Monday, July 11, 2011

Michigander Monday: Kristina Riggle

Jumping The Candlestick's Michigander Monday feature expanded this year and now profiles not only Michigan children's book authors/illustrators (its main focus for the past 3 years) but also Michigan and Michigan-related authors in other genres as well.  And so I am thrilled this week to welcome novelist Kristina Riggle to Michigander Monday!

Kristina has three novels, the most recent of which, Things We Didn't Say, was released last month.  Those of you in the Lansing area, please note that she'll be at Schuler Books Eastwood this Tuesday, July 12, at 7 PM (details here).  Not in the Lansing area?  Be sure to check out her full tour schedule.

Now, for the interview!

Debbie:  Kristina, tell us a little about yourself.

Kristina:  I'm a recovering journalist. My glib answer for what I write is "I write novels about people with problems." I am co-editor for fiction at Literary Mama. I'm married with two kids and a dog.

Debbie:  And, of course, we want to know all about your latest book.

KristinaThings We Didn't Say is about a blended family in crisis when the middle son goes missing and the volatile ex-wife shows up on the scene. That's the plot, anyway. It's a complex web of relationships strained by secrets and withheld emotion.

Debbie:  Sounds wonderful - can't wait to read it!  Other books and projects on the horizon?

Kristina:  I'm finishing up Book Four, which I won't talk about until after my editor reads it! It's also under contract with HarperCollins.

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Kristina:  I've been to Chicago and I'm traveling all around Michigan this summer. The whole list is here:

Debbie:  Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore?

KristinaSchuler Books in Grand Rapids is my wonderful hometown store, but I have many that I love. Literary Life in Grand Rapids, also. McLean and Eakin in Petoskey. Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord. Round Lake Bookstore in Charlevoix.

Debbie:  Those are all fabulous bookstores!  How about a favorite place in Michigan?

KristinaCharlevoix, Michigan, is my favorite place! My grandparents retired there so I've visited often over the years. I set my debut novel, Real Life and Liars, there.

Debbie:  Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Kristina:  I love Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids. I won a writing contest as part of Festival in 1990, and I still remember getting that award up on the Calder Stage. It was a thrill. But I love seeing all the musical acts, and the dancing, and the artists with work on display.  It's such a vibrant, fun time.

Debbie:  A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

Kristina:  Dean Margaret Hauck, owner of the Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo, is someone very fun to know. If you stop into the Michigan News, tell her I sent you and talk baseball with her. Speaking of southwest Michigan, Bonnie Jo Campbell, National Book Award nominated author, is great fun and down to earth and full of energy. Wade Rouse, memoirist, is a Michigander these days and he's hilarious. Go hear him speak if you have the chance. I'm afraid I'll leave someone out! Michigan is full of great people.

Debbie:  Very much agreed!  How about something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about our state?

Kristina:  It's not all log cabins and farms outside of Detroit! Some people seem surprised we have actual cities here.

Debbie:  Finally, some residents of Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: Are you a "Michigander" or a "Michiganian"?

Kristina:  Michigander, of course.

Debbie:  I always like adding a tally mark to that column!  Kris, thank you so much for joining us today!

For more information about Kristina Riggle and her books, head over to her web site, find her on FaceBook, and/or follow her on Twitter!


Z-Kids said...

Glad to see Michigander Monday again! Thanks for the introduction to Madam Riggle and her work.
- AZ

Lori said...

I love the expansion of this feature. I'll have to check out Kristina's books. :-)