Shalom and Goodbye to 2022

Shalom and Goodbye to 2022

If I had to choose three words to describe this year, they would be “sorting”, “softness”, and “new” memories. πŸ’™

Year one of marriage has been great! We’ve had so much fun getting settled in our little house, bringing his dog Nugget into the mix, and becoming pros at grocery shopping and communication (almost). Also, hospitality makes us feel like really cool adults. 😎 My favorite new memories have been us sitting on the porch watching it rain and our very bookish vacation this summer.

My mental health journey has been a ride. Oh boy. πŸ₯΄ Lots of coping with comfort shows, a cute computer game, and amazing naps, lol. I feel like I lost a lot of time this year to survival mode, but I’m so grateful to be six months into treatment and feeling way better. And just this month I got answers and a plan for 3+ years of “mysterious” physical illness. πŸ™ŒπŸ˜

It’s been an amazing author year in ways I could have never expected when I dove back in! It’s been encouraging and fun to find you all stuck around, and growing my bookish Instagram community has been great too. πŸ’™ I released the special second edition of Kiera, a literal dream come true, published Enjoy the Poodle Skirt in adorable tiny paperback form, and wrote Operation Robin and most of a novella. I’ve also been gaining confidence (and a low-key obsession) with cover design. 😎

So much more reading happened this year! And a huge percentage of it was indie, which makes me ridiculously happy. πŸ˜‰ From debuts to short stories to years-in-the-making comebacks, I’ve been delighted to support my authors and discover new fictional worlds. I’ve also gotten to experience a couple buddy reads which is always quite fun. Check out my Goodreads “Year in Books” to see what I enjoyed.

My husband and I really bonded over movies while we were dating, and the fun has continued into our marriage. Thanks to him, I’ve seen a TON of really good movies this year, so I had trouble choosing my top 5. (That’s why there are six. πŸ˜‚πŸ‘€) If you have any questions about a movie/content, I’m happy to share my thoughts. πŸ˜‰

I got to bake a lot more this season, and my favorite repeat recipe has got to be these cookies. So delicious and light. 🀀 I had to buy a new computer early this year, and collecting stickers on it makes my nerd heart so happy. 😍 As does my growing Funko Pop family and the book sleeve collection I accidentally started. 😊

It’s been quite a year, and I’m really, really grateful for it. πŸ’š I’ll be back next week (next year! :O ) with my nebulous goals for 2023.

Thank you for being part of my 2022!

Merry Free Book!

Merry Free Book!

Hey, everyone! I hope you had a Merry Christmas, a happy end of Chanukah, and your New Year is fabulous!

As my end-of-the-year gift to you, I’d love to send you a copy of my teeny tiny Kiera sequel short story “Operation Robin”. I had so much fun revisiting these characters, and I hope you do too. πŸ’™

If you would like a copy, fill out this form with “PEPPERMINT” and your preference of pdf or epub file, and I will send it along to you. πŸ˜‰

(I will not use your email address for anything else, and if you would like it deleted, let me know. Free ebook available through 12/31)

I Fancast The Characters of Kiera

I Fancast The Characters of Kiera

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a reel where I played “what if Kiera was a movie”, complete with directors, a screenwriter, and an entire main cast. πŸ‘€ It was brilliant fun, and I thought I’d share the fancast and my thoughts behind them here.

These people may look nothing like you expect, or you might find them just perfect. I tried my best to find pictures where they looked like *real* people instead of glam headshots, but I could only do so much.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments about what you think/if you would have chosen differently, etc.

Fair warning, this is about to get very nerdy and “Daydreams of Kate On Fully Display”. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ *adjusts director-style scarf*

Kiera

Anjelica Bette Fellini

Finding someone who looked just right was more to me about spirit than features, and it was pretty hard to find someone who looked young without being a kid and could easily switch between being vulnerable and being strong when she needed to be. I’m actually really happy with this actress, and I think with lighter brown hair, she’d fit the bill. πŸ˜‰

Brennan

Benjamin Hollingsworth

In some ways I was more intimidated to choose Brennan than I was Kiera, just because I knew it was really important to choose someone I felt worked well opposite her, both in very “normal guy” looks and in age difference. This isn’t my favorite picture of him (there were some that were technically cuter since he’s styled more relaxed), but I thought this one showed his playful side really well.

Thorne

Jesse Moss

It was especially important to me that Thorne look like Kiera, but I got even more than I bargained for when I found this actor. I just love his vibe of “yes, I am listening, I feel for you, I have something wise to say”. Perfect big brother and pastor vibes. πŸ‘

Destiny

Taylor Russell

I’ve seen all these actors in something before but usually as side characters (I scoured one of my favorite Christian shows for good actors, lol), but she was one I know better as a main character. I immediately thought her good-natured but really decisive personality would be perfect.

Jessica

Kimberly Sustad

Last but not least, I wanted to choose someone for Jessica that embodied a very regular but also very powerful woman. I have this whole unused plotline where she’s kind of a super spy, and this actress just really fit that bill for me.


What do you think? Is this how you pictured everyone?

The Get to Know Me Tag β€” Writer’s Edition

The Get to Know Me Tag β€” Writer’s Edition

Happy weekend, everyone! I thought this tag might be a fun way to end the week. πŸ˜‰

This tag was originally created by Savannah at Savannah Grace Writes, and I was tagged by the wonderful E.G. Bella. You can find her post here. Thanks so much for tagging me!

Vital Stats and Appearance

Name: Kate (Willis) Hoppman (there’s also a really pretty middle name in there which I won’t share because privacy πŸ˜‰ )

Nicknames: I don’t have an official nickname, but my nephews are convinced my name is actually “Cake” which cracks them up because I often make family birthday cakes.

Birthday: Springtime. πŸ˜‰

Hair color and length: Brown, elbow-length because of how curly it gets, but it’s really a lot longer than that. πŸ˜‰

Eye color: Also brown

Braces/piercings/tattoos: None of the above

Righty or lefty: I’m right-handed, though I’m somewhat ambidextrous.

Ethnicity: I’m a mix of all things European + Ashkenazi Jew. 😎

Firsts

First novel written: Kiera. It was a huge milestone for me, and I’m still so grateful I got to write and publish it. πŸ’™

First novel completed: Also Kiera. I have yet to complete a second novel beyond draft one, and the self-doubt feeds off that fact rather well. πŸ˜‰ 😬

Award for writing: I believe I won a short story contest in the past. πŸ€”

First publication: My middle-grade, summery mystery The Treasure Hunt. My sister Perry helped me get it ready in time for a convention table she was running for Homeschooled Authors, and I got to see my book in person there and sell copies. 😍 One of my favorite author moments.

Conference: I’ve never been to one, but I’d love to attend the Rabbit Room conference, Hutchmoot. Finances and the bundle of anxiety that I am make going to a conference a little bit unrealistic for me right now. πŸ˜‰

Query/Pitch: Nope.

Favorite

Novel (that you wrote): The one I’m writing now. πŸ˜‰ Which currently truly means my fantasy WIP “Awake”, but also I’m generally in love with whatever I’m working on (unless it’s editing time). 😁🀩

Genre: I write mainly contemporary and fantasy (or variation thereupon), but I’m itching to write something sci-fi.

Author: Perry Kirkpatrick, Sarah Holman, and Kim Vogel Sawyer

Writing Music: I don’t listen to music a lot while writing because #distractiblebrain

Time to Write: Midday or middle of the night when I should be sleeping and simply cannot. πŸ™ˆ

Writing Snack/Drink: Chai tea, something chocolate πŸ˜‰

Movie: *draws a blank* *literally has 600* I think more people seriously need to see the wonderfulness that is Fast Color.

Writing Memory: When my rewrite of a vital scene in Kiera made my mom cry. πŸ₯°

Childhood Book: The Shield Ring by Rosemary Sutcliffe was exceedingly formative. πŸ‘€

Currently

Reading: The second Enola Holmes book. 😎 Also, a beta-read for a friend of mine.

Writing: Erm, mostly blog posts.

Listening to: Improbable Things podcast by J. Grace Pennington. She’s a very cool human, and I love her thoughts on life, books, and writing.

Watching: Parks and Rec with my husband. πŸ˜‰

Learning: Mental health management and how to live life.

Future

Want To Be Published: Yes! That’s the goal with every new project, and I hope to have more books out there to share with you.

