Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thank you Kristine Raymond! Don’t miss “Here To Stay (Hidden Springs)”

I was fortunate enough to pick the brain of Kristine Raymond, author of “Here To Stay (Hidden Springs), and here is what she shared with me:

TCR:  Could you tell me a little about yourself?
KR:     I am a 46 year old, married woman who leads a pretty boring life.

TCR:  What do you like to do when you are not writing?
KR:    I like to read, I also make jewelry and crochet.  I like to try different crafts.

TCR:  As a reader, what do you like to see in a good book?  What do you find trite or cliché?  What makes you stop reading and discard a book?
KR:    As a reader, I like a story that keeps my interest and that flows.  I really don’t like choppy sentences or overused slang.  It is rare for me to stop reading a book once I have started it.  If I’m not enjoying the story, I keep going because I hope that it will get better.

TCR:  Do you have a day job?  If so, how do you juggle everything?
KR:    Yes, I work three, eight hour days a week.  It is difficult because when I am at work, I want to be home writing.

TCR:  When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
KR:    I started writing on August 29th of this year and I wrote my first book in 18 days.

TCR:  How did you choose the genre in which you write, or did it choose you?
KR:    I have always loved the Old West so it just seemed natural for me to write a story in that setting.

TCR:  Where do you get your ideas?
KR:    This is a question that I get asked a lot.  And the truthful answer is, I don’t know.  I just make up stories in my head.  I may read something or watch a movie, and characters just seem to form and then I think of scenarios to put those characters in.

TCR:  Do you work with an outline, or do you just write?
KR:    I little of both.  I do outline important dates (because I am very bad at math) and it helps be keep track of my timeline.  Other times, I just pick up a pad of paper and write whatever comes into my head and I sort it all out later.

TCR:  Do you ever get writers block?  If so, how do you knock down the wall?
KR:    Yes, I do.  It was very upsetting the first time it happened because I knew how the story was going to end but I didn’t know how to get there.  It took four days to work itself through and then, one day, in the middle of work, I thought, “I could have them do this…” and my block was over.  It was the longest afternoon of my life!

TCR:  Is there a particular author or book that influence or inspired you in any way as a child or an adult?
KR:    I think that all books influence me, in both good and bad ways.  When I read really good writing, I think “that’s how I want to write”.  And when I read really poor writing, I think “please don’t let me write like that”.

TCR:  Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your book(s) published?
KR:    There haven’t been so many challenges as much as it is just a learning process.  Twelve weeks ago I had no idea what was involved or even how to go about publishing my book.  A very good friend and fellow author helped me with all of that.

TCR:  If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
KR:    I would like to say “no” because if I had changed anything, than it wouldn’t be the story that it is.  That being said, I would have probably not pushed myself (and others) to release my book so quickly.

TCR:  Have you written a book you loved that you have NOT been able to publish?
KR:   No, Here to Stay is my first novel.

TCR:  Do you have a book coming out soon?  If so, can you tell us about it?
KR:   Yes, I do.  Hearts on Fire, the next book in the Hidden Springs series, will be released on December 26th. It tells the story of two more characters that live in Hidden Springs.

TCR:  How did you come up with the title?
KR:   For my current book, I was trying to think of something catchy that I could tie in to the story.  My main character, Kate, returns home and tries to convince her love interest that she is not going to leave again.  She tells him she’s “here to stay”.

TCR:  Is there anything in your books based upon real life experiences, or is it all imaginary?
KR:    It is all imaginary.

TCR:  What was your favorite chapter(s) or part(s) to write and why?
KR:    I like writing scenes with tension, romantic or otherwise.  I enjoy getting into the heads of my character and trying to figure out how they would act or what they would say.

TCR:  Are there certain characters you would like to revisit/further develop or a theme or idea you’d love to work with again?
KR:    Well, Hidden Springs is going to be a series of 8 books so I will be spending a lot of time with all of the characters.

TCR:  How do you market your work?  What avenues work best for your genre?
KR:    Marketing myself is new to me.  I have found social media to be very helpful.  I have also found that I need to not be afraid to ask people to read or review my book.

TCR:  What project are you working on now?
KR:    I am finishing the final edits on Hearts on Fire and I have started writing book three, Abby’s Choice.

TCR:  What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?  What has been the greatest compliment?
KR:    I haven’t been criticized yet J.  The greatest compliment came from my Mom when she told me how proud she was of me.

TCR:  Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
KR:    My advice would be to stick with it.  You will have doubts about whether your book is any good or if anyone will read it; I know that I did.  But you have to be true to yourself and just go for it.  Take a chance.  You’ll be glad that you did.  Also, write authentically.  Write what you want to write, don’t write what you think your fans want you to write.

TCR:  Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
KR:    I’d like to say thank you for choosing to read my book over all of the other fantastic publications out there.  I hope the time that you spend with my book is enjoyable.

I even asked some very odd questions and she was kind enough to answer!

TCR:  Have you ever gone out with a shirt inside out or backwards, slippers instead of shoes, or two different shoes and either not noticed until it was too late to do anything about it, or simply said, “To hell with it”?
KR:    No, I don’t think that I have - but I’m a “to hell with it” kind of girl.

TCR:  Is there any particular animal that makes you scream and run for the hills, or a bug that you just cant’ kill?
KR:    Snakes.  I hate snakes!!!

TCR:  I live in Central Florida (yes, close to the theme parks) and road rage ften erupts on our roads due to all the “WONDERFUL” tourists (I usually take the bus)! Have you ever had road rage?  What pisses you off most about other drivers?
KR:    People who don’t drive the speed limit.  If you want to drive slowly, use the right hand lane.

Get your copy of "Here To Stay (Hidden Springs)!

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