Romance Readers Reading Challenges discussion

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
This topic is about Bridge of Scarlet Leaves
104 views
Ask An Author, Win A Book Corner > AC: Kristina McMorris of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves (March 5 - March8)

Comments Showing 1-50 of 65 (65 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Dee (last edited Feb 26, 2012 03:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments About Kristina:
KRISTINA MCMORRIS is a graduate of Pepperdine University and the recipient of nearly twenty national literary awards. A host of weekly TV shows since age nine, including an Emmy® Award-winning program, she penned her debut novel, Letters from Home (Kensington Books, Avon/HarperCollins UK), based on inspiration from her grandparents' wartime courtship. This critically praised book was declared a must-read by Woman's Day magazine and achieved additional acclaim as a Reader's Digest Select Editions feature, a Doubleday/Literary Guild selection, and a 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards semifinalist for Best Historical Fiction. Her second novel, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves (March 2012), has already received glowing reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, among many others. Named one of Portland's "40 Under 40" by The Business Journal, Kristina lives with her husband and two sons in the Pacific Northwest, where she refuses to own an umbrella.

Website
http://www.kristinamcmorris.com/

Books
Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris

Giveaway
Kristina will be giving away 1 signed copy of her new book Bridge of Scarlet Leaves - it will be open to US/Can participants only


message 2: by Dee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments Welcome Kristina, it's a pleasure to have you with us!

I hope you enjoy your time with our members; and good luck to you all!

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHOR AND PARTICIPANTS: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/3...

Members, if you can please write the questions in bold; it would be easier for her to know that you have asked a question and less chance that it will be missed. Thanks!


message 3: by Emily (new)

Emily Welcome, Kristina!

When you take from real life experiences, do you consciously make note (like, thinking, 'this will make an interesting story) or is it secondary to other inspirations?


message 4: by Fran, Moderator (new)

Fran | 11051 comments Welcome Kristina!

I'm looking forward to reading Bridge of Scarlet Leaves!

What made you choose the bombing of Pearl Harbor as the backdrop and time period of your novel?


Melissa (chicklitcentral) | 4 comments I enjoyed "Letters from Home" and hope to read "Bridge..." at some point soon. I know what inspired "Letters from Home." How come you chose to stay in a similar historic period for your second book?


message 6: by Pat (new)

Pat Amsden | 72 comments Kristina

Is the Bridge of Scarlet Leaves also inspired by events in your families' past.

Pat
www.patamsden.com


message 7: by Anna (new)

Anna (genest) (Sorry, I have no idea how to make anything bold in my comment and it wasn't explained above where bold was requested.)

What is your writing process like? How do you go from idea's inception to complete, finished, and polished MS?


message 8: by Shellee (new) - added it

Shellee (durhamchick) | 3 comments I have not had the pleasure of reading your book as of yet. I am wondering how do you choose your characters for your books?

Shellee



message 9: by Fran, Moderator (new)

Fran | 11051 comments Anna wrote: "(Sorry, I have no idea how to make anything bold in my comment and it wasn't explained above where bold was requested.)

What is your writing process like? How do you go from idea's inception to c..."



Anna,
To bold, cut and paste the following (and remove the !)

- at the beginning
- at the end

You can also click on the (some html is ok) at the top of the comment box and it will tell you how.


message 10: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Dee wrote: "Welcome Kristina, it's a pleasure to have you with us!

I hope you enjoy your time with our members; and good luck to you all!

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHOR AND PARTICIPANTS: http://www.goodreads.com/to..."


Thanks so much for having me here today!


message 11: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn | 269 comments Welcome Kristina!

I also have not had the pleasure of reading your books but look forward to them

Who are some authors who have made an impression on you, and who influence your work? What are some of your favorite books?


message 12: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Emily wrote: "Welcome, Kristina!

