3. Do you have an overall spiritual theme to your novels, such as forgiveness, truth, etc.?
I never start with a theme. It happens as the characters relate and deal with the events. My upcoming novel, Indivisible, is the first in which the theme actually carries the story to a great degree, but this isn't evident until the end.
4. If you could give a novelist-in-training one tip, what would you tell them?
I would say, "Learn the craft and structure of language, so the clumsiness so prevalent in print will not impede your stories. It's like practicing scales so your fingers can then fly over melodies."
5. When a writer is contracted, they're often working on edits in addition to their next book. How do you balance the two and still make your deadlines?
Stepping away from a project is fruitful. So when it comes time to edit, I throw myself into it, knowing when I get back the WIP, I'll see it with fresh eyes. I absolutely love revisions, so it's a treat for me.
While home schooling my four kids, I wrote my first novel. I pitched it for publication, and it became the first of a five book historical series. Since then, I have written three more historical novels and eight contemporary romantic suspense novels with a ninth coming in 2010. The Still of Night was nominated for the Colorado Book Award. The Tender Vine was a Christy Award finalist, and Secrets won a Christy in 2005.
I have taught and keynoted at writer's conferences, spoken at women's, library, and church events. I love to encourage and exhort others on their journeys, in writing and in life.
People ask why I started writing, and I say to get the stories out of my head. Some say they'd like to write a book, but I say if you're not wracked with labor pains, there are easier ways to express yourself. Being a writer is a solitary, eccentric, and often compulsive path. But it also provides an opportunity to co-create with the Divine Author whose Spirit breathes life into ordinary words.
Thanks, Kristen, for an awesome interview. We look forward to your next book and wish you much success.
Susan here. Don't forget to leave a comment and your email for a chance to win Kristen's book, The Edge of Recall. The contest deadline is Saturday, November 28, 2009, at midnight. The winner will receive an email from me and be announced on Sunday, November 29th. You can comment on both posts for two opportunities to win.
Legalese: The drawing is open to U.S. Residents only due to state laws. No fee is required to enter this contest.