Sunday, May 29, 2011

Interview and giveaway with Kristie Cook - wonderful author of Promise and Purpose

Today I'm very excited to have an interview with a wonderful author - Kristie Cook.

She has published 2 books in Soul Savior's series: Promise and Purpose. You can find my review of Promise here and review of Purpose here.


You can imagine, how happy I was when she agreed to answer to all my questions! I'll give you details where to find her in the cyberspace :) I encourage you to find her and follow her!




Find Kristie at:

Twitter: @kristiecookauth
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristieCook
Blog: www.KristieCook.com




And now to the interview. Interview is divided into several parts, first part is about Kristie Cook as a person, second is about her books, third part is about her favorites.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kristie Cook!

Part I

I: Please describe yourself with few sentences. Who are you?
KC: I’m a writer, a reader, a mom and wife, a business owner, a daughter, a friend…I play many roles on any given day. I love to cook, but don’t spend as much time in the kitchen as I used to. I also enjoy riding on the back of my man’s motorcycle, letting my mind roam while taking in all those little details you miss when riding in a car.

I: What inspired you to want to become writer?
KC: I had to write a short story in the third grade and I really enjoyed it. I was also the only one to get an A in a class full of high-performing students, so I thought I might be good at it. I let it go for a long time, but reading inspired me to write fiction again.

I: Who did you want to become when you were a kid? What did you dream about?
KC: I wanted to be a writer since I was 8, but at times I also wanted to be a teacher, a pilot and a hotel owner. Most of all, I wanted to be a mom. I dreamt about (and acted out with friends) my favorite books and characters, whatever they were at the time.

I: What brought you to writing? When did the idea of writing your first book formed?
KC: After raising young kids into teens, which meant going from reading to them to reading for me; then finishing my college degree and all the textbook reading; and then reading a lot of non-fiction for my business career, I finally started reading fiction for fun again. I re-discovered the paranormal and fantasy genres I missed so much, which eventually led me to want to write fiction again.

I: What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an indie versus published author?
KC: Traditionally published authors get a team of experienced professionals working on their books for them, doing almost everything for them, from editing and book cover design to marketing and distribution to the stores. Traditional publishers pay extra for premium space in bookstores, so their authors not only get stocked (which is hard for indies), but also get noticed. However, these authors lose all control, from the moment they start querying agents. A writer has to be able to hit an agent’s desk at the exact time the agent is looking for that kind of manuscript, make the agent fall in love with them, then make all the changes to the manuscript the agent desires. Then they wait and wait as the agent shops the book to publishers. If they get interest and a deal, the publisher takes over the book. They tell the author what changes to make and the author has little choice in this. They design the cover with no input from the author.
Basically, when a writer sells a book to a publisher, it’s no longer their book. It’s like selling your house – you can’t tell the new owner what color to paint the exterior or how to decorate the inside. Indies have all the control – not just of the process (cover design, release date, etc.) but in the fact that it will actually be published. Getting published is not based on luck, as it is with the traditional route. But being indie also means we have all the responsibility, as well. It’s a lot of work to produce a quality product and get it to market, then get readers to find and read it.
I, personally, like the control and the responsibility. And I like that my publishing company (I’m a partner in it) receives much better royalties than I would have personally from a Big 6 publisher.

I: What do you do when you are not reading and writing and blogging? Do you have any hobbies?
KC: Sleep. That’s about all the time I have…when I’m not working at my other, day-job business, or taking care of kids, house, fur-babies, parents and grandparents. Every once in a while I get to go to the beach or go on a motorcycle ride.

I: What is the most difficult aspect of being a writer for you?
KC: Time. There’s just never enough of it to write all the stories I have to tell or do the things I want to do.

I: If you wouldn’t be a writer, what would you be and do?
KC: Beach bum. Ha! I love all the other aspects of my life, so taking writing out of it, I’d still like to be me, doing all the other things I do.

I: I really enjoy reading your blogs and think they are interesting to read, especially your writing blog. Why do you blog? What does it give to you?
KC: Thanks! I use my writing blog mainly to share things I learn with other writers or to discuss issues common to us all, whether it’s the wonderful qualities of coffee and chocolate or the revision process. My main blog gives me a way to connect with readers, to share a bit of me and to get to know them better, share news about books (mine and others’) and whatever else, silly or not, that seems interesting…or not.

