Wednesday 16 January 2013

@annakristell - Crossroads to Love

Self-portrait - tidy desk, not mine!
I'm super pleased to host Anna Kristell today. She comes on the dawn of her release, Crossroads to Love. However, that isn't all she has to share. She has release dates for three subsequent novels in the series and three unrelated stories with another publisher! Seven books in seven months. How does that happen? Have some of these manuscripts been waiting to see the light?

*laughs* Yes, Angelica, some of these manuscripts were written about four or five years ago. In the meantime, my husband became ill and I had to have two arm surgeries, so the aspiring writing career had to be put on hold for a while. This past summer, I dug them out, revamped them, and started submitting. I received a contract for one, then a week later, a contract for another. It just sort of skyrocketed after that. I had always intended for Crossroad to Love to be the first in a series, and when it was accepted by Lazy Day, I began writing the others. So far, there are three more under contract and several more planned. The books that aren't part of the series, let's see...Unlikely Lovers was already written, Sunny's Love was halfway written, and Remember Our Promise was my NaNoWriMo story.

Wow. That's a lot in the can. You have two publishers, Lazy Day Publishing and Rebel Ink Press. How did you choose them? Do you have a preference between the two?

I tried to match each story to the publisher's submission guidelines. I had had some problems with Crossroad to Love in the past, because as well as being a romance, it deals with the friendship of five women and not all publishers were looking for a story about women's friendships. Lazy Day will always consider something "out of the box." Rebel stated that they weren't accepting erotic, they already have a lot of erotica authors, so that was perfect for Unlikely Lovers. I can't really say I have a preference between the two. Each one is unique in its own way and I've been pleased with both of them.

I know how important it is to find a good fit. The books with Lazy Day are a series. Tell us about that.

Crossroad to Love, as I said earlier, is about five women, four of whom have been friends since childhood. This story was originally inspired by my own group of friends, who I've been close to since we started first grade in the sixties. We are still close and have taken trips, like the women in the book. There is a main couple, facing romantic issues, in each book. The sequels will each feature one of the grown children of the women, as they face obstacles on their road to finding happily ever after. The original characters stop in from time to time and there are small subplots in each book. The women, although lovable, can sometimes be busy-bodies, you'll find, but they have a way of helping their children and each other attain that happily ever after. I'm keeping with the "Road" theme in each of the titles.

Nice. An interesting way to form a series, sort of, 'the next generation.' The books with Rebel Ink aren't a series. Interesting. So were they written in between? On the side?

Yes...Unlikely Lovers was written about four years ago. It was inspired by my niece, who is an Army officer married to a former blue collar worker. That's the plot of the story, female officer falls in love with local factory worker, but any resemblance to my niece's life ends there. And my niece thanks me for sparing her every day. LOL The idea for Sunny's Love came to me a few years ago, about a nanny falling for her boss. It was about halfway finished. Recently, a friend asked me to write a murder mystery. That's not really my thing, but when I finished Sunny's Love, I added a touch of a murder mystery to it. And Remember Our Promise, what can I say about this one? This one wrote itself, literally. The idea just popped into my head, while I was in the middle of one of my series books. I jotted down the idea and when I'd finished The Road to His Soul, I decided to go ahead and write it before starting the fourth series book. Since it was time for NaNoWriMo, which I'd never participated in before, I decided to use it for my 50,000 words in 30 days. I finished it in 16 wrote itself...I was only along for the ride. My editor at Rebel knew what it was going to be about and accepted it immediately after it was finished and submitted. What a wonderful feeling!

I've participated in NaNoWriMo in the past and had great luck with it, never as fast as that though! I'm impressed. Is that how you get seven novels all ready to go? Did the first ones take longer to write than the more recent?

Some of my books have taken longer than others. I work a full time job, so my writing time is limited but I usually can have a book written in two months or less, depending on length of the story, and how many edits I have to work on in between.

Still impressed. I work part time and can't knock out that many, that quickly. You've had your blog running for a while (with and without internet!). How do you decide what to post? Where do you turn for a new idea?

I've kept with a theme about how crazy my world has become since signing my first contract last summer. I usually write about my week, throwing in personal things, as well as writing-related happenings. I hope to open it up to other authors soon and allow them to promote on there, as you're letting me do here today.

It's a great way to network with authors and access their audiences. It's also nice to be able to return the favour someone gave you by hosting. What social media platforms have been most beneficial to you? Do you have any time for Facebook or twitter?

What social media platforms have been most beneficial to you? Do you have any time for Facebook or twitter? I Facebook and twitter quite a bit, actually. I try to post at least once a day, or every day.

And I won't ask how you manage to fit that in! Thank you so much for visiting. Please leave a comment if you have any questions for Anna about her writing or publishing journeys.