Makes sure to comment because Kristen is offering a copy of her new book to one special commenter!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Since I was really young, I’ve always loved to tell stories, but never really thought about it being a possible career. It wasn’t until I was a freshman in high school and the guidance counselor asked me what I wanted to do for a living. (Can you imagine figuring out what you want to do for a living at 14?!) I was completely clueless and I just blurted out that I’d like to be a writer. That was the first time I really ever articulated the thought in that form and I realized, yeah, that’s what I want to do.
How long does it take you to write a book?
My last book took me about 9 months. But I recently tried plotting out a novel for the first time for the story I’m working on now and it’s going much faster. I started it in June and I’m already half way done with it, so hopefully this one will only take me about 6 months. Fingers crossed! = )
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
In a word: crazy. = ) I’m just starting out in my writing career, so it doesn’t quite pay the bills just yet. So I have a day job that I work at Monday through Friday then I work on whatever needs to get done for my writing career at nights and weekends. On top of that, I’m married and have two kids. Needless to say it’s a juggling act.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My quirkiest writing habit is probably that while I’m writing I usually imagine myself as the heroine in my story to help me try and figure out how she would realistically react in situations. So I guess you could say I never really grew out of playing make-believe. = )
How do books get published?
My books, so far, have been self-published (or indie published depending on your personal label preference).
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Most of my ideas come from dreams I’ve had or wondering about life situations I’ve been in and thinking about what it would be like if something different happened. Then it usually morphs into a much more elaborate situation with different types of people.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
It was during the summer when I was 11 and it was about a family inspired by my obsession with the Beatles at the time. = )
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m a huge sports fan, so I love watching games. I also love to do things with my family and visit new places.
What does your family think of your writing?
They’re very supportive. They all know this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and are happy to do whatever they can to help me achieve it. I’m very lucky where they’re concerned.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That editing can be enjoyable, believe it or not. I used to loath editing any of my work, whether it was a piece of fiction or a paper I had to write for a class. But editing is such a vital part of the process and I’ve learned to really appreciate taking the time to really dive in and closely examine my work and discovered the satisfaction in making it better.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve published 2 and have another completed that I’m working to edit and publish next. Then I’m also half way through another. So, three in a half if you want to be technical. Of course, these are all the acceptable ones, I don’t count the ones that should never ever ever see the light of day. = ) Of all of them, if I had to pick a favorite, I’d say it’s the next book I plan to publish. It’s a story inspired by my husband so it’s a little close to the heart.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Well, I don’t know that I’m really in a position to offer suggestions since I’m still relatively new in this industry, but the best advice I’ve ever received was to never stop learning. Whether it’s about craft or the industry or something else related to it, you have to keep up with what’s going on and understand the impacts of different situations otherwise you might lose touch with important aspects of your career.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I’ve actually gotten to hear from quite a few. The one thing I’ve heard is I’ve had several readers tell me they aren’t normally a big romance fan, but they thought my story sounded good and decided to try it and loved it. That was really nice to hear.
Do you like to create books for adults?
I love to. = ) It’s what I really enjoy reading, so it’s what I write.
What do you think makes a good story?
Really good characters and some humor. I love stories with memorable characters.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I went through the typical kid thing of one month I wanted to be a lawyer and then the next month a doctor, but whatever I wanted to be and it was always a career and write books. For some reason as a kid, it never really dawned on me that I could just be a writer.
Connect with Kristen
In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends. Much to her husband’s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry. During those rare times she’s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.
As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader. She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read! The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts. Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre. Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristen’s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on