Speaker Kim Turrisi
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After graduating from Florida State University, Kim Turrisi began her career in film and television. After a year of on-set production (getting coffee, wrangling actors and taking lunch orders), Kim segued into the development side of the business. She first worked as a development executive at Columbia TriStar and eventually shepherded family entertainment projects for Disney, Viacom and Hallmark.
Kim created and wrote an online web series for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award. She wrote for ABC Family's webisode series Pretty Dirty Secrets, an internet companion piece to smash hit Pretty Little Liars.
While she'd always been a voracious reader and writer, Kim never thought about writing for teens until she immersed herself in the children's publishing world as the director of special projects for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). There, reading children's literature is a big part of her job.
Kim's debut YA novel, Just a Normal Tuesday, follows 16-year-old Kai as she struggles through the emotional aftermath of her sister's suicide. Kai spends a month at a grief camp, discovering a roadmap to piecing her broken heart back together. This story of loss and hope is loosely based on Kim's own experience. She is currently adapting Just a Normal Tuesday into a feature film.
Her second book, Carmilla, is an adaptation of the wildly popular web series of the same name, which has over 71 million views worldwide.
One of Kim's favorite parts of the writing process is creating playlists for her characters, which she listens to while she writes. When she revises her manuscripts, Kim's generally dressed in mismatched plaid, and her desk is riddled with junk food. She collects Chuck Taylors and Vans and has a killer sock collection.
Born in Hawaii, Kim credits her love of travel to her childhood as an Air Force brat who moved every two years. When she isn't writing or reading, she can be found obsessing over her dogs, Rocco and Auggie.
Speaking on: Why, eh? Clicking with YA audiences