Special Guest and Author Interview with Kristine Cheney

 

 When did you seriously sit down, and say to yourself, I’m going to write a novel?

 It’s kind of ironic how this happened. I was having a melancholy day, and my sister Amanda was trying her best to encourage me. She said, “You know, a long time ago you used to write. How come you never write anymore? Whatever happened to that girl?” Her words hit me hard. I was inspired right then that I had to start writing again. I decided I was going to write a book. Spartan Heart was written in three months.

What do you find the most difficult to write? Dialogue? Back story? Emotion?

 Everything flowed so easily while writing Spartan Heart. Dialogue is my favorite. I’m a sappy kind of girl, so the emotion is definitely there. I write for a non-erotica press, so I would have to say finding a happy medium in my love scenes that is realistic and tasteful, while capturing the magic and passion that exists between a man and a woman. That boundary is a very fine line.

Have you ever found that you didn’t like your Hero or your Heroine? If so, what did you do to change that?

I am relieved to say this has never happened to me…yet. As corny as it sounds, I feel intensely in tune to all of my characters. I can see how other authors could have this dilemma. When a character is created, you start out with little details, like the way they talk, the color of their eyes, their background, occupation, etc. But once little details are established, the character seems to come alive on its own. Before you know it, they have created themselves through the evolution of their thoughts, mannerisms, and so forth. It’s almost scary.

If you were to start again, with the knowledge you have now, what would be the first thing you do?

I would probably write a bunch of single title novels before writing a saga series. Writing a series is a lot more involved and complicated. You create this world and in every book you have to stay within the boundaries you have already set, while still expanding it at the same time. You must remember small details and be able to juggle a larger load of characters. But on the flip side of the coin, sagas are amazing. You create a world you get to go back to, almost like a refuge. You know your characters intimately…you live, breathe, and are always thinking about them. It’s a really neat experience.

Do you write full time, what is your schedule for the day? Or do you have a full time job, if so, when do you find the time to write?

I am a degreed paralegal and work for a law firm in Phoenix. I write on my lunch breaks and after work when I get home. It can be exhausting sometimes, but I can’t imagine my life without writing. It truly is my passion. I pray that someday my writing can afford me the luxury of being my full-time day job.

 

Do you have the support of family and friends?

I do! My husband Brett is amazing. I can’t tell you how many nights he has sat alone watching television while I sit at the computer for seven hours writing. He is always encouraging me to write. If I get stuck, frustrated, or try to make things complicated, he says the magic phrase, “Honey, just write!” That always gets me back on track.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career?

When I began writing, I had no idea there were rules. I had this naïve idea that whatever I wrote could come straight from the heart, and from this fresh new well of thought, idea, and expression. Wrong! My style could come forth, all right, but it had to be within certain boundaries. My writing had to respect the rules of engagement. The unfortunate part is that there was no thorough list of guidelines I could find (and believe me I looked) that could tell me what those rules were.

 I learned them the hard way, as my writing evolved. I had to earn my stripes, so to speak. I would get the knowledge in bits and pieces, so I must have given my manuscript a full edit at least eight times, always having to apply my newest coveted lesson. Things would have been so much easier for me in the beginning of my writing process if I had only known, such as: show-don’t tell, writing in an active voice, never use dismembered body parts, keep your POV’s straight (no head-hopping), no misplaced modifiers, use words that end in “ly” and “ing” sparingly, try to structure every first word in sentence (within a paragraph) differently, and quite a few others.

Where do you expect to be in five years?

I hope to still be writing, with many successful books under my belt. Perhaps by then, writing will be my full-time job.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? If you are a plotter, what are you methods?

 I would say a plotter. A lot of my stories develop from a tiny little idea that explodes in my mind and goes crazy. My muse is far from gentle. She is famous for bashing me over the head with her magic wand.

How have your techniques for character development changed since you’ve been writing? Is it still the same, or has it developed over time, if so how?

Now that I have been through the rigorous process of editing, I try to catch things while I’m writing to save time later. Sometimes it is good, but sometimes it can interrupt my writing flow, so I need to remind myself to lay off. I have found it difficult to turn off editing mode to return to writing mode. This can be very frustrating.

Do you have a book coming out? If so what? Do you have a web site? Do you have a blog? My space?

My publisher Astraea Press has released Spartan Heart, Part One, and Spartan Heart, Part Two. I am currently working on the next book in the saga series called Spartan Surrender, which is scheduled for Summer 2011. Spartan Proposal is looking good for a Fall 2011 release, and Spartan Rapture and Spartan Fire are expected in 2012. I may try to release a couple of single titled books in between.


