Therese here. Today’s guest is returning author and WU friend Kristina McMorris. Kristina’s second novel, a dramatic WWII tale called Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, released just yesterday to high acclaim.
“[Bridge of Scarlet Leaves] gracefully blossoms through swift prose and rich characters…this gripping story about two ‘brothers’ in arms and a young woman caught in between them hits all the right chords.” — Publishers Weekly
“A sweeping yet intimate novel that will please both romantics and lovers of American history.” — Kirkus Reviews
Imagine the scene: two lovers–one American, one Japanese-American–on the eve of Pearl Harbor. Imagine life for these people forever changed after that day, as they try to pursue some form of happiness–and find some form of justice–at a war relocation camp. Kristina’s book is truly a page turner, imbued with real-world tensions, unique perspectives, and characters worth rooting for. I’m so glad she’s here with us today to talk a little about how she developed as a writer–not with a “bought a craft book” type of story or a “how my literary degree helped me in one hundred ways” type of story, but a “how a unique real world experience helped develop writerly bones” story. Enjoy!
The Author’s Arsenal
I was nine years old when my mom heard our local ABC affiliate was holding auditions for a co-host spot on a new kids’ weekly TV program. Urging that it would be a fun experience to merely try out, she dressed me up, feathered my hair (hey, it was the ’80s), and carted me down to the station. There, amidst the intimidating mass of stage parents and seasoned Mini-Me thespians, I was matched up with a boy who clearly wished his audition partner had a little more…make that, any experience in the biz.
Regardless, we ran through our scripts together, received a five-second lesson on teleprompters, and soon were ushered into a dark studio with two monstrous cameras pointed at a pair of chairs, not unlike a CIA interrogation room. On cue, we were to sprint into the spotlight and hop into our chairs, pretending to arrive just in time to host the show, then immediately read our lines.
Sounded pretty straight-forward. Except for one tiny detail: [Read more…]