Thursday, June 26, 2008

A2A Chat with Stephanie Kuehnert

Tip of the Day: If you want to see a great example of how an author can set up his or her own book tour, check out the GIGS section of Stephanie’s Web site.

I’m so excited that Stephanie Keuhnert, author of the forthcoming I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, is visiting us at Author2Author today.

From Steph’s Web site:


A raw, edgy, emotional novel about growing up punk and living to tell.

The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones. Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back.

Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?”

Doesn’t that sound awesome? I’m so excited to read this debut book by a cool local Chicago author and I won’t have to wait much longer as it will officially hit shelves in just under two weeks (July 8th!). Now on to our A2A questions:

A2A: Where do you most of your writing?

SK: I do most of my writing in my office, which is covered with lots of music memorabilia and photos and notes to myself and resembles my messy bedroom as a teenager. That is important because it was the period when I got most serious about writing, so my muse comes from that time period. Also in the photo are my three cats who are often crawling all over me when I'm trying to write. For a change of pace (and more sunlight), I sometimes move to the dining room table.

A2A: Are you a plotter or a plunger?

SK: I'm a bit of both. When I get an idea I jot some initial things down in my journal. Then I start writing the scene that is coming to me the strongest. I keep writing the strong scenes for awhile, figuring things out along the way, but by the middle or so, I tend to need to outline for a better sense of overall story.

A2A: What do you do when you get discouraged?

SK: Listen to music mostly. Music is always my outlet when frustrated, but songs also really inspire me, so sometimes it can lead to a solution for whatever in my writing happens to be troubling me. I also read. Good books make me strive to do my best.

A2A: What are you working on next?

Currently, I am writing about a teenage boy who is trying to figure out why his twin sister committed suicide. He works through this with his sister's best friend, who has a lot of trouble of her own. I'm incorporating the Persephone myth (my favorite Greek myth) into it and there's a musical element, too, of course.

I will have to stop working on that soon to do revisions on my second novel, BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, which just sold to MTV Books a couple weeks ago. The brief summary of that one is: After years of feeling like an outcast in her suburban town, sixteen year-old Kara McNaughton finds her place among a group of punks, skaters, and other misfits who hang out at a local park, but as the teens try to cope with bad relationships and broken homes, life spirals out of control.

You can read more about it, including an excerpt on my website.

A2A: What's your favorite part of writing?

SK: The revising stage. Sometimes I can really nail a scene on the first try, but it's pretty rare. Shaping the first draft is hard and is where I am most likely to get discouraged. Revising is a challenge, but it's where I see the book really transform into what I want it to be and I get the most pleasure out of that.

Thanks so much for visiting us at Author2Author Steph! We can’t wait to read your book!

Kristina, Miss Soon-to-Pub


Anonymous said...

Great interview, ladies! This really piques my interest.

Bethany said...

Very cool interview Kristina!

And thanks for posting on my blog about Jack. She is a nice girl and I was glad she gave me the interview. :)

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Kate Fall said...

Can I just say that I love our interview questions? :)

Music was so integral to my teen life and I love books that reflect that. I'll be looking forward to Stephanie's books. The MTV line really puts out cool novels!

Emily Marshall said...

Great interview, ladies. And thanks for stopping by Stephanie. I think your book sounds fantastic.

Lisa Schroeder said...

Stephanie, I can't WAIT to read your book! And I love that picture of your office.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome interview! I just received IWBYJR in the mail and I can't wait to read it. Stephanie seems awesome and I hope to do an interview with her on my blog, too. :)

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Thanks for having me here! It was so much fun. Great questions and sharing my messy office was cool!

I'm glad so many of you are interested in my book! And yes, MTV has some amazing books, I feel so lucky to be among those authors!