Sent away to college in America, Evangeline swore she would never return to England. Anger loses its value when tragedy forces her home to assume ownership of the family’s beloved Greco-Roman museum.

Placing a foolish, drunken kiss on a Greek statue in the museum’s basement, Evangeline unknowingly frees a Spartan prince from an evil oracle’s curse. Suddenly, her lonely life is invaded by the rakish man with knowing emerald green eyes who never eats or sleeps, and seems to know her every thought and feeling.

Falling in love is dangerous, especially when it’s with a man who has already been claimed by the bitter oracle, Demona. From the moment of her kiss, Evangeline is swept into Dorien’s world of mystery, danger, and passion. The oracle’s fury only mounts as they unravel Demona’s darkest secrets, but not before Demona finds out about their unborn half-breed immortal twins.

Demona uses her knowledge of the future to manipulate and destroy, but sometimes love has a will, and a heart, of its own.

 

Here are my links:

 

Website:www.spartanheart.com
Publisher: www.astraeapress.com
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristineCheney

Facebook Personal: http://www.facebook.com/KristineCheney
Blog: http://www.spartanheartbyauthorkristinecheney.blogspot.com 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SpartanHrtBooks
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/authorkristinecheney  
Youtube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4DH3ipxVbQ

Kristine Cheney will pick a winner of a pdf of  Spartan Heart Part One….so make sure to comment and leave your email address

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About mahalia2010

Mother, Sister, Friend, Author

Posted on April 28, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 51 Comments.

  1. Clarissa Pereira

    hey kristine. Which was the most difficult and easiest character to write? thanks for the giveaway. 😀

    claroxide@yahoo.co.in

    • Hello, Miss Clarissa!

      I think Dorien and Taryn were the easiest characters to create. All of us women know what traits we find sizzling HOT in a man…hehehehe! It’s kind of like making soup…you just throw in every tasty morsel until wala….the masterpiece. Hehehehe! For Taryn, I feel she is my alter ego, so letting her come out to play and whip some sassiness into this story was devilishly delightful! I think if we all look deep, there’s a little bit of Taryn in each and every one of us. *wink*

      The toughest would have to be Phebus. Creating a character that has zero redemptive qualities whatsoever is no easy feat. I must admit it was a lot of fun.

      Thank you so much for visiting today. Best of luck to you in the contest. 🙂

  2. I’m not a writer but I’ve heard it discussed and am wondering to you work off an outline or just wing it or as it gets bigger start outlining. Since I’m not a writer the whole thing just fascinates me! I love to read though so I enjoy the outcome!!!
    shannonjean14(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Hi, Shannon! Thank you for joining us!

      I have never used an official outline, but I am a HUGE notetaker. When a sudden idea pops up for a scene, I like to jot down my thoughts…sometimes all I have to write on are post its, so imagine the fun of that, lol!

      When I start a chapter, I try to keep the scene flowing until the idea runs its course. It isn’t uncommon for me to write many different scenes from all places in the book and sometimes have to jump from the early part of the story to the latter part. When this happens, I eventually fit them all together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and then fill in the cracks.

      This was an excellent question. Thank you for asking. Good luck in the contest. 🙂

  3. What a beautiful cover – much success with your books!

    • Awwww. Thank you, Tina. I really appreciate your kindness.

      The fabulous Elaina Lee creates all of my covers and also fall the covers for my publisher Astraea Press. She also freelances, so anyone interested in a fabulous Elaina masterpiece can find her on my Facebook friends list. 🙂

      Thank you for your visit. Please feel free to add my links below. Best wishes to you in the contest. 🙂

  4. Nice to meet you, Kristine! Good luck with your series!

    • It is my pleasure, Ari! I’m so glad you stopped by. 🙂 Thank you so much for your gracious comment. You are a gem.

      I have you entered in the contest. Good luck, Sweetie. Please feel free to follow my links below.

  5. Sounds awesome. Good luck, Kristine!

    • Hi, Avril. So glad for your visit. I appreciate all of your kindness.

      I would love to add you as a friend. Please check out my links below. I hope to see you soon. I have you entered in the contest. Best of luck to you. 🙂

  6. Heya ladies thanks for comin by! Kristine love you answers!

    • Hello to my lovely hostess with the mostest! Thank you for having me on your fine blog. I am having a wonderful time and am looking very forward to interacting with everyone until Sunday. Whoot! Whoot! xoxoxoxo

  7. You’re welcome! Glad having you!

  8. Kristine is a truly awesome lady, I heart her to death! I’ve read the first ten pages and have kicked myself for only downloading this book so far. I need read time! Congrats, Kristine!

    • Awwww. Thank you, Rachel. You are such a gem! xoxoxo

      I understand the woes of a writer, sweetie…I know how valuable and precious our time is. Just knowing you would like to read Spartan Heart means everything. Heaven knows the last book I was able to read was well over a year ago (The whole Twilight series….in 5 days!). Thank you, my friend. Your words mean a lot. *hugs* 🙂

  9. What a great interview…I follow this author on Facebook and know she is fantastic with reaching out and helping fellow bloggers and book review pages. I look forward to read Spartan Heart part one and two…it is on my must read list.
    Bianca

    • Hello! Thank you, Miss Bianca. I really appreciate you taking the time to visit, Sweetie, and for your kindness. I just love all the wonderful girls I have met through this experience. Book loving ladies are the best gals in the world! Wishes for luck to you in the contest. xoxoxoxoxoxo

  10. Obviously I want to win a copy of Spartan Heart, part one. Plus I’ve wanted to asked a question (possibly two?)… so trying to kill two birds with one stone. lol. How do you get yourself motivated to write? Do you write everything by hand, computer, both? If you write some on the computer, do you find yourself distracted by the internet? Okay, so maybe that’s 3 but I’m curious. I prefer to use the computer because I type faster then I can write, but the internet (facebook especially) is a huge distraction. And as for the motivation… I have a work in progress and there’s days that I don’t feel like writing.

    • For me, the motivation comes alive by itself. A herd of ideas will randomly stampede through my mind, which leaves me scurrying towards the nearest computer or pad of paper. I carry a “book bag” with me to work, just in case I get a rush while at work.

      When I write, I like to set the mood. I light candles and my writing area is a room I decorated with feminine decor and dubbed “my writing room”. The smell of the candles (Partylite) and the ambience really helps. My true muse is water, so the sounds of rain, shower, storm, ocean, stream, etc., pummels me directly into muse Heaven.

      When I first started writing, I wrote everything down….forget it…it takes too much time to re-type it later into the computer. So now I am a 100% computer writer unless the muse assaults me while I’m on the go. I have a fellow writer friend who easily gets distracted while writing on her computer. She swears that writing on her iPad has absolved her of her naughty, wayward ways. hehehehe!

      For days when you have no motivation, and you feel your muse has left you entirely…well, that is perfectly normal, sweetie. There have been times where I didn’t feel like writing anything for 2-4 weeks, then all of a sudden BAM!, I wrote a half a book. My suggestions would be to get down all you can when your muse strikes, then you can keep your mind on your story by editing when she goes on vacation for a little while. xoxoxoxo

  11. Teresa Kleeman

    Hi Kristine,

    First I want to thank Hales for having you on her blog and thank you for coming on. Congrats on this lovely book. I see so many wonderful authors who say such nice things about you.
    I really loved the blog and I’m really looking forward to reading this. Did you say who your publisher was? If you did I must have missed it. Just looked at your links again and answered my own question.
    Thank you so much for the contest. Maybe I will win. Wishing everyone else the best of luck. I also wish you much success with this series. Oh and what a beautiful cover.

    Teresa K.
    tcwgrlup41@yahoo.com

    • Hello, Teresa! Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate your lovely compliments. Best of luck to you in the contest. If you do get a chance to win or purchase Spartan Heart, Part One, and Spartan Heart, Part Two, please let me know how your reading goes. 🙂

      Oh, yes. Astraea Press is my publisher. I am glad you found the link. Yay! They have a lot of excellent reads. I can’t say enough about my publisher.

  12. how did you get started writing?how did you pick what to write about? Kristine thank you so much for another chance to win your book you are so sweet you and a very good friend.

    • I used to write poems when I was a little girl. I have always been touched by music and consider myself a somewhat creative person (I’m left-handed!) Hehehehe! I remember when I used to hear songs, I would create “music videos” (before there were music videos) in my head and create stories to the songs. When I got married and had kids, I put writing on the backburner and literally forgot about it. In my interview above, my sister re-sparked my love for writing. If you would have asked me 3 years ago if I ever thought I would be a published writer, I would have said you were crazy! Hehehehe!

      I signed on as a published author a year and a half after I started Spartan Heart, so I feel so blessed. Believe me, I had a lot of rejections before I was finally accepted. So if you are a writer, don’t ever give up. Always be willing to listen to criticism and learn from the advice others share with you. I must have given Spartan Heart a full edit at least 8 times before I was offered a contract.

      Never stop writing!

