Author Interview of Kristen Kooistra
For this month, I interview Kristen Kooistra, a dedicated writer who’s got her social media set up with a blog, Facebook author page, Twitter profile, Goodreads, and Amazon presence. Inspirational stuff.
Is your best friend a writer?
Kristin: No, he’s not. J My husband is my best friend and he’s never written more than a grocery list. He didn’t even really cross over into reader territory until we got married. I started handing him books and going, “You’d like this.” He still doesn’t read a whole lot, but there’s nights we’ll stay up reading our own things or I’ll read out-loud.
Do you think you could ever be best friends with your villain?
Kristin: Oh certainly, both of them. My two villains are my favorite characters and despite knowing they’re evil, I can’t help liking them.
Do you have a back cover blurb you could share with us?
Kristin: Yes! Here’s the one for Heart of the Winterland.
On her 200th birthday, the enchantment that holds Princess Calisandra in a state of apathy breaks. Full of questions about her kingdom’s history and what lies outside the borders of her snow-cursed kingdom, she leaves home in search of answers.
Fate has always been against Amee. Orphaned as a baby, she grew up with darkness snuffing out what little light she could find in her life. When her spirit breaks, she sequesters herself in the border forest. Powerful and angry, she waits …
An orb formed to protect Cali, Voice has never had a purpose beyond caring for the princess’s needs. But as she joins Cali on her journey and the spell that confined her breaks, she starts to wonder about her place in the world.
Captain Kota, in forced exile from her homeland, swears that never again will she be powerless. Ascending the ranks of the Shayal guard, her latest mission is to find the one who has escaped Duke Bludgaard.
A desperate search has brought Angel far from her home, but now Captain Kota’s relentless pursuit keeps her from her task. When she crosses paths with a naîve princess and a sage orb, she finds more than she anticipated.
What makes your books stand out from the crowd?
Kristin: First, I’d say the lack of romance. I still feel a little “ahhh” about that because romance is such a big deal for readers. A lot of people enjoy it as a subplot, and I kind of took a gamble with writing a story that didn’t have a romance. Especially with Fantasy, romance is usually involved. But I hope there’s people like me who love a book that focuses on other things.
Most of the praise for Winterland has been about the characters and how real they are.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Kristin: I don’t follow the trends of publishing, but I suspect it’ll be much the same as it is now.
For traditional publishing there’ll always be people who want to just write and leave all the other details of what it takes to get a book out there to someone else. There’ll still be people who only feel validated or accomplished if they’re traditionally published. And people who just know they don’t have the time, skills, or desire to learn how to properly assemble a novel(outside of writing it) and market it.
Same goes for self-publishing. There’ll always be writers like me who are control freaks and want to do it all themselves. Fail or win, there’ll be no one to blame but myself. There’ll be writers who don’t want to wait to get traditionally published, who’ll tire of getting turned down, or who want to take on all the work and not have to split the money.
And since I can see there being a significant portion of writers who want to choose self or traditional for any of those reasons(or others), I can’t imagine either is going away anytime soon. I also can’t really think of what new thing would come on the scene.
Kristen Kooistra fell in love with reading at a young age and never resurfaced. She loved solving mysteries, riding across the prairie, and sailing on the open sea. But her favorite books were those that held the fantastical. So when the time came for her to seriously approach publishing a book, it had to be fantasy!
Living in Michigan(her own winterland) with her husband, three kids, and two cats, she has lots of free time . . . Okay, so more like she squeezes in writing time late at night when only the cats are awake to pester her.
“Heart of the Winterland” is Kristen’s first novel, and though it started as a whim, it grew into so much more and has inspired a sequel(in progress), “Heart of the Sorceress”.
Tucked into a quiet countryside, Kristen spends most of her time being Mommy. She loves spending time with her family and hopes that her writing will entertain and inspire them as well.
Besides writing, Kristen enjoys reading(of course!), chatting with her writer’s group, sewing, swimming, gardening, and cooking(please no baking!). She’s also developed a fondness for water gun fights with her three year old. Actually, she’s found that most everything become a lot more fun with little kids.