Friday, June 13, 2014

Class of 2014 Day 10 ~ Clara Kensie

Welcome to the tenth day of Class of 2014! For a few weeks, I'll be spotlighting some of this year's debut authors. I wanted a way to celebrate both my high school graduation and one year blogoversary, so I decided to feature authors of the same "class" as me on Reading is My Treasure! (Want to learn more about this event? Go here.)

I'm very excited to share my interview with Clara Kensie, the author of the Run to You series (Harlequin Teen's first serial)! She is a super nice person and her books look so good! I have book one (which there's a giveaway for at the bottom), and I'm looking forward to reading it. Enjoy the interview. :)

Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.

Today Clara is the author of dark fiction young adults. Her debut seriesthe romantic thriller RUN TO YOU, is Harlequin TEEN’s first serial. Book One (Part One: First Sight, Part Two: Second Glance, and Part Three: Third Charm) is available now. Book Two (Part Four: Fourth Shadow, Part Five: Fifth Touch, and Part Six: Sixth Sense) begins July 7, 2014 with weekly releases.

Her favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.

Find Clara online:

There are three parts to Clara's first book, but I'm just going to give you the description of the very first one.

Run to You Part One: First Sight 
Genre: YA thriller (serialized)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: February 1st, 2014

Goodreads description:

Part One in the riveting romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…
Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker—after all, she can’t even tell him her real name. But Tristan won’t be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss…
Find RUN TO YOU at your favorite e-tailers, including:

What is your favorite thing about writing the romance in your series?

One word: Tristan. He’s the hero of the series, and many readers have declared him to be their book boyfriend. Tristan is kind, and respectful, and generous, and devoted, with maaaaaaybe a bit of a dangerous side to make him exciting.

In Book One, the romance builds slowly. The heroine, Tessa, resists her feelings for Tristan at first. Her psychic family is on the run from a killer hired by the government, and they flee from place to place, hiding behind aliases to survive. But Tristan won’t be put off by a few secrets, and he slowly, patiently, gains her trust, even if it means revealing a few shocking secrets of his own. I loved writing their romance as it grew into something strong and tender and sweet and real.

Tessa and Tristan’s romance grows even further and deeper in Book Two, when they have no more secrets keeping them part. More than anything, he wants to be her hero. He is unfailingly devoted to her and unwavering in his support of her endeavors, even when she must take a risk that threatens both their lives, and again when she must make an impossible choice that could mean losing him forever. I loved exploring how they strengthen each other’s weaknesses, the little ways he makes her feel safe, the simple ways they make each other happy, and how they ultimately become each other’s hero.

How did Run to You become a serialized series?

The publishing marketplace is constantly changing, and one style of storytelling that has recently become popular in the digital space is the story serial. My publisher, Harlequin Teen, was searching for a book that they could release as their first serial—not just their first serial, but one of the first YA serials ever. They wanted a book with unique character voices, a breathtaking romance, and a thrilling plot with jaw-dropping twists that would work well for serial breaks and would leave the readers dying to know what happens next. They found that book in RUN TO YOU.

Did you intend for it to be one when you first decided to write the story?

Nope! I originally wrote RUN TO YOU as a typical two-book series, and that’s how Harlequin Teen bought it. When they decided to serialize the two books into six parts, it came as a complete surprise to me. I’ll confess something to you: At first, I didn’t want them to release my books as a serial. In fact, I disliked the idea so much, and I was so stressed about it, that my jaw joints literally locked up. I couldn’t close my mouth all the way for a week. I am not exaggerating. I couldn’t eat--I lost six pounds.

But, eventually, I decided to give the serial thing a chance. I bought a few serials (among them: Beth Kery’s Because You Are Mine novels and Neal Pollack’s yoga mysteries), just to see if I would like them. And you know what? I did! I really enjoyed the experience. I am extremely busy, as most people are. Very often, I won’t read a book because it’s so long and I know I won’t have time for it. But with a serial, I can always find an hour or two during the week to read one of the episodes.

I also like the versatility of serials. They give you a choice: savor or binge. People do that all the time with TV series on Netflix - savor or binge, right? It’s the same with serialized novels. I savored some serials: I read each part as it was released, and then I looked forward all week long to the release of the next part. I woke up each Tuesday, knowing the newest part had been released while I slept, and was waiting for me on my e-reader. It was very exciting. For other serials, if all the parts were already released, I binged: I read the entire book at once.

And there’s the social aspect of serials, too. My friend Tina and I read one of Beth Kery’s serials together. We discussed each part as it released, the same way we discuss our favorite weekly television series. It was a really fun time.

So, I am now 100% on board with my RUN TO YOU series being a serial. I’m thrilled that Harlequin Teen chose my series to be one of the first YA serials on the market. It’s truly an honor to be a trailblazer in the format.

Are there any characters in the Run to You series that surprised you as you were writing?

I was surprised at the intensity with which I love my hero and heroine, Tristan and Tessa. I love them. I wish they were real. Earlier today, I turned in my copy edits for Book Two (which is releasing in July as Part Four: Fourth Shadow, Part Five: Fifth Touch, and Part Six: Sixth Sense), and I actually cried. I cried because I’m not ready to say goodbye to Tessa and Tristan. I’m really going to miss writing for them. I have other adventures for them in my head, as well as some stories for the secondary characters. Maybe, hopefully, cross your fingers and make a wish, I’ll be able to share them with everyone one day.

What is one of your favorite quotes from your series?

My favorite quote of the entire series is this:

“Us,” he said. “You and me.”
And my heart echoed in rhythm: Thump. Thump-th-thump.

I love this quote so much that I had it put on a necklace. I made a few to give away as prizes in contests for RUN TO YOU fans.

What do you believe makes a good thriller?

A quick pace. Lots of danger. A sense of urgency. An underdog protagonist. A super-scary villain. And I love a good plot twist. RUN TO YOU is full of them. Book One (Part Two: Second Glance), has one plot twist in particular that will knock your socks off.

What are you currently working on?

Now that I’ve turned in my final RUN TO YOU edits, I can give full attention to my next project. It’s a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines YA contemporary in the vein of LIVING DEAD GIRL and PRETTY GIRL 13. Four years after being abducted, a teenage girl escapes and returns home, only to discover that her family, distraught over her disappearance, has fallen apart. The only way she can help find the body of her kidnapper’s previous captive is to heal her broken family as well as herself. It’s a heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful story of a girl’s journey from victim to survivor.

If you could have any psychic gift, what would you like to have and why?

Hmm. Good question. A few of the RUN TO YOU characters are psychokinetic—they can move things with their minds. That would be cool. I’d use that ability to cook and clean, because I despise both cooking and cleaning. Teleportation would also be a good ability to have, since I like to visit new places but I don’t like the hassles of traveling there. I’d also like the ability to automatically transfer a story from my brain to the computer. I love writing, but it is very time-consuming, LOL.

Thank you for answering my questions!

Thanks for having me! Your questions were awesome and I had so much fun answering them. Congratulations on your high school graduation!
Clara has offered to give away one ebook copy of the first part of her serial! (Thank you, Clara!) The winner will be gifted a copy of Run to You Part One: First Sight from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The giveaway is open internationally and ends on June 28th @ midnight PST. I will announce the winners on Twitter and will send emails to the winner. If you win, you have 48 hours to respond and claim your prize.

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you enjoyed the interview! Come back tomorrow for the next one.

Hint: Her debut is a fantasy that released in March from St. Martin's Griffin.


  1. To me, a good thriller is a book that I cannot put down, not even to eat. I'm on the edge of my seat the whole time. That makes a good thriller.

    1. That's what makes a good thriller for me too. :)

  2. I think a quick pace with a true element of danger - not perceived, interpreted or forced - but a very real and very serious and dangerous situation, combined with a mysterious and elusive villain makes a good thriller.

  3. well-it needs to build slowly, until it reaches a point where you can't put the book down

    1. I agree! It needs to be hard to put down.

  4. The chilling effect. The ability to give me nightmares and scare the pants off me, I just need to feel like it could actually happen and then it's done for me. Thrillers rock.

    1. Ooh, I love the chilling affect! It makes the book all the more exciting. :)


Hello potential commenter! Thank you for visiting my blog! Comments always brighten my day. :) I'll try to reply as soon as I can.