I: Who or what is your Muse?
KC: My characters are really my muse, I think. They start talking to each other or to me in my head, telling me their story, and I just have to write it all down.

Part II

I adored your books and characters, so, let’s talk about your books from The Soul Savers series: Promise and Purpose.

I: Where did you get the idea for the Soul Savers series from?
KC: I’d been thinking of angels and demons for years, but never really had a story about them. Then I started thinking about the author being visited by her own character and about what kind of world she lived in and who she was. Why her? Was she different, too? Then it all just started coming together.

I: How did the Soul Savers series born?
PromiseKC: My idea for the Soul Savers Series started to take shape when I asked myself “what-if” questions based on online book discussions and forums about vampires being real. The question for myself that really sparked something: “What if an author was visited by a supernatural creature telling her to stop writing and sharing his secrets or he’d kill her?” And I imagined JK Rowling being visited by You-Know-Who or Stephenie Meyer getting a middle-of-the-night drop-in by one of her bad guys. Could you imagine??? I did. Haha! And it blossomed from there…

I: Did you plan more than 1 book when you started writing Promise?
KC: Actually, I started with a pivotal scene that’s now in Purpose and had to work my way backward to figure out how the two characters got to that point. That history eventually became Promise and the first part of Purpose. Promise and Purpose were originally written as one book (and I still think they should be read as one) and by the time I finished the first draft, I knew this was just the beginning.

I: Which book did you enjoy writing most: Promise or Purpose? Why?
KC: Well, like I said, I wrote the first several drafts together as one book. I enjoyed writing the burgeoning love story – that first sight, kiss, love... Swoon. That’s Promise. And there’s a lot of action and the paranormal/fantasy stuff in Purpose, which was fun. The only part I didn’t enjoy writing – it made me cry and become anxious every time I got to it in revisions – is the part starting at the end of Promise and through the first few chapters of Purpose. If you’ve read them, you know why. It’s a difficult time for Alexis and I felt her emotional swings.

I: Did you ever experience writer’s block when the writing process just wasn’t moving ahead?
KC: Not so much in the beginning. The words really just flowed in the first draft. It came more in the rewrites, when I knew scenes weren’t working and had to figure out how to fix or replace them. Then it was mostly because I was trying to get characters to do something they wouldn’t naturally do – forcing the “fix” on them that really made little sense. Once I figured that out, the process would move forward again.

I: Which character do you love most in your books?
KC: Oh, I can’t pick! I love them all!

I: Which character can you mostly relate to?
KC: Alexis, definitely. I think it’s why her story comes to me in first person. I can easily see through her eyes and understand her thoughts and reactions (well, most of them – she often surprises me and I want to shake her!).

I: Your first book, Promise, took me by surprise. I loved the book, and it left me with couple of questions, which I’d like to ask. I found it fascinating that Alexis wrote books, it gave an extra meaning for me. Why was it important to you that the main character was also a writer?
KC: I think I’ve answered this one. LOL That was really the premise that blew up into this whole concept. One of the problems with splitting the book into two, Promise and Purpose, is that you don’t get the importance of her being a writer until half-way through Purpose. Becoming an absurdly famous author influences a lot of the events in the series.

I: There was a topic which captivated me in Promise, because it was somehow different from the contemporary world – arranged marriage between Alexis and Tristan. What is your opinion in arranged marriages?
KC: I respect other cultures and understand arranged marriages are still a part of some religions and cultures, but my personal opinion is that I don’t see how they can succeed, even when evidence shows they have a higher success rate than marriages that aren’t arranged. (My theory is that those cultures/religions that still arrange marriages also have a stronger belief in what marriage means – a lifetime commitment – so they wouldn’t divorce anyway.) Alexis, Tristan and Sophia had a conversation about arranged marriages in the first several drafts of Promise, but the scene ended up on the cutting room floor. It was early in their relationship and Alexis was quite opinionated against them. :)

I: If Amadis would be a place on Earth, where would it be situated?
KC: Amadis isn’t really a place. It’s a society/culture with members living throughout Earth. There is the Amadis Island, however, which is among the Greek Isles in the Aegean Sea.


