Thursday, June 22, 2017

Kristin Rockaway Author Interview

Photo Credit: Holly Rone

Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she finally traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software.

Her debut novel, The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World, will be released from Hachette Book Group in June 2017. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, browsing the aisles of her neighborhood bookstores, and planning her next big vacation.


Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
When I was about four years old, I wrote my first book, scribbled in pencil and bound with a stapler. It was about some food-snob cows that lived on a farm in France. That was the first time I’d ever dreamed of being an author.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Stories help us to make sense of the world around us, to establish connections with other people, and to develop a strong sense of empathy. Plus, a well-written story can whisk us away to another place – and we all need an occasional escape from the real world.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
When I was querying The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World, I met historical romance author, Tessa Dare, at a writing conference. We spoke briefly about the pain of rejection and the need for persistence in this business, and she gave me a pin with two words on it: DOUBT NOT. They were meant to help promote her book, Romancing the Duke, but the words felt like they were meant for me – don’t doubt yourself; keep going. I still wear the pin on my badge holder whenever I’m at a conference.

In your new book; THE WILD WOMAN'S GUIDE TO TRAVELING THE WORLD, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
It’s the story of Sophie, an overachieving IT consultant with a severe case of wanderlust who goes on a girls’ trip to Hong Kong with her best friend, Elena. But after Elena abandons her on the first night of their vacation, Sophie finds herself alone – until she meets Carson, a free-spirited American artist who’s bumming around Asia on a trust fund. They strike up a romance, something Sophie believes will be nothing more than a vacation fling – but soon they start falling hard for each other, and Sophie is forced to confront all her dreams and passions that she’s kept buried for so long. If you like reading fun stories about adventure, romance, and travel, then you’d enjoy this book.

For those who are unfamiliar with Sophie, how would you introduce her?
From the outside, Sophie seems like a typical Type A personality: extremely ambitious, hyper-organized, and a bit of a workaholic. But there’s more to her than meets the eye, and once she meets Carson, all her childhood dreams and long-buried passions come bursting to the surface, threatening the neat and tidy life she’s planned out for herself.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Carson?

Carson’s backstory came as a bit of a surprise to me! When I first dreamed him up, I envisioned him as this cool-as-a-cucumber free spirit who had it all figured out. It didn’t occur to me that he had unrealized dreams of his own – which, of course, he does.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
In this story, Sophie struggles to choose between the safe, secure path that leaves her feeling unfulfilled and the risky, unknown road that could lead her to her wildest dreams being realized. I’ve struggled with this same dilemma, and I know many other people have, as well. But we only get one life to live, and I think it’s important that we each stop operating on autopilot and at least try to pursue our innermost passions.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d probably introduce Elena to Daenerys Targaryen from the Song of Ice and Fire series. Over the course of the story, Dany conquers her fears and becomes a self-empowered badass. Elena could stand to learn a few things from her.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m constantly chasing plot bunnies and have a few different projects in the works right now. There’s nothing that’s in the “Let’s share this with the world!’ stage of development yet, but I do enjoy telling stories with themes of travel, romance, and women who work in tech.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I was a teenager in the 90s, and frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Grunge music, flannel shirts, and My So-Called Life – who could ask for more?

Who was your first boyfriend?
My first serious boyfriend was a great guy who went to my high school, and we started dating during senior year. He was a cool kid, I was not, and I couldn’t even believe he was interested in me.

Tell me about your first kiss.
It was bad. There were braces involved.

What is your greatest adventure?
Nine years ago, my husband and I were living in Brooklyn – which was, at that point, the only place I’d ever lived. Then we went on vacation to San Diego, and instantly fell in love with the city. So we asked ourselves, “Why don’t we live here?” and then packed up our apartment and drove cross-country. We’ve called Southern California our home ever since.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
I keep in touch with my 90-year-old great-uncle through snail mail – which reminds me, I owe him a note!

Fans of Sophie Kinsella and The Devil Wears Prada will love this smart, sexy debut novel of wanderlust.

Objectively, Sophie is a success: she's got a coveted job at a top consulting firm, a Manhattan apartment, and a passport full of stamps. It isn't quite what she dreamed of when she was a teenager dog-earing pages in exotic travel guides, but it's secure. Then her best friend bails just hours after they arrive in Hong Kong for a girls' trip, and Sophie falls for Carson, a free spirited, globetrotting American artist. He begs her to join him on his haphazard journey, but she chooses responsibility and her five-year plan.

Back in New York, that plan feels less and less appealing. As Sophie recalls the dreams she's suppressed, the brief international jaunts she sneaks in between business trips no longer feel like enough. Carson isn't ready to let her go either, but as they try to figure out their relationship, Sophie realizes she may have to pursue her passions with or without him.


"With its spirited yet credible plot and vividly intricate characters, this debut novel shines." — Library Journal (starred review)

"...brilliantly navigates one woman's quest to let go of what is practical to pursue her passion and surrender to her inner dreamer." — Kerry Lonsdale, bestselling author of Everything We Keep

"...a fun, sexy debut perfect for readers who love exotic settings and a great love story. For those wishing to indulge their wanderlust, or who have dreams too big for tidy little boxes, this is an incredibly satisfying read." — Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away With Me

"Can a novel be smart and loads of fun? Kristin Rockaway's debut is proof that it's possible. Warm, witty, and completely delightful, this book had my inner escapist itching to hop on the next flight out of town." — Camille Pag├ín, bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

"Kristin Rockaway is a wise and fresh new voice in women's fiction and this book was a delight from start to finish." — Anita Hughes, author of Christmas in Paris

You can purchase The Wild Woman's Guide to Traveling the World at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you KRISTIN ROCKAWAY for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Wild Woman's Guide to 
Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway.

1 comment:

  1. "Which is your dream destination and why?" I wouldn't mind visiting Paris, because l'amour!