Kaleidoscope Me by Hillary K. Grigonis ~ Author Interview

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Kaleidoscope Meby Hillary K. Grigonis

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Published: February 24th, 2014
Publisher: Pixel Press & Photo LLC
Pages: 162

“Sometimes, my mind is a kaleidoscope. Somewhere, buried beneath a hundred different swirling colors, is the original image, but as you turn the dial, the original meshes with colors and becomes something completely different.”
Jadyn’s world twirls out of control after her mother dies in a car accident and her  forgetful Great-Aunt Nadine moves in. Her dad is never home and her best friend doesn’t even know  half of it. Jadyn is trying to keep it all together for her little brother, Trenton. But when Aunt Nadine disappears with Trenton in the middle of a snowstorm, Jadyn may be the only one who can find them. Kaleidoscope Me is an exciting novel about family, friendship and faith with a unique, non-linear style.

Interview with author 

Hillary K. Grigonis

First of all, welcome to Doodles, doodles everywhere and thank you so much for answering all these questions Hillary. Here goes the interview:

1. What inspired you to write Kaleidoscope Me?

Kaleidoscope Me actually started as a short story about a young girl who had trouble paying attention, but I absolutely loved the character's spunk and knew I had to write more. And what better way to write about a girl with an unusual way of thinking than to not write the story chronologically? The short story is actually now one of the scenes in the book.

2. Can you give our readers hint to what they should expect in Kaleidoscope Me?

Kaleidoscope Me is different from your average story because it's not written in chronological order. The story really takes place in about an hour and a half, but as Jadyn tries to find out where her Aunt Nadine and little brother have disappeared off to in the middle of a snowstorm, her mind goes back and picks up hints from her past. To avoid spoilers, I won't say any more, but you can see how the format works in a free sample at www.hillarykgrigonis.com.

3. Do you decide the character traits before you sit down to write the book, or as you go along?

Both, actually. I pick up character traits as I go about my day—bits from a conversation, from someone I know well or from simply walking by a stranger. Once I have an idea though, the characters sometimes do things I didn't expect as I'm writing. They sort of have a mind of their own sometimes.

4. Can you tell us what kind of research went behind Kaleidoscope Me?

I did a bit of digging into Alzheimer's disease as I was crafting Aunt Nadine's character. A lot of the things that I see or experience end up as notes somewhere for a story.

5. If you had to pick only one favorite character in Kaleidoscope Me, who would you pick and why?
I really enjoyed writing from Jadyn's perspective. She's spunky and different and I found it exciting to experience things from her perspective as I wrote.

6. Tell us about the biggest challenges you face in your writing process.

The biggest challenge for me doesn't come in the writing, but in the editing. Since I know what it's supposed to say, I'll often miss mistakes entirely until I go over everything several times, which is why it is important to have a good editor.

7. What/Where is your favorite place to write your manuscripts?

When I'm having trouble, I like to go to a new place, somewhere I don't normally write. My favorite place to write is outside when the weather is warm enough, in a park or my backyard. There's just someplace about writing in a new location that brings on new ideas.

8. If you weren't writing, what would you want to be doing for a living?

I would be a photographer, without hesitation. I actually do a little bit of photography on the side right now. I started working at the local newspaper my senior year in high school to write—but I picked up photography while I was there too and I've continued to do some ever since. It's like writing in the way that it allows me to share how I see things a little differently.

9. When I first came to know about Kaleidoscope Me, the first thing that came to my mind was a picture of dancing rainbows and reflections! Is there some specific reason that you picked an ironic cover for the book?

The biggest challenge to writing Kaleidoscope Me was to write a non-linear story in a way that is still easy to follow. It was the same thing with the cover—I have a few versions that were made to look like a kaleidoscope with lots of colors, but ultimately, they were too busy and hard to read. If you look closely at the flowers on the cover, they each have a different kaleidoscope-like design, instead of actual flower petals. The lighthouse on the cover is from a scene where a much younger Jadyn looks through a kaleidoscope for the first time. I felt this cover pulled together several elements of the story without looking too overwhelming.

10. Lastly, if you could give a young writer any one awesome tip on being an awesome author, what would it be?

Be true to your writing style. Write first drafts without editing your thoughts, just get the ideas down in your own style. Then, work with some friends or a teacher to get feedback on what works in your own writing style and what you can improve on.

Thank you so much for your interesting answers Hillary. Congrats for Kaleidoscope Me and wish you all the best for your future releases!

About the Author

When she isn’t writing, Hillary K. Grigonis can usually be found with a camera in hand. She lives in Mid-Michigan with her husband and young son. After starting to write fiction as a teenager, she’s always been interested in creating stories for young adults. She started writing Kaleidoscope Me while attending Saginaw Valley State University.  A writer at heart, she also contributes to several websites on a regular basis, including serving as the editor of DigitalCamera-HQ.com. Kaleidoscope Me is her first novel.


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