  13. Hi! I think your cover looks amazing and I cant wait to read your book!

  14. Your book sounds amazing Kristine.I have always loved Greek Mythology so I know I’ll love your book as well.

    • I am so pleased to meet you, Tanya. I have always loved Greek mythology and ancient egypt. The first thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was an archaeologist. I absolutely love history.

      Good luck to you in the contest, sweetie! 🙂

  15. Lissette Martz Villegas

    It’s so wonderful that in a melancholy day you started all this!! I just wanted to know,, When you create a character do you base her or him on someone you already know or is completely imaginary?? =)

    • Hello, Lissette!

      Thank you for your question. When I create a character, it can be a little bit of both…but usually it is imaginary. I consider a few attributes or features I like or see in others and then the characters seem to come alive on his or her own. It is really fun…if only I could make them real! *sigh*

  16. ooh! enter me please!
    lgmorales18@gmail.com

  17. Just found this by chance, your book sounds great! I will have to read it!!!

    • Thank you so much, Brenda. I am so glad you found us! Yay! I really appreciate it and have you entered in the contest. If you do read SH1 and SH2, please let me know your thoughts. Good luck in the contest. 🙂

  18. Can’t wait to read your book!

    Writting a book…is this something you ever thought of doing as being a child?

    • Welcome, Tracy.

      I honestly never considered being a writer as a child. This writing bug bit me in June of 2009 (at the age of 37) and I have been writing ever since. I absolutely LOVE it!

      Thank you for your question. Best wishes to you in the contest. 🙂

  19. Kristian- I know follow you on facebook along with am a fan of the Spartan Heart Paranormal Romance Saga Page on facebook 😀 My question that I was wondering is how did you come up to use Spartans for your book versus maybe something like the Romans or Greeks? ( I happen to live in Sparta Mi. right now which is home of the Spartans, lol!!!) Hope I have a chance of winning this time around since I didnt win through your contest on facebook! Happy reading to everyone!!! 🙂 -Laura P.

    • Hello, Laura. I’m so glad you came to my interview. 🙂

      When I decided to write a book, I wanted to write about something different. Vampires and werewolves were VERY prominent and I wanted to write about something different. I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing. The idea to use Spartan warriors came to me suddenly. I’m a huge history buff, so I lfell in love with the hearts of the Spartans.

      Spartans were a proud people who honored their women. They were sensual and brave, their code and desire for justice was so passionate. Everyone knows about King Leonidas, so I thought I would take historical fact and make it fiction. I chose valiant Prince Dorieus, Leonidas’ older brother (after all…someone had to teach Leo all those awesome moves!) Dorien became my Spartan Prince, and I immortalized all of his loyal men who fell to their deaths with him in Heraclea Minoa (Sicily) on the battlefield in 510 B.C..

      Dorien, Philip, Thessalus, Celeas, and Paraebates…I brought them all back to life…and I changed their story.

  20. Thank you ladies for coming by my blog to Kristine’s interview! I’ve enjoyed reading all the replies and questions asked 🙂

  21. Lindsey Hutchison

    first i have to say your so wonderfully sweet and awesome….i would love to read this book the cover is so beautiful. do you ever get lost in a daydream and think of adding it to your next book? i would love to be entered to please

    babydoll82959307(at)aol(dot)com

    • Hello, Miss Lindsey!

      Awwwww! Thank you so much, Sweetheart. To be honest, I think all writing is based on delicious daydreams. *sigh* Don’t you worry, I do have you entered in the contest. Best of luck to you. xoxoxoxoxo

      Thank you so much for reading my interview. 🙂

  22. awesome kris. hope you make it all the way down here!! lol

  23. Hello Everyone! Thank you for an awesome interview weekend. I am about to tally the winners right now! I will be back shortly with the list of winners. xoxoxoxo Kristine

  24. I want to thank everyone for taking the time to visit my interview with Mahalia. I hope you all enjoyed it. I have chosen my winners via randomizer.org.
    Congratulations! The winners of this contest are:
    1) Clarissa Pereira
    2) Bianca
    3) Tannis
    4) Brenda B.
    5) Laura P.

    Again, congratulations to my winners. Please contact me via my Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristineCheney to claim your prize.

    For those of you who did not win, but would like to purchase Spartan Heart, Part One, and Spartan Heart, Part Two, they are both available at http://www.amazon.com and at http://www.barnesandnoble.com. In the event you do not have an e-reader, you may purchase a .pdf version from my publisher’s website at http://www.astraeapress.com.

    Everyone, if you haven’t already, please join me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristineCheney and at http://www.facebook.com/KristineCheney, and at my links below.

  25. I think I’m here to late. Doggone it all!

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