reviews. It’s always scary to put something out there, knowing the world will judge it, but I’d say that’s a sparkling success.

    • TBM says:

      yes! a sparkling success. I’m in the midst of editing now. It’s not my favorite aspect, but I do learn a lot and I’m able to apply that to the next project and then the next. It’s a wonderful education.

  9. cleemckenzie says:

    I agree with her about creating people, not characters. If you go at writing them in that way, they come to life. Nicely put.

  10. L. Satterfield says:

    I love this book, I could not stop reading it and I hated it to be over. Can’t wait for her next book. Great interview. (PDF)

  11. Another great interview and the book sounds like a lovely read.

  12. Dina says:

    Lovely interview! It sounds like a fine book, indeed.
    – Dina

  13. Congrats to Kristen on her success. Great interview. I would love to read this in mobi.

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