SP: Hi Christen! We’re so excited to have you here on the Spinning Pen! Word on the street is you just got a book deal! CONGRATS! We want to hear more! What’s your book about? And most importantly, WHEN can we order it??
CK: I’m so excited to be here! Thanks for having me!
I did just get a book deal with Sunrise Publishing. This one is a little outside of the norm for me because it’s adult fiction — and Amish! I never thought I’d write Amish (or adult LOL). I am putting a very “Christen Krumm” spin on it, so I hope even if it’s not a genre you’d normally pick up, you can enjoy it. I can’t say too much about it at this point, but there is definitely a romantic comedy feel to it. I don’t have a pre-order date yet, but you should be able to order it in spring of 2023.
SP: You’ve had a diverse range of publishing experiences from self-publishing to getting an agent. Can you tell us a little bit about your publishing journey and some lessons you’ve learned along the way?
CK: Self-publishing was somewhat of an accident. I had been trying to sell a YA futuristic dystopian-ish novel for about a year. I had sent countless of pitches for that book, and while I was getting a lot of bites, no one seemed to want to represent it. At some point I realized I was very comfortable in the rejection and needed to move on. But in order to do so, I had to completely change up what genre I was writing in.
One of my critique partners had suggested I write contemporary romantic comedy, to which I vehemently told her no. I write action scenes and really like to kill off characters. I couldn’t write romantic comedy, and there was no way I could write a contemporary story. I wasn’t even sure I had read much, if any, contemporary romance! Needless to say, after deciding that I needed a fresh start, I thought I’d try my hand at flash fiction in a different genre (which just so happened to be … romantic comedy).
As I started brainstorming and then writing what eventually turned into It Happened at Christmas, I realized that it was going to be a little more than a piece of flash fiction. And after a couple of weeks working on it, realized it was going to be bigger than a short story as well. After Christmas I was in my local bookstore chatting with the owner about this Christmas book I was writing and she decided that I needed to get a book signing on the calendar around my release date — so I threw a date at her and we put it on the calendar. Mind you, I didn’t have the novel completed yet. As soon as I left the bookstore, I’m pretty sure I called Emilie (my critique partner and podcast co-host) freaking out. We looked at the calendar and figured out deadlines and due dates of when I’d need to have everything done, and the rest is history!
SP: Let’s talk agents for a second. What’s it been like going from self-publishing to getting an agent? Did self-publishing first help you get your agent?
CK: I love my agent. It’s amazing having someone in my corner that can point me in the right direction (and read the contracts). I actually didn’t sign with an agent until after I got the offer from Sunrise. I knew Cynthia from other circles we are both a part of, and when I got the contract offer, I reached out to see if she would be interested in representing me.
SP: You co-host a podcast called Exploring the Blank page. Can you tell us a little bit more about why you started that, who it’s for, and what potential listeners can expect to find there?
CK: Exploring the Blank Page is the passion project of Emilie Hendryx and me. We both loved podcasts and wanted to start one, but didn’t want to go it alone. In Exploring the Blank Page, we explore the paths authors take toward writing and the joys we experience as readers. We want to draw out the stories behind the pages. The difficulties and the successes that have created the books we gush about. We love the concept of the blank page because it’s where we all start—staring at a blank page or a flashing cursor—and we want to explore where those blank pages have taken us and where they may lead to.
SP: Ok, we’re almost done and it’s time for the lightening round! Early bird or night owl?
Ha! I don’t even know what I am anymore. At one point in my life, I was a night owl — the best writing hours for me were between 10 PM and 3 AM. Then I had kids that had to be up for school, and I somehow turned into an early bird. Now I’m just a really confused pigeon that functions on a lot of coffee.
SP: Most obscure hobby?
I really like to cross stitch! My mom taught me when I was younger, and it’s something that I always pick up when I need something to do (that isn’t reading or writing!)
SP: Word you can never spell? This may be a trick question.
Confession. I can’t spell. At all. I rely very heavily on spell check (and occasionally speaking words to Siri on my phone so she spells them out).
SP: Alright, time’s up! We’re so sad to see you go! Womp. Womp. BUT…there’s way more where this came from. Where can we go to read more from you?
You can purchase It Happened at Christmas on Amazon or at your favorite local indie. You can find me on my website (where I try to consistently blog) http://christenkrumm.com and I love connecting with readers on Instagram and twitter (@christenkrumm).
It Happened at Christmas BCC:
In this enchanting YA spin on While You Were Sleeping, Christen Krumm delivers laughter and Christmas sparkle through a swoon-worthy story of first love and belonging.
Life at Iverson Preparatory Boarding School isn’t easy when you’re basically the maid. Murphy Cain spends her days cleaning up after her upper-class peers in exchange for tuition while dodging their cutting remarks. All of that changes when she rescues her crush, the popular and hunky Tripp Harrington, after a near-fatal accident and is mistaken as his girlfriend.
Murphy finds herself struggling with the choice to reveal the truth or play along. As Tripp’s girl, his wealthy family will offer Murphy something she’s been craving her whole life—a chance to be one of the “in” crowd. A chance to belong. Without it, she’ll be right back where she started.
It only gets worse as Tripp’s brother Hank enters the picture. He’s handsome, down to earth, and seems to understand Murphy better than anyone else. The only problem? She’s supposed to be dating his brother.
As Christmas break draws to a close, Murphy must decide if telling the truth is worth losing it all or if the risk will bring a greater reward in the end.
Christen Krumm is the author of the YA romantic comedy, It Happened at Christmas. Raised in small-town Arkansas, she graduated from the University of Arkansas Fort Smith with a degree in English. She now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and their three barefoot wildings. Coffee is the lifeblood, books are her happy place, and creating stories is her favorite.
Purchase link: https://amzn.to/3wT4nSI