Friday, May 29, 2015

Interview and Giveaway: Kristin Rae and WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN

Happy Friday, everyone!

Today I have my friend (and YA author) Kristin Rae on the blog! We're talking about her debut WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN, release week, writing advice, and the amazing Texas YA book scene.

And we all know how much I AMORE (that's Italian, right? Maybe?) giving away free books, so there's a rafflecopter entry form after the interview. The winner will get a copy of WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN, as well as an autographed matching bookmark!

Before we get started, here's a little bit more about WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN...

Goodreads Description:
Pippa has always wanted to go to Italy … but not by herself. And certainly not to sit in art school the entire summer learning about dead guys’ paintings. When she steps off the plane in Rome, she realizes that traveling solo gives her the freedom to do whatever she wants. So it’s arrivederci, boring art program and ciao, hot Italian guys!

Charming, daring, and romantic, Bruno is just the Italian Pippa’s looking for—except she keeps running into cute American archeology student Darren everywhere she goes. Pippa may be determined to fall in love with an Italian guy … but the electricity she feels with Darren says her heart might have other plans. Can Pippa figure out her feelings before her parents discover she left the program and—even worse—she loses her chance at love?

About the author:
Kristin is a lover of books, music, movies, crafty things, and chocolate. Her young adult contemporary debut WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN is out now, and WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED is coming March 29, 2016 from Bloomsbury! She's represented by Marietta Zacker of the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency.

You can find her on her WEBSITE, on TWITTERFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM.

Thanks for stopping by the blog, K-Rae! And congratulations again on your YA debut, WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN! Such a good book. The boys! The gelato! How was your first book release? Was it everything you imagined? Anything surprising?
Thank you! Funny you mention gelato. I try to warn people to buy some and keep it on hand before they start reading! My first book release was a fun time. The Saturday after pub day, I had a launch party where friends, family, and local bookish people crammed into my local indie bookstore to listen to me make a fool of myself as I tried to detail my publishing story with major baby brain (which hasn't gone away now that baby is here, I might add….). I think it was what I imagined, and wasn't at the same time. There's so much build up before launching that first book. So much excitement! My day is finally here! My book is on shelves! Then the next Tuesday comes and it's someone else's turn. So I guess the biggest surprise is how quickly the excitement fizzles, and you're once again sitting on the couch in dirty yoga pants scarfing M&M's and trying to write another book. I'm sorry that was sort of a sad surprise haha!   

I don't pants and M&M's doesn't sound so sad. :)
As a writer and a reader, I'm addicted to author success stories. Can you tell us a little about how you got your agent that lead to your TWO book deal with Bloomsbury?

My agent pulled me out of her slush pile! I filled out the submission form on her agency's website, she contacted me requesting to read the whole thing, and it just happened that the day she asked for my full manuscript, I got my first offer from an agent. A week and a few more offers later, I was on the phone with Marietta and I knew she was my agent. About three months later my book sold to an editor at Bloomsbury for a new romance line they were planning, and they wanted to launch it with MY BOOK! I still get chills thinking about it. I signed on for two books with the romance line.

Any advice you can give writers who want to publish traditionally and are out there trying to get their own agent?

Read and write. Write and read. Be patient. Do your research. Take critiques seriously and don't get offended (unless someone is intentionally trying to be mean--don't take that seriously). If this isn't the book that's going to get an agent, write another one. Make it better. Don't give up on those voices in your head. 

Speaking of Book Two, can you give us any details about the next book coming out? Is that allowed? ;)

Yes! It's called WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED, and it'll be published March 29, 2016. It came from a special corner of my heart and I can't wait to share it!
Drama girl Maddie Brooks has always had high standards for guys. But she has yet to find one who can live up to the romantic, classic Hollywood heartthrobs, especially the dreamy song-and-dance man Gene Kelly. When Maddie begins to carpool with Jesse Morales, her new neighbor and star pitcher of the baseball team, she's struck by his wit, good looks, and love for his family--but a guy so into sports is definitely not her style. Then Maddie discovers that Jesse was raised as a dancer and still practices in the community theater dance studio to keep in shape. Perhaps her perfect dream guy exists after all! But when it becomes clear that baseball--not dance--is Jessie's passion, can Maddie find a way to let her dream guy go and appreciate the charms of the amazing guy in front of her?

I can NOT wait to read this one, Kristin! That cover is absolutely perfect! Why is March 2016 so far away? ;)

Speaking of books I can't wait to read...there's nothing more inspiring than going to a book signing and it's cool to get to meet my favorite writers and hear what they have to say. And Texas has the BEST book scene! (Can you sense the jealousy oozing from my keyboard?) Do you have any upcoming events? Anywhere you're going to be? 
Texas really does have THE BEST book scene! Seriously, I'm so thankful to live here. I've met so many talented writers and I always walk away inspired. The only event I have coming up is a 2015 debut author panel that I'm moderating. It's June 20th at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, with Katie M. Stout, Jenny Martin, and Meredith Moore! 

Kristin, it's times like this I really wish I lived closer! That event sounds amazing! For any local friends, HERE'S the information if you'd like to attend!

Thanks again for stopping by the blog, Kristin! Always fun to catch up with you! 

To win YOUR copy of Kristin's book, plus an autographed bookmark, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below...all you need is an email address so I can contact you if you win...all other items are optional.

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next time ~ wishing you all peace, love and BOOKS!


  1. Thanks for having me, friend!! <3

  2. It sounds like getting signed can be very difficult, but I am glad that this author was pulled out of the slush pile! This book sounds promising and fun ;)

    Check out my book review: