Long and Short Reviews welcomes K.P. Gazelle, whose latest book, The Color of Happiness, which was released this spring. Like the author’s pages for a chance to win a digital copy of the book, which is currently on sale for only $0.99 on Amazon.
The main character of The Color of Happiness, Faith, is really into fashion and is very stylish, the author said.
“She loves wearing long skirts and dresses even on the hottest days, which is one of the reasons why her peers bully her. She’s a bit of an outcast because of her dressing style – although fashionable, unheard of amongst her peers. Faith chooses to dress conservatively out of her own principles; she wants people to like her for her and not her body,” K.P. explained.
The title of the book, The Color of Happiness, is also based on Faith’s love of fashion.
K.P. enjoys a lot of young adult authors, Sarah Dessen, Rainbow Rowbell, and Elizabeth Scott to name just a few.
“I love how Dessen’s books always include strong female leads and I’ve definitely tried to incorporate that in The Color of Happiness,” she said. “I love seeing young women evolve throughout a novel and come out stronger in the end.”
She’s about to begin a new book by Sarah Dessen, Saint Anything.
“I’m beyond excited!” she told me. “I love Dessen’s books and I know I won’t be disappointed with this one either; I’ve been looking forward to it for so long!”
There are elements within The Color of Happiness that K.P. has drawn from her own life and personal experiences.
“I’m like Tiffany, Faith’s best friend, in the sense that I can’t dance to save my life,” K.P. explained. “My love for nature and passion for reading were given to Faith.”
She didn’t face, however, the level of cyber-bullying that kids do today. In The Color of Happiness, the bullying Faith deals with is mostly face-to-face, which still exists despite the presence of social media.
“At the same time, cyber bullying is a very real problem that so many teens deal with on a daily basis and an issue that needs to be addressed,” K.P. said.
“What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?” I asked.
“A good story for me is one that allows me to experience the emotions and events as the characters experience and feel them. For example, not too long ago, I was reading this adult novel and burst into tears just as the main character in the novel did; it was incredibly satisfying to read. It always amazes me when an author is able to evoke the same reaction in readers as the characters, especially when it’s done in such a simple way.”
This is the element of writing she has the most trouble with herself – conveying the exact emotions the characters are feeling.
“I want the readers to be able to experience the emotions as the characters are, which can be a bit difficult to put into words sometimes,” she admitted.
When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, especially all her nieces and nephews.
“I have the absolutely best family in the world! I wouldn’t be the person I am today or where I am today if it wasn’t for the unconditional love and support of my family,” she told me. “They’ve seen me at my worst and still love me – that’s gotta count for something, right? We’re a big family with lots of grandchildren so whenever we all get together there’s never a dull moment. Kids are so precious and bring so much joy to my life.”
She also enjoys photography, but says she’s not every good at it.
“I love taking pictures of scenic landscapes and all the kiddos. And of course, I love to read,” she said. “Give me a cup of coffee and a good book, and I’m a happy camper.”
Faith Lane is the girl who has everything. At least, that’s what everyone thinks when they see her rocking a killer dress while laughing with her best friend, Tiffany. But Faith’s life is far from flawless. Her peers torment her relentlessly, and her parents expect her to be the epitome of perfection. Criticized and pressured at school and home, Faith retreats into silent acceptance and finds an escape in her passion of dancing. Then she meets Alex – quirky, forever with a pass, and concealing a mysterious secret of his own. And through his encouragement, Faith starts believing in her gift for dance and gains courage to stand up for herself. But will she be able to keep her footing when the events of one night consume her with the need to jump off the rocky cliffs near her coastal home? And what has pushed her to the edge of reason?