MEND and Website Updates!

Ta-da! My brand new (and hopefully faster loading) website is live. If you ever gave up on this site because it was sooooo sloooow before, take a look around. A couple of months ago I added some Deleted Scenes, and the Playlists has also been updated with the playlist for Mend. If you’re interested in ordering signed paperbacks, the Store is where you’ll want to go.

In other news, Mend is now available everywhere! So if you’ve wanted to buy it on iBooks, Kobo, or Nook, the wait is over.

World, meet Kivrin

Kivrin and AniWhen I published Bend almost two years ago, I had no idea how this writing gig was going to pan out. Maybe no one would buy it? Or maybe readers would buy it, and they would hate it, and my career would basically be over before it started? Or maybe I would never publish another book (until recently, this one seemed the most likely). Add that to the fact that I’m camera shy and perplexingly unphotogenic, and the most I could bring myself to show of my face was this phone shot of me hiding behind my cat. That way, if I failed spectacularly, all that was attached to that failure was my pen name and a moderately vague bio. Mine would not be the face of failure!

Well, I’m about to release another book, and it’s time to be an adult and a professional. Ahem.

This required some work, though. I hadn’t had a haircut since last summer. I desperately needed an eyebrow wax. I knew I should put more than my standard effort into doing my make-up (which I don’t even bother with most days, and when I do it’s concealer, eyeliner, mascara, and I’m done). After a shockingly expensive trip to Ulta, a visit to my waxing salon, and then three hours in my stylist’s chair while she colored and cut my hair, I felt like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, but dammit, I was ready!

Fortunately, my amazing and talented husband is an amateur photographer, and so I didn’t need to go waste my time at a studio. Because I knew that to get this right would be time consuming and painful–and I was right. But after two hours and hundreds of shots, we did it!

So here I am, ready to face the world.

Be kind, world.

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Mend Update

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve finished Mend and should be able to release it sometime in early February! How will you know when it’s out? I don’t have pre-order links, so here are a few ways to stay up-to-date:

Follow me on Amazon (click the orange Follow button)
Add the book to Goodreads
– Follow me on my Facebook page and/or join my reader group
Sign up for my newsletter

Attention, bloggers! The cover reveal for Mend will be on January 23rd. If you’re interested in participating, fill out the form here.

Are you a reviewer? My ARC sign-up form is here.

I’m super excited for this release!

Mend Excerpt!

I’ve posted some new content on the site lately. First of all, have you noticed that Bend has a new cover? Check it out! The paperback has been completely revamped, and it’s soooo pretty, inside and out. You can order signed copies of it in my Store–and if you’d like to send it to someone as a holiday gift, I’ll wrap it and include a gift message, free of charge!

Here’s what’s going on with the second book in the Waters series, Mend: I’ve finished the first draft and am in the editing process. Much work left to do, but I’m hoping to have it done very soon after the new year. Meanwhile, check out the Mend book page on the site, where you can read the blurb and the brand spanking new excerpt. Don’t forget to add the book to Goodreads!

How will you know when the book is released? The best way to keep up with my news is to join my Facebook group, where you can find lots of exclusive content and all the latest info. Big news are also posted on my Facebook page, of course, but Facebook likes to hide content from people, so that’s not the most reliable way to stay updated. You can also sign up for my newsletter (I send newsletters very rarely–your inbox will NOT be spammed), and if you’re a Kindle reader who just wants to know when the book is out, you can always follow me on Amazon.

That’s all for now. Happy Holidays! <3

Bend epilogue!

Confession: I don’t care for epilogues. As a reader, I find that they usually don’t add anything to my enjoyment of the story. As a writer, they make me uncomfortable.

But why? Maybe because in the epilogue, everything keeping the main characters apart has been resolved. Rarely is there any tension or problems left to keep things interesting.

I’m also uncomfortable with sentimentality. It has to feel real to me, or it doesn’t work.

Writing the Bend epilogue was definitely a challenge, but I tried to keep it true to the book in all aspects: making sure the characters are still the same people and showing that they still have challenges ahead of them.

