I had the pleasure of meeting the immensely talented Kristina McMorris several years ago at the Tucson Festival of Books and have been a fan ever since. The author of seven novels and novellas including the NYT bestselling SOLD ON A MONDAY, Kristina is here to give us a peek into her reading and writing life.
What’s your favorite book from childhood?
Hmm… that’s a toss-up between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. (I’m proud to say I can still recite much of Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too!)
Favorite beverage/snack while you read or write?
Decaf vanilla-almond tea with honey and vanilla creamer, served up in a large tumbler (vs a mug) so I don’t have to microwave it twenty times due to repeatedly forgetting about it while writing. Speaking from experience, sadly.
What book would you like to be a character in?
Yikes. I always read stories so heavy on conflict that I honestly can’t think of one!
Who is your writing heroine/hero?
My favorite fictionalized character would have to be one of my youngest son’s favorites: Katniss Everdeen, given that she’s a compassionate, savvy yet flawed character with a strong moral compass, willing to fight and sacrifice for loved ones. Plus, her archery skills are just so cool.
What’s your favorite genre to read in your free time?
Aside from historical fiction, I love to read twisty, gripping, well-written suspense or psychological thrillers (um, hello, like Heather’s!).
How do you organize your home library?
Organized by sections: favorites to keep forever, books I’ve blurbed and loved, my ever-growing collection of research books, and—the biggest shelves—new books I can’t wait to dive into!
Saddest book you’ve ever read?
Night by Elie Wiesel. Need I say more?
Scariest book you’ve ever read?
Pet Sematary by Stephen King. It came with a golden cross as a bookmark (yes, really), and I read it at my grandmother’s cabin in the woods. In an unfinished basement. With a single lightbulb hanging over my bed. Looking back, I’m not sure I ever actually finished the book. Can you blame me?
Name a book you can’t get out of your head?
So many! The one I’ve talked about most lately, since I just had the pleasure of an early read, is Allison Pataki’s forthcoming historical novel, The Queen’s Fortune. The book follows the fascinating life of Desiree Clary Bernadotte, who at one point was secretly engaged to Napoleon, survived threats of the guillotine, and ultimately became the queen of Sweden. I learned so much about French history while enjoying an absolutely page-turning story along the way.
Where is your favorite place to read?
That’s easy. Cozied up in bed before going to sleep.
Where do you do your writing?
Always in my house, but a different room for every book. And that’s because by the time I turn in a final draft, after virtually living in the same spot for a year, I’m so tired of that space I have to relocate to start fresh. Now that I’m on book 8, I finally had to start reusing the rooms. (As my only other option is to change houses.)
What book do you reread over and over?
My favorites shelf is definitely filled with books I’d love to read repeatedly. That rarely happens, though, because there are just so many new exciting ones to tackle! That said… if I had to pick only one, it would be my all-time favorite, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
If you could meet one writer ~ living or deceased ~ who would it be?
Maya Angelou. She always struck me as such a warm, wise, eloquent, and huggable human being. Her presence was definitely a bright light in the world.
What book is on your bedside table right now?
Uh, you mean books, yes?? Ha. The current stack: The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, and a galley of American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.
What do you have coming next for readers?
For my next novel, I’m finally returning to WWII, this time centering on a fascinating yet lesser-known department of British Intelligence that used creative, secretive tactics sure to make your jaw drop. Can’t wait to share more!
You can connect with Kristina here: