Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kari Luna Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Kari Luna has seen the world from behind a Hammond Organ, through the lens of a commercial camera, and
from the top of a Swiss chalet. She writes stories, plays creative director, and eats apricots. She also covets cashmere sweaters, collects toys from the sixties, and thinks soul music is the cure for everything. In reality, (this one, anyway), Kari lives in Portland, Oregon where everyone, much to her delight, wears striped
knee socks. THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is her first novel.

Social Media

Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer? 

I think I always wanted to be a writer because I was a reader. I devoured Betsy, Tacy and Tib, Little Women, Trixie Belden, anything I could get my hands on, really. I wrote stories and plays from the first moment I can remember.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us? 

Stories are the great equalizer. They bridge the gap and bring us together regardless of anything else superficial. We all have hearts. That beat. Stories speak on that level, connecting us, hand to heart, heart to hand. They help us hold each other.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author? 

I've received a lot of great advice, but my favorite would be the idea that success in writing takes 10% brilliance and 90% persistence. So true.

In your book: The Theory of Everything, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it? 

Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who vanishes for days and sees things other people don't see. But when he disappears for good – and Sophie's Mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York to Havencrest, Illinois for a fresh start, Sophie starts seeing things. Just like her dad.

Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her scientific boy genius friend, Finny, Sophie decides to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it all began – New York City and NYU's physics department. As she discovers more about her father's research on string theory and her father, himself, she opens her hearts to the world's infinite possibilities – and her heart to love.

For those who are unfamiliar with Sophie, how would you introduce her?

Sophie Sophia means "wisdom, squared," so she's smart. She sews interesting pockets on her clothes and dresses in theme, so she has her own style. She listens to analog 80's mixtapes on a Walkman. She eats chocolate when she's nervous. And she's fiercely loyal to her friends – panda and otherwise. Sophie sees the world through a different lens, but she does it with a big heart, which makes her likeable, I think.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

I'm working on another novel featuring sisters in Paris, the science of scent, ornithology, a garage rock band and a bird who may or may not be something else. I'm always working on whimsical short stories, as well as a project for younger kids involving extinct animals.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 

It's a tie between Andrea Marr from Blake Nelson's Girl and Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Why? She'd have an amazing time with both of them for completely different reasons. But there would always be music involved.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style? 

The best way to find your voice and style is to write a lot. As much as humanly possible. One day you're going to re-read something you wrote and say, hey! That's me in there! It's like your style snuck in while you weren't looking. Writing should also make you feel like you're a kid in a candy store. Put in everything you love and then just... play.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?

The movie theater. I crashed my car into the marquee my first day there. I was listening to "Hot Hot Hot!!!" by The Cure, a guy jumped a lane, and I ran right into him and up onto the bricks. No one was hurt, but I was embarrassed forever. People reenacted it with candy boxes at the concession stand for months after. And that Cure song has never sounded the same.

Who was your first boyfriend?

When I think about my first boyfriend, I don’t think about the guy I held hands with on the bus or smiled at in Math Class. I think about the cute guy with the safety pins everywhere who turned me onto The Cramps. We met at church camp, where I met all of the cute punk-rock boys, and my parents drove me thirty minutes away to see him every Sunday. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Tell me about your first kiss.

My first kiss is pretty hazy, but I bet it was with my next-door neighbor, Mikey. He had red hair and freckles, like I did. He also had red-and-white striped peppermints pants. If I saw a guy wearing those pants right now? I'd totally kiss him. Wouldn't you?

What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back? 

Oh! That I don't love them back, definitely. That's truly the worst. Honesty is necessary, but it's so hard to leap with your heart. You always hope the other person is leaping toward you, too. It's kind of devastating when they're not. Or you're not.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?

The 1920's, definitely. I would have snuck into my mom's closet and borrowed all of her flapper dresses. Second runner up? The 60's, specifically 1965. I would have worn the best dress, ever, and danced on American Bandstand.

What is your greatest adventure?

Life! Seriously, is any adventure better than the one that's happening right now? I love traveling, so whether I'm doing it in real life or with characters in books, I feel like every day is the chance to have a Grand Adventure. It's probably why I adore writing fiction.

Where can readers stalk you?

Twitter: @wordette
Instagram: @wordette

One part Libba Bray's GOING BOVINE, two parts String Theory, and three parts love story equals a whimsical novel that will change the way you think about the world.

Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don’t see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie’s mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.

Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began—New York City and NYU’s physics department. As she discovers more about her dad’s research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world’s infinite possibilities—and her heart to love.

Perfect for fans of Going Bovine, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The Probability of Miracles.

The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna tells the quirky story of Sophie Sophia, a high school sophomore who is experiencing some rather bizarre hallucinations. Her missing physicist father used to experience the same whimsical delusions of singing animals dancing in parades. After meeting Walt, a shaman panda, he guides Sophie through this curious world. Wanting to know answers and possibly tracking down her father, she finally gathers enough courage to go back to New York City where everything had started.

The start of Sophie’s hallucinations is rather weird and hard to explain. Although it may seem like nonsense to anyone else, there was a sense of beauty in all of it. She’s the ultimate driving force in this book. Her unique view of the world is quite intriguing and I respect her will and determination for wanting to know the truth and the reason why her father disappeared. She showed wisdom way beyond her years and she was a character that many readers will find enjoyable and relatable.

The book is built upon Sophie and her father’s hallucinations and whether they were caused by mental illness or simply drifting into another universe. The direction that author Kari steered this unique YA novel into is wonderful. I felt like it was a great companionship for anyone who is going through with changes in their life. Sophie’s search for answers and the search for her father tell an amazing story of someone discovering inner sources of strength in order to triumph over the feebleness of youth. The Theory of Everything is a very imaginative story that manages to captivate readers with its vivid and lucid scenes.

You can purchase The Theory of Everything at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Kari for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Theory of Everything, Poster & Button by Kari Luna.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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