So check it out. Hope you enjoy it!

About That Name

My signed first edition of To Say Nothing of the Dog.
My signed first edition of To Say Nothing of the Dog.

Choosing to use a pen name for my writing was a no-brainer for me. Years ago, a friend pointed out one advantage to using a pen name (other than keeping your public and private personas separate) was when you get bad reviews. It’s easier to have a thick skin if someone were to say “Kivrin Wilson sucks!” than if they used my real name.

The main thing for me, though, is that I have a very Norwegian first name that no English speakers know how to pronounce. To make things worse, my married last name is also a female first name, so for the past eighteen years I’ve had people getting my name backwards on an almost daily basis. Did I need that aggravation from readers? No, I did not!

I’ve had readers who think Kivrin is an Irish name. Others think it’s Norwegian, for obvious reasons–plus I suppose it does have a Nordic sound to it.

That’s not where it’s from, though!

It’s from a book.

I’ve loved the name since I read Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. My introduction to Willis came when a dear friend recommended that I read the sequel to Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, and to this day that is my all-time favorite novel. Time travel, history, laugh-out-loud humor, mystery, smart writing, an immersive and imaginative story world, and a thrilling plot twist at the end–and there’s even some romance. I love this book so much that when my husband gave me a signed first-edition of it for my birthday last year, there was no doubt it was one of the best gifts he’s ever given me.

Doomsday BookNaturally, after finishing To Say Nothing of the Dog, I wanted to read more. So I picked up the first book in Willis’s time travel series. Now, knowing that in this one the characters travel back to the time of the Black Death, I expected this to not be anything like the delightful romp that is To Say Nothing of the Dog. What I did not expect was such a bleak, dark, and gripping tale of disease and human mortality. The impact this book had on me can be summarized by this quote from the beginning of the third part of the novel.

“Buried with my own hands five of my children in a single grave… No bells. No tears. This is the end of the world.” –Agniola di Tura, Siena, 1347

This quote alone gave me goosebumps.

The main character’s name in Doomsday Book is Kivrin. I’m pretty sure Willis made the name up (this page agrees with me) and that it’s meant as a diminutive of Katherine. Regardless, I love the name. Obviously. 🙂

As for the last name, Wilson, I chose that simply because it rhymes with my maiden name.

So that’s the story of my pen name. And I can’t recommend these books enough! At the moment, I’m eagerly awaiting Willis’s first  release in years: Crosstalk A new romantic comedy from Connie Willis? Yes, please!

Mood Music

My wireless headphones with a bookshelf skin, a gift from my awesome husband.
My wireless headphones with a bookshelf skin, a gift from my awesome husband.

I wrote most of Bend with music blasting in my ears. A lot of–if not most–authors write with music playing in the background. I prefer to work while listening to music through headphones. It’s the perfect way to shut out the world and focus on the words on the page, drowning out all the voices in my head except the ones that matter to the story I’m trying to tell.

Music also sets the mood. It influences the story, helps me bring my characters to life. Here’s a playlist of the songs that inspired me as I wrote Bend, several of which made their way into the book itself.

Gray Or Blue by Jaymay (Spotify | YouTube)
The Scientist by Coldplay (Spotify | YouTube)
Demons by Imagine Dragons (Spotify | YouTube)
Hard Sun by Eddie Vedder (Spotify | YouTube)
Feeling Good by Nina Simone (Spotify | YouTube)
Ghosts That We Knew by Mumford & Sons (Spotify | YouTube)
We Are Young by Fun. (Spotify | YouTube)
Save the Last Dance by The Drifters (Spotify | YouTube)
Weighty Ghost by Wintersleep (Spotify | YouTube)
Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash (Spotify | YouTube)
Ballad Of Fuck All by Malcolm Middleton (Spotify | YouTube)
Can’t Help Falling In Love by Ingrid Michaelson (Spotify | YouTube)

 

[button link=”https://t.co/5G4hPlar6i” color=”black” newwindow=”yes”]Click for the whole playlist on Spotify[/button]
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