Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!
This Saturday Night we welcome Kim Turrisi. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.
Kim, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?
I’m an Air Force brat, dog lover, die hard Florida State fan and have a killer sock collection. JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY is my debut and quite close to me. It deals with the aftermath of suicide, something I experienced first-hand. After spiraling out of control, fifteen-year-old Kai Sheehan lands at Grief Camp. JANT offers a roadmap for anyone who has been touched by loss and anyone who is looking for hope in a broken world.
What do you think about 70s music? I love it!! I write to music so often times, it’s 70’s music that inspires me. I’m listening to it right now.
When did you feel like this is it, I’m an author whose words are going to be read by, and have an impact on, others?
You know, I think it really hit me when I held the hard copy of my book in my hand for the first time. But, when I walked into Vroman’s Bookstore the night of my first signing and saw the big display of my book, I started to cry the happiest tears.
What do you want your readers to take with them after having read your books?
That there’s always hope. Even when things look the darkest, I want them to remember that they matter. Often when things seem the worst, stepping back helps refocus your energy to a more positive place. If not, then it’s okay to ask for help.
What does the future look like for you, Kim? Future projects, releases etc.?
I’m working on several new books, one I just submitted to my agent. Fingers crossed.
If one (or several) of your characters got invited to a 70s-themed party, what would they wear and what song and/or person would bring them to the dance floor?
If all five of the kids who meet at Grief Camp went to a 70s themed party together, Kai would have on a short skirt and a band t-shirt, probably The Beatles or Led Zeppelin with a suede fringe vest. Graham being the brooder that he is would be dressed in tight, dark jeans, a white t-shirt and black leather jacket. Jack would be more fashion forward with plaid pants and a matching vest. Cass would rock a flowy, long peasant dress probably in a decorative, bright pattern. Ben would probably be in baggy pants and a tie dye shirt. These five are so broken but together they become a family so I think the only song that would get them all dancing would be WE ARE FAMILY by Sister Sledge.
You can easily look back at the 70s and see how the times have changed. If you look at the book community and publishing world today, what changes would you like to see for the future?
Like almost everyone I know, I’d love to see more diversity in both authors and content so it mirrors the world we live in.
Kim, can you recommend two already published diverse books you’ve read and loved and one you can’t wait to read?
THE HATE YOU GIVE by Angie Thomas is stunning. IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo is heartbreakingly lovely. I can’t wait to read WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon.
Lastly, to end this interview, do you have a favorite 70s song to recommend your readers?
I have soooo many but a go to of mine is LET IT BE by The Beatles. It’s a gentle reminder that even in dark times, you should just let it be. Be good to yourself. That’s always served me well. When I’m stressed out or anxious, this song calms me. It also feels like an answer to the turmoil in the world right now. The line that sums it up for me is, “When the broken hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, let it be.”
Thank you so much, Kim, for answering my questions. I hope you readers enjoyed this interview, I know I did! Eager to find out more about Kim Turrisi? All information about her and her books can be found on her website. You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads and buy her books on Amazon.
About The Author
A graduate of Florida State University, Kim Turrisi began her career in film and television. After a year of on-set production (getting coffee, wrangling actors and taking lunch orders) Kim segued to the development side of the business. First working as a development executive at Columbia-Tri-Star and eventually shepherding many projects in family entertainment for Disney, Viacom and Hallmark.
Kim created and wrote an online web series for which she won a Daytime Emmy. She wrote for ABC Family’s webisode series, PRETTY DIRTY SECRETS, an internet companion piece to smash hit PRETTY LITTLE LIARS.
While she’s always been a voracious reader and writer, she never thought about writing for teens until she immersed herself in the children’s publishing world as the Director of Special Projects for the Society of Book writers and Illustrators. There, reading children’s literature is a big part of her job.
Her debut Young Adult novel JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY is loosely based on the author’s own experience, the debut YA novel follows 16-year-old Kai as she struggles through the emotional aftermath of her sister’s suicide. Kai spends a month at grief camp, discovering a roadmap to piecing her broken heart back together.
One of Kim’s favorite parts of the writing process is to create playlists for her characters that she listens to when she writes. When she revises her manuscripts, she’s generally in mismatched plaid and her desk is riddled with junk food. She collects Chuck Taylor’s, Van’s, and has a killer sock collection.
Born in Hawaii, she credits her love of travel to her life as an Air Force brat moving every two years. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found obsessing over her dogs, Riley and Rocco. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kimmyt22.
Since I promised a very 70s music-themed interview series, I have one last surprise, a favorite 70s song of mine (and there will be a new one every week yay). Now let’s get those dance moves on, here’s Walk This Way by Aerosmith.
Do you want to listen to all of the songs from my Saturday Night Author Fever interview series?
To make things easier I have created a Spotify playlist that features all of the songs mentioned in my Saturday Night Author Fever posts. You can check out the playlist below or go here. Every time a new interview is published new songs will be added to it.
Thank you so much for tuning in this Saturday, what did you think of the interview and the music? Let me know in the comments below or on my Twitter!
*Thank you to the lovely Claribel Ortega for the gifs used in this blog series. You have to follow her on Twitter and check out her website here.