Today on the blog we have author Kristen Day for an interview. Sit back and relax and let’s find out more about this author.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I never really had a choice in the matter! Writing has always been my creative outlet and passion. I simply had to write, so if I had to explain it, I’d say writing chose me. It’s a curse and a blessing. And I’ve loved every second of it. I did go through a phase where I wanted to be an astronaut. That didn’t work out. I’m still waiting on my call from NASA, but I’m not holding my breath.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
Since I can remember. I’ve written poems since 2nd grade and I journaled for my entire childhood. Everything makes more sense to me when I write it down. It’s always been my way of understanding life and the experiences that have shaped me. I didn’t consider myself an author until last year when I published my first book, but I’ve always considered myself to be a writer.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
When it comes to things I’m passionate about; patience becomes scarce very quickly. I queried agents and publishers for about two months before deciding to self-publish. I never had any grandiose illusions about becoming the next Stephanie Meyer or Amanda Hocking - I just wanted people to read the stories swirling around in my head. I plan on continuing my journey to becoming signed by a publisher, but until then I’ll keep cranking out books because it’s something I love to do.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is the 4th book in my Daughters of the Sea Series, Hearken. If I had to summarize it in 20 words or less, it may cause a cataclysmic eruption of brain cells, but I’ll give it a shot…
Hearken will pull you in, scramble your emotions and tug at your heart strings before transporting you to a magical world where anything is possible.
That was 25 but close enough, right?
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
I self-publish and because I am a control freak on steroids I also create my own covers! I taught myself how to use InDesign and Photoshop and have had an amazing time creating a visual representation of my stories. I also have an amazing editor, Stacy Sanford, who should be working for Random House as an editor (she’s that good). The entire journey of writing and self-publishing four books in the last year and a half has changed me and my life forever.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I like to use the metaphor of my heart and soul bleeding onto the pages of my books to describe how I write. It took me 4 months to write my first book, Forsaken, and 3 months for the second, Awaken. Somehow I cranked out Chosen in a month and a half. Hearken also took 4 months, but I’ve noticed the more books I write, the longer they become. It’s like the characters never want it to end!
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
There will be a 5th and final book to the Daughters of the Sea Series that will be released in 2014. I have a blue million ideas for my next book/series, so I have to decide on one first - which might be the hardest part. I’d like to try writing Dystopian, but find myself always coming back to my favorite genre; Fantasy. So, stay tuned...
What genre would you place your books into?
I would place my books into either paranormal romance or fantasy romance.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
The paranormal/fantasy romance genre has long been my favorite. They encompass my obsession with the otherworldly and often have a darker side, but the romance gives me the warm-fuzzies which wraps everything I need in a book. My imagination is also unbelievably vivid and it will turn even the most normal story and automatically add paranormal or fantasy aspects. It’s always best not to fight with the way your mind works, so when I let mine run free it tends to run towards the ‘make believe’.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
I have found that my favorite characters are the darker female personalities (Nadia, Olivia, Selene) - mainly because I can live vicariously through them! They add such spice to the story, its impossible not to love them!
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Depending on the chapter I’m writing, I like to find music that matches the moon of the character its about. Once the music has successfully taken me to the place I need to be, I can write. My favorite spot is an oversized armchair right in front of the TV in my living room. I need noise in the background to make me focus and sometimes listening to music while writing can distract me - it becomes a little too powerful and can pull me out of the books. So give me a Red Bull, the TV, and my fuzzy blanket and I turn into a writing machine!
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I read every single one. Even the bad ones - they help me the most! I love hearing what people have to say and the differing opinions fascinate me. I never take offense because everyone has different tastes and you simply can’t please everyone. But regardless of what they thought about the book, they still read the book and took the time to write that review - so i’m going to take the time and read it!
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I choose the title first - it helps me keep the story on track.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
All words have a personality to me and names characterize that more than any other - I choose names that mean something specific about the story or that character in particular. In the Daughters of the Sea I researched a myriad of names and usually the right name will pop off the screen and yell at me - pick me! pick me!
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I create them first so that I know the personality (person) or atmosphere (place) - that way choosing a name becomes more like a treasure hunt to find the perfect name that fits the vision in my head.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I have a general personality in mind for each character and as I write they tend to take on a life of their own. That way their personality traits will blossom on their own and it doesn’t feel forced to the reader.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I don’t start out with a moral, but somehow they always seem to pop up. I’m not sure how that happens, but it does. Crazy, right? *go head and file that under ‘worst answer ever’*
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I prefer all of the above. If it’s a classic - hardcover (and I take the jacket off), if it’s a book I know I’ll read over and over - paperback. If it’s a book or author I’m not sure about - ebook.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
I think dystopian and romance books transfer over very well, but paranormal/fantasy do not. There is alot left to the imagination in paranormal/fantasy so it is almost impossible to match the experience the reader had when they read the book (Twilight, Beautiful Creatures), but with Dystopian the author is very precise with the characters and environment, making it a little easier to transfer (Hunger Games, Divergent). Romance can actually be enhanced by the movie industry (Nicholas Sparks)
Your favorite food is?
Your favorite singer/group is?
Your favorite color is?
Pink (so cliche, I know)
Your favorite Author is?
Remember to check out today’s spotlight to find out more about Kristen’s books.