Kristin Russell: A Sky for Us Alone
Updated: Jul 19, 2019
Hey friends! Welcome to my very first author interview series! I'm so excited to bring these four authors to you, so let's get started!
A Sky For Us Alone
by Kristin Russell
In Strickland County, there isn’t a lot of anything to go around. But when eighteen-year-old Harlowe Compton’s brother is killed by the Praters—the family who controls everything, from the mines to the law—he wonders if the future will ever hold more than loss. Until he meets Tennessee Moore. With Tennessee, Harlowe feels for the first time that something good might happen, that he might’ve found the rarest thing of all: hope. Even as she struggles with the worst of the cards she’s been dealt, Tennessee makes Harlowe believe that they can dare to forge their own path—if they only give it a shot. But as Harlowe searches for the answers behind his brother’s death, his town’s decay, and his family’s dysfunction, he discovers truths about the people he loves—and himself—that are darker than he ever expected. Now, Harlowe realizes, there’s no turning back. A powerful story of first love, poverty, and the grip of the opioid crisis in the rural South, Kristin Russell’s gorgeous debut novel asks a universal question: When hope seems lost, are dreams worth the risk?
January 8th, 2019
Introduce yourself and your debut novel.
Hi, I’m Kristin Russell, and my debut A Sky For Us Alone is in stores 1/8/19
What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?
That someone hasn’t written a handbook for debut authors!
Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!
Hi imprint-sibling Teilor Kay Mejia, I can’t wait to read We Set The Dark On Fire!
Tell us about your novel! What inspired you to write this book?
A Sky For Us Alone was inspired by a song. I’ve been a hairstylist for over seventeen years, and one of my favorite clients ever, Rosanne Cash (artist, author, and daughter of Johnny Cash), told me I should go see Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons play in my hometown of Nashville. I did, and I couldn’t get their song “Tennessee” out of my head, so I wrote a novel about what I imagined was the backstory for the song.
What was the hardest thing to write?
It was hardest for me to write the scene where Harlowe finds his brother Nathaniel dead. It happens early, and it’s the impetus for the story, so no spoilers here, but still, it was brutal and heartbreaking.
Describe your writing space.
Because I began writing in earnest after I started doing hair, I learned how to write in salon break rooms, on sets, and pretty much anywhere. Honestly, now I usually write on my couch instead of at my desk.
How do you select character names?
I knew the names of some of my characters before I knew who they were, others I had to search until I found the right on that fit. Because this book takes place deep in Appalachia, I had to look for some really unique southern names.
What are two of your favorite covers of all time?
Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus, probably because it is one of my favorite books, and I love how graphic the cover is.
And I gotta say, I really love the cover the Katherine Tegen team designed for A Sky For Us Alone. They captured one of my favorite scenes with the ferris wheel, and maintained a dark melancholy that is so fitting for the story.
A huge thanks to Kristin for participating in this interview series! Find her book in stores on 1/8/19!