When you take from real life experiences, do you consciously make note (like, thinking, 'this will make an interesting story) or is it secondary to other inspirations? "


Hi, Emily! I always use real historical accounts as the basis of my books. When I come across one that gets me very excited, that takes priority and I know I've got my story.


message 13: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Fran wrote: "Welcome Kristina!

I'm looking forward to reading Bridge of Scarlet Leaves!

What made you choose the bombing of Pearl Harbor as the backdrop and time period of your novel?"


Hi, Fran! The book was inspired by a family friend actually--one who fought for American while his brother served for Japan. From there, I began to research Japanese Americans during WWII and came across an obscure mention of roughly 200 non-Japanese spouses who lived in the relocation camps by choice. Instantly the premise of the novel came together in my mind!


message 14: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Melissa wrote: "I enjoyed "Letters from Home" and hope to read "Bridge..." at some point soon. I know what inspired "Letters from Home." How come you chose to stay in a similar historic period for your second book?"

Melissa, so nice to see you here! I'd considered writing a contemporary after my debut, REALLY wanting a break from all the overwhelming research. But then I read another author's work of historical fiction and realized that for me no story allows me to fully escape into another world like historicals.


message 15: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Pat wrote: "Kristina

Is the Bridge of Scarlet Leaves also inspired by events in your families' past.

Pat
www.patamsden.com"


Pat, not in the historical-events sense. But as the daughter of a Japanese immigrant father and Caucasian American mother, I did rely heavily on the perspective with which I was raised, living between the two worlds.


message 16: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Anna wrote: "(Sorry, I have no idea how to make anything bold in my comment and it wasn't explained above where bold was requested.)

What is your writing process like? How do you go from idea's inception to c..."


Hi, Anna! I'm a plotter, plus I tend to see the story roll out like a movie in my mind. So after a good deal of research, I create an outline, one sentence per chapter, then sketch out my characters and start to write.


message 17: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Shellee wrote: "I have not had the pleasure of reading your book as of yet. I am wondering how do you choose your characters for your books?

Shellee"


Hi, Shellee -- I'd say half of the characters emerge already formed in my mind; the other half evolves and takes shape as I plot details and start writing.


message 18: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Welcome to RRRC, Kristina!

Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer, or was there some kind of event that prompted you to pursue this career?


message 19: by Alexia (new)

Alexia Chantel (alexiachantel) Wow, this sounds like a good book, a serious topic, great time in history, and a beautiful cover!
Do you think you will ever write a book in this era again?


Melissa (chicklitcentral) | 4 comments Kristina wrote: "Melissa wrote: "I enjoyed "Letters from Home" and hope to read "Bridge..." at some point soon. I know what inspired "Letters from Home." How come you chose to stay in a similar historic period for ..."

Thanks for answering!


message 21: by Dee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments hi Kristina ;) I'm going to brag and say how much I LOVED Bridge of Scarlet Leaves (so whoever wins is going to be a lucky person!!)

Are you working on a new book now or taking a break?


message 22: by Bonnie (last edited Mar 05, 2012 08:15PM) (new)

Bonnie (greenurlifenow) Hello, Kristina.

Your book sounds great. Can't wait to read it.

My question is: If Bridge of Scarlet Leaves were to be made into a motion picture, who would you like to play the 2 main characters?



message 23: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Yz the Whyz wrote: "Welcome to RRRC, Kristina!

Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer, or was there some kind of event that prompted you to pursue this career?"


Even a handful of years ago, I had no clue I was going to be a novelist! But after interviewing my grandmother for the biographical section of a self-pubbed cookbook, intended as a Christmas gift for the family, she shared a secret collection of courtship letters my late grandfather had sent during WWII. The discovery inspired my debut novel, Letters from Home, and my life took a very different but wonderful turn.


message 24: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Lexi wrote: "Wow, this sounds like a good book, a serious topic, great time in history, and a beautiful cover!
Do you think you will ever write a book in this era again?"


