Writing is one of the great loves of Kristen Orlando’s life and she’s been lucky enough to make it her living—first as a television producer, then as a marketer and now as a novelist. Kristen graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from Kenyon College. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with the other great love of her life, Michael.
Kristen’s debut novel, YOU DON’T KNOW MY NAME (Macmillan/Swoon Reads, January 10th, 2017), is a YA Spy Thriller. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most elite secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with Luke was not part of the plan. Now Reagan must decide: utilize her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away for Luke and the normal life she’s always wanted
The two or three items she needs with her when she sits down to write: I must be in some form of sweatpants and be totally comfortable (Honestly, I’ll look for any excuse to be in comfy clothes. I’d live my life in PJs if it was socially acceptable). And I usually need to listen to classical piano music when I write. It helps me focus.
The literary character she’d most like to meet: Oh gosh! This is such a good question. I’d love to spend a day wandering with Finch and Violet from ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES. And I know this is going to sound a little nutty, but I’d love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with Amy Elliot Dunne from GONE GIRL. She’s so terrifyingly complicated and I sort of want to figure her out.
Her favorite childhood book: I grew up reading The Berenstain Bears as a kid. I loved and read every single Baby-Sitter’s Club book and of course, anything by Judy Blume. I think I’ve read SUMMER SISTERS at least 20 times.
Hobbies when she’s not writing/reading: Anything having to do with food. Cooking with my husband, eating with my friends and family. I’ll even travel places just for the food.
Her favorite Muppet and why: I LOVE the Muppets so this is actually a hard choice for me. Probably Miss Piggy because she’s so sassy and funny.
The craziest thing she did when she was 17: 17 is actually my favorite number and was one of my favorite ages. During my senior year of high school, my friends and I would all play pranks on each other. We’d decorate each other’s cars with embarrassing pictures or streamers when we were out on dates. One time my friend Claire and I were at Saturday mass (wow…look at us rebels at church) and they were giving away all the poinsettias since it was after Christmas. We took probably 25 of them, loaded them up in the back of our cars, drove to another friend’s house and covered every inch of her car in poinsettias. That was probably the craziest thing I did at 17. My parents were super strict and kind of scary so I was pretty good!
If she could travel anywhere in the world, where she’d go: I’d go to Italy. I’m Italian and have been lucky enough to travel to Italy a couple times but it’s my favorite place in the world. Amazing food, gorgeous sites and warm, wonderful people. What’s not to love?
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