Author Kara Bietz is on the blog today for a short interview as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2016 blog event. Kara answers few questions for me about writing and her upcoming debut novel, Until I Break. Told in alternating timeline, this dark contemporary novel will push bullying to the deadly end until someone break. If you like realistic contemporary story with a little edge you should definitely read this one.
Next to the interview are more details about Until I Break and the author, Kara Bietz. Also, don’t forget to check the giveaway at the bottom for a chance to win an advance readers copy of the book and silicone wristband from Kara.
Enjoy reading the interview.
Interview with Kara Bietz
Until I Break is your debut novel, what pushed you to pursue writing as a career? When did you first come up with the idea for Until I Break and what were the timescales involved between the first draft and the novel being accepted for publication?
I’ve been writing since I was a little kid but sometime around my first year of college, I stopped for a handful of reasons. I never got rid of any of my old writing, though. My mom boxed it up with some of my old high school memorabilia when I got married and moved away from home. I quickly put the box in the attic and forgot about it. When my oldest son was about three years old, my husband found the box and read some of the pages I had saved. He asked me why I wasn’t writing anymore and I really didn’t have a good reason! I started again shortly after that and began to seriously pursue publication a few years later. Until I Break is not the first novel I wrote after “coming out of retirement” so to speak. I have several what I like to call “shelf novels” because while they were good practice for writing and finishing a lengthy piece of writing, I do not harbor any false ideas that they are fit for publication. I started writing Until I Break in late 2012 and was sidetracked by a few life events. I finished a solid first draft in September of 2013 and revised, very slowly, from there. My agent and I sold it to Albert Whitman and Company in January of 2015.
Until I Break deals with sensitive themes such as bullying, violence and others. As a writer, do you feel a sense of responsibility in writing these topics? If so, how do you deal with this?
Until I Break definitely deals with some very heavy themes. I do feel a sense of responsibility when writing. I have a middle school-aged daughter and a high school-aged son, and I always keep them in mind when I’m crafting a story. As a writer, I feel like my biggest responsibility is to shine a light on things honestly, rather than try to gloss over or hide the messy parts of life for readers. I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing my portrayal of difficult situations, and I don’t enter into it lightly.
Did you write Until I Break with a specific message embedded within its pages?
I did not initially set out to write a story with a message. However, as I began writing and the story started to take shape, I was aware that perhaps there was a bigger message there. Empathy. Love is greater than hate. Above all, be kind. Be a friend. Listen. All of these are important messages in this story.
Until I Break is told in different timelines.What kind of preparation did you do in writing different settings? Which is easier to write? and why?
The first draft of the story was not told in alternating timelines. It was a messy thing, with a good core story and a whole lot of stuff I didn’t need! Once I got that first draft out of my head and really focused on the story I wanted to tell, I started rewriting. It was during that rewrite that I began to experiment with alternating timelines. Lucky for me, it worked :). I did have to play around with the structure quite a bit in order to make the timeline work in a way that made sense, but it started to feel very natural and true to the story once I started writing it that way. I don’t know that one timeline was easier to write than the other. Both had their fair share of challenges.
Where do you see your writing going after the release of Until I Break? Do you think you’ll stick writing suspenseful contemporary or branch out into something else?
I am most comfortable writing darker contemporary stories, for sure, but I am willing to dip my toe into other genres, too! I am continuing to work on several projects while I wait for the release of Until I Break, each of these a little different. Yes, some have darker themes and a mystery element, but I also have several lighter projects I’m considering, too.
Are you working on other stories as of the moment? Could you tell us about it?
I like to have several projects chugging along at once, in varying stages. I have one story finished, another I’m drafting, another I’m chipping away at some plot details, and one that is just a nice shiny idea that I like to daydream about occasionally! I’m not at liberty to talk about the projects just yet, but I’m hoping to be able to soon!
Thank you so much Kara for answering all my questions above.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kara Bietz grew up in New England but now resides near Houston, Texas with her husband, two kiddos and three dogs. She’s been dreaming up stories as long as she can remember; sometimes she puts them on paper and sometimes they just live in her head.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Until I Break
Author: Kara Bietz
Publisher: AW Teen / Albert Whitman & Company
Publication Date: November 01, 2016
Format: Hardcover, Paperback
Two boys: One, a star athlete and top student with a deep-seated need to prove himself. The other, a chip-on-his-shoulder quarterback who will never settle for second best. When gunshots echo through the halls of Broadmeadow High School, whose finger is on the trigger?
A year before the shooting, Sam North has a bright future as a well as a problem that nobody else seems to see—Ace Quinn, his neighbor and teammate. For years, Ace has been bullying and harassing Sam, yet he’s managed to deftly conceal his actions and threats from the rest of the world. As Ace’s secret rage intensifies, Sam becomes more desperate to stop him. But how far will he go? And what if Ace takes his threats even farther?
What’s up for Grab?
- Signed ARC of Until I Break by Kara Bietz and
- silicone wristband
- Open US / CA residents only
- There will be one (1) winner
- Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
- Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
- Ends October 19th, 2016
- Prizes will be sent by the author
To enter fill out the rafflecopter form
Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each second wave feature post!