Let’s give a warm Friday Author Feature welcome to Kristen Otte. Kristen Otte is the author of books for both young adults and children. Kristen stopped by to talk about her books and share some advice for young authors.
Tell us a little bit about your books.
I have two published young adult novels in the Eastbrook series: The Photograph and The Evolution of Lillie Gable. The Eastbrook series takes place in the same world and timeframe, but each book focused on a different main character and storyline. Therefore, you can read the books as standalone novels or out of order. The Eastbrook series are contemporary young adult books that dive into real life issues teenagers face such as the pressures of high school, family relationships, bullying, love, and loss. The third book in the series, The Perfect Smile, releases on October 27, 2015.
I also write a children’s chapter book series called The Adventures of Zelda. The Zelda books star Zelda, a mischievous pug whose antics cause young readers to laugh. I have published four books in the series with the fifth book releasing in 2016.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing on and off since I was a kid, but about four years ago, I rediscovered my love for writing through blogging. I joined a writer’s group and started writing fiction whenever I could. I published my first fiction book in the summer of 2013 which is the first of The Adventures of Zelda series. I have published four in the Zelda series, which are laugh out-loud chapter books for young readers. I published my first young adult novel in the summer of 2014, and my second in the spring of 2015.
What inspires you to write your books?
Like many writers, I have loved writing and reading since I was a kid. I love reading stories that move me to laughter or tears. I love books that cause me to think differently about the world or gain a new perspective on people or relationships, and I want to write books that make people laugh, smile, and think differently.
I write my Zelda books with the reluctant reader in mind. I want a child who doesn’t like to read to fall in love with reading from laughing at a pug’s silly antics. I write realistic young adult fiction with teens dealing with real issues. I hope that reading those books helps teens gain a fresh perspective and encourage them to make good decisions in their own lives.
Which character of yours is your favorite and why?
Lillie Gable is one of my favorite characters. She is a secondary character in The Photograph and the main character in The Evolution of Lillie Gable. Lillie is the opposite of me. She is bold, brash, and outgoing, so I enjoy writing her character because her experiences and reactions are much different than what I would have done as a teenager.
I also love taking a break from my young adult fiction and writing from Zelda the Pug’s point of view. Her silliness and stubbornness always make me laugh.
What advice do you have for young authors?
Sometimes young authors (me, included) get so caught up in how to market your book and build an audience, that we forget that writing is a craft. Similar to playing a sport, writing is a skill that gets better with practice, so my best piece of advice is to write. Then write some more. And write again. My writing skills have improved with every short story, novel, or essay I have written, so keep writing!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
That’s a tough question! If I’m not writing or working, often I am on the basketball court coaching high school girls. But if I have free time, I love reading, playing with my crazy dogs Zelda and Peach, or playing board games and video games with my husband.
Thanks to Kristen Otte for stopping by the Friday Author Feature!
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