Kirsten Pursell is an American author and sometimes blogger. Released on January 1, 2023, Long Enough to Love You is her fourth book. Previous works include her memoir, On Becoming Me: Memoir of an 80s Teenager, released in 2021, and two other novels: Harvard and Company Clown. Her memoir has been #1 on Amazon’s Women’s Biographies and Memoirs and Company Clown has been #1 in Satire Fiction and Two-Hour Literature & Fiction Short Reads. Her books were downloaded over 10,000 times in 2022. She resides in Oceanside, California.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
I knew the title of the book almost as soon as I knew the idea for the book. The story of Long Enough to Love You is equal parts women’s fiction and contemporary romance and the title had a similar dual intention. It was equal parts believing in the love you have for yourself as well as a second-chance romance much later in life.
How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?
I love this cover! Seeing the printed version was even better. “Petting” my cover, knowing the story it held within, was such an incredible feeling.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
I have been writing my entire life. I thought about majoring in it in college, but the pragmatist in me (and the one who really liked making money) went the business school route. I think when I was finally able to come to it and really appreciate the gift of words, I was so driven by the stories I wanted to tell. Teachers and friends have always told me I should pursue writing. My high school English teacher is one of my biggest fans now!
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I say I am on version 3.0 of myself. It’s the author version and a work in progress. I spent the first decade-plus of my career in corporate marketing. I loved it. But I loved being a mom more and feel fortunate that I got to spend version 2.0 being a mom. I was very involved in my kids’ schools, activities, and athletics.
What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?
I think anytime you can say you finished and published a book is rewarding. This book was a very personal story despite its fiction label. I knew it was a story that would resonate—and it has!
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
I actually made a playlist for this book! Music is part of the story. Maroon 5’s Beautiful Mistake, Justin Bieber’s Stay, and Ed Sheeran’s Overpass Graffiti are top ones from the book. But Dermot Kennedy’s Kiss Me is probably the most all-encompassing.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
The main takeaway is that we are never too old to rediscover ourselves and/or to find love. There are so many stereotypes about women in their fifties that need to go by the wayside! I think middle-aged women in marriages, going through divorce, thinking about divorce, or who just want to see themselves dealing with life in a humanized way would like it. I have also had many young readers tell me they see themselves and their relationships in the book.
What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?
I am working on a screenplay adaptation of Long Enough to Love You. I have also completed a TV pilot. I am most looking forward, though, to digging deep into my next novel, The Scarlet D. It’s also a women’s divorce fiction novel with a little twist.
How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?
Atmosphere Press made the process of publishing much easier than going it alone, which I have done a few times prior. The communication is good. The cover design and editing were great. It was a nice alternative to going it alone or endlessly querying and waiting. I am not patient and Atmosphere worked with me on my timetable.