Indie or Traditional: I’ll be staying indie for the foreseeable future, but if I got a deal with a small press, I wouldn’t be opposed. πŸ˜‰

Wildest Goal: To see one of my books made into a movie. 🀩


Thanks for reading, and if you’d like to answer these questions, consider yourself tagged! πŸ˜‰

A Very Kiera Playlist

A Very Kiera Playlist

I didn’t have Spotify when I first wrote and published, but it’s been fun making a playlist after the fact.

It’s no secret “Sparrows” by Jason Gray is THE Kiera song. It inspired me as I wrote, and the characters listen to it at least twice in the book. πŸ’™

I thought it might be super fun to take this song and a few others and make a Kiera-themed playlist. 😎😎

(There aren’t any spoilers, so if you haven’t read it yet, you can still listen.)

I went for some thematically accurate “espresso depresso” songs, some encouraging Christian ones, and a couple delightfully hopeful ones. 😁

Listen Here

Just a few highlights are…

Say Something by Christina Aguilera and A Great Big World

This one that gives me strong vibes of a Certain Scene That Shall Not Be Spoiled. Like, if this book were a musical, Kiera would literally be singing it to Brennan. #allthedesperatefeels

O Anxious One by Alanna Boudreau

This one is the perspective of God singing to His child, and I think no matter where you are in life, it would be comforting, so Kiera especially needs it after what I put her through.

The Best Is Yet to Come by Jonathan Gulley and Saint Cardinal

This is a happy, dance-in-your-kitchen-we’re-all-gonna-be-okay song. πŸ’™ Destiny definitely shared this one with Kiera. πŸ˜‰

I hope you enjoy listening!


Bloggers we’re celebrating with today…

Eva-Joy

And don’t forget, the giveaway ends tonight, so get your entries in!

All the Things I’ve Ever Changed

All the Things I’ve Ever Changed

I’ve hinted that there were some bigger edits I wanted to make to Kiera that drove this second edition, but I thought I would dive a little deeper into my thoughts behind this.

1. Diversity

The problem: I was just learning the importance and beauty of diversity and wanted to reflect this in my novel, but if you blinked and missed it, I don’t blame you. I had very little exposure to people of color growing up in small town PNW and even less knowledge of Black culture. I also had the mistaken idea that any mention of skin color automatically meant racism, so I did a pretty poor job giving my characters full-bodied experiences and identities.

What I changed: While I felt it was too late at this point to give Destiny and Niyanna what I now know they deserve and was worried doing so could feed into some stereotypes (i.e. Destiny’s family), I made sure that any mentions of their race were inoffensive and used some more accurate/specific terms for their hairstyles than just “braids”.

In the future: Before I attempt to write characters of a different culture from mine again, I’m spending some time listening and soaking in. If you have any recommendations for resources (fiction or otherwise), please share them down in the comments.


2. Child Raising

The problem: In the original edition, I included a scene where Kiera physically disciplines Jade. I had her do it with patience and calmness, which to me was somewhat countercultural to what I was surrounded with. A little while after publication, I heard from a reader or two that they would not be reading the book due to the triggering nature of this scene as it reminded them of child abuse they had witnessed. This really grieved me and got me thinking that maybe this wasn’t the best or only way to raise children.

What I changed: I ended up removing this scene completely as it served no other purpose in the story and detracted from my main message of love.

In the future: I would like to focus on the positive, nurturing but still honest and hard aspects of raising children with gentleness and grace.


3. LGBT+ Portrayal

The problem: This last one makes me a little bit sad, and I hope my readers will be forgiving. I needed a divisive political issue, something that would wreck the church in this book, so I chose LGBT+ issues, a.k.a. the current β€œboogeyman” of my church experience. I won’t go into the storyline, but I soon realized this decision and the way I wrote it could be unintentionally villainizing and very hurtful, especially to young readers who may be seeking God on what He says about their sexual orientation.

What I changed: I decided that this book, with very little plot space for nuanced, empathetic discussion and a storyline focused on love not controversy was not the place for me to talk about this. I removed the storyline completely.

In the future: I will not be writing any more stories with LGBT+ identities painted as a divisive issue, as I believe it is much more human than political, personal than dogmatic.


