Wednesday, September 14, 2011

INTERVIEW: Kristie Cook (with Promise and Purpose Giveaway!)

Good morning, all, and welcome to our next stop on the Romancing Your Dark Side Paranormal Book Tour! Joining us today is the amazing Kristie Cook, who has been gracious enough to offer one lucky reader the chance to win signed print copies of both Promise and Purpose, and another the chance to win ebooks of each. Full details following Kirstie's interview!

Kristie is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. She continues to write the Soul Savers Series, with the first two books, Promise and Purpose, available now and the third book, Devotion, coming February 2012. She’s also written a companion novella, Genesis, coming October 2011. 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:

Before we get into Kristie's interview, let's take a quick look at the first two books in the the Soul Savers Series:

Promise (Soul Savers)When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can’t be real, she decides it’s time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family’s secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her fa├žade of normalcy…until she discovers he’s not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel. Their union brings hope and promise to her family’s secret society, the Angels’ army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy – Satan’s minions and Tristan’s creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.


Purpose (Soul Savers)Lost in despair, Alexis teeters on the edge of an abyss, her lifeline of hope fraying into a thin thread. If it snaps, she’ll plunge into complete darkness. With the help of her son and her writing, she’s been able to hold on. Until now. Erratic impulses, disturbing delusions and her own demonic blood threaten her sanity. When she’s forced to choose between hanging onto hope or letting go to serve her Amadis purposes, she faces a decision with inconceivable sacrifices. Alexis runs to the one place she thinks will provide answers, only to find herself at the center of another battle of good versus evil, not only with the Daemoni, not only within herself…but also against the worst opponent imaginable. But even if she wins, what will she lose?

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♥ The journey from 'aspiring' to 'accomplished' can be a long one, even in the era of small presses and digital publishing. When did you begin writing, and how did you feel when you first saw your work in print?

I began writing when I was 8 years old, but while I was in college, I decided I just didn’t have a novel in me. I was meant to write for business, so I changed my major from English to Marketing. It was nearly 15 years later that I began writing fiction again and then realized that not only do I have one novel in me, but I have several. So to see my fiction in print – as a real book! – was amazing. When I received the first ARC, I laughed and cried and danced around the house. A bit like a maniac. But whoever said I was sane?

♥ Did you deliberately choose a genre because there's something specific that draws you to it, something you feel it offers that other genres don't, or was it just 'right' for the story you wanted to tell?


Um, all of the above? I love reading fantasy sub-genres, so, yes, I’m drawn to writing them, especially contemporary fantasy/paranormal. One reason is because it offers the foundation of the real world as we know it, but the creative freedom to add in supernatural and fantastical elements, which neither high fantasy nor contemporary/commercial fiction do. But it always comes down to the story – mine, so far, just happen to fall into fantasy sub-genres.

♥ Do you have a schedule or a routine to your writing? Is there a time and place that you must write, or do you let the words flow as they demand?


I so wish I could let the words flow as they demand. Unfortunately, I have a real life. Okay, it’s not so unfortunate, but it does mean that I can’t always write when the muse strikes. In fact, she tends to be loudest when I’m doing something else – like running my two businesses, taking care of the house and kids, trying to have a social life, etc. Recently, though, thanks to my awesome business partner and lovely employee, I’ve been given the privilege to set a solid writing schedule, so I’m giving it a try. I do prefer to be at my desk, in a quiet room with white noise in the background to drown out the rest of the household noise. I read over what I wrote last time to re-orient myself to where I left off, making edits as I go. If I’m still not in the right mindset, I listen to music specifically chosen for that project and play Minesweeper or sometimes just meditate. And eat chocolate. That helps, too.

♥Do you have a soundtrack to your writing, a particular style of music or other background noise that keeps you in the mood, or do you require quiet solitude?
 

I do have playlists for each of my projects, but I don’t usually play them while writing. They distract me. But I do play them to get my mind in the right place, then, when I’m ready to actually get to work, I prefer quiet solitude. It allows me to completely leave the real world and immerse myself into my characters’ world. However, with my current project that takes place over 2,000 years ago, the right music has been movie soundtracks that don’t have lyrics. I’ve found that I can write with this music on, but it affects my writing. The tempo change within one song or the change in tracks to a new one can mess with my writing tempo and mood, affecting the tone of the scene. So I’m not sure this is such a good idea for me. :-P

♥ Sometimes, characters can take on a life of their own, pulling the story in directions you hadn't originally anticipated. Has a twist or turn in your writing ever surprised you, or really challenged your original plans?
 

Heh. Oh, yes. I let my characters tell me the story, not the other way around, so there have been many surprises and changes in plans. The biggest one that comes to mind is when I first started writing Alexis, it was a scene that eventually comes in the second book, Purpose, and I thought she was 38 years old. I don’t think she will ever be 38 years old in the entire series. So when I realized this, it was kind of shocking.

