Today on the blog I have author Kristi Cramer for an interview as part of her blog tour! I am really loving her books and so I’m so excited to have her on Electively Paige, so without further ado let’s get things started.
Thanks again for agreeing to this interview, Kristi!
1.) How long have you been writing fiction? Is being a published author something you’d always wanted?
I wrote my first fiction novel when I was in the sixth grade—on notebook paper, with a pen. That’s over three decades ago, now. I don’t think publication was on my mind at that time; I just had a story to tell. I sought publication of another book I wrote in high school, but I was rejected multiple times. Looking back, I can see it was a great story that was poorly executed—I still have it and hope to polish it up and publish it someday, but it needs a lot of work. I have worked on my craft over the years, attending writer’s workshops, classes, and working with an editor to learn so much more about the industry. Not to mention writing—a LOT. It wasn’t until the advent of self-publishing and print on demand that I decided publication was a goal I could actually achieve…and here I am!
2.) What has been your favorite experience since being published?
Holding a paperback of my first book—and every book since—was so cool. Like holding a dream come true. I actually stopped and took the moment in, knowing it was a feeling I wanted to remember. There are other moments—getting my first review from someone I didn’t know. Even getting my first critical review—I felt like I had arrived! I still aspire to that moment when someone recognizes me and says, “Oh, you’re the one who wrote that great book!” and the day I sit behind a table at a book signing and people actually come to have me sign their copy of my book.
3.) Do you have anything else currently in the works?
I do! I am nearly finished with the third book in the Boys of Syracuse, Kansas series. This one involves a kidnapping that hits close to home, and most of the action takes place in northern New Mexico as the kids— you may remember Kylie and Jax from Last Second Chance—try to escape from the human-traffickers who are taking them to Mexico to start new lives as sex workers. I’m just starting to think of summarizing the story, but this one is paced more like Last Shot at Justice, with plenty of excitement. It should be ready for release in early February.
4.). Do you have any quirky writing habits?
Hmm. Quirks? I guess you could say a lot of my ancillary character’s names reflect real people in my history—just the names, and the sometimes the occupations. For instance in Last Second Chance, I mention Mitzi and Blue going to have a talk with Pastor Meier, who was pastor in a church I went to when I was young. In One Last Song, Jax quotes some Shakespeare he learned in Mr. Bremmer’s class—Tom Bremmer was my high school poetry teacher, and a big influence on my writing life.
5.) Do you follow a set writing schedule or do you play it by ear?
I’m trying to settle into a schedule, with mixed results so far. My typical writing day doesn’t start until mid-late afternoon—when my creativity kicks in—and I’m often up until midnight or later, working away. It makes for interesting times lately, because my husband goes to bed early so he can leave for work very early, and at times I’m going to bed mere hours before he is set to get up.
6.) Do you have any authors that you look to for guidance/inspiration?
Oh, that’s tough. I was inspired to write by the authors I read as a kid: Madeline L’Engle, Rosemary Sutcliffe, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Anne Rice, Frank Herbert, John Varley, and Tolkien to name the brightest. I even met Anne McCaffrey once, and when I told her I had a fan-fic idea, she told me to write my own world. And I did. These days, I have so many author friends and I look to them for inspiration to continue. Self-publishing is a dream come true in that I can put my work in front of people who would never otherwise see it, but it is also hard to get noticed when there is so much out there. My friends who are succeeding inspire me to continue. I have also made friends with readers—and they remind me what being published is all about.
7.) Are you more of a ‘need silence to write’ type or do you like some music or other background noise?
I totally need silence to write. I’m not sure when that changed, because I used to be able to have music on, but these days, other sounds or activities distract me too much. I guess I can no longer multi-task, which in some ways is good, because I always felt like multi-tasking was doing a lot of things half-assed instead of one thing very well. Thankfully, my hubby said I can have the whole master suite to myself for my writing cave, so I can lock myself in and work away.
8.) Is there anything else you’d like to tell potential fans of your books?
Well, I’m really excited about my Boys of Syracuse series. There’s a lot of action in store for the little town of Syracuse, Kansas. Book 4 is going to deal with a woman on the run from a corrupt politician, and in Book 5 I get to flashback to the early 70s and tell how Colton Jr and Maddy got together after the Vietnam War. A few other characters get their own books, too. The thing that excites me most is that my books buck the current trend of characters who make it hard to tell who the good guys are. My characters aren’t perfect and they make mistakes, but there are lines my heroes and heroines won’t cross. That doesn’t mean they are pushovers. It just means they have to be more creative to overcome the bad guys. And my bad guys are off the chain. So readers who like to know who to root for will enjoy the Boys of Syracuse, Kansas.
Thanks again for the interview!
Thank you, Paige, for asking such great questions. My virtual door is always open, so stop by any time!