Sunday, October 27, 2013

Author Interview – Kristen James @writerkristenj

Image of Kristen James

What book should everybody read at least once?

Moloka’a by Alan Brennert. It’s about a young girl in Hawaii that comes down with leprosy (Later called Hansen’s disease) and has to go to a secluded leprosy colony. This sounds depressing, but it was one of the most uplifting, emotional and complex novels I’ve read. I’m in awe that this author took such a heartbreaking and taboo topic and wrote a story that will help people cross over to really see the humanity in everyone.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?

I grew up in a tiny town in Western Oregon. My graduating class had 35 people, and most of those had been there since kindergarten. I moved away for three years, and then moved back to Oregon, first to Portland, then Eugene, then Sutherlin and now where I live. It’s beautiful, wild and rugged here, and I think the scenery and small town life makes a great backdrop for my novels. I set almost all of my novels here; it’s part of my signature.

How did you develop your writing?

The best way to develop your writing is to write! I wrote quite a few practice novels before graduating high school that taught me how to put a story together. I’ve learned a lot from working with different editors and reading books on writing, especially Donald Maass’s books. I also learn by reading great novels.

Do you plan to publish more books?

Yes! I’m just starting my career. I hope to have fifty or even a hundred books out in my lifetime.

What else do you do to make money, other than write?

It is rare today for writers to be full time…

I’ve been a full time author for several years now. I was able to do so because I have quite a few books out now, and I’ve been working toward my dream since childhood.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

Right here! I live on the North Umpqua River. There is a ton of wildlife here from Canadian Geese, quail, turkey, both white tail and black tail deer, eagles, otters, hawks, small birds, squirrels, and many other small animals. We even have a peacock that visits from a neighbor’s house. I live just three miles from a wildlife refuge with great hiking, and I can drive less than an hour up the highway to several waterfalls and hiking trails, and the mountains beyond that. I’m about two hours from the coast on the other side. So there is always somewhere to explore.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?

Success is getting to write and knowing people out there are enjoying my books. I suppose you can measure that through followers, book sales, reader emails and book contracts, but really it boils down to how I feel when I’m writing, and how I feel when I get a message from a reader. While writing Point Hope, I just knew. It was the book I’ve been wanting to write.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?

I focus on writing more books and connecting with readers, mainly through my Facebook page. ( There’s just no comparison to having a list of books. I think readers see there are 5, 10 or 15 books to read and get excited. I know I love finding a new author with a long list of books for me to read. As my book list has grown, I’ve relied less and less on promotions. Early on, however, I did more paid promotions such as Pixel of Ink, Bookbub and Kindle Nation Daily.

How often do you write? And when do you write?

I try to write most work days, although I will take a day off to go fishing, hiking, or out to lunch.  The beauty of being self employed is setting my own hours! I write while my kids are in school and sometimes at night, especially in late fall and winter when it gets dark early. I’m not one of those authors with a set in stone writing time or schedule, nor do I have a daily word count. I want to enjoy life and the writing process.

Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Do you have a writing schedule?

I keep things simple: I try to write, and if I’m not feeling it, I do something writing related. I’ll grab one of my writing books or look up articles on writing. I usually get inspired quickly. Sometimes I just push myself into it. At first, the writing is forced, but I get warmed up and suddenly I’m lost in the words.

Are you a city slicker or a country lover?

I’m a country girl! I love exploring the outdoors. I also love traveling, but I like to visit the less touristy spots, see the countryside and experience the culture.

How do you think people perceive writers?

It seems some people want to believe books magically come into being, not that they’re made by people. It’s a weird attitude to encounter, especially for an author. Of course there are other people who love authors and want to know all about the authors they read.

Do you find the time to read?

I read at night, and sometimes I’ll take a work day to read. I figure it’s a part of being an author!

Point Hope Cover

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Romance (women’s fiction/ family drama)

Rating – PG13

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Kristen James on Facebook & Twitter


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