“You’re sure you’re not 38 in this scene?” I asked her.
“Of course not! Do the math. If we met when I was 18, how could I be 38 here?”
“Wait,” I said, thrown off again. “You met when you were only 18?”
“Yeah. When I started college. Sit down and let me tell you the story.”

 

And her story that led up to this scene is what became Promise and the beginning of Purpose. This happens frequently, even now when I pretty much have the rest of the series planned out. Like I said, I let the characters tell me the story – I’ve learned that only they know the “real” story.

♥ When you're not writing (or reading), what are some of the hobbies and passions that keep you happy?


I love to cook, go to the beach, ride on the back of my husband’s motorcycle and hang out with friends, though I don’t get to do any of these nearly often enough. I also love watching my sons play sports, but I think we’re in our last year of that. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself on Friday nights. Oh, yeah, I do. Maybe actually get to do some of those other things.

♥ When writing, do you ever consider how a reader or reviewer will react, or do you write solely for your own satisfaction?


I start by writing the story that’s given to me. It’s like being given a book that hasn’t actually been written yet but needs to be. So I guess that’s for my satisfaction because I’m discovering the story just as you do when reading someone else’s writing. During revisions, I might give some consideration for how fans might react. When they’re used to something being done one way and it’s expected, doing that thing completely different can cause a loss of fans. I don’t mean changing the plot or a character because I’m afraid of what readers will think. I mean altering the style or level of intensity. For example, we’ve come to expect gruesome horror scenes from Stephen King, so if he suddenly backs off and skips the bloody details, we’re disappointed. For me, the example that comes to mind is my sex scenes. Fans have come to expect a certain type of sex scene in my Soul Savers Series. If I deviate too much, it will turn them off. Literally. Heh.

♥ What is the strangest or most surprising reaction to your work that you've ever encountered?


One reviewer gave a bad review because she couldn’t reconcile in her mind that the characters prayed and had exciting sex. I mean, they’re not doing them at the same time. But if people who pray don’t have sex, we’d have a lot of kids to explain in this world! And if people who have sex don’t pray, we’d have even more kids. I mean, isn’t that Plan B, when you don’t have the morning-after pill? Anyway, all kidding aside, that one just made me laugh. Which, really, is all you can do with the bad reviews.

♥ What can we look forward to from you next? Is there a project on the horizon that you're really excited about?


I’m extremely excited about my upcoming release, GENESIS. It’s a novella that takes place over 2,000 years ago and tells the story of the origin of the Amadis, the society in the Soul Savers Series. So it’s a prequel, of sorts. It was fun – and a lot of work – writing this one because it adds the historical element that the main series doesn’t have. It comes out October 28. Not long!
 
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If Kristie sounds like your kind of author, and Promise and Purpose sounds like the kind of stories you'd love to get your hands on, then you're in luck! Kristie has offered one lucky reader the chance to win signed print copies of both Promise and Purpose, and another the chance to win ebooks of each!

To enter, simply leave a comment below . . . it's that easy . . . and I'll pick a winner via random.org on September 22nd.

For bonus entries, let me know in your comment if you're a follower of mine here at Bibrary Book Lust or a follower of Kristie over at Kristie Cook; whether you've added Promise and Purpose to your Goodreads shelves; or whether you've 'liked' one of my reviews over at Amazon.


Thanks so much to Kristie Cook for stopping by. If you'd like to follow her, and the rest of the participating authors, check out her schedule on the Calendar of Events page at The Virtual Book Tour Cafe or check the Soul Savers Website, look her up on Facebook or Twitter, or check her out on Tumbler or Google+.

8 comments:

  1. I would so love to win a signed print copy of your books! *Squeals*
    Wow! I didn't know anyone but me played minecraft ;-) Thanks for all the information. The personal stuff makes it so much more interesting!

    I follow Bibrary Book Lust, I follow Kristie, I have both books on my list at goodreads. I tried to comment/like a review of one of your books but it wants a credit card :( Sorry.

    -Dawn aka dawnmomoffour
    thedoyle6@rogers.com

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  2. Sounds like my kind of book.
    I would love to win the signed copy of Promise and Purpose.
    I don't read e-books, my eyes get too tired so don't enter my name in that part of the contest.
    Mike Draper

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  3. Thank you and great interview.
    brandileigh2003@yahoo.com

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  4. Thanks for the interview!! I love Kristi Cook! I follow her on twitter also and she's amazing. I follow her blog and yours, added both books to my goodreads TBR list. Thanks! Happy reading....
    tinas_family(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  5. Please enter me in the draw, and thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

    I am following you here on GFC (Darlene), and also over on Bibrary Book Lust, and also following Kristie over at Kristie Cook.

    I have also added both Promise and Purpose to my "to-read" Goodreads shelf (Darlene).

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  6. This sounds like a fantastic series. I'm a follower at both blogs and this series is on my list to read at Goodreads.

    smg5775@yahoo.com

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  7. Followed at Bibrary Book Lust
    Follower of Kristie CooK
    Added Promise and Purpose to my Goodreads shelves

    deathangel_vampires[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  8. this series looks great!

    kaylalovesandrew09@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete