Kristina McBride, author of A Million Times Goodnight, joins us to answer some questions!
“The novel is a fast-paced thriller with plot twists, intrigue, and revelations practically on every page. . . . Clever, taut storytelling.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This is a wild ride . . . Readers who are looking for a fast-paced thriller of a touch of romance may enjoy this title.” —School Library Journal
Why did you gravitate to writing young adult fiction?
Before I began writing full-time, I spent eight years teaching high school English. This helped me to relate to the teen voice and mindset. My first attempt at a novel was an adult suspense/thriller, which didn’t garner any agent interest during the query phase. After completing the manuscript, I realized that the teenaged son of the main character seemed to jump off the page. This is the moment I realized I needed to write about teens for teens. The teenage years are such a compelling time of life with so much at stake, offering an endless supply of story ideas.
What are you reading right now?
I recently finished Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor, which was a beautiful read for so many reasons. I highly recommend. I’m currently reading Asylum by Madeleine Roux. I love creepy.
If you could be a character in any children’s book, who would you be and why?
Oh my God, seriously? A character—as in ONE? Not fair. Today, I would have to go with Max from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Because King of All Wild Things? And wild rumpus? Just cool.
Where’s your favorite place to write?
My home, preferably in the kitchen because I can spread my writing materials (notebooks and outlines and edit notes) on the table around me. When the family is home, I sneak to the master bedroom hideaway, where I set up an ironing board and drag in a kitchen chair, then turn the fan on HIGH for white noise. (Super glam, I know.) It’s the only way to have peace and quiet for an extended period.
What’s your favorite classic movie?
Does The Goonies count? Or Pretty In Pink? Sixteen Candles? Or maybe The Breakfast Club? Because I love all of those. I’m a huge fan of The Princess Bride. Oh! And Dazed and Confused. That’s a classic, right? (More evidence that YA is the best genre for me.)
If you could have any animal as a pet (current or extinct), what would it be?
Falkor the Luck Dragon from The Neverending Story because he’s a kind, funny, protective type. He’s also cute. And he flies. Not to mention that I always said my puppy, Gertie, looked just like him.
Milk, dark, or white chocolate?
I don’t understand. Is this an error in punctuation? Or a real question? Because yes, yes, and yes. (Although I gravitate to white chocolate least of the three.)
The Fourth of July. Hands down. It’s summer, which means sticky, hot, must-be-at-the-pool weather. It’s a family day and a friends-who-feel-like-family day. There are parades and cookouts and fireflies. There’s music and laughter and almost always a little dancing. And then the evening ends with a touch of magic as kids of all sizes and ages watch fireworks blast through the night sky. Nothing better.
What’s your favorite GIF?
Currently? (This changes often.)
What did you want to grow up to be when you were eighteen years old?
When I was eighteen years old, I wanted to be exactly who and what I am today:
- married to my best friend
- mother to a couple of amazing kids
- part of an kick-ass group of sister friends
- an author with several books out in the world, and several more percolating in that dreamy phase of almost-ready-to-begin-drafting
I’m so thankful that I am living my dream life. How did this all work out? It wasn’t luck. (At least not all of it.) Key Factor: I made some really hard decisions along the way—break-ups with “friends” and guys and even a wonderful job teaching high school English—to make sure I stayed the course. I also didn’t take no for an answer (hello, 2.5 years of rejection before my first published novel). Keep your focus on your goals, honor your truest desires with no apologies, strive for them as you move through the stages of life, and there’s no telling what you can accomplish.
On the night of the big spring break party, seventeen-year-old Hadley “borrows” her boyfriend Ben’s car without telling him. As payback, he posts a naked picture of her online for the entire senior class to see.
Now Hadley has a choice. She can go back to the party and force Ben to delete the picture. Or she can raise the stakes and take his beloved car on a road trip as far away from their hometown of Oak Grove, Ohio, as she can get.
Each storyline plays out in alternating chapters. In one strand, Hadley embarks on a reckless adventure with her best friends, spinning the perfect plan for revenge. In the other, stuck in a car with her ex-boyfriend, Josh, she’s forced to revisit the mistakes they each made, including whether they should ever have broken up at all. As events of a wild night race toward an explosive conclusion, old feelings are rekindled, friendships are tested, and secrets uncovered that are so much worse than a scandalous photo.
A Million Times Goodnight is a fast-paced romantic contemporary thriller ripped right from the headlines.
Kristina McBride is a former English teacher and yearbook advisor. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is the author of two previous novels, The Tension of Opposites and One Moment. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two young children.