This week, we’re celebrating Kitty’s debut! Kitty Keswick has been an Anglophile since age four when she saw Robin Hood and fell head over heels in love. As she grew up on her grandfather’s California vineyard, Kitty’s imagination was her best friend. At a very tender age, she started writing her stories and reading them to the grapes.
Kitty spends her days with werewolves, Valkyries, vamps, and other creatures that go bump in the night. Check out her website www.kittykeswick.com.
Here’s a little bit about FREAKSVILLE (Leap Books).
A group of teenagers, trapped in a haunted theater on the night of a full moon, discover that ghosts are the least of their worries…
Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. A talent sixteen-year-old Kasey would gladly give up. All she wants is a normal life. Shopping and talking about boys with her best friend and long-time sidekick, Gillie Godshall, consume her days until Kasey has a vision about Josh Johnstone, the foreign exchange student from England. The vision leads her into new realms, a lead in a play, a haunted theater … and into the arms of Josh. Yet, both Kasey and Josh have secrets lurking in dark corners. Can Kasey’s new romance survive FREAKSVILLE?
If you had to give your book a movie rating: G through Rated R, which one would you give and why?
PG13. The book deals with a first boyfriend. There is French kissing, but the romance does not go beyond the kissing stage.
What topics, issues, or themes does your book address? What drove you to write about them?
In a humorous way, the book deals with acceptance. Kasey, the heroine, has the gift of sight, which she feels makes her a freak. The underlying theme is “to thine own self be true.” A modern Romeo-and-Juliet story plays out in a haunted theater with fashion, mystery, and the occasional werewolf.
The book supports strong friendships and family. Gillie, Kasey’s best friend is supportive and not a “frenemy.” Kasey’s parents are married and deal with conflicts in a loving and supportive manner. Kasey and Gillie are also strong female role models who support Girl Power.
Name a few examples of readers who would identify or like your book.
A 13-year-old girl who’s feeling a little awkward. A 15-year-old girl who loves fashion. Anyone who’s had to deal with feeling like they are a little freakish. Because of the crushes on boys and fashion, it would appeal to any girl who enjoys a light paranormal mystery laced with humor.
How can your book be used in the classroom?
The Romeo and Juliet theme can be explored by comparing the original version to modern adaptations. Freaksville not only incorporates quotes from Shakespeare but also ties in an ancient feud (based in actual history) that occurred on the border of Scotland and England for centuries.
Discussions on how the traits that make us unique and different can really be an asset rather than a negative. Self-acceptance and discovering hidden talents play a major part in the story, and the heroine also has to deal with bullying, an important issue in the lives of many teens.
Parts of the book are based in Norse mythology, so exploring those ancient themes and the ways the modern story parallels these tales, along with discussing various cultures’ myths and beliefs surrounding death and the afterlife (the heroine learns about her connection to Valkyries and their role of ferrying the souls of the dead).
Now whet our appetites with a teaser.
Huge crisis. —I’m in Freaksville!
Monday, January 15th
I so needed a filter between my brain and my body, one with big flashy lights and blaring sirens that ruptured my eardrums if I was about to do anything stupid.
The last six months had been a regular freak show, as if being me wasn’t already strange enough. On my sixteenth birthday, I got the gift. Not a gift, but The Gift, as in the gift of sight. Now that was something I totally wished I had a receipt for, so I could return to sender. Unfortunately for me, it was in the family genes. Every female of the Maxwell clan had the gift. My great, great, great, a million-times-back grandmother in the sixteenth century—Grannie Maxwell—was the first to have the gift of sight, premonition, the sixth sense. Whatever way you spun it, it still ranked big time, as in stunk.
Are you offering authors visits to schools, libraries, or other organizations?
Are you willing to speak nationally?
List a few example titles of presentations, talks, or workshops you might give for an author visit.
- Fur and Fangs, Writing YA Paranormals, Beyond the Vampire
- Strange Worlds, Understanding Setting and World Building
- Scene and Sequels, the Action and the Glue
- Young Writers Workshop, (basic novel writing, geared toward teens.)
This concludes our interview with our latest author, Kitty Keswick. We wish her much success with her debut novel FREAKSVILLE. To see what Kitty is up to these days, visit her website at http://www.kittykeswick.com or her blog at http://wolfychicks.blogspot.com.
*GIVEAWAY ALERT* Kitty Keswick is giving away a signed copy of FREAKSVILLE to a winner. Tell your friends and leave a comment for the author! Enter by March 8th, 2011 11:59 PM CST. (U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.)
Your email address will not be displayed publicly and will only be used to contact you if you win! And don’t forget to participate in our other AuthorsNow! giveaways.