SP: Hi Kristin! We’re so excited to have you here on the Spinning Pen! Tell us all a little bit about you and your writing journey.
KD: Hi I’m Kristin Dwyer! I write kissing books. I love all things romance and big feels. I’m addicted to travel, coffee, compulsively buying books I never read, and I also sometimes enjoy kpop and kdrama, but like… normal, reasonable amounts. I’ve been writing like a job for about ten years, and only in 2020 got an agent and editor. I could wallpaper Buckingham Palace in my unsold manuscripts and rejections. But long after my friends had made their dreams come true, mine finalllllly did. And dear reader, it was worth it.
SP: Ok now for the part we’ve been waiting for…tell us about your first book deal for Some Mistakes Were Made! How did you land this sweet deal and a chance to write a second book too? **FYI to our readers, this book’s steam level is upper young adult and has cursing.**
KD: WELP. I had been writing fantasy for a long time. I was always writing some kind of spec fic, but I was at Yall’Fest one year and Kami Garcia said on a panel that writing contemporary was like blood letting. Which I laughed at and told my fantasy writer friends how silly Kami was, because everyone knows that contemporary is easier. Honestly, it spiraled from there. Adrienne Young pulled up an old version of Some Mistakes Were made and read it OUT LOUD. (do not do this. Ever.) And then Isabel Ibanez decided I should write contemporary and she rarely doesn’t get what she wants. Adrienne asked me every day for pages and Isabel sent a LONG email to my now agent about why she should consider my book. Without Kami’s off the cuff comment and the two of them being the best kind of bullies, I wouldn’t be here.
SP: Talk to us about your book! What is Some Mistakes Were Made about?? How long have you been working on this book? What’s been the hardest part? Most fun?
KD: My book is about kissing… and a girl who is really living with one foot in a world she was born into and a world she feels like she doesn’t belong in. It’s about what family means, friendship, loyalty when someone keeps hurting you, and above all, first love and first heartbreak. It asks, can you come back from that? Can you forgive? Can you move on? I have been writing this book for 2 years now. I wrote it during the pandemic in about 4-6 months. Which is unusual for me. The hardest part has been wondering if people will get what I was trying to do which is basically finding hope even when it’s the most scary thing to want. The most fun has been people realizing that the book is steamy. They are always shocked. In the good way, I hope.
SP: What’s one or two craft techniques you would recommend to other writers?
KD: This is embarrassing, but WRITING WITH THE SOUL (Adrienne Young’s workshop), changed my life personally. It’s all about finding your unique writing voice. But I would say, READ. That cannot be understated. Be obnoxious with story. Find another friend who likes story and pick apart everything. Movies, books, music videos, songs, poems. Everything. Talk about what you loved, what you hated and try to really analyze why you don’t like something or why you did. Not just the feeling it inspires.
SP: You have potentially inspired an entire wave of K-pop and K-drama fans. Where did your love of all things Korean music and dramas begin? Has it influenced your writing at all?
KD: I think the Korean Wave was well on it’s way before me. But surface answer: My little sister Lina. I had been listening to Kpop a bit (VIP and SHAWOL) and watching the occasional kdrama. But when my little sister got into it, I did what I do best. Let it consume my soul until there was nothing left. Now my whole family has been converted to the glory of Kdrama. Pop is still just for Lina and I. But the deeper answer: representation matters.
SP: Time for the lightening round! Early bird or night owl?
KD: hoot hoot. Night moves for me!
SP: Most obscure hobby?
KD: Adrienne Young and I just had a whole argument about this because she told me Kpop is NOT a fringe hobby. Which, honestly, I was hurt by that. I am unique and obscure and interesting. I am not mainstream!
So if I can’t say Kpop I will just say, I am a fan of joining fandoms.
Is there a place where people are losing their collective minds about something in an over-the-top and all-consuming way? I want to go to there.
SP: Word you can never spell? This may be a trick question.
KD: restaurant and definitely.
(I spelt defiantly three times before I got close enough for spell check to understand I was looking for definitely. And I don’t want to admit I had to use voice text just now to spell restaurant because I am never even close. EXPLAIN WHY THERE ARE SO MANY VOWLES IN THAT WORD!!! MAKE IT MAKE SENSE!!!)
SP: Alright, time’s up! We’re so sad to see you go! BUT…there’s way more where this came from. Where can we go to read more from you?
KD: All of my smutty fan fiction is top secret, but my next book will be out in 2023 and I can’t wait to share my new romance books with you!