15 Jun 2018

Author Interview / Krystal Ford

On the eve of the 2016 elections, young Republican Megan Thompson faces a once-in-a lifetime opportunity when her boss decides to groom her to run for his congressional seat in 2018. Ambitious and pragmatic, Megan is missing just one thing: a wealthy, well-connected trophy husband.

So, when Megan moves from Florida to DC and lets the congressman broker a power match, she’s looking to get down to work, not fall in love. And she’s definitely not looking to make nice with her new roommate, Andrew Croswell, a liberal environmentalist determined to make her life hell.

After a series of unpleasant blind dates, Megan begins to lose hope of finding her shiny white Republican knight in time to boost her appeal to donors and voters. At last she hits it off with Brock, a dashing, Don Draperesque spokesman for the NRA, and even love-shy Megan thinks he could be “the one.” But as the year progresses, she and Andrew start getting along a little too well, and Megan finds herself second-guessing all her well-laid plans.

Things start spinning out of control when a special election pushes everything up by a year. As Megan races against the clock, she’ll do anything to win—almost. Now she must choose: career over love, or love over politics?

Across the Divide follows genuine, familiar characters from both sides of the aisle, smashing stereotypes and striving to make sense of our not-so-brave new world. Most of all, it asks a crucial question: Can love bridge the great American divide?

1.     If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
I just finished Jodi Picoult’s book Small Great Things, and I loved it. I could tell she did a ton of research to get this right and she did a fantastic job with the different point of views as well, plus she’s a great storyteller.  I could learn a lot from her.
2.     What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
I have two young kids. I typically get home around 9 am after dropping everyone off.  I write at my dinning room table, even though I have an office, but my office is a mess.  Who has time to organize? Not me. In the summer I write outside on my patio. I love my backyard, I’m surrounded by trees and flowers and birds (I’m an amateur gardener.)  I only get six hours to work before I have to pick everyone back up again. On the weekends when my kids are watching tv you can find my typing away on my computer, I always work best right after I have my first coffee of the day.
3.     What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
Reading what I write. It sounds so great in my head and then I’ll read it and think this could be so much better.
4.     When and why did you first start writing?
To be honest, the first time I ever started writing fiction was last June!  I’ve always wanted to write a book. My Masters thesis was a food memoir but I struggled to tell a story instead of recite the past (boring), so my memoir got put aside and I had a couple of kids. But I’m a storyteller, I love to tell stories. I like putting the world under a magnifying glass.  I want to know the why behind peoples’ actions. And I really enjoy research and learning new things. I think you need to be naturally curious about the world and people if you want to write.
5.     How did you come up with the idea for your book?
While I was driving (I have some of my best ideas driving… of course when I can’t write them down) but the thought popped into my head can two people from opposite parties even date in these divisive times? I know there are plenty of couples who have different political views, but would that be a red flag if you were dating now?  My gut reaction was to say no, people can't date across the political divide now. That's when I knew I had to explore it. I had to find away to make it work. What else but love unites us?
6.     Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
Oh yes. I love to read books.  I probably read about 3-4 books a month.  I just finished the novel How to Walk Away by Katherine Center, I couldn't put it down.
7.  Did you always like fiction?
Ha, ha. So here’s a confession, I used to be a snob about fiction.  I would only read depressing non-fiction books about social injustices, everything from factory farming, CIA coups, to genocides in Africa.  My husband used to tease me and said I read the most depressing books. My good friend tried to get me into fiction but I said I only wanted to read “real” books. But after my son was born I really got into fiction and that’s basically all I read now, unless I am doing research.  I’ve come to realize there can be more truth in fiction than in non-fiction.
8.     Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Give yourself a deadline.  Just write and don’t worry about revising. Just get that first draft done. I wrote my first 60,000 words over 8 weeks while my kids were at summer camp!  And it doesn’t matter what the first draft looks like. It doesn’t matter if you throw half of it away. Its all part of the process. If you find yourself stuck and can’t write, take a break and do research, that helps me get my imagination going.  Oh, and find a good writing program, I used Scrivner, it is so much easier to keep the draft organized that way!