Meet the author of LOVE FORTUNES AND OTHER DISASTERS, Kim Karalius
Now that we’ve made another exciting big announcement, that we’re publishing LOVE FORTUNES AND OTHER DISASTERS as part of our second list, we want to introduce you to the author, Kim Karalius. Here’s a short greeting from Kim, and be sure to read her Q&A below to get a taste of what makes her so swoonworthy. If that’s not enough Kim Karalius for you, check out her blog at kkaralius.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @kkaralius.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE LOVE FORTUNES AND OTHER DISASTERS?
Girls severely outnumbered boys on my college campus, so my friends and I used to joke about how we’d become glamorous spinsters by the time we graduated (when you study classic literature for four years, even the strangest topics become comfortable). I’ve never forgotten our late nights laughing in the dorm lobby; turning those conversations into a story had always seemed like a fun challenge. In this case, a YA novel. As LOVE FORTUNES AND OTHER DISASTERS developed, I knew I wanted to explore the plight of being single (when you don’t want to be) and the twisty places our search for love takes us.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SUBMIT TO SWOON READS?
When I taught creative writing while in graduate school, I got into the habit of keeping up with publishing news to share with my students. Even after graduating, I checked GalleyCat every morning and saw an article about Swoon Reads back in September. Finding out about Swoon Reads had been thrilling (I may or may not have done a happy dance in my room). The manuscripts I had already written were not that dependent on romance plot-wise, so I decided to write a new one. I couldn’t wait to participate in the crowdsourcing model for a chance at publication.
Sharing stories with readers was not uncharted territory for me. When Figment.com launched back in December 2010, I was there, experiencing what it was like to post chapters serially. I loved getting feedback from readers; their insightful comments often inspired me to take my narratives in different directions. Swoon Reads, of course, requires complete manuscripts for submission, and so readers get to read the whole manuscript at once instead of in smaller doses. In some ways the feedback is different, but most definitely invaluable.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE MANUSCRIPT?
About five months. Since I have a day job, my coworkers had to put up with hearing me furiously type during my lunch breaks. You could almost see the smoke rising from the keyboard if you looked hard enough! I’m a panster, so I wrote LOVE FORTUNES AND OTHER DISASTERS by diving right in, with notes and outlines only to keep me steady along the way.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST THOUGHT WHEN YOU SAW THE E-MAIL FROM THE SWOON READS ADDRESS?
I don’t think my brain completed a lucid thought the moment I saw that email. I started shaking (with joy!) in my cubicle and refreshed my inbox, just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming!
WHO WAS THE FIRST PERSON YOU TOLD?
My mom. Since I got the news while in the office, I couldn’t express my feels. I tried to play it cool, so as not to alert my coworkers that something fantastic had just happened. My mom did the screaming and jumping over the phone for me. Can’t thank her enough for that!
HOW HARD WAS IT TO KEEP THE FACT THAT YOUR BOOK WAS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED A SECRET FOR OVER A MONTH?
Difficult! There were so many people I wanted to tell who have been cheering me on. No doubt I will be receiving a few hurt looks from friends who would have liked to have known sooner. But having a secret for over a month had its moments. The best was wearing a mysterious smile that went unexplained. And standing a little taller.
NOW THAT THE WORLD KNOWS, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO CELEBRATE?
I’m going… to Disney World!
Okay, okay. I always go to Disney World. But this time, I’m going to do something special there to celebrate. I’m still debating over splurging at a fancy restaurant or spending an evening at Jellyrolls, the dueling piano bar. So many choices. So much celebration. No matter what, I’ll be wearing my mouse ears and a celebratory pin.
HOW DOES IT FEEL NOW, BEING AN OFFICIAL SWOON READS AUTHOR?
Shiny. Because regular words don’t apply here. I’m sure fellow browncoats would agree. Like many writers, I had been caught in the (seemingly) endless cycle of querying agents and entering contests. There were days when I buried my spoon in pints of ice cream, but even more days when I tenaciously wrote, revised, and queried. Having been chosen as a Swoon Reads author is validating, for sure, but it’s extra special because I have support from both the Swoon Reads staff and the readers that helped make this happen. I don’t know if all debut authors can say the same. I’m incredibly thankful.
LOVE FORTUNES AND OTHER DISASTERS WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE SITE AS WE COULD FALL IN LOVE. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BEING ASKED TO CHANGE THE TITLE?
I didn’t know how much I loved my title until I was asked to change it! The idea behind it was most important to me: portraying in a single phrase the idea of love being thwarted or prevented. LOVE FORTUNES AND OTHER DISASTERS still echoes that, so I’m very happy with the new title.