Friday, May 18, 2012

Spotlight Author

So there are a lot of amazing authors, but it's always nice to give the especially spectacular ones some deserved spotlight time!

This time we have Kristi Cook! She is the author of the Winterhaven series which consists of 2 books so far! We will talk about these books a little bit later!

Kristi was nice enough to do an interview for me and I am very grateful!! So here we go!

How long have you been writing?
I started writing seriously in 2002, when my daughters were one and two-and-a-half---I needed something "grown up" to do so I started writing a historical romance for adults (which became my first published book, UNLACED, in 2004) while they took their afternoon nap. But I've been writing as long as I can remember! Picture books back when I was in kindergarten, sequels to some of my favorite books & movies (sort of like early fan fiction, written by hand in a spiral notebook!) when I was in middle school, short stories in college.

How did you come up with the story line for the books?
Well, HAVEN began when I imagined a scene in my head--the scene that ultimately became the opening of chapter two, where Violet drops her schedule and Aidan picks it up for her. After that, I was dying to know who these characters were, and what their story was, so I started writing, not quite sure yet where the story was going to take me. I probably wrote 100 pages before I figured out the entire plot!

How did you come up with the titles Haven and Mirage?
Weirdly enough, my original working title for HAVEN was MIRAGE! It was actually sold under that name, and the folks at Simon & Schuster were happy with the title. And then one day the word HAVEN popped into my head and I realized it was the perfect title, so I sent my editor a quick email saying "Wait! I've got a better title!" Luckily, they agreed. When I started writing the second book, I realized immediately that MIRAGE was actually the perfect title this time around.

Do you have any authors that helped to influence your writing style?
Well, I grew up reading Anne Rice's books, and her vampire "mythology" is what influenced mine. Another of my favorite authors when I was young was Lois Duncan, particularly STRANGER WITH MY FACE. Back when I first started writing HAVEN, I'd say those two authors were my biggest influence.

How long did it take you to write Haven?
A really long time--I started it in 2005, and didn't finish the first draft until 2009 or so, mostly because I was working on it "for fun" when I wasn't working on my contracted historical romances for adults. And then it went through several rounds of revisions before it was ready to be submitted to publishers. It was a really long process!

Was writing Mirage easier or harder than Haven?
Once I figured out where I was going with the storyline, writing  MIRAGE was way easier--I already "knew" my cast of characters and felt really comfortable with them.

Once the Winterhaven series is completed, will you write more YA books? If yes, do you already have ideas?
Definitely! I'm already working on several different ideas now--a new YA paranormal series, a standalone contemporary YA novel, and, the project I'm most excited about, a YA Sci-Fi series!

What are some of your favorite YA books?
My favorite YA series is THE HUNGER GAMES series, but I really, really love Stephanie Perkins' ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR.

Any advice for authors just starting out?
Just to keep writing! Like any skill, it takes a lot of practice--you have to get in the habit of writing regularly. The more you write, the better you'll get.

Finally, the question everyone wants to know the answer to, team Peeta or team Gale?
Oh, that's an easy one for me! I'm 100% Team Peeta!!! He's one of my all-time favorite literary characters!

---Kristi :o)

So now after hearing so much about Mirage and Haven, here's a little more information!!! :)

"Violet doesn't understand why she feels drawn to the Winterhaven School. She just knows that it's the right place for her. When she discovers the school's secret, it all makes sense: Everyone at Winterhaven has psychic gifts. For the first time in her life Violet doesn't have to hide her visions. She's always seen them as a curse, but now she can hone her ability and try to control it.
But she's thrown completely thrown off balance when she meets the most alluring--and most mysterious--boy in school. She's never connected with anyone the way she does with Aidan, and the intensity takes them both by surprise. But as their relationship deepens, she begins to have visions of Aidan's death--and see that she's the one who's fated to kill him.
Violet's never been able to prevent her visions from coming true. But this time she'll do whatever it takes...even if it means sacrificing herself for the boy she loves."

Haven is available now and is a great read! I have even reviewed it on this blog and you can find it here.

"Violet McKenna is back for her senior year at Winterhaven and thrilled to be with Aidan after a long summer apart. But while their love for each other is as strong as ever, their troubles are far from over.
News of a rogue vampire on a killing spree sets everyone on edge. While Aidan is determined to stop the killer, Violet is chilled by a horrifying vision she simply must prevent...for if she can't, two people she loves will meet a violent end.
In the midst of Violet's fear, a mysterious newcomer enters her life--and he has some vital information not just about her past, but about her future as well. Now everything Violet held as truth is upended, and she is left not knowing whom to trust, if she is in danger, and--worst of all--whether she and Aidan are really meant to be together."

Mirage will be available on June 5th, 2012! I am very excited for the release and it will be a great book for summer! You can find some awesome teasers here and also here!!!

I want to say thanks to Kristi for taking the time to answer my questions and I can't wait for the release of Mirage!!!! Only a few weeks left!!!

Happy Reading!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment