A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

Fences Left Broken: Q&A with Kristen Terrette + Giveaway

 



About the Book



Book: Fences Left Broken

Author: Kristen Terrette

Genre: YA

Release Date: October 13, 2023

Mia’s father is dead, and her mother has left her in the rural Mississippi Delta town of Marigold with family she’s never known. Her two sets of grandparents are separated not only by a fence dividing their properties, but by skin color and a deep-seated hatred for each other which none of them will discuss.
When Mia learns their mutual hatred concerns a long-ago murder, she and her new friends set out to uncover who was murdered and why. Their search leads them to unspoken secrets and buried tragedies, stretching from the years of the Great Depression to the Freedom Summer Movement of ‘64.
Mia hopes to reconcile her grandparents by finding the truth. But can broken family fences be truly mended in the face of decades of unforgiving hate?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


With a background in education and theology, Kristen served as a children’s ministry director and women’s leader for many years before returning to her first love—writing the stories playing out in her head. She dove into the publishing world writing numerous articles, devotionals, and novels in both the Romance and Young Adult genres. After managing an international blog and a publishing house’s social media feed, she found herself as an intern at the esteemed literary agency, Writers House, in the summer of 2022.

This landed her a job with Martin Literary Management where she now takes on author clients of her own. Stories are her thing and authors are her people. When not on her computer writing, editing, or emailing, or with her nose in a book, you can find her getting a little too loud from the sidelines of a kids’ basketball or football game. She’s also a recent transplant to rural Georgia where she thrives on jogging her forty acres terribly, drinking coffee while birdwatching, and daydreaming of new book characters, plotlines, and making her client’s dreams come true (which are her dreams as well).

More from Kristen

All you need is a spark.

When people find out I’m an author or have read one of my books, I’m often asked how I came up with the story. My answer is always the same. They all begin with a spark, a small idea, sometimes even taking root first in a remote corner of my mind, that says, “There’s a story there.” And that one spark lights, then it quadruples, over and over until it ends up a bright and thriving fire.

The spark for Fences Left Broken was a documentary from 2016 called Dirt & Deeds in Mississippi which told of “the largely unknown and pivotal role played (in the Freedom Sumer Movement and the Voting Rights Act) by black landowning families in the deep South who controlled over a million acres in the 1960s.” This documentary was fascinating and linked generations who had no idea just how important they would end up being in a much-needed and changing time in history. Black sharecroppers who benefitted from an agricultural program during Roosevelt’s New Deal became landowners overnight. Skip ahead a few decades, and these same landowners, or their heirs, had the power to force change.

In the sixties, Mississippi law said that if you were a landowner, you could vote, which opened doors for black families. But, also, these black landowners had leverage. Land was king. Land was also collateral. So when Freedom Summer came along and the wave of black Southerners tried to register to vote, these black landowners had a unique advantage.

Blacks and whites who were volunteering for the Freedom Summer Movement were arrested, often on bogus charges like disrupting the peace and put in jail. But guess what? Black landowners put their land titles up as collateral and got these people out on bond.

Even crazier, out of the hundreds of arrests and bail bonds issued that summer, not ONE failed to follow through and appear in court. Not ONE person charged with a bogus crime was found in default, their bail revoked, and the bond kept. This means not ONE black family who put their land up as collateral lost it.

Historians have gone so far as to say the success of Freedom Summer and the result of the Voting Rights Act wouldn’t have been possible without these families risking it all for the sake of justice and equality.

This documentary was my spark. I got to thinking about these families. They were real people, now generations of people, living in these intertwined communities. What would this have looked like through the years? What became of these families? Where are they now?

And the rabbit trail of my mind began. That spark ignited, and I followed it, outlining potential events that could have happened to families in Mississippi before and after the 1960s, and it all led to my main character, Mia. And Fences Left Broken was born.

I hope you enjoyed learning some little-known history, and a little tidbit of my writing inspiration. And I hope you are curious to find out more about Mia’s story!

Author Interview

Can you share 5 random facts about you that we will not find in your bio?  

  1. I had four legit careers before I started writing. It took me while to find my true passion, which really meant going back to what I ALWAYS wanted to do in the first place.  
  2. I’ve been married to my husband and college sweetheart for 20 years.  
  3. My two kids got their athleticism from their dad, lol. 
  4. I love birds.  
  5. I was NOT a cat person until my husband brought one home to be an “outside” cat and I feel in love. He’s now in the house A LOT!  

 

When did you first discover you had a passion for writing? 

100% in elementary school. I won awards every year in our Young Author’s Fairs at school. By high school and college, I was the family go-to to help with reports, essays, etc. My mom still tells stories about how I would write something to help one of my sisters in like five minutes, and it would be poignant and perfect. I don’t really remember doing this, but glad I could help! 

 

What drew you to your chosen genre?    

I actually do write in two genres. Young Adult and Romance. My first three books have been Romance, and my last three have been Young Adult. Really, I think it’s all about what characters and story GOD gives me. I joke that the stories He’s giving me now are teen ones! So, that’s what spill out. I also think this has played out because I read a lot in these genres as well.  

 

What does your writing routine look like?  

 

I am by far the most productive in the morning. I have prayer time, take my son to school, and come home, get MORE coffee, and go to work. Overall, I’ve always worked while the kids were at school and the hubs is at work. 

 

Are you a planner or a pantser? 

 

Planner, overall. Though I will say, I have a solid outline, but not necessarily how I will fulfill the outline scene-by-scene. Like, I may start out a scene and know it’ll end with a certain action or dialog happening, but how those characters get there is fully pantser-style. I surprise myself sometimes with what comes out! 

  
If you had to describe your main character(s) in just three words, what would they be?  

 

Peacemaker, tenacious, strong 
 
What was the most challenging part of bringing this story to life?  

 

By far the most challenging part of bringing this story to life is all about correctly capturing my biracial main character’s life and understanding of the world around her. I am a literary agent as well, and certainly know the faux pas involved here with a white woman writing a biracial character. I took this very seriously. I had four sensitivity readers give feedback on the book. I interviewed a biracial girl and her biological white mother. (These are good friends of mine, so I could be real, and so could they!) I tried many times to figure out how to write this fascinating story (inspired by true events) that God had planted inside me without making Mia a biracial teen, but I couldn’t do it. So, I just started writing. And I’m very proud of the story. And my feedback from both black and white readers has been wonderful. This is not a white-hero story. This is a forgiveness story. 

 

What was the most rewarding? 

 

Oh goodness, easy, the reader reviews! I truly get butterflies reading them! 

 
 
What do you hope readers will take away from the book?  

 

That holding bitterness inside is like a festering disease. Release it and forgive! 

And, what you see or hear or even think is not always true.  

 
 
Where can readers follow along to see what’s coming next?  

 

I am pretty active on social media. J Instagram. Facebook. X 

They can also find me here: Website. Amazon. Goodreads. 

 

Blog Stops

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 8 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, March 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 9

Artistic Nobody, March 10 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, March 11

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 12 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 13

A Reader’s Brain, March 14 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, March 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 16 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, March 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 18 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19

Guild Master, March 20 (Author Interview)

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, March 20

Fiction Book Lover, March 21 (Author Interview)

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Kristen is giving away the grand prize package of a $75 dollar Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/2a553/fences-left-broken-celebration-tour-giveaway

0 Comments

Contact Form (Do not remove it)

back to top