Interview with Tenner Kristina McBride

Today I'm happy to welcome fellow Tenner, Kristina McBride, author ofThe Tension of Opposites. Kristina and I have a lot in common. We both grew up in Ohio and taught high school English for awhile. I was thrilled to meet her at a book panel event last spring at the awesome Books & Co. in Dayton.Listen to what Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why, had to say about her novel:  “Tense! The constant push and pull of friendship, pain, love, and jealousy is beautifully drawn. A definite must read.” I couldn't put it down either! Welcome, Kristina!What's your favorite flower and why? My favorite flower is a Gerber Daisy. Why?  Simple. They are beautiful!Daisies mean innocence or simplicity in the language of flowers.  :-)Is there a quotation you live by or have posted at your desk?All the quotes at my desk have to do with writing – most of them come from conversations I’ve had with my agent, who is brilliant. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why: “Everything . . . affects everything.” I also love a quote I saw on MTV one night – I forget which show I was watching, but that’s beside the point: “Be the change you are seeking.” (I just Googled the phrase to correctly identify the source, and got a mention of Ghandi. But I can’t be certain.)Which book do you wish you could live inside?This is tough, because all of my faves are dark and edgy, so I might not want to live in them. I’m thinking Where the Wild Things Are,because right now I could use a night with some wild things to blow off some revision frustration.Who's your favorite dead writer and what book of his/ hers would you recommend?I can’t answer this one. To me, all authors are still alive, living perpetually through their works of art. (How’s that for cheating out of answering a question that is way too hard to answer?)Good point, though! What book have you read more than any other and why? Fiction – To Kill a Mockingbird. Because I love it. And because I taught it for eight years. (Little Secret: I have a super-serious crush on Atticus Finch.) Nonfiction – Hookedby Les Edgerton – because it’s one of the most incredible books on writing that I have found.You chose to write about what happens when a kidnapping victim returns to real life.  Why did you choose to start at this point in Tessa and Elle’s lives? I was inspired by an interview Oprah conducted with a young man named Shawn Hornbeck. Shawn had just been found and returned to his family after spending over four years with his kidnapper. I was so inspired by his strength and fortitude; I kept pondering what it must be like to be him, or one of his family members or friends. His story was so far-reaching, and his experience affected so many people. After that interview, Tessa started speaking to me, and I had to tell her story. To me, this book was always about the return of the kidnapped victim. I never considered starting it from another point in time.What was the hardest part of writingThe Tension of Opposites? The revisions. By far. I spent nearly eleven months revising and working with my agent to get things tweaked just right. I value her opinion so much, when she said it was ready, I knew I’d done it. There was no better feeling. But the months leading up to that moment were quite a struggle.What was your favorite or least favorite scene to write? That’s a hard question! I remember the scenes I really struggled with (the opening, the sunflower field, the TV interview), and the scenes that just flowed out of me (the scene where Tessa meets Max, the “Do you believe in ghosts?” chapter, the party scene) but I’d have to say that they were all favorites in the moments that I was writing them. When I’m writing, the scenes unfold in my mind like a movie, and though I might have to press rewind a few times until I get through it just right, I enjoy the writing process so much, I can’t choose a least favorite.Authors often weave a sustaining metaphor through their work; yours is photography.  Why did you choose that metaphor and how did it help you tell your story? I was a high school English teacher for eight years, and one of my duties was to serve as the school’s yearbook advisor. I have always loved photography, and when I considered that Tessa’s passion had to be something that would isolate her from others, the marriage of these two elements fit perfectly.Can you tell us about what you’re working on now? I’m working on book 2 of my 2-book deal with Egmont USA. I can’t say much more than that, except that I’m in the revision stages and hope to turn a solid draft into my editor very soon.Good luck! I can't wait to read it.You can find Kristina's website here, and she tweets here.