Whether or not you agree with these changes, please know that I felt God’s calling to implement them and did so in good faith with very little meaningful change to the story. I hope to continue to grow in my empathy and knowledge and write more stories showing the love of God. πŸ’™


Bloggers we’re celebrating with today…

Lillian Keith

(Don’t forget to enter the giveaway πŸ˜‰)

Kiera Release Day!!!

Kiera Release Day!!!

IT’S HERE!

KIERA IS HERE, Y’ALL!

πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸ’™πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ€©πŸ˜βœ¨

I think my unofficially official author picture sums up how I’m feeling perfectly.

One eye smiling and the other just a little bit crazy. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

This book has taken a lot. A lot of time, stamina, criticism, and creativity. But it’s also given me so much, and one of my favorites is you all. πŸ’™

Thank you for all your enthusiasm and support!

Just Kiera chilling with some other real books. πŸ’™


Buy on Amazon // Order hardcover

Bloggers we’re celebrating with today…

Kristina Hall

Autumn

Saraina Whitney

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

God Said Hello

God Said Hello

I’ve known for a couple years now that I’ve wanted to make some changes to Kiera.

I wrote my heart on the pages of this book. I wrote about God and His love for us–something I’ve fought to find and hold on to. I wrote about sacrificial love that blossoms into more. I wrote about friendship and fear and loss and laughter.

And sometimes hearts change.

We get to grow up a little, find out what’s important, change our mind on things, realize some things are a big deal but not as big as we thought they were.

Mine has changed a bit through continued distance and healing from a heart-draining culture and more empathy, truth, and emotional honesty in my life.

I started to have qualms about a couple non-essential elements of the story, and early this year I felt God calling me to make these changes.

All through the project, I have felt Him near in a very big way. He provided an odd job with exactly the right amount of pay to cover new designs. He gave me strength and words to write a brand new short story.

When I was hit with the worst dose of imposter syndrome, He brought me a favorable review and an early, perfectly printed proof copy. And this week I feel Him giving me energy and enthusiasm for this release.

I can feel His delight to bless me in these ways, and I can’t wait to write my next book with Him. πŸ’™


Bloggers we’re celebrating with today…

Jana

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

It’s Time to Celebrate (+Kiera Giveaway!)

It’s Time to Celebrate (+Kiera Giveaway!)

It. Is. TIME.

It’s Kiera week!

If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you’ve heard me talk about this book a lot already. You may have experienced the ups and downs of my drafting/editing the novel and even participated in the blog tour.

It means the world that you’re here for the second time, and I hope it’s just as fun. And if you’re brand new, hello! I appreciate you. πŸ’™

To kick things off, I’m hosting a giveaway!

Prize: Kiera pre-order bundle 🀩🀩 + decorative pitcher, flowers, ceramic birds, and twig nest

International alternate prize: Kiera inspired stickers, author-signed bookplate, $15 Amazon giftcard

Entry options:

  1. Comment your favorite YA novel
  2. Comment about a book bestie
  3. Blog a #KieraBookChallenge prompt (link back to this post)
  4. Follow this blog (comment “done!”)
  5. Share this giveaway (link back or comment)
  6. For more entry options, go to my IG post

Prize ships to US only. International winner will be awarded alternate prize and another winner drawn. Giveaway also runs on Instagram. Giveaway runs 5/9 through 5/13.

Enter and have the most fun! 🀩

Bloggers we’re celebrating with today…

Vanessa Hall

Esther Jackson (spoiler warning)

My Proof Copy Came!

My Proof Copy Came!

Something absolutely wonderful happened in my author world this week.

My proof copy arrived!!!! 😍😍😍😭😭

Package 😍

Y’ALL, I had been tracking it all day and just as I thought it was probably too late to come, the delivery driver knocked on the door, scared the hair off my dog, and my package was officially here.

I got to open it with Mikayla on video call and Joshua filming. πŸ’™

Song credit: A Millions Dreams by Anthem Lights

It is absolutely and entirely perfect. I’ll share some more pictures when I have daylight (and there’s a giveaway 🀫), but I am so grateful for how perfectly and beautifully it printed. (Thank you everyone who has prayed. πŸ’™)

I still look at it like “that’s not real” “what is this thing” “how do I have a book and a HARDCOVER one??”

Can you believe it?! 😭🀩

It’s been such a gift, and let me tell you–there has been so much grace. πŸ’™

(Kiera releases 5.11.2022. Pre-order your copy now!)