Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Interview - Kristie Cook

This summer, I stumbled across one of Kristie's interviews. She was so charismatic and fun that I was excited to read her first novel Promise. I was absolutely not disappointed! 

If you've ever been curious about self-publishing, this is person to get your information from. Her debut novel came out in July, and the sequel Purpose is schedule for release this fall. If you haven't had a chance to check out Promise yet - do it! 

To the interview - 

First off, the bio:

Kristie Cook is a lifelong writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. You can find her on her website, on Twitter, and on Facebook

When did you first decide that being a writer was the life for you?

When I was 8 years old and in the third grade, we had to write a short story. I wrote my first contemporary fantasy, about gnomes living in a cave and helping a brother and sister (both human) find their way out of the cave. I loved writing it and the teacher thought I was good – awarding me the only A in the class – and I decided I wanted to be a writer.

Nothing like good ole self-confidence to push you to write! 

Do you draw inspiration from real life? Where do the ideas come from?

Some from real-life and from asking what-if questions based on real life, religion, philosophy, etc. And some from other books, movies, television, video games, etc.

How long did it take you to finish your novel? How much of that was editing?

I wrote a beginning, middle and end – all 160,000 words of it! – in 6 weeks. I’ve been rewriting, revising and editing that into 2 books for over a year and a half now.

Oh my goodness! That is some epic writing. 

What’s your favorite genre to write?

contemporary fantasy / paranormal

What’s your favorite genre to read?

contemporary fantasy / paranormal / urban fantasy

What character of yours can you most relate to, and why?

Definitely Alexis, my MC. People see a lot more of me in her than I intended (but I think sometimes they make assumptions on things J). I know what it’s like to be raised by a single parent and to move around a lot. I wasn’t such a good girl, though, and, although I was often the outsider and incredibly shy (and still am), I didn’t have much problem making friends.

Favorite line from one of your books?

Um…all of them. I love this answer! ^_^ No, I guess that’s not true – there are many I wish I could go back and change now. It’s too hard to pick one, though. Pretty much anything Tristan says. J Oh, here’s one (I’ll let you guess what “it” is LOL): 

“The thing about men, Alexis, is they generally don’t find any of it wrong. In fact, the more wrong it is, the more they like it.”

Self-Publishing Questions. 

Why self-publishing?

It’s a natural fit for me. I’m impatient and have control issues, making traditional publishing difficult. I’m also an entrepreneur by nature and I see an opportunity in the publishing industry right now for new ways to achieve the goal of getting books from authors to readers. I also think authors should be more empowered. With traditional publishing, they are powerless. I hope that by learning the ropes with my own books, I can eventually help others accomplish their dreams of getting published.

Personally, I really admire those who have the power and confidence to go the self-publishing route. I just can't see Promise not doing well! I know I am waiting very impatiently for Purpose. 

How does it differ from the query, agent, editor, publisher process?

Drastically. With the traditional route, each step along the way is designed to shut an author out. There are good reasons for this – so publishers, which are for-profit companies, don’t shell out a ton of money on crap. I totally get it. But there are so many books being written and submitted these days, that many good ones go unnoticed because of the selection process. All these people along the way are making the decisions on what readers get to read. 

With self- or indie-publishing, you’re responsible for everything, but you also skip over all those other people and go straight to the most important decision-makers – the readers. If they like the blurb, they buy. If they like what they buy, they tell their friends. If they don’t, they either give bad reviews or don’t mention the book at all. Either way, the book’s sales fall instead of grow. With indie publishing, it’s between you and the reader. With traditional publishing, you have all those other people mixed in, too.

Where can readers find Promise?

It should be available more widely soon, but for now at:
Apple’s iBooks store for the iPad and iPhone
Various eBook formats at Smashwords 

Release date for Purpose?

Um…Fall 2010…as in, late Fall…but in time for the holiday season. 

Sigh, I'm totally squeeing like a fan girl. Haha! 

And finally, a little get-to-know. 

Favorite book? 

Too many! Unless I can say Purpose? J

And you can! 

Favorite movie or TV series: 

Right now, True Blood is/was all I watch on TV; Legends of the Fall is one of my all-time favorite movies

Do you have a writing playlist? What’s on it?

Depends on the book – a lot of 30 Seconds to Mars, Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, some U2, Smashing Pumpkins and Cranberries

What do you do when you’re not writing? 

Editing, working or sleeping. OK…sometimes you can find me wasting time on Twitter or Facebook, watching my son play football, hanging with my kids by the pool, reading, cooking, sitting on the beach or riding on a Harley.

Thank you so, so much for taking time to do an interview! For all the readers, hop out there and pick up a copy of Promise! Already have one? Then buy one for a friend, of course. 

More to come, of course. Leave some love in the comments for Kristie!

<3, Bethany

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