I’d like to offer a heartfelt welcome to the teachers and librarians who have stopped by for a visit. You hold a special place in my heart, as I am a former high school English teacher and so appreciate all that you do. One of the most difficult tasks I faced during my eight years in the classroom was finding books teens would love and connect with. I hope that The Tension of Opposites and One Moment are books that teens will enjoy, books that will make them think and feel, books that will get them talking.

I love to visit with teens and adults to talk about the craft of writing, the gritty details of what it takes to be published in today’s market, and my personal journey to becoming a published author. Please Email Me if you would like to schedule a visit.


Each of the following programs can be altered to fit an audience of students, teachers, librarians, or writers.

How Kristina Learned to Cha Cha

My Journey to Publication & Writing Process

In this program, I share my experiences as a writer, focusing on my journey to publication as I highlight each step of my writing process. From pre-writing activities to drafting all the way through extensive rounds of revision, I reveal my struggle with finding my voice and my place in the literary world. Sharing my stacks of rejections from agents, the auction that included bids from three major publishers, the pain of revisions, as well as the triumph I felt holding each finished product, I highlight the highs and lows I faced along the road to publication. The theme of this presentation is to always remain positive, featuring the following quote . . . Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a Cha Cha. -Robert Brault


Writers’ Workshops

Hook ‘Em

Ever wonder how an author sucks a reader in and doesn’t let go until that final page? The trick is finding the perfect place to begin the story, having a stellar hook, and creating memorable characters with multi-layered conflicts. This program will offer several opportunities to guide participants as they think critically about different elements of the stories, novels, and movies they have enjoyed, and pull inspiration from those to apply to their own writing.

  • A version of this workshop has been prepared for teachers and librarians specifically, showcasing steps to a successful workshop with students. Included in this session: activities to use when analyzing the elements of story, a plot “formula” to offer students, multiple story-starting prompts, mini-lessons, brainstorming worksheets, and tips and techniques for planning a successful writers’ workshop. (Presented at the AASL National Conference, November 2015.)

Turning Reality into Fiction

As a former high school English teacher, Kristina McBride can remember the blank stare of a student in need of a good idea. McBride’s debut novel, The Tension of Opposites, is based on the real life story of one young man’s four years of captivity with his kidnapper, and was inspired by an interview that she watched on television. This program will offer several ways to guide students as they think critically about instances where real life can inspire creativity, and also as they brainstorm the different places they can draw inspiration to bring their own writing to life. From music to television (even commercials!), a story can be found almost anywhere!

Creating Great Characters

Characters drive stories! How can you develop characters that ensure your story is compelling to readers and editors alike? It starts with developing a conflict that will drive your character into a situation where they will be forced to make difficult decisions, face consequences, and ultimately grow throughout the process of the book. Participants will leave with many ideas on how they can better connect with the characters they create.

Villains & Monsters

We are drawn to stories of power, lust, revenge, and evil, with characters who haunt our sleep and torture our psyches. What accounts for the attraction they exert? Where does this urge to enter the mind of a killer, or descend into another person’s madness, come from?

Perhaps we choose stories featuring villains and monsters because they allow us to experience our fears safely, and put them down again when we need to get away. Whatever form they take, our fears have much to teach us, the experience of reading these books is cathartic, and quite often, wicked fun.

OVERARCHING QUESTION: What do our favorite books about villains, monsters, and evil forces tell us about ourselves and our darkest desires?

On Publishing

How to Become a Published Author – For Writers

When writing turns from a hobby into a desired profession, a zillion questions arise. For those writers who are attempting to take those first steps toward publication, this is the workshop for you. Together we will focus on writing and perfecting a query letter, preparing a piece for submission, and the low-down on why, how, and where to search for a literary agent.


Virtual Visits

Skype and FaceTime

I am available to visit groups via Skype or FaceTime. Choose between a 15-20 minute Q&A session or the full presentation on My Journey to Publication. Please Email Me to check on availability and honorariums.


Honorariums begin at $500 depending on the length of the visit and distance from my home. Travel, lodging, and meal expenses may apply for out-of-town visits.