Hi, Kristy. It’s great to have you at 4writersandreaders today. I absolutely love the cover for Jaded and can’t wait to find out more about you and your books. The floor (post) is yours.
I’ve written poems, plays, and short stories since elementary school. I published Jaded, a YA Thriller in February 2014 and Even In Death: A Short Story Collection in August.
Jaded: “Jaded is a great dystopian because it’s totally different from what I expected. Gillespie really hits home with originality. (In a dystopian? I know. Ridiculous idea, but she does.) The eye colors, all of Samsara, the struggle to figure out her future: I loved all of it. The fine details about wines, the school kids, the struggle, it was great truly.” –Katie Cross
Even In Death: A Short Story Collection: “Even in Death” is an insightful and captivating collection. I found that once I started the first story, I couldn’t wait to see what kind of twist the next story would offer. Kristy brings life to her characters through dialogue that is realistic and energetic. I really enjoy how the author brings humor to an otherwise dark scene. I would recommend this short story collection to anyone who enjoys reading stories that offer hope, “even in death.” –Gary Caruso
Jade has spent her entire life within the confines of the eye-color-obsessed Nirvana commune. She dreams of experiencing freedom but travel to the Outside is forbidden. Besides, she’s a dutiful daughter who never breaks the rules. As her seventeenth birthday approaches, however, she realizes just how little she wants to follow the commune rules. She doesn’t want to undergo another eye color surgery, or immediately choose a life partner, or follow her parents’ life paths of teaching or wine making. In fact, her green eyes suit her just fine, she’s never even been on a date, and she’s passionate about photography. And yet she’s resigned to do as she’s told because it’s easier for her to close her eyes and follow orders.
Her Grandmother Ruby’s murder is the catalyst that causes Jade to open her eyes wide for the first time in her life. She’s devastated yet determined to find the killer and their motive. With help from her mysterious friend Tyrian, and Peaches, the commune leader’s sweet daughter, Jade unearths dark secrets which include her mother’s illicit affair, her maternal grandparents’ escape from Nirvana, and a plethora of murders. To make matters worse, someone is hell bent on ending Jade’s mission for the truth, and that someone is most likely the killer.
Jade can’t continue conforming to an evil society and yet she fears the Outside is just as corrupt. If she resolves to flee and is caught, the punishment is banishment to the slave cabins…and blinding.
Even In Death, a collection of ten short stories, explores the thin line between love and hate; extreme emotions even death cannot destroy. Julie wants nothing more than to receive a flower bouquet from the hometown veterinarian. However, in “A Flower Story,” flowers are delivered long after a person is alive to smell them. After purchasing their dream home, Sara and David feel truly blessed. Unfortunately, the couple soon discover they’ve inherited a wicked curse. In fact, in “What’s Really There,” the former residents’ spirits refuse to move on. In the title story, on the anniversary of his fiancé’s death, Mark realizes that he can see and communicate with spirits, including Amy’s. Can Mark and Amy’s love survive even in death? “A Flower Story,” “What’s Really There,” and “Even In Death,” as well as the other seven stories in the collection are rife with emotion that will linger well after the last page.
Why did you write Jaded?
During a six-week writing class one of the assignments was to write a six word memoir. I thought of colors and what they represent and I thought of my parents and their dispositions. My father is often sad, my mother is often happy, and I’m somewhere in-between, a true combination of the two. So I came up with: Blue Father, Yellow Mother, Green Daughter. Then I starting thinking about writing a dystopian novel (which is the opposite of a utopian society) since that is my favorite YA genre. I imagined a society based on color, specifically eye color & that’s how Jaded came about.
What is your favorite line from Jaded?
“Like most babies born in Nirvana, my natural eye color is brown. Not hot chocolate brown or buttered biscuit brown, but brown like the Crayola crayon stuck in the original crayon box.”
How about your favorite character?
I would have to say that Jade is my favorite character since she’s a lot like me!
What was the hardest part about writing your novel?
The hardest part about writing Jaded was making sure that it was long enough to be considered a novel. I’m a brief writer which is why short stories are so appealing.
What do you do besides write?
Besides writing, I enjoy traveling, blogging, and reading. I work full-time as a middle school counselor, and am working toward my School Library Media Degree.
What’s next for you, Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie?
Right now I’m working on Hunted, the sequel to Jaded, as well as Blinded, the prequel.
It’s been a pleasure to have you on 4writersandreaders, Kristy. And readers, be sure to get your copy of Jaded (I’ve got mine!) and check out Kristy’s author sites. ~ Bette A. Stevens
Jaded is available via:
Even In Death: A Short Story Collection is available via:
My Blog Keep Calm and Write On: http://kristyfgillespie.com/