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Kristen Gustafson

11 Bangor Mall Blvd, #152
Bangor, Maine, United States


In high school, I was known as "The girl who wants to write books." It wasn't a big mystery: when I wasn't editing the school paper, twirling batons with the majorettes, or washing cars for some group or another, I was reading or writing.
In college, in a fit of practicality, I registered as an education major. Two years later--after being vomited on by one too many pre-schoolers--I switched to communication, again, in a fit of practicality and fear that I would never get a job as an English major.
I then did what any self-respecting Communication major/English minor does: I went into publishing. A stint at the Denver Publishing Institute convinced me that poring over manuscripts corraling errant commas was not for me, and I was better off in the marketing arena. I was hired as a general assistant at a small publisher, doing everything from proofreading to catalog design and attending shows. After my first day though, when the photocopier ate pages of a manuscript, my boss realized editorial work was not my forte, and pushed me into the PR department. I hit the ground running, and have not looked back since. I've done PR on all kinds of books: pet books, garden books, military books, religious books, children's books, good books. okay books, bad books, and books that were not worth the paper they were printed on.
But always, my first love was writing. I kept writing: short stories, terrible poems, articles. But I was, and I remain, too chicken to submit anything. Except for my book. An innocent conversation with a friend turned into my first book: GRADUATE! Everything You Need to Succeed After College, published in May 2002 by Capital Books. A raging bestseller it hasn't been, but it's a book, it's my foot in the door, and it's been a huge confidence builder.
So now I toil on my novel, abouth 1/3 of the way through now, and hope and pray that someone will see through all of my misplaced commas and want to actually publish the thing.
I'm also working on a collection of essays on my life as the daughter of a lunatic (okay, I just think she's a lunatic) and I faithfully attend meetings of the Bangor Writer's Club every week. Another writer compared me to Elinor Lipman at our last meeting, and I could have kissed her. Am I the next Elinor Lipman? Doubt it. But I can always hope, right?

Interests: Home Careers Relationships Issues that 20-something's face Gardening

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: Yes


Published works:


  • Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College