Today I am interviewing Clara Kensie!
Clara is AMAZING and I loved her novel “Aftermath” I will leave description and links for the novel somewhere below!
If you’d like to read my review on Aftermath click HERE
and click HERE if you’d like to read all the other interview’s I’ve done so far this month! ❤
ABOUT CLARA KENSIE
Clara Kensie, author of dark fiction for young adults
…don’t forget to breathe…
Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.
Today Clara is a RITA© Award-winning author of dark fiction for young adults. Her super-romantic psychic thriller series, Run To You, was named an RT Book Review Editors Pick for Best Books of 2014, and Run to You Book One: Deception So Deadly, is the winner of the prestigious 2015 RITA© Award for Best First Book.
Clara’s latest release is Aftermath, a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines YA contemporary in the tradition of Room and The Lovely Bones. Aftermath (Simon and Schuster/Merit Press) is on Goodreads’ list of Most Popular Books Published in November 2016, and Young Adult Books Central declared it a Top Ten Book of 2016.
Clara’s favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.
1- how long have you been writing?
I’ve always liked to write! I took a creative writing class in high school and another in college, but I never considered making a career of it until a few years ago. What made me turn that corner was my love of reading. I’d just finished reading Harry Potter, and then Twilight, and both times I was so sad when the series ended. I realized that the only way I could spend forever with characters and stories I love was to write them myself. So that’s what I did. I wrote the first two books in my Run to You series, a super-romantic YA psychic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that transcends secrets, lies, and danger. Writing those books was the most joyous time in my life. They were published in 2014 and 2015, and I love them today as much as I loved them then. I’ve gone on to write other books, but who knows, I might continue the Run to You series eventually. I’m not ready to say goodbye to those characters.
2- Is there a certain genre you’d like to get into?
My books fall into several genres—I have combinations of thrillers, paranormal, contemporary, and romance. Those are the genres I love, and quite honestly I can’t imagine adding another genre to the mix.
3- Who designed your (latest) book cover?
The cover for my latest book, Aftermath, was designed by my publisher’s cover artist, Alexandra Artiano. I love it. The book deals with some pretty tough topics, but woven throughout are themes of hope and healing, as well as triumph over tragedy. I wondered if the cover artist would be able to capture both the darkness and the light. When I saw the cover for the first time, I literally gasped, and then I cried. She did it, and she did it beautifully. The innocence of the ribbon floating in the sky—or maybe it’s falling from the sky—juxtaposed with the ominous title, is haunting and hopeful at the same time. It’s so simple, and that’s what makes it so powerful and so perfect. It’s a single, iconic image, and from now on, anytime anyone sees a blue hair ribbon, they’ll think of Aftermath.
4- Where do your ideas come from?
Some of my books, such as Aftermath, are inspired by events that happened in real life. Others start with a “what if”: what if a girl is the only member of her family without a psychic power, and her family is being hunted by a secret government agency intent on killing them? (That “what if” inspired my Run to You series.)
5- If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
I have a day job as an accountant! Yep, when I’m not using my right brain to write novels, I’m using my left brain to do financial reports. They are both challenging and satisfying in completely different ways. Ideally, though, I’d like to be a psychologist for teenagers or a guidance counselor at a high school.
6- Do you ever experience writers block? If so how do you get over it?
Yes. I’m just starting to come out of a years-long writers block. After some publishing frustrations, I lost the joy that I had once felt when writing. But over the past few months, I began taking serious action to rediscover that joy. I put things in perspective, I stopped stressing about things that I can’t control, I cut ties with toxic people in my life, I’m doing a twelve-week program called The Artist’s Way that helps artists reignite their creativity, and finally and probably the most effective, I stopped going on social media. Last weekend I finally finished the draft of a manuscript that I’d been struggling with for years.
7- How did you come up with your title?
Aftermath is about a girl who returns home four years after being abducted by a pedophile. The book begins with her rescue and follows her journey from victim to survivor. It’s a story of hope, healing, and triumph over tragedy. I chose the title Aftermath because that’s exactly what the book is—it’s the aftermath of the girl’s ordeal. What a lot of readers don’t know is that very often, publishers change the author’s title. I’m thrilled that the publisher of Aftermath—Merit Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster—kept my title. It’s perfect.
8- what is your perfect writing spot?
My perfect writing spot is a month by myself, alone, in solitude, in a remote cabin surrounded by the autumn woods, with my laptop, notebooks, colorful pens and post-it notes, a cozy blanket, a fire in the fireplace, endless coffee and tea, and yummy snacks. By myself, alone, and in solitude. Did I mention that part already?
9- What do you do in your free time?
I watch a lot of TV. I love Netflix so much. It makes me so happy. If Netflix ever ceases to exist, I would go through four stages of grief, but not the fifth, because I would never reach the acceptance stage.
10- Anything you’d like to add?
I hope my readers love reading my books as much as I love writing them!
11- Do you write friends, family, or even strangers you met into your novels?
Sometimes elements of my kids’ lives will make it into my books—I have two teenagers, and I write books about teenagers, so it’s bound to happen—but it’s only little things like the model of the junker car my son drives or the colors of my daughter’s soccer uniform. A neighbor once asked me to name a character after her. I tried, but I had trouble giving that character her own personality—she kept turning into my neighbor. And then I ended up cutting the character anyway because she wasn’t necessary for the story.
12- If you were a superhero what would your name be?
Oo. Tough one. If I could chose a super power, it would be time travel. So I guess my superhero name would be sometime like Epoch or Axis or Eon or Jiffy (which is an actual scientific unit of time, look it up) or Leap. Hmm. I like Eon. Eon it is!
Seriously WONDERFUL answers!
Thank you Clara Kensie AKA Eon for letting me interview you today! And you’ll always have me as your #1 fan 😉 I loved Aftermath so much. And the cover! I’ll be honest, I love simple covers so I kinda fell so in love with Aftermath’s cover. I don’t remember if I read it in 2016 or this year . . . but BOOK OF THE YEAR! XD it was really good.
Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed this interview with the luvely, amazing, *spotlight* CLARA KENSIE! ❤
November 2016, Merit Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster
Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad’s a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte’s twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life–the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.
Young Adult Books Central Top Ten Books of 2016
Goodreads Most Popular Books Published in November 2016
Children’s Book Review Best New Young Adult Books November 2016
“Charlotte’s bravery will inspire readers. Her ongoing struggle to confront the horror of what she’s endured rings true, and her recovery process could provide therapeutic reading for rape survivors. Teens who revel in worst-case scenario stories like Natasha Preston’s The Cellar and Kevin Brooks’s The Bunker Diary will enjoy the shocking plot twists.” —School Library Journal
“A gut-wrenching, emotional tale of a teen who is found after being abducted. There’s…also a ray of hope in this story. This makes this book stand out among the others out there. Charlotte goes from being a victim of horrific abuse to a survivor. The ending chapter is perfect. A story of hope and the power of love.” –YA Books Central
“Kensie writes a powerful novel about the will to survive under terrifying circumstances and the impact of a kidnapping—and its aftermath .. .The cast of supporting characters is well developed and strong … .Give this to readers who love gripping, heart-wrenching tales of hope and survival.” (VOYA Magazine)
“For all of us who have watched the chilling news of kidnapped females rescued and thought ‘There but for the grace of God’ and ‘How do they go on?’…here is the answer fully imagined, exquisitely written, ultimately triumphant. You will cry all the way through this story but you will not put it down.” ~Jennifer Echols, award-winning author of Going Too Far
“Kensie deftly explores what happens after the supposedly happy ending of a nightmare. But nothing is as simple as it seems–not even the truth.” ~April Henry, author of The Girl I Used to Be; Girl, Stolen; and The Night She Disappeared
“A captivating story of self-(re)discovery, Clara Kensie’s Aftermath introduces us to Charlotte, a sixteen-year-old girl trying hard to reclaim her place in a family decimated by her kidnapping four years earlier. Charlotte wants only to catch up to her twin Alexa and live out all the plans they’d made as children, but finds the journey back to ‘normal’ is not only hers to take. Charlotte is a heroine to cheer for…with gut-twisting bravery and raw honesty, she takes us through that journey–back to the unspeakable tortures she endured in captivity and forward to how those years scarred her family, leaving us intensely hopeful and confident that she will not merely survive, but triumph.” ~Patty Blount, author of Some Boys; Send; TMI; and Nothing Left to Burn
“Delving deep into the darkness of abduction and its ‘Aftermath,’ Kensie takes us on an unflinching journey of healing, courage, and triumph of the human spirit. Heartbreaking, yet stubbornly hopeful.” ~Sonali Dev, author of A Bollywood Affair and The Bollywood Bride
“Aftermath is a timely, powerful portrait of hope amid tragedy, strength amid brokenness, and the healing power of forgiveness.” ~Erica O’Rourke, award-winning author of the Torn trilogy and the Dissonance series
“Gripping, powerful, deeply moving, Aftermath is a book I didn’t want to end. It’s written with such compassion that it will help readers heal. A must-read.” ~Cheryl Rainfield, author of Scars and Stained
there is no author tomorrow! IT’S EASTER! ❤
so have an AMAZING day!
HAPPY READING, LUVs