Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Interview with K. Sean Jennkrist (Kathryn Long)

What is Cinderella Geek about? Teen, Delores Chimayo, thinks of herself as a geek and decides to create a 10-step plan to redefine her life to become one of the popular kids. She thinks this change will make her happy. The plan hits several bumps in the road when mean girls like Sheila Thompson bully her and rattle her self-confidence. Also, her step-mom whom she secretly calls Cruella and her younger sister Eileen who is Miss Popularity in middle school tend to make Delores’ life miserable. But there are those who give her encouragement, like her aunt Gloria – a fairy godmother of sorts – and her friends, Trey, Penelope, and Lucy. Delores finds an even better reason to move on with her plan when she meets and falls for hottie, Griffin Montgomery. But of course, Sheila wants him, too. It's a duel between the geeks and the populars. Eventually, Delores has to decide what is important enough to fight for and manage to find a happily-ever-after ending.

Where is your book available?  Amazon, Smashwords, and other online retailers.

Where did you get the idea for your book?  It came from several places. I remember as a teenager, I had a lot of anxiety and fear about what it meant to be popular and fit in. Like a lot of teens, I had this mixed-up idea that being popular meant all your problems would disappear! How crazy is that? Anyway, I teach now. High school kids are not much different today than when I was in school many years ago. They have many of the same hang-ups, the same fears, the same problems. I see it daily. So, even though I mainly write mysteries under my real name, Kathryn Long, I came up with the idea about writing a series of books about teens who face those problems. But I wanted to keep it light and entertaining. The modern fairytale format seemed like it would work. So far, I have written two – Cinderella Geek and Not So Snow White. The second one takes a different direction in that it has some fantasy/magical elements in it, but it still addresses the teen issues that the first one does.

How did you come up with the title? It sort of evolved. I knew I wanted this series to be based on fairytales and that each title should include the character name. After coming up with the main idea for the story, Cinderella seemed like a perfect match. And since Delores would be considered a geek. Cinderella Geek worked.

Who designed the cover? I did. This was done with Amazon’s CreateSpace software but I found and obtained rights to the photo image from Fotolio.com.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books? Only in my mind.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? Hmm ... that’s a tough one. I started writing short stories when I was in my teens. Actually, my first book, Oklahoma’s Gold, wasn’t tackled until I was in my forties! I never thought I would be able to complete such a huge task. Oddly enough, once I did, it became so much easier to write novel-length works after that.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters? Another tough question! How about Abigail Breslin as Delores, Alexander Gould as Trey, Ashley Benson as Sheila, Eden Sher as either Penelope or Lucy, Justin Bieber or his lookalike from Glee, Chord Overstreet as Griffin, Sean Young as the step-mom, and I think Julia Roberts as Aunt Gloria because she’s so compassionate. I will stop there.

Do you plan on writing sequels? Not a sequel, just similar stories. I’ve already written and published Not So Snow White, but I’m thinking my next in the series will be Alice in Realityland where a girl lands in a coma from a freak softball game accident and then instead of coming out of the coma, she keeps having these reality-show moments where she is a part of each show. And all she is trying to do is get back home. It’s a work in progress, but still inside my head! Any suggestions from your readers would be welcome.

How long did it take you to complete Cinderella Geek? Not nearly as long as I usually take to complete a novel. Probably about 3 months. It is shorter than what I normally write at around 43,000 words. Most of the time, I’m pretty wordy! 70,000 words is norm for me.

What is your favorite book? I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite. I love too many of them! I could say which genre is my favorite, and that would be mysteries. That would explain why Not So Snow White managed to turn out part mystery! I can’t seem to stay away from them – both reading and writing. As far as authors of teen novels, my favorite so far has to be Alex Flinn. The first book I read was Breathing Under Water as part of my junior language arts curriculum. That led me to read Beastly, which of course I’m sure every teen knows about from the movie. Flinn hits on some tough issues and doesn’t hold back on the details. That’s probably because she once worked as a counselor for troubled teens. As for fantasy, I enjoy those about witchcraft and not so much about the vampire craze going on. Harry Potter was my friend last summer. I read through all seven books in a two month period. I barely came up for air!

About K. Sean Jennkrist: Jennkrist is the alter-ego of me, Kathryn Long. I started writing when I was in my teens. I have currently two mysteries in print under my real name and two teen novels in print under Jennkrist. I have also written a couple of short stories published in the ezine, The Piker’s Press. I teach high school language arts during the school year and write full-time during the summers, although I do manage to sneak in a little writing when I’m not too busy teaching. It’s like a compulsive desire and so hard to do without! I am married and have three grown children, one who married just this summer, and two dogs, both maltese-poodles. We live in a quiet, little community in Green, Ohio. Writing and reading are my two favorite pastimes, but I also enjoy playing the guitar and traveling (though I don’t get to do nearly enough of it). I still have that dream of one day being on the best-seller list, and I encourage all young writers to dream the same. It’s something I’ve always agreed with ... if you have a desire to be a writer, don’t just talk about it, do it! That’s how authors are created.

Her Website:  http://www.kathrynlong.webs.com/  

Social Media sites:  Her blog: http://www.kjlong-teacherwriter.blogspot.com/ ;  Facebook page:  Author Kathryn Long ; and Twitter: @klteacherwriter

Links to where her book is available:

Amazon -- 



Smashwords --



Also available at bn.com, Sony and Apple, all in eBook format   

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