Khristin Wierman was inspired by the idea of change, so she wrote "This Time Could Be Different".
What was your inspiration behind your most recent book?
"This Time Could Be Different" was inspired by the idea of change. I had recently left the corporate world and found myself a bit adrift. I think as we get older, we are often confronted with the idea that being able to change ourselves is less and less likely, if not impossible. In my experience, change can be absolutely terrifying and often brings us face-to-face with our worst fears. But it’s doable. I wanted to write a story about that.
What does "Reading Rainbow" mean to you?
To me, Reading Rainbow means that every person can find themselves positively reflected in the stories we read and see on the screen. And because we are such a diverse world, that means that our stories must reflect vastly diverse characters, facing unique challenges and approaching them in unique ways. That can only happen authentically if authors of every walk of life, background, culture, orientation, etc. are supported in having a path to contribute.
Why do you feel representation of a variety of people is so important when it comes to writing books?
Stories are such a magical way to expand our understanding of the world, especially aspects that may be different from our own experiences. In doing that, we can better understand ourselves…not only who we are, but how we choose to be.
If the stories available only reflect small, specific slivers of the world, viewed through a few specific perspectives, then we’re missing so much. And we’re not even close to realizing our full potential as humans or as communities.
Tell us a little more about the book and why you decided to write it.
"This Time Could Be Different" is set mostly in the corporate world. It’s about Madeline and Emma, who are dear friends and at the start of the novel are both on the career fast track. Through the story, Madeline begins to realize she might want something different, while Emma remains firmly committed to the path they’ve been on for years. Madeline must face a lot of past trauma as she seeks to unwind from habits she wants to change. And both women must adapt as the foundation of their friendship begins to shift.
As I mentioned above, I’d recently left the corporate world, and for the first time in my life had the means and space to pause and think about what I really wanted to do … who I wanted to be. And I found myself unable to answer either question. Which was unsettling for so many reasons. At first, writing was more about finding a creative outlet, but the story quickly took on a life of its own.
What can fans expect from your book?
I write the kinds of stories that I enjoy reading, which means there is (hopefully) some depth, but also (again, hopefully) humor as well. I want to write about wildly imperfect characters who succeed in becoming the people they want to be. Which sometimes means figuring out who that is. And it’s often very different from who or what they were told they were — or who they were supposed to be — when they were young.
What's up next for you in the bookish world?
"This Time Could Be Different" comes out on September 12, 2023. I’ve got two more novels that have been popping around in my mind for a while, so I look forward to seeing how they translate from my head to paper. I’m also working on a screenplay adapted from my first novel, Buck’s Pantry, which came out last year.