3 May 2010

Interview: KERIS STAINTON, the author of DELLA SAYS: OMG!

As a part of her blog tour, I had the pleasure of interviewing Keris Stainton, the author of Della Says: OMG!, which is her debut novel and it comes out on 6 May 2010!

To see what the first readers thought of the book, please visit Chicklish, Novelicious and Rhiana Reads. I'll be reviewing the book soon (cannot wait!!!) and in the mean time please enjoy the interview below. :)

Q: You're a debut novelist so please do tell us a bit about yourself. I also love your name, it's fabulously unique! Is there a story behind it and how is it pronounced properly?
A: Okay. :) I'm 38, which I can't quite believe since I feel about 25. I'm married with two little boys and I live in Lancashire, which is lovely. I spend WAY too much time on Twitter and I love YA fiction and American TV shows like The West Wing, Glee, Gossip Girl, Friends... My name rhymes with "ferris" - like ferris wheel or Ferris Bueller. The name itself is Welsh and the proper spelling is Cerys (Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have a daughter named Cerys), but I was actually named after a friend of my mum and she spelled hers Kerris. Yes, with two Rs. I changed it to Keris (with one R) because I think it looks better that way.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer? What was your road to publication like?
A: I've always written, yes, but I didn't really think seriously about being a writer until a few years ago. I didn't have the confidence, I don't think. My road to publication was actually pretty smooth, but it was slow. It's taken four years from signing with my agent to seeing Della in the shops (actually, I haven't seen it in the shops yet, but I know it's there!).

Q: Is there a particular reason why you've decided to write YA instead of adult novels? Also, what authors do you look up to?
A: No. I just had an idea for a story about a teenager and so I wrote it. But I absolutely love YA and probably read more YA than adult fiction these days. (Although I have also written an adult novel, but I don't have a publisher for that... yet *crosses fingers*). And there are LOADS of writers I look up to. Meg Cabot is the YA goddess, of course. I also love E Lockhart and Maureen Johnson. For adult fiction, I'm a huge Marian Keyes fan and I really love Lisa Jewell too.

Q: What does an average day in your life look like?
A: I take my eldest son to school and then either drop the baby off with my (very kind!) in-laws or put him in bed and then I get to work. Or rather to Twitter. Then I answer emails, blog, tweet and generally faff about on the internet, all the time worrying about the fact that I haven't even opened my writing file. I'll do this every day for weeks until it all becomes too much and I force myself to do some novel writing. And then I feel much better and promise myself I'll write regularly in future. And then I do the same again. Maybe I should go to a hypnotist or something...

Q: How long did writing Della take? What inspired the book?
A: It took about four months, I think. The book was due at the same time as my son, Joe, so I knew I had to get on with it. It was inspired by my own experience. When I was a teenager, my sister had a party and my diary went missing. I started thinking about how much worse that would be if it happened now - with social media and mobile phones, etc.

Q: Tell us a bit about Della - how would you introduce her to your potential readers? In what way can she be a role model to the young girls today?
A: Della's quite insecure and self-conscious. Her mum and sister are both gorgeous and so even though Della is too (but in a different way) she can't see it. She also worries about revealing too much of herself because she's afraid people won't like her if they know the real her. So of course having people read her diary - her most intimate secrets - is horrifying to her. I think she's a role model because she learns to be honest, to be herself and not to worry too much about what other people are thinking about her. I was terrible for that when I was a teenager. What I didn't understand then is that no one is that bothered about anyone else because they're too busy worrying about themselves!

Q: The original title of your debut novel was Della Says: OMG! WTF? - is there a particular reason why the last part was removed?
A: Some of the shops thought it was a bit too rude, which I'd been worried about too. It was an eye-catching title, for sure, but I prefer the new title. What about you?

Q: The book comes out next week and the rumour has it that you're planning a launch party - can you tell us more about that? And most importantly, what will you be wearing??? (Joking about the last part as I know you've been stressing over it, hehe.)
I'm having two launch parties! Argh! One in London - where I lived for 10 years and a lot of my friends and publishing industry people are - and one in Manchester, near where I live now. I don't know what I was thinking of. I'm promised they'll be the best nights of my life, but I'm in denial about them. I'm even more in denial about what I'm going to be wearing. I've got some amazing shoes, but not much else. I really wish they were pajama parties. I can manage pajamas. :)

Q: What's next for you? Are you already working on a new book? If so, do tell us ALL about it!
A: I'm supposed to be working on one, yes. :) It's about a British girl named Jessie who goes to New York following a horrible break up, and Finn, an American boy who's in love with his best friend's girlfriend. They're perfect for each other. But first they have to meet... and there are 8 million people in New York.

Ooh, sounds intriguing - I look forward to learning more about it as time goes by!
Thanks for stopping by and answering my questions, Keris - and good luck with the launch, I'm sure it'll be a success! :)

To learn more about Keris Stainton, visit her website or her book related blog. You can also find her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can get your own copy of Della Says: OMG! at Amazon, Book Depository or WHSmith.
The tour continues tomorrow at chicklittings.blogspot.com so don't forget to drop by.


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prophecygirl said...

Great interview guys! I think I prefer the new title too, though I agree that OMG: WTF was a bit more eye-catching.

elizabeth said...

Loved the interview. Her name is unique! I like the new title better than the old, too. Definitely going to keep my eye on this book.

Amber Skye said...

Well I agree with her about the title. The other one was a bit rude lol

Great review! I'll be looking into her books.


Iffath♥Ahmed said...

Awesome interview! I'm so excited for what else Keris has to give us! Pretty name, by the way :) Looking forward to your review :) x

Xuxana said...

Great interview! I didn't know Keris was 38, she looks so young! Also surprised at how long the road to publication took. So glad the books out there now though :)

Susie said...

Awesome interview - always a relief to know other writers have the ezact same work (ahem) ethic (cough) as me! Loved Della so much.

The Bookish Type said...

Great interview! Keris sounds like a really nice and interesting person! =) Good luck with Delia Says: OMG!

Keris Stainton said...

Thanks so much for the comments, everyone. (Would it be bad to give Xuxana a special thanks for hers?! ;) )

And thank you Suzana for such great questions.

Keris x

This Miss Loves to Read said...

I love the interview! The author is so nice and casual. Now I want to read the book as well.

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