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.
Great interview! I'm not surprised she sold her first book. She's a wonderful writer.
Thanks for sharing!
Kristen said: "Being a writer is a solitary, eccentric, and often compulsive path." I never thought it eccentric before, solitary and compulsive for sure, but I really like that eccentric word. I'm thinking it is so true, considering the looks I get from people who discover I'm a writer.
Hi Jess -
Thanks. We had a good time with the questions and answers.
Great interview, Susan! And Kristin, too:) Thanks so much for sharing these thoughts and insights. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Hi Eileen -
LOL! I guess we are a bit eccentric. Who else gets excited when the subject of POV's, show and tell, and other writer terms come up?
Hi Karen -
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'll be offline tomorrow and most of Friday.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
I loved the interview, Susan! I love that she said writers are an eccentric bunch. Aren't most artsy folks a bit odd? :) I know I am! My family tells me so all the time! lol This sounds like a wonderful book and I'd love a chance to win.
I loved this interview, Susan and Kristin! It would be great to win the book!
Hi Sherrinda -
She rang a bell with that comment! I decided to look up the word in Mr. Webster's Dictionary:
Adjective: unconventional, peculiar, odd.
Hi Carla -
Thanks! I haven't seen too many interviews with Kristen. I'm glad she agreed to answer a few questions.
Wow. Homeschooled four kids while writing her first novel. Wow again.
I'd love to win her book. You have my eamail, dear Susan.
Audience of ONE
Hi Jen -
These gals, who write while homeschooling and raising kids, are truly amazing. They have my deepest admiration.
Thank you for the practical tips for being a writer. It's a good reminder of what we need to do in order to better our craft. Please enter me in the book drawing. cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net
Hi Cynthia -
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I've entered your name in the drawing.
Kristen used the word 'eccentric' describing the path of writing. Hmmm, I think of eccentric being a word describing a wealthy person who is a bit odd.
Does she mean we are all wealthy or a bit odd? :)
I enjoyed your interview w/ Kristen, both parts. She is an amazing author and storyteller. I always enjoy her books.
Hi Quiet Spirit -
LOL! I think she meant, "odd."
Hi Karen -
Thanks for your comments. I'll announce the winner on Sunday.
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