On June 15, 2009 the presentation/review of Kristina Riggle‘s debut novel Real Life & Liars launched The Divining Wand and last summer she graced this site again with The Life You’ve Imagined. Now, with a critically acclaimed reputation and an ever-growing fanbase, this author/friend returns with her third book, Things We Didn’t Say available June 28, 2011.
Described in one sentence, Things We Didn’t Say is: A story of a frayed blended family about to come undone completely when a teen-age son goes missing.
And the early Praise follows:
“The historic home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where most of the book is set, takes on the presence of another character, while the constrained time period adds to the intimate feel of this absorbing novel about a blended family.” -Booklist
“An involving portrayal of the obstacles confronting today’s families.” - Publishers Weekly
“Riggle paints with exquisite care a not-so-pretty picture of modern life, when running away can seem like the only option if it promises just a little bit of freedom.”
– Library Journal
“Don’t open the first page of this novel unless you’re prepared to sacrifice all other commitments for the next 48 hours or so! This is Riggle’s best yet. Compelling, believable, and full of delicious twists, this story will forever change how you relate to strangers, friends, and even family—reminding you that everyone you meet might be carrying her own secret struggles.” – Katrina Kittle, author of The Blessings of the Animals and The Kindness of Strangers
“In this moving and captivating novel, Kristina Riggle explores with depth and honesty the question of how we define a family, and the myriad ways we all seek to shed our difficult pasts. Things We Didn’t Say is impossible to put down, and even harder to let go of.” – Julie Buxbaum, author of The Opposite of Love and After You
The Divining Wand has scheduled a presentation/review of Things We Didn’t Say for Monday, June 27, 2011 but, until then, let’s read an updated version of the author’s “official” bio:
Kristina Riggle lives and writes in West Michigan. Her debut novel, Real Life & Liars, was praised by Publishers Weekly for its “humorous and humane storytelling” and by Booklist as “a moving and accomplished first novel.” The book was a Target “Breakout” pick and a “Great Lakes, Great Reads” selection by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. The Life You’ve Imagined was honored as an “IndieNext Notable” book by independent booksellers.
Kristina has published short stories in the Cimarron Review, Literary Mama, Espresso Fiction, and elsewhere. She is also a freelance journalist writing primarily for The Grand Rapids Press, and co-editor for fiction at Literary Mama. Kristina was a full-time newspaper reporter for seven years before turning her attention to creative writing and freelancing. As well as writing, she enjoys reading, yoga, dabbling in (very) amateur musical theatre, and spending lots of time with her husband, two kids and dog.
And, now, here’s another opportunity to get to know the real Kristina:
What would you choose as the theme song of your life?
A: “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from Sound of Music because I’m stubborn with a Pollyanna streak believing in dreams that come true, etc. And I have a weakness for showtunes.
A; My name IS a pseudonym. Riggle is my maiden name. I used to not like it — it sounds so funny — but now I’m attached to it. Plus it has given rise to a series of hilarious nicknames: The Riggler, Riglette, Wiggle, Wriggle, and this last one I shall choose if I ever do roller derby: Big Rig.
Name three “bests” of being a published author.
A: Fan mail, meeting readers, and seeing my books on bookstore and library shelves.
Favorite book release season of the year?
A: Summer, because mine always come out in the summer… Really, “season” is something I don’t think much about. I’ll buy books any day, any weather.
If given the opportunity, which reality show would you be on?
A:Project Runway so I could meet Tim Gunn. Too bad I can’t sew for beans.
Favorite childhood fairy tale?
A: I don’t remember being much interested in fairy tales as a kid, but I do remember my little sister nagging me to drive her to Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” when it was out in theaters. I grudgingly agreed, and loved the movie! I left humming the songs and loving the bookworm Belle heroine, and my sister was like, “Eh, it was okay.” Still love that movie.
What U.S. city would you like to visit that you haven’t been to yet?
A:Tie between San Francisco and New Orleans.
Your reward after a day of writing?
A: Another day of writing! I do like shiraz and dark chocolate if I want to reward myself after a very productive (and/or stressful) week.
What 3 personal qualities are LEAST important to you?
A: Vanity, avarice, laziness.
An author quote that inspires you?
A: I have such a quote in a typewriter-shaped picture frame next to my computer. The frame was a gift for my thirtieth birthday with the suggestion I put an inspirational quote in it. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” (Richard Bach.) At the time I was an amateur. Now I’m not.
Where do you like to read?
A: I mostly read in bed before turning out the light but if I could have my preference, I’d read in the sunshine in a lawn chair. I don’t get much “laze in the sun” time, though.
Book or ebook reader?
A: Real book. I’m not an e-reader hater, but I have yet to see one which can “turn pages” well enough to keep up with my fast reading, and also be read in bright sunlight. Plus, I can drop my book in the bath or get sand all over it and it’s no big deal.
Growing up, who was your teen idol? You mean, who did I crush on?
A: Jon Bon Jovi. And he still looks good!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
A: I wish I could be more like Mira, the heroine of my first novel, and not give a damn what people think. I even edited that sentence just now to make it less profane, for fear of offending. I’m so hopelessly nice sometimes I even annoy myself.
Must love dogs and/or cats?
A: This is how my husband knows I love him. I gave up cats forever to marry him, and now we own a dog.
Which author – past or present – would you have chosen as a mentor?
A: My literary idols are Elizabeth Berg and Anne Tyler.
What book did you fake reading?
A: Never! Faking that you know something when you don’t is the quickest route to sitcom-level hijinks as you try to bluff your way through conversation. I am sheepish about never having read certain books, though. Like The Old Man and the Sea.
What is your favorite scent?
A: Campfire smoke. To me it means peace, quiet and calm.
What is your favorite movie adaptation of a novel?
A: Tie between Sideways and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Name two books you always give or recommend, knowing they’ll be loved?
A: I’ve loaned out both Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott and Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler and have had to replace them because they never came home!
What are (a few) five of your favorite things?
A: 1) My kids’ laughter.
2) Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries.
3) Adele’s latest album.
Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of Populazzi by Elise Allen in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post, Presenting Debutante Elise Allen and Populazzi. Comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is tonight at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the winners to be announced here in tomorrow’s post. If you enter, please return tomorrow to see if you’re a winner.