Monday, August 18, 2014

Kym Brunner Author Interview

Photo Content from Kym Brunner

Kym Brunner's method of creating a manuscript: write, procrastinate, sleep, repeat, but she wishes there was an app for this. She's addicted to chai tea, going to the movies, and reality TV. When she's not reading or writing, Kym teaches 7th grade full time. She lives in the Chicago area with her family and two trusty writing companions, a pair of Shih Tzus named Sophie and Kahlua. She's repped by Eric Myers of The Spieler Agency.


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I guess for me, storytelling and reading open up so many portals of knowledge. I’ve learned a lot through researching my own books as well as reading others. Not to mention that a person can be transported somewhere they’ll never be able to visit in real life. A win-win!

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
Let’s see…maybe that I took falconry apprentice lessons for several months when I researched another novel I’ve written (unpublished at the moment), Flip the Bird. Afterwards, I went on hunting expeditions with a group of falconers. Was a super cool experience.

Also, I’m a big football fan (Go Bears!) and never miss a game. Don’t even call me on Sundays from September to January. :)

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
All-time favorite book just happens to be for adults instead of YA (which I almost exclusively read), but it’s a suspense thriller. GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn kept me turning pages like mad, eager to find out what happened next. It had a ton of clever plot twists, which I love, as well as intricate details about individuals, much the way my beloved Stephen King is a master at.

My favorite YA would probably be Hunger Games. Was so unique and powerful that it blew me away the first time I read it. Popping into another world unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in real life is fascinating.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
Education opens doors, and friendships can walk you through them. If you’re smart but a jerk, no one will like or hire you. If you’re friendly but not a problem solver, you could be more of a nuisance than a treasure. Be kind and work hard––always a winning combination.

Can you tell us when you started Wanted: Dead or in Love, how that came about?
Sure! A few years back I heard about the Barefoot Bandit, a young and handsome teen who’d been caught stealing and crash-landing planes. Made me wonder what would have happened if he tried to elude the Feds circling overhead in helicopters looking for him by chatting up a pretty girl sunbathing in the area. What if the girl fell for his charm before she knew he was a criminal?

Shortly after starting a rough draft of a story in that vein, I went on a ghost bus tour in Chicago (my hometown). The narrator mentioned something about Bonnie & Clyde, and a lightbulb went off. How long did Bonnie know Clyde before he told her of his criminal past, and why did she choose to stay with him? That’s when I decided to hitch up the legendary outlaws with a couple of contemporary teens, which is how Wanted: Dead or In Love came about.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Jack?
I think many males are taught to be tough, but when faced with real danger, I think that many guys are just as scared as women, generally speaking. No one wants to die or be imprisoned, all very real possibilities in the book. I felt bad for him because he got mixed up in something without knowingly participating the way Monroe had. He’s a good guy that got a bad deal.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Great question! I guess I’d like to see Bonnie Parker meet Katniss Eberdeen, who could show her it’s better to be smart and fight for what you want instead of waiting around for someone to do it for you.

For those who are unfamiliar with Monroe, how would you introduce her?
She’s smart, strong-willed, and creative, but makes quick choices on a lark that she later regrets.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Realize that things you do today can follow you the rest of your life. Things don’t always turn out okay in the end. I think we all magically believe someone else will (*fill in your own dread*), but if you jump at the wrong time, at the wrong place, or with the wrong people, you might not be able to talk or pray your way out of it.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
What’s your most embarrassing moment? (If it’s truly “your most embarrassing moment,” you don’t really want people to know. I’d substitute it for the time I accidentally gave a blind man the wrong change when I was a cashier and he pointed it out to me. Oy!)

Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?
Venice, Italy. Loved the food, the shops, and the waterways for streets. Florence and Rome were super cool too. Around every corner is another magnificent sculpture or building. Sigh…

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
These are some fun questions! I actually loved working at an answering service when I was in high school. We were in a large room manned by a ton of other high school girls. When we weren’t on the phone, we ate snacks, drank Diet Coke, and gossiped about boyfriends and movie stars. Well, until the happy owner retired and his bossy son took over, that is.

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
An hour ago. A longtime friend and I made plans for manis tomorrow during her lunch hour and I ended the text with “Love you – see you then!” But I tell my parents, brothers, husband, and college-aged daughters I love them all the time.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heartbreak, or having never loved at all?
Love ending in heartbreak for sure. Because before the heartbreak, being in love is one of the most gratifying feelings in the world (which is probably why I have some sort of romance in all of my books, no matter the genre or intended age of reader).

When was the last time you cried?
The other night when watching Intervention. Twin sons (grown men in their mid-twenties) hadn’t seen their alcoholic, drug-addicted dad in over fifteen years. When Intervention brought them together, one son broke down, lamenting the fact that he searched the face of every black man he passed by for the past fifteen years, wondering if that guy was his father. The sadness of the reality of it made me cry.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
This decade we’re in now probably because a) I’d be younger, lol and b) technology is a cool thing that makes us all smarter consumers of information. I love Facebook and keeping in touch with people and exploring all the other amazing gadgets that are out there.

What's the loveliest thing you have ever seen?
The faces of my children for the first time. Most amazing and wonderful experience on Earth.

Where can readers find you?
LOL – anywhere but my home. Here are a bunch of places I hang out regularly, but you can always email me at kymbrunner AT comcast DOT net if you have a burning question.

Twitter @KymBrunner
My website:
Collective author websites: Uncommon YA ( and Darkly Delicious YA ( )
Goodreads too!
Would love you to add Wanted: Dead or In Love and One Smart Cookie to your TBR shelf!

***Finally, thanks so much for hosting an interview with me today! I had a blast delving deep into my psyche to answer these quirky and interesting questions. xoxo, KYM

Impulsive high school senior Monroe Baker is on probation for a recent crime, but strives to stay out of trouble by working as a flapper at her father's Roaring 20's dinner show theater. When she cuts herself on one of the spent bullets from her father's gangster memorabilia collection, she unwittingly awakens Bonnie Parker's spirit, who begins speaking to Monroe from inside her head.

Later that evening, Monroe shows the slugs to Jack, a boy she meets at a party. He unknowingly becomes infected by Clyde, who soon commits a crime using Jack's body. The teens learn that they have less than twenty-four hours to ditch the criminals or they'll share their bodies with the deadly outlaws indefinitely.

You can purchase Wanted: Dead or in Love at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you KYM BRUNNER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Wanted: Dead or in Love by Kym Brunner.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Wow - so thrilled about all the entries! Thanks so much for asking super interesting questions and for hosting this interview on your blog!! :)

    *deleted the first post b/c I didn't reread it before posting and I sounded as if I had come back from the dead minus my brain. Sorry about that!