Thanks so much, Lexi! What's funny is, I keep thinking I'm going to try my hand at another era, but then I'll discover a true historical account from WWII that absolutely captivates me, and suddenly I'm headed in that direction again. So yes! My next novel, due at the end of the year, also revolves around WWII, although half will be penned as present day. Can't wait to share more!


message 25: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Dee wrote: "hi Kristina ;) I'm going to brag and say how much I LOVED Bridge of Scarlet Leaves (so whoever wins is going to be a lucky person!!)

Are you working on a new book now or taking a break?"


Hey, brag like that all you want, Dee! LOL. Really, thanks so much for saying that.

I'm only taking a writing break at the moment due to my current book tour. By the beginning of April it's back to working on a new book. I turned in a Christmas novella a month ago, which will be published in Fern Michaels' holiday anthology this coming November. The story actually has strong ties to Letters from Home, so I hope you'll really enjoy it!


message 26: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Bonnie wrote: "Hello, Kristina.

Your book sounds great. Can't wait to read it.

My question is: If Bridge of Scarlet Leaves were to be made into a motion picture, who would you like to play the 2 main characters?"


Ooh, the Hollywood question. That's a tough one for me! The book is actually being shopped as a film right now (fingers crossed), so you'd think I'd spend a little time daydreaming about the cast, right? Alas, nope, no actors come to mind, only because my characters were created in my head, so to me they really don't resemble anyone else.

I know, I know....not the most fun answer. Ha.


message 27: by Romina (last edited Mar 06, 2012 04:43AM) (new)

Romina (rplanas) | 4 comments Welcome Kristina!
I myself have always felt a certain allure for stories about WWII since I was a child, perhaps because it brings to my imagination such a clear setting of 'good vs evil'.

My question(s) is(are) the following:

Were you an avid reader of stories set in WWII before you started using it in your own tales? If you were, what are some of your favorite books from this era? Were you inspired by them when you put your own ideas down?

If you weren't, which historical era did you read about the most?



message 28: by Julie (new)

Julie | 56 comments Hello Kristina,

I have not had the privilege to read your works but am certainly looking forward to the opportunity. My dad was in WWII and he shared several Japanese stories with us. These experiences helped us to understand that time period on a much more "real" level than if we had just read about them in history books.

Authors didn't have the opportunity, in the past, to speak with readers in an event like on Goodreads. Do you find that speaking directly with people in this type of format gives you a better understanding of what readers like and what you, as a writer, would like to accomplish?


message 29: by Susie (new)

Susie Bradley (susie_bradley) | 31 comments Hi Kristina!
Thanks for taking time to meet with us today.
I haven't heard of your book, but it sounds so intriguing. I'll have to check it out.

When you are writing about something such as Pearl Harbor, do you try to gloss over or minimize some of the more commonly-known details?



message 30: by Missy (new)

Missy | 23 comments Hi, Kristina. Welcome!

I'm wondering what your Emmy Award-winning program was.

By the way, I don't use an umbrella either and I live near Pittsburgh which is almost like living in the Pacific Northwest!


message 31: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Romina wrote: "Welcome Kristina!
I myself have always felt a certain allure for stories about WWII since I was a child, perhaps because it brings to my imagination such a clear setting of 'good vs evil'.

My que..."


Romina, I'm NOT proud to admit that when I started writing my debut novel, I wasn't a reader. I just had an idea for a book that I could picture as a movie and, evidently, an abundance of ignorance to think I knew what I was doing. I quickly learned I had a lot of catching up to do!

My favorite WWII-set novels include:
The Book Thief and, written by dear friends of mine (I consider myself very lucky to know such wonderful and talented women) Between Shades of Gray and Those Who Save Us. Another beloved friend, Sarah McCoy, recently released her latest novel, The Baker's Daughter, and I've been antsy to find the time to sit down and dive in!


message 32: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Julie wrote: "Hello Kristina,

I have not had the privilege to read your works but am certainly looking forward to the opportunity. My dad was in WWII and he shared several Japanese stories with us. These expe..."


Julie, how wonderful that you were able to gain such meaningful stories from your father!

I certainly love interacting with readers, both online and especially in person. In fact, I visit book clubs about every other week--just as much for the book chat as the yummy food and wine. Ha! The only downside of all the fun is that it leaves authors with less time to write. So finding a balance can be challenging.


message 33: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Susie wrote: "Hi Kristina!
Thanks for taking time to meet with us today.
I haven't heard of your book, but it sounds so intriguing. I'll have to check it out.

When you are writing about something such as..."


Hi, Susie! I'd have to say yes to your question; I do tend to use a light hand when including history points that I believe have been well covered. The only time I would go into more detail in those cases would be if I felt I had something relatively new or unique to say--or if it was very significant to my character's journey.


message 34: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Missy wrote: "Hi, Kristina. Welcome!

I'm wondering what your Emmy Award-winning program was.

By the way, I don't use an umbrella either and I live near Pittsburgh which is almost like living in the Pacific No..."


Glad I'm not the only umbrella-defiant one here, lol. The Emmy Award-winning show was called (don't laugh) "Popcorn." It was essentially like "Entertainment Tonight" for kids and aired in Oregon and Washington (state) through the local ABC affiliated station. I hosted the show from ages 9 to 14, so my childhood was a bit unusual, I suppose. But as a result, I gained a strong work ethic early on, and so much of what I learned I now apply to my literary career.


message 35: by Silvana (last edited Mar 06, 2012 09:59AM) (new)

Silvana (silvana77) | 15 comments Hello Kristina is nice to have you here.
My questions:
"Considering that you write historical books, how much has truth in your books and where you find the true information for the books?"


message 36: by Linda (last edited Mar 06, 2012 01:51PM) (new) - added it

Linda | 403 comments Hi Kristina,
I was wondering how much research time you put in prior to sitting down to write or do you do yourreserch as young along. thanks Linda


message 37: by Alyssa (last edited Mar 06, 2012 04:11PM) (new)

Alyssa Aaron | 1 comments Hi Kristina,

Your book sounds fabulous. My husband had a childhood friend whose parents lived in the Japanese American camps during WWII. He's talked quite a bit about his friend and his friend's parents over the years. That bit of knowledge definitely piques my interest in your book and how you dealt with that topic in your book.

I'm interested in your research...what interesting things did you learn about this time period that DIDN'T make it into the book?

I have a second question - an odd question...it stems from the bio rather than from the book...

Your bio says you live in the Pacific Northwest (usually thought of as rainy) yet you refuse to own an umbrella -- why is that?


message 38: by Sassafrass (new)

Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 3556 comments Hi Kristina. Thanks so much for being here.

I am struck by the title of your book, and it makes me wonder: how did you come up with the title of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?


message 39: by Nicola (last edited Mar 06, 2012 09:16PM) (new)

Nicola | 649 comments Hi Kristina,
Thanks for taking the time to spend with us.
After writing your grandparents love story you obviously had new insight into them as a couple. This obviously set you on a new path, as was stated in one of your previous answers.
Does this make you look differently at everyone around you now? Do you see history and stories that need to be told whenever you meet someone new? If so - how do you go about finding out that story? If not, where do you get your ideas?


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey Kristina!

I have a passion for historical novels. I also like to learn as much as I can through them and non-fiction about different eras or monarchy. How did you get started writing? What was the ah-ha moment that brought you to write?


message 41: by Iris (new)

Iris (ipro) | 277 comments Hi Kristina!
It sounds like your book Letters from Home was a labor of love. Why wouldn't it be... it was inspired by letters your grandfather wrote to your grandmother! How long did it take to get it published once you finished writing it? How does your grandmother feel about being the inspiration of your first book?


message 42: by Dee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments hey guys! since Monday was a bit of a slow start with technically difficulties - Kristina has graciously agreed to hang around for another day answering any of your questions, before she draws the winner of her book.


message 43: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Silvana wrote: "Hello Kristina is nice to have you here.
My questions:
"Considering that you write historical books, how much has truth in your books and where you find the true information for the books?""


