Saturday, May 28, 2016

0 Kathleen Baldwin, author of EXILE FOR DREAMERS, on powering up what is uniquely yours

EXILE FOR DREAMERS is the second novel in the Stranje House series, and we're excited to have Kathleen Baldwin here to tell us more about it.

Kathleen, what was your inspiration for writing EXILE FOR DREAMERS?

My books are usually centered around girls who don't fit into society very well. They are the Odd Thomases of the worlds they inhabit. I suppose this comes from the fact that I'm a bit peculiar myself.

In EXILE FOR DREAMERS Tess has prophetic dreams and, (true confession here), I’ve had dreams that predict future events. It freaks my kids out when I call them already knowing something has happened.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is heroines one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

I cried all the way through writing the scene where Tess tells about her mother’s death. It was extremely difficult to write this scene because I watched my own mother die the summer after my freshman year in high school. Writing this death and loss from her viewpoint tore me apart, but in the end, I felt a little healed and very pleased with how that scene turned out. It remains one of my very favorites.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I think my readers would like ANY story about brave young women who have the courage to discover their strengths, build strong friendships, engage in witty banter, and oh yeah, a little romance.

According to Amazon, readers who buy my books also buy Marissa Meyers Lunar Chronicles, (which IMO is a fabulous series), Robin LeFevre's Grave Mercy series, Keira Cass’s Selection series, and Gail Carriger’s Etiquette and Espionage series.

How long did you work on EXILE FOR DREAMERS?

Stories brew in our subconscious throughout our lives. My friend, Susan Dennard, the brilliant author of NYT bestselling TRUTHWITCH would explain that it took me a lifetime plus eight months. She's spot on! It took eight months for me to get EXILE FOR DREAMERS down on paper, but it took a lifetime to ripen into a story ready to be told.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

I love that you asked this question!

Every book teaches me something new. Every book is practice for the next book. I love humor, and so in the past I strayed away from anything too emotionally raw in the plot. This book taught me that I can write about painful subjects and yet still infuse humor in the story.

What do you hope readers will take away from EXILE FOR DREAMERS?

Mostly, I hope they'll just have fun reading it, but in the end, for me it's about hope and courage.

It takes guts to stand up and do something we are uniquely capable of doing, but that act of courage makes a difference. At booksignings, I bring a stamp that says, “Be brave each and every day. You're changing the world around you, creating endless ripples with every choice.”

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

Not one AHA moment, HUNDREDS! ☺

However, the one thing that turned the tide for me was when I learned to get the emotions on the page.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Find the strongest aspects of your voice and DO more of that. Power up what is uniquely yours!

What are you working on now?

I'm writing book 3 in the STRANJE HOUSE series, REFUGE FOR MASTERMINDS. It's told from Lady Jane's point of view and I’m having a wonderful time capturing her sharp-tongued wit and sometimes snarky view of life. The hero, Alexander, is a intriguing character. He’s a genius, Robert Fulton’s nephew, but he’s also a rustic American and a terrible tease. He's always saying something that upsets Lady Jane's highborn English sensibilities.


Exile for Dreamers
by Kathleen Baldwin
Tor Teen
Released 5/24/2016

A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure "completely original and totally engrossing."

Tess can't run far enough or fast enough to escape the prophetic dreams that haunt her. Dreams bring nothing but death and grief, and Tess refuses to accept that she may be destined for the same madness that destroyed her mother. Until her disturbing dreams become the only means of saving Lord Ravencross, the man she loves, and her friends at Stranje House from Lady Daneska and her lover, the Ghost-agent of Napoleon, who has escaped from Elba. Can the young ladies of Stranje House prevail once more? Or is England destined to fall into the hands of the power-mad dictator?

Purchase Exile for Dreamers at Amazon
Purchase Exile for Dreamers at IndieBound
View Exile for Dreamers on Goodreads


Kathleen Baldwin SMALL Bio_TorAward-winning author Kathleen Baldwin loves adventure in books and in real life. She taught rock climbing in the Rockies, survival camped in the desert, was stalked by a mountain lion, lost an argument with a rattlesnake, enjoyed way too many classes in college, fell in love at least a dozen times, and married her very own hero. They’ve raised four free-spirited adventurous children.
Find more about Kathleen on her Website, Newsletter, Twitter, Facebook


Have you had a chance to read EXILE FOR DREAMERS yet? Do you have stories that have been ripening for a lifetime? Are you able to get emotions on the page? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Anisaa, Sam, Erin, Susan, Michelle, Laura, and Kristin

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