Get to Know a YA Author: Kimberly Gabriel

Welcome to our newest feature on B&N Teen Blog, Get to Know a YA Author, in which we pose the same questions to different YA authors so readers can get to learn a little more about them, what they write, what they read, and what they love! Today we’re getting to know Kimberly Gabriel, who debuted this week with thriller Every Stolen Breath! Come get to know Kimberly, the fellow debuts she recommends, and what else fills her day!
Kimberly Gabriel started writing in fourth grade, when she wrote, bound, and gave away books of terrible poetry to family and teachers as holiday gifts. Today, she’s an English teacher who still squanders all free minutes to write and uses it as the best scapegoat for her laundry avoidance issues. When she is not teaching or writing, Kimberly is enjoying life with her husband, her three beautiful children, and a seriously beautiful boxer in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Every Stolen Breath is her debut novel and a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.
Describe your new release in 5 words:
Tenacious asthmatic vs. murderous mob.
This is a YA book blog, so tell us 3 YAs you recommend!
I’m going to recommend some of my recent favorite 2019 debuts:
  • Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith is a page-turning YA fantasy that’s packed with tension
  • Ziggy, Stardust & Me by James Brandon is a heart-wrenching, yet hopeful story that had me both laughing and crying in different parts
  • Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins is a Jane Austin retelling with a fantastic, slow burn romance—I’m always a sucker for those.

What do you do when you’re not reading or writing?

I also teach, and I’m a mom to three kids. Juggling those three parts of my life keep me pretty busy. My one guilty indulgence that I squeeze in whenever I can is watching episodes of Veronica Mars late at night when I should be sleeping.
What’s your dream book tour city/stop?
Ooh….I have a list of independent book stores that I dream about having events at. For my launch of Every Stolen Breath, I’m hitting two on my list: Anderson’s Bookshop near Chicago and Books of Wonder in NYC. Other favorites include Powell’s Books and One More Page books.
If you got to retell any story as a YA novel, what would it be and why?
Two of my favorite stories to teach are “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and Cyrano de Bergerac. Both of them have captivating characters and universal themes that are still relevant today. I’d love to write the YA novel of either of them.
What’s your favorite way to reward yourself for publishing a book?
Publishing a book is really a series of milestones, and I’ve taken on the habit of drinking wine for each milestone I hit. It’s helped me focus on all the exciting parts of the journey that are worth celebrating.
What are you working on now?
I have two projects that I’ve been working on, one more seriously than the other. While I can’t say much about either, I can assure you that they involve tension, murder, complex characters, tenacious heroines, and Chicago.
Every Stolen Breath is available now.
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