I: In the second book, where Alexis’ torment is continuing until Tristan comes back, I felt her pain, it seemed so real. Was that part of the Purpose difficult to write?
PurposeKC: Excruciating. A lot of people don’t get how, after seven years, she could be like that. For one, she hasn’t been like that the entire time. Purpose starts with all kinds of changes happening to her that’s making it worse, so until then, most days she’s almost normal (but not quite). But she hasn’t been able to move on because it’s not like she had closure of a break-up or even certain death. She’s like the wife of a POW soldier. And on top of it all, Rina really did bind their souls together. Alexis and Tristan’s bond is something us mere humans can’t understand. I tried to put myself in her place and it was painful, just as much on the 50th round of edits as the first time I wrote it.

I: I’m aware that The Soul Savers is pure fiction, but I’d still like to ask: are any of the characters inspired by real persons?
KC: Little nuances here and there have come from observing others. In future books, however, some of the new characters are named after real people. Pretty much just their names have been used, perhaps with a characteristic or inside joke woven in.

I: I must ask you about new books to be published. I have understood that next book will be a novella from the Soul Savers series. What will it be about? Anything you can tell us already? Will we meet Dorian again? :)
KC: The novella is awesome, if I can say so myself. Hehe It’s about the origins of the Amadis and takes place over 2,000 years ago. I’m really excited for it to come out because it explains a lot while also telling an interesting story. Of course, there are no familiar characters…but there may be one or two from the novella popping up in future books. And, oh, yes, Dorian takes a bigger role as the series progresses.

Part III – Favorites

I: Who is your favorite author?
KC: Can’t really pick a favorite.

I: What is your favorite book or series?
KC: Again, can’t pick a favorite.

I: What is your favorite book blog you follow?
KC: Oh, I love them all!

I: What is your favorite song?
KC: I’m not very good at this favorites thing. Fave songs definitely depend on my mood. Fave bands are a little easier – 30 Seconds to Mars, U2, Linkin Park, Muse…

I: What is your favorite season?
KC: Fall

I: What is your favorite food?
KC: Chocolate

I: What is your favorite car?
KC: Hmm…I wouldn’t mind Tristan’s Ferrari. :)

I: What is your favorite color?
KC: Oh! I can answer this one! PURPLE!!!!

I: What is your favorite movie?
KC: Legends of the Fall, Braveheart, Avatar, and if I want to laugh, The Hangover

I: What is your favorite time of the day?
KC: Late night, after everyone’s asleep and I can either write or read. Early morning, pre-dawn, is lovely and peaceful but I just can’t function enough to even enjoy it.

I: What is your favorite weather?
KC: Depends on my mood. Usually beach weather, but sometimes a cool, rainy day is nice.

Part IV


I: What did you know about Estonia before I found your books and contacted you? :)
KC:  Admittedly, very little, but I think it was part of the USSR? I’m so ashamed I didn’t know more, but now I see that it’s doing quite well. Yay!

KC: Thank you so much, Inga, for having me on your blog! Maybe someday I’ll get to go on a tour and visit you for real. :)
I: I would absolutely love that and be number one in the signing queue :) And who knows, maybe we'll meet in US one day. Thanks for giving so thorough answers, I really enjoyed reading them! Thank you and I'm looking forward reading the novella and other new upcoming books!

GIVEAWAY OF PROMISE AND PURPOSE
And now to the giveaway part! Kristie was so kind to do giveaway of her books.
There will be two winners: one winner gets Promise ebook and the second winner will get Purpose ebook.
To enter, you need to fill in the form below. You can get total of 6 extras :)
I recommend following Kristie's blog, Twitter and Facebook page, but it is not required to enter or win the giveaway, it will give you extra entries though.

5 comments:

  1. Nice interview Inga!!

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  2. Not entering the contest..I have copies already and LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! It is amazing!!!

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  3. Yes, I love both of these books!

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  4. I loved the books and can't wait for more to come! Better than Twilight!

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  5. This series sounds amazing. Who doesn't love books about good vs. evil and forbidden love... I know I do. Thanks for the interview and giveaway & spreading the word about Soul Saviors! I certainly entered.

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