Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Saturday Spotlight with Kirsten Feldman and Giveaway of No Alligators in Sight

Welcome to the Saturday Spotlight, a weekly feature that shines the light on Indie and Debut authors. This week I have the pleasure introducing readers to:

KIRSTEN FELDMAN
~Author of No Alligators in Sight~



Hi Kirsten, welcome to the blog. Please tell us about yourself.

I grew up on Cape Cod and the Connecticut shoreline and now live outside of Boston, much too far from the ocean and the sand. Reading and writing have played a central part in my life both personally and professionally. I am rarely without a book in my hand. Brown University gave me my undergrad degree in comparative literature, and Tufts kindly did the same for my master's in English education. I have worked in a variety of school and museum education settings, including teaching 7th and 8th grade English.

My graduate advisor once told me that if teenagers don't make you laugh then consider another career. To me the adolescent voice has such vibrancy and depth to it, whether funny or not; many of my favorite books have this point of view, including: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. I write at least weekly on my blog, so readers can learn more about me and my projects there http://kirstenfeldmanbooks.blogspot.com/, and readers can subscribe to follow along by e-mail, too.

What inspired you to write No Alligators in Sight?


I felt I had a story to tell, and so I began. When I started writing the story, it was unequivocally Lettie's voice that told me the story. At first it was only one chapter, perhaps a short story, I thought, but then it grew and grew as Lettie had so much to share and became a novel. Both her character and the novel's settings, Provincetown and Key West, spoke very loudly in my head and demanded a venue of their own.

If you could pick a song to encapsulate your novel, what would it be and why?

Lettie is a classic rock fan, and the song that ran through my head frequently as I was writing was The Rolling Stones's "You Can't Always Get What You Want," especially the lines "But if you try sometimes well you might find/You get what you need." Without giving any spoilers, Lettie has wants and needs, as all of us do, but what she gets and what she wanted aren't always the same, as they often aren't in life. It is how she deals with this adversity that sets Lettie apart, I think, her resilience, her cutting wit, and her drive.



What authors or books have inspired you or get your recommendations?

To me NO ALLIGATORS IN SIGHT is reminiscent of books like Sarah Dessen's THAT SUMMER, Stephen Chbosky's THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, and Elizabeth Berg's DURABLE GOODS, where the teenage narrator voice shines through and guides the reader's experience in an intense, personal way. It's also a journey novel, with the journey happening literally and internally, so I often thought of Yann Martel's LIFE OF PI and Mark Haddon's THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME. Readers can also see what other authors I like and what I am currently reading on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7351355.Kirsten_B_Feldman

What do you want readers to walk away with after reading your book?

I hope that Lettie and her story will stay with readers as an affirmation of all that can be accomplished even when much seems bleak and sad. Lettie is a survivor and, I believe, an inspiration.

Can you share any future writing plans with us?

I am working on an as-yet-unnamed novel about a girl who lives at a prep school and longs to escape her life. If readers would like a glimpse in advance, I have a Pinterest page for the book (and one for No Alligators, too) at http://www.pinterest.com/kirstenfeldman/



Kirsten Feldman grew up on Cape Cod and the Connecticut shoreline and now lives outside of Boston.


Brown University gave Kirsten her undergrad degree in comparative literature and Tufts kindly did the same for her master's in English education. She's worked in a variety of school and museum education settings, including teaching 7th and 8th grade English.



GIVEAWAY

Today Kirsten is giving away one eBook copy of No Alligators in Sight. To enter please fill in the copter. 




In this coming of age novel, Lettie and Bert squeak by in a tiny town on Cape Cod, one parent an alcoholic and the other absent. After a string of bad decisions on Lettie’s part, their father ships them to their barely remembered mother for the summer, where they will learn hard lessons about themselves, their family, and their future by way of the Florida swamp. Throughout Lettie keeps her biting humor flowing, her razor-sharp pen at the ready, and her eye on her quest for a “normal” life.

Thanks for being on the spotlight Kirsten. To learn more about this author check out:

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3 comments:

  1. Sounds good. I like the title. As a former Floridian it drew me in.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never heard of this author. Sounds like a really great read!

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