Hello! I want to say a big thank you to Aussie Owned and Read for hosting me today. It’s my 33rd birthday, so enjoy a big slice of imaginary chocolate cake okay?
I’m a YA author from Wisconsin, and I published my latest book, More than a Moment, in June of 2015. The blurb for the book is as follows:
Julia Becker, a pretty and popular barrel-racing champion, is acutely aware that life changes in the blink of an eye. She’s about to start her senior year of high school and is recovering from a serious riding accident when her long-time boyfriend, star-quarterback Tyler Perkins, breaks up with her.
Lucas Mercado, the son of a Mexican migrant worker, has been living and working at the Perkins dairy farm for the last three months. When he meets Julia at the end of summer, he wants nothing more than to help her start riding again. There’s something about her that draws him to her, but he knows he needs to be careful.
When Julia is finally back on her feet, she begins to train for a rescue race with Lucas. Just when life starts feeling normal again, Julia is reminded of how quickly things can change and just how much she has to lose.
Life happens fast, and sometimes it’s all you can do to not blink.
The idea for More than a Moment came to me when I was driving in the country during the summer. I’d recently moved to the central part of Wisconsin and was surprised at the number of migrant workers I saw out in the fields. As I drove I couldn’t stop thinking about their lives, and I knew I wanted to write a novel about a migrant worker’s son falling in love with a local girl.
At first I was hesitant to tackle the subject. Politics aside, how could I do justice to the boy’s story? While there has been a big push in the book world for diverse characters and stories, I knew I wanted to proceed as authentically as possible. While conducting my research for the book I interviewed a former dairy farm employee, watched videos about migrant workers in the dairy industry and checked out books from the library that I thought might round out my knowledge. While I didn’t read all of these books cover to cover, I found them invaluable and would recommend them to readers interested in the subject: With These Hands – the hidden world of migrant farm workers today by Daniel Rothenberg, Voices from the Fields – children of migrant farmworkers tell their stories by Beth Atkin, and The Circuit – stories from the life of a migrant child by Francisco Jiménez.
While the stories were all very different, I saw themes emerge. Themes of family and heartache, of isolation and misunderstanding and of new beginnings. Lucas began to take shape in my mind, and once I outlined the story, it was a short five weeks until I completed the first draft. More than a Moment is a sweet YA love story, but it also digs into a lot of contemporary issues. Julia and Lucas don’t live in a perfect world, and they struggle with racism, bullying, peer pressure and stereotypes as they navigate their young love.
I wrote More than a Moment as a standalone novel, but lately I’ve been thinking there may be more to Julia and Lucas’s story. If you want to stay in the loop for my future projects, you can sign up for my newsletter on my website www.kristinalbright.com or find me on Facebook (Author Kristin Albright). I’ve recently begun teaching high school again, so I’ll be writing on a more seasonal basis for now.
Thanks for reading about my new book. In honor of my birthday, I’ve decided to do a one-day giveaway for More than a Moment. It will be free on September 22nd (on Amazon.com). If you take advantage of this giveaway and enjoy my novel, please consider taking a moment to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads so others may find the book too.