Raised as a cowgirl in Colorado, Kiersi Burkhart has never forgotten her frontier roots, although she now lives in Portland, Oregon. Her essay THE FIRST RULE OF COLLEGE appears in the upcoming non-fiction anthology, THE V-WORD (Beyond Words, 2016).
Her debut novel, SHY GIRL AND SHY GUY (Darby Creek/Lerner, Spring 2016), is a middle grade contemporary that taps into Kiersi’s love of stories about bravery, friendship, and horses. For Hanna, Quartz Creek Ranch was the worst kind of punishment, because there’s nothing she fears more than horses. Then she meets the beautiful gray named Shy Guy, who is just as afraid of people as Hanna is of horses. Can she help Shy Guy overcome his past of abuse and abandonment, and restore him to his former glory?
- Favorite book growing up: THE NEVERENDING STORY by Michael Ende
- Childhood aspiration: Everything! A vet, a zookeeper, a teacher, a painter, a writer—what she wanted to be changed as often as her mood.
- Favorite time of day/place to write: She loves going to the 24-hour coffee shop and writing all night long under a deadline.
- Book currently reading/most recently read: CODE NAME VERITY. It was recommended to her half a dozen times and she finally cracked.
- Favorite things to do (other than reading): She’s big into board games and table-top gaming. She also tries to go dancing whenever possible, and she’s always on the hunt for great live music.
- Favorite sports teams: She doesn’t watch sports at all, but she grew up in Colorado and she’ll (inexplicably) always be loyal to the Broncos.
- Surprising personal fact: Before she got serious about writing novels in 2010 (she’d written fan fiction obsessively for almost a decade and never thought it could be anything more), she was working as an illustrator and thought for sure she was going to illustrate children’s books for a living. After finishing her first gig, she decided she wasn’t cut out for the illustrator’s life after all, and discovered her true calling in writing kids’ books instead.
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: The people! It’s great getting to chum around with other authors on the same track and timeline as herself—talking shop, supporting each other through hiccups, and sharing trade secrets. It’s like being a part of a club!
Where to find her: