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.
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:
Facebook Personal: http://www.facebook.com/KristineCheney
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