Author Interview with Kim Turrisi, Author of 'Carmilla'



Hi Kim! Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of our questions!
What was your process in going to different publishing houses and trying to get a book deal?-


It was a lot of rejection to start with! Not with Carmilla but with my first book. I started querying editors and agents and wasn’t getting anywhere. I realized the first book I was working on just wasn’t…working. Another YA author asked me if anything profound happened to me when I was fifteen. I blurted out, “my sister committed suicide”. He said, “That’s the book you should be writing.” So, I did. As painful as it was, it definitely set me on my path to success. Once I finished it and sent it out, I got a lot of positive feedback and landed an agent who sold it (JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY) to KCP Loft for their inaugural Young Adult imprint.-

Do you have any authors you look to for inspiration?
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I have a group of incredible friends who are talented YA authors who are my sounding board and who keep me on track whenever I go off the rails. A trait most writers share. Veronica Rossi, Aaron Hartzler, Martha Brockenbrough, Anna Shinoda, Ellen Hopkins. They are always an inspiration to me. And, my very dear friend, Marlene King has been with me every step of my career. She has been a huge support for me. We’re working on something really fun together. I can’t wait. In addition, I am so fortunate to have an inner circle who I count on every single day. I look to them for everything. ☺
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What’s the process like when adapting a web series to a novel? Is it easier than starting from scratch or do the restrictions make it more challenging?
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In many ways it was more challenging to adapt the book from the web series that I love. These are beloved characters and I wanted to respect that. I love them. They are rich and well developed. I was careful with every step. In my debut, JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY, all the mistakes were mine to make. I could take as much dramatic license as I wanted to because it was my creation. Carmilla was not so I wanted to preserve the integrity of it.
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‘Carmilla’ is a captivating web-series, and the same in a readable platform. What about ‘Carmilla’ hooked you the most?
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The characters. They’re so well written, so well defined. You can’t help but fall in love with each of them with all their flaws and unique character traits. They’re totally irresistible.
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If you were describing ‘Carmilla’ to someone who hadn’t heard of the web-series or adaptation, what three words would you use to get them hooked?
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Sexy,
Queer
Addicitve

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When is your favourite time of day to write?
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I love to write in the morning. It’s quiet. It’s the perfect way to start the day. I’m fresh and ready to write. When I get stuck, I can go outside and take my dogs for a walk. That helps me work through things. The coffee pot is on. Perfect. My brain starts to fade as the day turns to night.
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How do you balance writing and your everyday life? Is being an author your full time job or do you have to shift between writing and other work?
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What is balance? Honestly, I struggle with balancing a full time job, writing and having a life. I’m getting better at it. I write pretty much every weekend and I take retreats up to the central coast to write at the beach. It’s my happy place. I try to force myself to get out of my pajamas at some point during the weekend to go out.
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‘Carmilla’ is an extremely popular web series, and a novella before that, so are you worried at all about how your written adaptation will be received?
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Worried? More like terrified. I love, love the fan following of this show. They are passionate, loyal and love all things Carmilla. I’m new to the mix so it does concern me. I will tell you that every word I wrote, I thought about obsessively. At the end of the day, as a writer, you do the best that you can and hope it’s enough and that it resonates with the audience. With an adaptation, you worry a little bit more.
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Fandoms are an absolute when it comes to the author and web-series life. What are your favourite fandoms?
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Besides this one, I adore the Pretty Little Liar fandom. I loved watching them interact with the cast and writers.


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Now this is an extreme cliche, but how did you get into writing? What is your story?
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I’ve always been a writer. I love words. I grew up reading and writing. Don’t put anything math in front of me, I think I’m allergic to it. Give me any topic to write about and I’m all in. From the time I could write. I was a freelance writer for magazines then wrote many screenplays then worked my way into web series which was so much fun. Now, novels. Next up, I am adapting my debut to film which I’m super excited about.
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Thank you! We hope to talk to you again soon, and please keep us up to date with any of your upcoming works!
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Thank you!!

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