Please give a warm welcome to my next guest author, the lovely Kristine Raymond.
Please could you tell us about yourself?
A native of New England, I now reside in Kentucky with my hubs of twenty-five years and our menagerie of rescued fur-babies. When I’m not writing, I’m doing something else book-related; most recently chatting with guests on my new podcast, WordPlay with Kristine Raymond.
When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?
Five years ago, when I wrote my first book – Here to Stay. Before that time, I had no aspirations to become an author. The writing bug caught me by surprise, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I have too many stories floating around in my head waiting to be shared with the world.
What inspires you and provides you with ideas for your book?
It would make creating stories so much easier if I could pinpoint a single element as my source for inspiration but, alas, ideas come to me out of nowhere begging to be transformed into books. But, I kind of like it that way.
What kind of things do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I find I don’t have much time for hobbies anymore, but when I do take a break from authoring, I like to read, crochet,and put together jigsaw puzzles. Oh, and binge-watch Netflix.
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I’ve written fifteen books to date. Nine are historical western romances in the Hidden Springs series; one is a light-hearted non-fiction story about my first year as an indie author. I’ve also written a contemporary, erotic drama called Tempted, three contemporary romances in the Celebration series,and a collection of four, seasonally-themed short stories called Seasons of Love.
Truth be told, each story is my favorite as I’m writing it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up. It’s okay to take a break when you need it,but if you truly have a story in your heart, write it no matter how long it takes.
Also, listen to all the advice you can on how to do things, then find what works best for you and do it that way. The only way for a story to be authentic is to make it 100% yours.
In your opinion, what do you think makes a great story?
Great characters. They need to have personality and true-to-life qualities – good or bad – to give a story a sense of realism. A weak story line can go unnoticed if the characters own the pages.
Which fellow authors inspire you?
Honestly; all authors. I’m in awe of this life we’ve created for ourselves and those who’ve chosen it as a career. Each time I read a book now, I experience it not only as a reader but as an author, as well, and appreciate the amount of work that went into it.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m currently writing a cozy mystery; the first in what I hope will become a series. I also have about a trillion story ideas floating around in my head at any given moment, so there’s no telling what I’ll publish next!
What genre are your books?
Mainly, I write romance – both historical western and contemporary – though I’m branching out into the cozy mystery field. Don’t worry, though; that story has a touch of romance in it, too.
What drew you to the genre you write?
I’ve always had a soft spot for a happily-ever-after. I mean, there’s something sweet about two people overcoming a variety of challenges to end up spending the rest of their life together, don’t you think?
Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead characters from one of your books and why?
I always have a tough time answering this question because, to me, my characters are real people and it’s hard to imagine other real people portraying them.
Is writing something you do full time?
I only wish I could devote all of my time to writing, but there are so many other aspects of this business that require my attention on a daily basis. Marketing, promoting, research, editing, cover design, and my podcast take up a good portion of my day. But it’s all worth it to be an author.
What is the hardest thing you’ve found about writing?
Writing. Lol. Seriously, though, thinking of an idea and translating it into a readable, enjoyable story isn’t easy. I think the hardest part for me is when I want to tell it in a particular way, but the words won’t cooperate. It always works out for the best though, when I loosen the reins and let my characters guide me instead of the other way around.
Any tips on how to get through Writer’s block?
If only I had a sure-fire solution to writer’s block – I’d no doubt be a billionaire today. I don’t think that writer’s block manifests itself the same way to everyone; therefore,what works for me may not work for someone else. After years of frustration and, yes,sometimes tears, I’ve learned the best thing to do when my imaginary friends stop speaking to me is to take a break from my manuscript. Sometimes, a day or two is all I need for the words to begin flowing again; occasionally, it takes weeks or even months.
The only good advice I can offer is to find what works for you and do it, and don’t beat yourself up for not writing. Unless beating yourself up helps.
Who are your favorite Authors and genres?
I tend to lean more towards romance – historical, rom-com, suspense; but I also love mysteries and thrillers.
As far as favorites authors go, there are too many to list. Let’s just say that I’m in awe and appreciation of anyone who puts pen to paper – figuratively-speaking – and creates a tangible story from a single idea.
How can Readers discover more about you and your work?:
If you could choose three authors to have dinner with (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?
James Herriot – At an early age, I fell in love with his books; both because of his storytelling and his tales about animals.
PJ Tracy – Love, love, love the Monkeewrench books and would love to pick her brain about how she comes up with her ideas.
Sandra Brown – One of my all-time favorite authors, I’ve been reading her books for as long as I can remember. It’d be an honor to share a pizza with her.
Thank you so much for taking the time out to take part in this interview, Kristine!