Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

“So” Contemporary: A Book Impression, An Interview and A Giveaway

Not all YA trilogies have to feature bleak dystopian futures, fantastic beasts and golden compasses.

In the process of expanding my reading horizons, I stumbled upon an excellent contemporary “So” trilogy by Kieran Scott. Okay, so it’s not my usual literary fare. But let me assure you, it’s a very fun read — and the story is done well.

 The first book, “She’s So Dead To Us” (Simon & Schuster 2010), sucks the reader right in with a really intriguing premise. Imagine a rich girl living in a wealthy section of a town divided sharply along both geographical and money lines. Imagine the said girl keeping close friendships with her rich and troubled neighbors. Now imagine it all crashing down when her dad not only loses their family’s fortunes, but loses the fortunes of his (former) neighbors and friends by giving them investment advice that turned out to be rather . . . um . . . unfortunate. Now imagine the girl disappearing for two years, then coming back to the town she grew up in, only now having to move to its other side, the “have-nots” side. Imagine facing her old friends at school. What happens next? Maybe the book’s title can give you a clue of what the heroine is up against.

This is just the beginning, there is way more in this book, and the next one, “He’s So Not Worth It.” Kieran Scott definitely delivers — not only rich, subtle characters, but also a great voice (especially the girl narrator’s — there are two viewpoint characters, a girl and a boy). I also loved the novel’s vividly imagined setting.

Just one word of warning: the first book has a cliffhanger ending. No peeking — and don’t get upset when you get to the end — you’ve been warned!!

The third and final book in the trilogy, “This Is So Not Happening” will be released in May. In the meantime, I spoke to Kieran on the phone last week, and wanted to share some amazing bits of info and Kieran Scott trivia.

1. Kieran published her first book at the age of 24.

2. She has written more than 100 books (okay some of them are things like movie tie-ins and non-fiction, but still… Incredible, no?) Check out this picture she sent me of two shelves in her house that contain the books she has published, “well, the important ones, anyway,” she says.

3. Kieran is definitely a heavy outliner. When I asked her how detailed she gets, she said it all depends. “In one scene I could be putting down lines of dialogue,” she said, “in another I could just have something like, ‘Chloe goes to a store.'” Some writers claim outlining too much can be a bad thing. I must admit I am one of those writers who need to know where they are going, but at the same time are a little bit afraid of killing the story by writing it down in outline form. “It doesn’t stifle my creativity,” Kieran says. “I don’t hold myself to it. It’s more of a roadmap, but it’s definitely helpful to have.”

Heck, it worked for her. Just take another look at that bookshelf!

4. Kieran takes about six months to write a first draft, then goes through about two or three drafts revising. She writes about a book a year, not counting the shorter movie tie-in projects, etc.

5. Kieran worked as an assistant editor, and then an editor for a book packager. Publishers sometimes hire book packagers to put together series and all kinds of other projects for them. The job not only taught Kieran some important writing lessons, it led her to her first publishing contract!

“I think working as an editor definitely taught me to really look at things in a different way,” Kieran told me. “I know when a tory isn’t working, I can just feel it, because I have read so many stories so closely.”

Here is some more information about book packagers. Not a bad way to break into the business, now that I am thinking about it: http://www.underdown.org/packaging.htm

Hmmmmm….

6. One of Kieran’s most favorite books right now is “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” by Jenny Han, who happens to be Kieran’s friend — and an internationally bestselling author. That book is the first in another contemporary YA trilogy, by the way. Something else to add to my long “to read” list, I guess.

Want to find out more about Kieran? Check out the profile I wrote about her for one of my local Patch.com sites, right here:

http://lacey.patch.com/articles/widely-published-ya-author-to-speak-to-local-teens

Finally, to celebrate the expanding of my literary horizons, I am hosting a grand giveaway of Kieran’s first novel, “She Is So Dead to Us” as a thank you gift from me for being there.

In addition to this, you will get a signed copy of the second book “He Is So Dead To Us,” a gift from Kieran!

Just leave a comment here to participate. The giveaway ends Monday, October 10th. Good luck!

 

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October 3, 2011 - Posted by | Book Impressions, Interviews | , , , , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. This trilogy sounds like fun – and my goodness, just look at those bookshelves 🙂

    Comment by Sarah Pearson | October 4, 2011 | Reply

    • Yes, very inspiring, Sarah, don’t you think?

      Comment by Katia Raina | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  2. Congratulations to Kiernan Scott! What a prolific writer. I can’t imagine how anyone could write and publish that many books by the time she was 24. She must have started when she was four. Her trilogy sounds universally timely. I was hoping for a teaser about the 3rd book.

    Comment by Clara Gillow Clark | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  3. Clara, ha-ha, no Kieran started writing in high school and she published her first book at the age of 24. She’s 37 now, and she has about 15 hardcovers and 20 paperbacks out, plus all those others on her shelf. Which is still “not bad,” to say the least, right? 🙂
    I am reluctant to give you a teaser about the third book because that would spoil the second! That’s the tricky thing about trilogies. If you do win, I don’t want to ruin the suspense! Good luck, and thanks so much for stopping by, Clara.

    Comment by Katia Raina | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  4. I love looking at bookshelves.

    I haven’t read Scott yet, but I’d love to.

    I’ll tweet this post.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | October 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Medeia. Whether or not you win, I hope you will check the books out!

      Comment by Katia Raina | October 5, 2011 | Reply


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