Saturday, September 22, 2012

Showcase: How Lucky Are You by Kristyn Kusek Lewis

About the author:  The subjects that I cover, both in my fiction and my magazine work, reflect what I’m most curious about in my own life: how to navigate modern-day motherhood, how to live healthfully, and how to obtain a thoughtful, fully realized life and enjoy the journey while you’re at it.
My debut novel, HOW LUCKY YOU ARE (Grand Central/Five Spot) is available at bookstores nationwide and at Target, where it is an Emerging Authors pick. Rights have been sold in the UK (where it is published under the title THROUGH IT ALL) and in Brazil. I am hard at work on my second novel, a love story about two overambitious doctors and the tragic accident that changes their lives.
My career began at Glamour magazine, where I fell in love with health reporting. I went on to hold editing positions at Child magazine, where I was Lifestyle Editor, and New Woman, where I was Health & Fitness Editor. In 1999, I gave up editing to write full-time. Since then, I’ve written dozens of articles for many of the nation’s top, front-of-the-newsstand publications, including the New York TimesO: The Oprah MagazineReal SimpleReader’s DigestGlamourSelfRedbook,CosmopolitanMarie ClaireParentsAllureGood HousekeepingCooking LightHealthMen’s Health, and more. I’ve written health and relationships columns for Redbook, I’ve been a health writer for the New York Daily News, and I was a contributing editor at Organic Style.
I’m a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where I earned an MFA in creative writing. I live in North Carolina with my husband, my daughters, and two big dogs.
HOW LUCKY YOU ARE is an engaging and moving novel about three women struggling to keep their longstanding friendship alive. Waverly, who’s always been the group’s anchor, runs a cozy bakery but worries each month about her mounting debt. Kate is married to a man who’s on track to be the next governor of Virginia, but the larger questions brewing in their future are unsettling her. Stay-at-home mom Amy has a perfect life on paper, but as the horrific secret she’s keeping from her friends threatens to reveal itself, she panics. As life’s pressures build all around them, Waverly knows she has some big decisions to make. In doing so, she will discover that the lines between loyalty and betrayal can become blurred, happy endings aren’t always clear-cut, and sometimes you have to risk everything to gain the life you deserve.

Q. What inspires your writing?
A. I’m most inspired by ordinary, everyday moments—what you talk about with your partner at the end of the day, the activities you play with your kid on a quiet afternoon at home, what happens at the dinner table. To me, those seemingly insignificant moments are what shape our lives, and I find them endlessly interesting. 

Q. What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A. Making up stories for a living is a pretty excellent job. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. 
Q. What is the toughest part of being an author?
A. The work itself can be frustrating—when you’re working on a story and it’s just not happening the way you want it to, it can be pretty maddening. But I’ve found that the only way to deal with those tough days is to just write yourself out of it. 
Q. If you could not be author, what would you do/be?
A. I would teach. I loved school. 
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Ha! That is a tough, tough question! I’m stumped! The last autobiography I read was Rob Lowe’s so I think I’ll steal his excellent title—Stories I Only Tell My Friends. It’s good, right? 
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?

A. Ooh…I can’t pick just one! The Awakening by Kate Chopin is the first book I read over and over, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, all of Judy Blume’s books, all of Jhumpa Lahiri’s books, To Kill a MockingbirdA Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman. Charlotte’s Web
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Again, stumped! My kids are young, and like every mom I know, I’m trying to get the balance right between work and family and everything else, so I’ll say Kate Reddy in I Don’t Know How She Does It.
Q. What character from your book are you most like?
A. Waverly. Though as a friend pointed out, the similarities between us are all superficial details—we’re both half Polish, we both enjoy a “Cosby Show” rerun, and we both overuse the word “awesome.” 
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. Fall, hands-down. I despise hot weather so I live for that first cool, crisp morning. 
Q. What inspired your book cover? 
A. The designer did a phenomenal job with my cover (in my humble opinion, as I had nothing to do with it!). Waverly, the main character, owns a bakery. For a variety of reasons, her life isn’t working, hence the broken plate. 
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. I honestly can’t think of a thing! It’s been a glorious, celebratory whirlwind. 
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. Yes! My next book is about two overambitious young doctors in Durham, North Carolina. There’s a tragic accident and trouble ensues. Believe it or not, it’s a love story.  
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. So nice to meet you! I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl, so the fact that I’m actually doing it, and that people are actually reading it, is a dream come true. I pinch myself daily. Thank you!

Kristyn Kusek Lewis

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