Nearly all of my characters are fictional, but there's a good amount of true historical accounts woven into each of my books. I love when I come across an amazing nugget of history--from research or family's/friend's firsthand experience--that I'm able to work into my stories.


message 44: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Linda wrote: "Hi Kristina,
I was wondering how much research time you put in prior to sitting down to write or do you do yourreserch as young along. thanks Linda"


For Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, I spent about five months researching, then plotted my book, before writing the first chapter. Often, incredible facts I discover while researching help shape the story.


message 45: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Alyssa wrote: "Hi Kristina,

Your book sounds fabulous. My husband had a childhood friend whose parents lived in the Japanese American camps during WWII. He's talked quite a bit about his friend and his friend's..."


One thing that didn't make it into the story (but into my Author's Note) was a Japanese American vet's true account he had shared with me about how, while serving in the Pacific, his unit shot down a group of Japanese fighter planes. Months later, he discovered that one of the pilots was his brother. I was so moved by this story, but if I had included it in the novel, many readers would think it was too far fetched. As they say, stranger than fiction....right?

As for why I don't own an umbrella, it's actually a silly commonality among many Oregonians. We're so used to the rain that we don't bother with umbrellas. Our feet should be webbed by now!


message 46: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Sassafrass wrote: "Hi Kristina. Thanks so much for being here.

I am struck by the title of your book, and it makes me wonder: how did you come up with the title of Bridge of Scarlet Leaves?"


I was searching for a title and happened across a Japanese haiku about standing on a bridge in Kyoto during leaf-viewing season ("momiji"), when all the leaves turn bright red and gold. Aside from a bridge closing the gap between hearts, cultures, and people, it is also the transitional period in classical music, a reflection on the past preceding the climax. Leaves represent change, and when they're scarlet, they're the most beautiful just before they wither.


message 47: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Nicola wrote: "Hi Kristina,
Thanks for taking the time to spend with us.
After writing your grandparents love story you obviously had new insight into them as a couple. This obviously set you on a new path, as ..."


That's so true, Nicola! I now view elderly people, in particular, in a different light. For example, when seated next to an older gentleman on an airplane, I wonder what his life was like when he was young, whether he fought in WWII, etc. It doesn't take long before I strike up a conversation and find out amazing things about his life. And yes, sometimes those tidbits can eventually evolve into a novel. :)


message 48: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Ashley wrote: "Hey Kristina!

I have a passion for historical novels. I also like to learn as much as I can through them and non-fiction about different eras or monarchy. How did you get started writing? What was..."


It all started when my grandma shared with me a secret collection of wartime courtship letters from my late grandfather. They'd only met twice during WWII, exchanging letters the whole time, before they married. When I left her house, I thought it would make such a great movie or book -- given a Cyrano de Bergerac-type twist, wherein a soldier falls in love through letters, unaware the girl he's writing to isn't the one writing back.

Eventually, I sat down at my keyboard and began writing that book, which became my debut novel, Letters from Home.


message 49: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Iris wrote: "Hi Kristina!
It sounds like your book Letters from Home was a labor of love. Why wouldn't it be... it was inspired by letters your grandfather wrote to your grandmother! How long di..."


Well...I jokingly refer to my debut novel as my first and twelfth book, since that's probably how many versions I ended up with after periodic revisions. But to answer your question, after completing the first draft--including a year of setting it aside to co-author another project--it took three years until it sold, and two more years to hit the shelves. Definitely not a fast-moving industry! :)


message 50: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina McMorris (kristinamcmorris) Iris wrote: "Hi Kristina!
It sounds like your book Letters from Home was a labor of love. Why wouldn't it be... it was inspired by letters your grandfather wrote to your grandmother! How long di..."


Sorry, forgot to answer your second question. My grandmother is very touched by what her letters inspired and has been a great support.


« previous 1
back to top