"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Romancing Your Dark Side Tour – BK Walker Interviews Kristie Cook



This interview was conducted by BK Walker,  author of Night Secrets ,  and she is interviewing Kristie Cook, author of Promise

About the Author, Kristie Cook:
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. She can be found at www.KristieCook.com.

About The Book, Promise:
Promise will be re-released with a new cover and new content. While nearly the same as the 2010 release, this revised version tells the author's original story with a twist in events and a telling scene that had been deleted from the 2010 edition. Discover the story as the author intended - "the way it really happened." 

The Interview:
1. What inspired this particular novel?
Promise actually was inspired by the writing of Purpose, the second book in the series. The seed of angels and demons had been germinating in my mind for years, but it wasn’t until I made a conscious decision to start writing fiction again that any real idea came. A pivotal scene in Purpose first came to mind and I wrote it out, just playing around. Then I knew how this interaction between the two characters would lead to a climax – the ending of Purpose. But first, I had to go backward, to figure out how these people arrived at that pivotal scene. Promise eventually became its own book.
2. What made you decide to make it a series?
Promise and Purpose were originally written as one book and by the time I finished the first draft, I knew it was just the first installment of a long tale. I originally thought five books, but then Promise and Purpose became two instead of one, making six, and then a new plot twist added during revisions made me realize another book needed to fall in there. That book is Devotion, the third one, coming out February 2012. There will be a total of seven, along with some side stories, such as the upcoming Genesis, a prequel of sorts.
3. Who is your favorite character and why?
Ooooh. That’s a hard one. I love Alexis, the main character, like a daughter. Tristan makes me swoon and my heart hurts for all he has to deal with—he has a composed exterior, but he’s horribly scarred on the inside. Much of that still hasn’t come out in the books, but Iknow, so I hurt for him. I also love Owen and Dorian and even the main villain so far (which may surprise readers, but as you get to know her more, you’ll see why). There are other characters who haven’t had prominent face-time yet, but they do in future books, so I’m just starting to get to know them.
4. When wrting, I often find myself arguing with my muse, do you ever find this happening to you, trying to make the story go one way and your muse refuses to give in?
Heh. Yeah. I’ve tried. I lose. Every single time. Well, actually, I won with the original release of Promise, which was a mistake. I should have let the muse have her way. She’d been nagging me for a year that it was wrong. And now she’s won with the re-releases this month, which tell the stories “as they really happened.” She and I feel so much better to have the “truth” out there. When I’m writing, I’ve found that writer’s block hits me when I’m trying to make something go my way, rather than letting the muse/characters tell me how it really goes. I learned early to pay attention to the muse while writing. Now I’ve learned to never stop listening, all the way through revisions to the final copy.
5. Often when reading, we find ourselves imagining the characters as an actor/actress that we've seen on TV or movies. Who do you see playing the parts of your characters?
Any time I think about it, I always come up with composites – a little bit of this person and a little bit of that, with a third person’s nose/hair/body/etc. But I don’t ever cast my characters publicly. I prefer the reader to make the characters theirs. I give them a few attributes to get started, but then let them decide what, for example, “Mr. Beautiful” looks like to them. I think it makes for a more personal reading experience. I know I, as a reader, prefer not to have an exact face provided for me. I want to imagine it on my own. For this same reason, I don’t like faces of my main characters on my covers.
6. What was the most difficult part of writing Promise?
The first third and the ending, which took an emotional toll on me. The beginning has been rewritten a gazillion times. When I decided to re-release the books, I went back through drafts to remind myself what parts I wanted put back in and found so many different takes on the same scenes. I also found some deleted scenes that I miss just as much, but I know they weren’t really best for the story. So what has been put back in is what needed to be in, not just a restoration of the first drafts. The point is that there are scenes in the beginning that need to be there for the rest of the book – or the rest of the series – but they still had to be interesting, full of tension, help move this part of the story forward, etc. It was difficult pulling it all together. As for the ending, you just have to read it and you’ll understand.
7. What have you learned about yourself through becoming a writer?
I’ve discovered my true passion and my purpose. Writing has been a part of my life since I was 8 years old and penned my first short story. But I didn’t ever think I had a novel in me and about the time I became an adult, I also became practical (funny how that happens) and decided fiction writing wasn’t my forte. I was supposed to use my talents in the world of business, I decided. I think I needed that experience to get me to a place to write fiction again. Once I did, it just started flowing and I’ve loved every minute of it. Well, not revisions so much, but even through those, my passion burns because I want the best story possible. I won awards for my writing in business and many people benefitted, but with fiction, I can touch so many more lives. Even if it’s just an escape from their stress-filled worlds for a few hours, I’ve given them a little bit of enjoyment. And I think that’s what I’m supposed to do with the gifts I’ve been given. I’m lucky to have discovered this now. I wish I had earlier in life, but am glad that I at least did discover it.
8. Have you always thought of yourself as a writer?
Since I was 8 and in the third grade. My whole life, through various stages and careers, has included writing as a significant part of it.
9. What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
The satisfaction of reading a good story. And that there is hope for all of us, even the most depraved – we just have to embrace it.
10. What can readers expect in the future from this series?
Promise and Purpose are primarily about the love story between two people, from star-crossed lovers to husband and wife. The rest of the series is about different kinds of love – love for family, for friends and community, for strangers and even for our enemies. There will be battles and all-out war. There will be heartbreaking losses and soul-lifting wins. These first two books are just a springboard into the real action of the story. The best has yet to come. J

Thank you, BK, for interviewing me! These were some great questions. Thank you, too, Kiki, for hosting us. And thank you, readers, for giving your time to get to know more about my books. I hope you’ll take a peek at them.

Thank you too Kristie! I love getting to know you better.

*Virtual Gift Basket Giveaway - Ebooks upon Ebooks, swag, goodies.*
Comment to enter all week long, August 14 – 20th Winner will be chosen on the 21 :)

8 comments:

  1. That was a really great interview. I'm have a few questions though...How many drafts did you actually go through before the re-release? And are you completely satisfied with the book now? Ive always been fascinated at what authors go through while writing:) It sometimes seems the struggle to get the book out is sometimes expressed in the writing!
    viajeradelmar@aol.com

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  2. Great interview! I love discovering new authors to follow. Thanks.

    areeth AT new DOT rr DOT com

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  3. I just have to say, again, that authors interviewing authors gives one a perspective like no other. I love these interviews! Can't wait for the release of this old/new book! -Dawn
    thedoyle6@rogers.com

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  4. Great interview, thanks. I have been wanting to read Promise and Purpose for ages!!

    natcleary(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. Thanks for the great interview!!!

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  6. Thank you so much for the wonderful interview. I am fascinated by the fact that you were able to go back and update / change Promise to what you had originally intended - this is how it should be :)


    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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  7. This was an amazing interview. I really find it interesting to find out what an author thinks and how they see what they write. Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to tell us a little about you and your books..

    Tash

    natasha.strong@gmail.com

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In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.