A Publication Day Interview With Katherine Pierce Chinelli, Author of Choose Your Own Romance: College Secrets

choose your own romance 2

I’ve featured all kind of books on Linda’s Book Bag since I started blogging almost three years ago but today is a first – a choose your own romance book for adults! College Secrets is the second in K. P. Chinelli’s Choose Your Own Romance Series, after San Francisco and as it’s publication day today I just had to ask her a little bit more.

Published today, 19th December 2017 Choose Your Own Romance: College Secrets is available for purchase from your local Amazon site.

Choose Your Own Romance: College Secrets

choose your own romance 2

From the author of the addictive, standalone books in the contemporary Choose Your Own Romance series for adults comes the newest book: Choose Your Own Romance: College Secrets.

In the style of the old Choose Your Own Adventure books, this romance brings the fun of adventure to a new, more adult level designed for your busy life. You can skim through one heart-pounding path in twenty minutes, or sit back and luxuriate in deciding which of the six steamy opportunities you like best.

Have fun jet-setting around the world with the rich, gorgeous, playboy senior who sports sexy stubble and pressed dress shirts. Party with the charming, single “daddy” rapper who has an incredible physique and an alluring romantic side. Follow your heart when the tempting football hero from high school reveals his long-standing crush on you. Satisfy your urges to uncover the irresistible flirtatious side of the movie nerd in your class who has interesting surprises of his own. Feel free to explore the intense depths of your vulnerable art professor and his intriguing ability to make you want more. Or probe the mystery of your secretive, bad-girl roommate who persists in playing with your heart.

Never wonder “What If?” again. Don’t let someone else decide your fate. Pick up Choose Your Own Romance: College Secrets now, and create your own epic happily ever after.

An Interview With K.P. Chinelli

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Katherine. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing and Choose Your Own Romance: College Secrets in particular. Firstly, please could you tell me a little about yourself?

Hi Linda, thanks for having me. I’m a wife to a bodybuilder and pest control technician, a mother two to little ones aged 5 and 16-almost 17-months and an avid reader/writer. I’ve always written stories and devoured books since as far back as I can remember. I always have a book on hand. I’m a sucker for self-help books, especially. I used to be a massage therapist and own a small business in Berkeley, California. Now, since my husband is a bodybuilder and obsessed with everything nutrition, I am getting into that field as well. I’ve been gluten-free for two years. My newest diet focus is something I recently discovered called the stenogetic diet, better known as the circadian rhythm diet. It focuses on time-based eating in order to allow your organs to rest and re-set. The benefits include more endurance in your daily life. As a stay-at-home mom I jumped on that reason to start the diet immediately.

When did you realise you were going to be a writer?

I realized I was going to be a writer in third grade when the book my teacher was reading felt too boring to keep me interested. It was then I decided to pen my own. I didn’t know I would publish until long after.

You have quite an eclectic range of books including Young Adult graphic novel and horror books as well as self help. Why do you write in so many genres?

When I started writing, I did so to release emotions that were tangled up inside me. Since the emotions varied, so did the books that came out. The graphic novel was drawn for my friends at school. We were all obsessed with X-Files, and drawing was a large part of the school curriculum. The horror books were based on my own teen angst, X-File obsession (still) and the desire to escape into a fantasy world where I could experience both romance and adventure. The self-help evolved as my emotions overwhelmed me and I was diagnosed as bipolar (which, oddly, has since been diagnosed as “in remission.”) I always felt like if I could read enough self-help, I could “fix” my issues. And then the desire was born to write my own self-help, and help others as I had learned to help myself. My method to this day continues to be based on writing to examine what’s on the inside. Whatever evolves will dictate that.

Which aspects of your writing do you find easiest and most difficult?

The easiest part for me is the daily writing routine which I love. I love organizing my writing time and sitting down and churning it out. I have completed Nanowrimo 3 times and The Three Day Novel Contest 7 times just for the sheer joy of creating. The hardest part is marketing my work, taking myself seriously as a paid author and believing that I deserve to earn money from doing what I love. For a long time I felt icky about marketing. But very recently I realized that I enjoy feeling pride from receiving royalties and supporting my family financially. I also realized that receiving royalties is a physical measure of whether I’ve succeeded in reaching my audience or not, the cornerstone of what it means to be a successful author. It took a lot of introspection to get here, but I’ve finally decided I don’t want to just write, I want to be a successful author.

(I think many, many authors find marketing a real issue Katherine!)

