Kirsten Pursell, Author Spotlight

A coming-of-middle-age novel that challenges the assumption that the status quo is as good as it gets.

A love story of self, of past, of present, of future. One woman’s journey to put the pieces of her life together in the most meaningful way – at times chaotic, at times cathartic, but ultimately beautiful in all its imperfect pieces.

Jenn, fifty-something and empty-nesting, feels like a donut: whole on the outside but missing the middle. The deafening sound of silence in the picture-perfect, oversized home she shares with a husband who does not see her makes the voices arguing in her head hard to ignore. One voice tells her to stay because safe and simple is good; another says leave so you can be the version of yourself not defined by others. The thought of ever after without happily feels like purgatory.

The chance discovery of her long-forgotten diaries unearths memories of a first love long buried, reminders that the most beautiful love is sometimes wasted on the young. Her words become a very real reminder of everything first love had been when she reconnects with Tripp in unexpected ways.

Long Enough to Love You by Kirsten Pursell follows Jenn – a courageous yet vulnerable protagonist – as she dissects and unpacks her marriage in an emotional journey to stay true to herself despite societal norms and middle-age stereotypes that would suggest otherwise.

Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Kirsten Pursell whose book Long Enough to Love You moved me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love coming of age and thought-provoking stories but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Kirsten Pursell will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Kirsten Pursell!

Kirsten Pursell is an American author and sometime blogger. She lives in Oceanside, California. In addition to On Becoming Me: Memoir of an 80’s Teenager, she has published two additional novels: Harvard and Company Clown. Her 4th novel, Long Enough to Love You, a women’s coming-of-middle-age contemporary fiction novel that chronicles one woman’s journey as she challenges the assumption the status quo is as good as it gets in middle-age and explores the reality we are never too old to find happiness and maybe even love later in life. Her books were downloaded over 10,000 times in 2022.

Now, how wonderful does Kirsten Pursell sound?! Kirsten Pursell is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy Kirsten Pursell’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!

Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity. About me: I say I am on version 3.0 of myself. The first was corporate me. The second mom me. The third is whatever I want it to be, but I’m really liking being called an author. Writing has always been a passion. I wrote feverishly when I was younger. I turned that into my memoir. As an athlete who struggled with identity issues after leaving the sport, there were some pretty dark times of figuring myself out. But I learned and thrived in those times. I am empty nesting now after raising three kids. It’s a new normal. I swim competitively again and I coach high school swim. I have also been writing human interest stories for a couple of local magazines. It’s my evolution!

Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?

While I knew I wanted to write a story about second chances at love much later in life, it wasn’t until I rediscovered my diaries – and was reminded of the power of first love- that it evolved from there. You get one first love, and imagining what the range of emotions of reconnecting might be like decades later was intense. It added layers to the already raw and emotional journey Jenn was going on as she was figuring out how to be true to herself. Those emotions are real for so many women, just as I imagine Jenn could be so many women.

What would your advice be for aspiring writers?

My advice is to write what you love and tell the stories you want to tell. I have written in several genres, which would suggest I will never get a big following because I’m all over the board. Maybe. But I like telling different stories. And, in the end, the odds of making it without some sort of divine intervention (I have been trying, that’s for sure!) are so slim. Write because you love it, not because you want to get rich off it. Perfect example: My books were downloaded over 10,000 times last year. and even went to number one. When they were free. In the end, I basically paid people a dollar to download the book for free. It’s a trade off no doubt.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?

I think books need to be consistent. From the narration, to points of view, to the storyline, it has to flow for me. I don’t like unresolved endings. I don’t want to be wondering what happened at the end. Even if it’s not a happily ever after, I want to know. And a message that the reader can takeaway long after they’re finished is the sign of a powerful book, in my opinion.

What is your writing process like?

I am a pretty organic writer. I don’t follow a formula. I always know the beginning and end when I start something with parts in between, but the rest I let come to me. For example, in Long Enough to Love You, the part with the dad was based off spending time with my older dad while my mom was in the hospital. It was a special time for both of us and I thought it would add something sweet to the story.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I don’t generally write stories that require much fact checking! I might look at a map to make sure I got times and distances right, but not much else.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?

I write when I’m inspired. I don’t think I would be very effective if I had to write for a certain amount of time every day. I would love to be able to do that, but time seems to get away from me. So many of my thoughts come to me when I’m running. I’m constantly sending myself emails with how I want to say something or an idea for the story.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I love to read so I’ve always got a book or two ready to go. If I’m heavy into writing, I won’t read as much. I am a huge historical fiction fan so Kristin Hannah is high on that list. I also really liked Carly Fortune’s debut novel.

Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?  

I am writing it now! I would love to write a novel a year but the marketing side of a new book release is incredibly time consuming. I hope to dig in over the next couple of months and hopefully be done by end of summer. It’s another coming-of-middle-age story. I am enjoying writing these and telling second chance stories that happen decades later when women and men are older and have lived lives and experiences that have uniquely defined them – good or bad!

Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Kirsten Pursell! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.

Goodbye for now book lovers,

Amazon USAmazon UKGoodreads

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