Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Author Kristina McMorris. Kristina McMorris is the author of two novellas and five historical novels, including Sold on a Monday, which spent five months on the New York Times bestsellers list. Initially inspired by her grandparents’ WWII courtship letters, her works of fiction have garnered more than twenty national literary awards. Prior to her writing career, she owned a wedding- and event-planning company until she had far surpassed her limit of YMCA- and chicken dances. She also worked as a PR director of an international conglomerate, as well as a weekly TV-show host for Warner Bros. and an ABC affiliate, beginning at age nine with an Emmy Award-winning program. She lives in Oregon with her husband and their two sons, ages fourteen and sixteen going on forty.
When I asked Kristina to tell us a little about herself and her writing, this was her great response:
Sure! I’m a native Oregonian (so have never minded the rain!) and married mom of two boys. I consider myself an “accidental author,” since I had no plans of becoming a creative writer until about fifteen years ago, when my grandmother shared a secret collection of her WWII courtship letters from my late grandfather; I loved their story so much that I decided to try my hand at a novel. And ever since then, I continue to come across nuggets of history that are so compelling I can’t help but share them with readers through storytelling!
Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)
They most definitely should! Aside from other fabulous indie stores, they can find them at the usual large chains (Target, Walmart, etc) and online retail sites.
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
Facebook and Instagram are where I typically share big book news and updates. And my e-newsletter (which I send out only a few times a year) is a great way to keep up with my latest. They can sign up easily at http://www.KristinaMcMorris.com
What was the inspiration for Sold on a Monday?
As you know, for the characters in this story, their journey all started with a picture—and that’s exactly what prompted me to write the book. When I first stumbled upon an old newspaper photo of four young siblings in Chicago being offered for sale, I was completely stunned. As a mom myself, I wondered what could have possibly pushed a parent to that point. Potential answers to that question ultimately became the foundation of Sold on a Monday.
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
I love writing historical fiction for the same reason I love reading it—because it’s what I like to call “literary Advil,” in that you get the sugar coating of a story on the outside without realizing how much good stuff (i.e. history) you’re getting on the inside until you’ve digested it, and think, “Wow, I actually learned a lot too!”
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
I’m on the homestretch of writing my latest WWII novel, largely inspired by a secretive branch of British Military Intelligence that is so unique I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before. I can’t share much more yet, but I am SO excited for the book to reach readers soon!
While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
Oh, my goodness—definitely silence. I’m so envious of those cool writers who can sit in a corner at Starbucks or Panera, soaking in all the music and chatter while still somehow churning out coherent chapters. That is definitely not me!
Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re writing or editing a piece of work?
Vanilla-almond tea with honey and vanilla creamer in my huge Yeti tumbler, which my in-laws gave me as a Christmas gift. Verges on magical, really. It holds thirty whole ounces, so allows me to keep working for hours before needing a refill.
That sounds delicious! Thanks for answering these questions for us, Kristina. Stay safe, and good luck on your latest book!