What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?

My writing routines consist of daily work, even on the weekends. Currently I write while my daughter is at school and my son is napping. I write at home on my desk with my computer because the thoughts come so fast it’s easier for me to get it all down. I would love to have more time to write (wouldn’t we all) but I currently have about two hours of quiet time. When my son stops napping eventually I’ll have to figure out something else. I’ve been training him to go play while I write standing up at the kitchen counter (so he won’t grab it) and that seems to be successful with repetition. I love a structured schedule, so right now I devote one hour to working on the next novel and one hour to requesting reviews. On the weekend I get a three hour window courtesy of my husband where I go to the local coffee shop with my computer to do promotion for my free kindle days.

Choose Your Own Romance: College Secrets is reminiscent of the choose your own adventure stories many of us know from childhood. What made you decide to use this format?

I used to love those Choose Your Own Adventure books. And then I read the Twilight series and really wanted Bella to end up with Jacob. (My husband’s name is Jacob.) I was so frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t make her choose differently that I decided to write a book where you could. And so this series was born. And, if readers are curious, this is a series in name only. Each of the books is related in no other way than by title just like the old Choose Your Own Adventure books.

To what extent do you think we have the opportunity to choose our own romance in real life – or do you think fate plays a part?

I absolutely believe we have the ability to choose what we want in our life, especially when it comes to romance. I’m not sure to what degree fate plays a role, or if it’s kind of a sliding-scale, or even what “fate” is. I’ve recently read a lot of books that all point to our subconscious and thought patterns as being the main creators of our lives. I think if we can recognize this we have the power to change what we “get.” If we don’t recognize the influence of our subconscious and thoughts as being huge factors in our outcomes, our “destiny” will be chosen for us.

How did you manage the structure of Choose Your Own Romance: College Secrets as it must have been tricky to organise?

I kept the structure of College Secrets deliberately simple because of that very reason. It ended up being six short stories, really, instead of the grand branching tree of options I had envisioned. I think with a bit more practice and some meticulous planning I could work out a novel that has more intricacy. As it was, for this one I used a large wall space and a lot of index cards to make the plot work correctly. The formatting in the book itself is also tricky. I had to learn hyperlinking within the ebook manuscript in order to allow the reader to jump to the next scene. Since I got feedback from the first novel that it was confusing to some readers (who expected to just go to the next paragraph to read instead of click to jump around) I kept the stories in College Secrets contiguous (with the option of jumping secondary) for fluidity of reading.

(That sounds like a nightmare of plotting to me!)

If you could choose to be a character from Choose Your Own Romance: College Secrets, who would you be and why?

Since YOU get to make all the choices, I would be YOU. (Lol.)

What are you working on next?

Next up is a young adult contemporary fantasy. It’s about a girl who just wants to have her first high school love experience, but she’s also dealing with these superpowers that seem to get her in trouble.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to read?

I’m definitely what they call “addicted” to the self-help genre. I have read so many that I became disgusted with myself and told myself I wouldn’t read them anymore. I started going to the library and picking up some fiction. And then just recently, I couldn’t help myself and bought The Power of Now, which is fantastic, and Tony Robbins’ Awaken the Giant Within, which is still in the mail. I guess I have this nagging feeling like my life could be even more awesome than it is, and I feel as if there must be a secret in one of those books to reveal it. I definitely found some really simple but powerful secrets in The Power of Now, so I am satisfied I was correct in going back to self-help.

(I think many of us can identify with the need to be just that little bit better, no matter how successful we are!)

If you had 15 words to persuade a reader that Choose Your Own Romance: College Secrets should be their next read, what would you say?

You can get your new book boyfriend fix in twenty minutes. Buy coffee, start reading!

Thank you so much for your time in answering my questions Katherine and Happy Publication Day.

Thank you so much for interviewing me!

About Katherine Pierce Chinelli

Katherine Pierce Chinelli

After completing a three-inch binder containing illustrated family portraits and personal information for over one thousand made-up town residents at the age of sixteen, Katherine Pierce Chinelli knew creativity was undeniably her calling. She used that binder to get her foot in the door at Mills College, where she graduated with a B.A. in English. Since then she has gone on to self-publish nine books that include romance, YA adventure, screenplays and self-improvement. She has thrown away more books than she has published in the search for the perfect story, and continues to file ideas away for her next project.

You can find all Katherine’s books here and you can follow her on Twitter @authorkpc.

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