Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Guardian, a Sword, and Stilettos

Busy, but awesome week over here at Willows Writer! Lots of reading, writing, and editing, occasionally I eat as well! 

I'm super excited to be hosting Kristin D. Van Risseghem today. I first became acquainted with Kristen through an online writers group. We've exchanged and critiqued our writing, and from what I read she is one excellent writer. I can't wait to get my hands on this book! 



What inspires you to write? Just about anything. Sometimes it’s like an itch that must be scratched.

Tell us about your writing process. I usually write at night, but I can force myself to focus during the day, too. I don’t use white boards, sticky notes, or index cards. I just write.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen to or talk to to your characters? Of course I listen to my characters. They are the ones who really are telling the story. It’s my job to write it as they see and experience it. But if they talk back to much, I will threaten them that I’ll kill them off. That usually quiets them down.

Who are your favorite authors? JK Rowling, Kristin Hannah, Sophie Kinsella, and Julie Kagawa

What drew you to writing? I took a lit course in high school and a reading one in college. Didn’t think anything of it but enjoyed writing and reading back then. I started reading as something to do before I met my husband. Then when Twilight came out, a group of friends created a book club and it’s been downhill ever since. I read a ton. My cousin started writing and she asked me to (beta) read for her. I did but didn’t really know what I was doing. One of her friends asked me to read one of hers too so I did b/c my cousin said that my comments were spot on.
Then in January 2013 I dreamed of the warehouse scene. Didn’t think anything of it until the next night I had the same dream in the warehouse. Woke my husband up and told him about it. He said I should write it down. Of course I didn’t. The 3rd night, I dreamed of the tattoo and knew I had to start getting it down on paper so to speak. I started writing when I got home from work and wrote until the wee hours of the morning, so 7-8 hours at a time. Go to sleep a few hours and get up for work. Did that for 3 weeks.

How did you decide how to publish your books? At first I queried to agents and then to publishers. I was picked up by a small publisher but eventually I decided to leave and self-publish. For me that was the best decision to make. I needed the control and it’s all on me now. So if something isn’t getting done, I only have myself to blame.

What do you think about the future of book publishing? I think the self-publishing made so easy, there will be an ever-growing area for this. Eventually I could see the large companies merging and POD becoming the big wave of the future.

What hobbies do you enjoy? 5 years ago, I’d say reading. But since I’ve started writing, I haven’t found the time to read as I used to. I could easily do 100 books in a summer. Now, I’m lucky if I can get 10 in a summer.

What are 3 things that you’ve not often shared about yourself? I’m adopted from South Korea (not north), I was fortunate to attend private school from K-8 (which I’m glad I did), I’ve played the violin, the flute, symbols, bells, bass and snare drum.

Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing. (Why do you write? What made you want to become a writer? What purpose do you believe writers fulfill as artists?)
I took a lit course in high school and a reading one in college. Didn’t think anything of it but enjoyed writing and reading back then. I started reading as something to do before I met my husband. Then when Twilight came out, a group of friends created a book club and it’s been downhill ever since. I read a ton. My cousin started writing and she asked me to (beta) read for her. I did but didn’t really know what I was doing. One of her friends asked me to read one of hers too so I did b/c my cousin said that my comments were spot on.

Then in January 2013 I dreamed of the warehouse scene. Didn’t think anything of it until the next night I had the same dream in the warehouse. Woke my husband up and told him about it. He said I should write it down. Of course I didn’t. The 3rd night, I dreamed of the tattoo and knew I had to start getting it down on paper so to speak. I started writing when I got home from work and wrote until the wee hours of the morning, so 7-8 hours at a time. Go to sleep a few hours and get up for work. Did that for 3 weeks.

 Synopsis:

Zoe Jabril could be just another 17-year-old girl attending parties with her friends and checking out cute guys—except her best friend is a Guardian Angel, and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, half-Angel, both sent to Earth to protect her. A high school classmate happens to be a trendsetting shopaholic Fairy. And now there’s a new Werewolf in town. 

Now Zoe has to deal with her feelings toward Shay, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her. She is under constant attack from Demons, trying to kill and stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite the Enlightens to battle evil. Then on top of that, between boring homework and drama with girls at school, she has to control new found talents if she’s to prevent the Devil from escaping Hell.

In order to do so, Zoe must devise a kick-ass plan ASAP or watch everyone die, because she’s running out of time. She turns eighteen in two months—the date Armageddon kicks off.

Five facts about Zoe:
  1. She’s 17-yo, but a junior in high school.
  2. She has dark brown hair, brown eyes, is about 5’6 tall.
  3. Her BFF is a boy, Kieran, who lives down the street from her.
  4. Favorites: Color is purple, flower is orchid, food is chicken parmesan
  5. Career: Wants to be a vet.

Five facts about Shay:
  1. He stands at 6’2, has blond hair, aqua eyes, athletic build.
  2. Drives a black 1957 Bel-Air.
  3. Prefers wearing black clothes.
  4. Favorite movie: Star Wars (the original trilogy).
  5. Is a Nephilim (half angel and half human).

Five facts about Kieran:
  1. He stands at 6’, has wavy blond hair, blue eyes, model build.
  2. Drives a golden Cadillac CTS-V.
  3. Prefers neutral-colored clothes.
  4. Is a Guardian angel to Zoe.
  5. Comes across as bossy and controlling.

Five facts about Sidelle:
  1. Is a Summer Fairy.
  2. She’s dresses trendy, has green eyes, pixie black hair, and model build.
  3. Glamour powers: Can read minds, manipulates the weather.
  4. Attitude: Snarky with a capital S.
  5. Drives a green Mini Cooper convertible (Turbo).



Excerpt:

I stumbled into Kieran as a tremor moved through me, the hairs on my arms stood at attention like tiny lightning rods. “Do you feel that?” my voice sounded breathless, even to me.
He glanced sideways, “Feel what?”
Look.” I held out my arms to him, “I feel strange. Like someone…” I rubbed my slightly numb hands over my forearms and sucked in a breath, as he hooked his head around. I fell into step beside him. “Never mind. It’s probably nothing.”
This happens when lightning’s about to strike, right?
The heat from the sun radiated off the few cars parked along Boutique Row, their owners engaged in mid-afternoon shopping. Store fronts displayed the new and trendy ‘must-have’ dresses, shorts, and shoes for the spring season. I paused to see my reflection. Not a hair was out of place. Thank God.
The Coffee Grind’s signature cinnamon dessert scent wafted through the air and my teeth hurt with the memory of sinking them into it time and again. What I wouldn’t give to be able to park my back end on one of their leather wing-back chairs and crack open a book, while the fire crackled next to me in the original stone hearth.
Earth to Zoe,” Kieran’s gentle voice broke my trance. He poked my shoulder. “Are you going to order or what?”
My face flamed. “You could’ve ordered for me.” I rummaged through my purple backpack. “You know I get the same thing every time.”
Kieran watched me rub my arms, as he told the cashier, “She’ll also have an ice water.” He tilted his head toward the menu board. “Anything else?”
Did you order me a chai?” I asked.
He nodded.
Cause you know I can’t function without a good cup of—
“You can’t function with it, either.”
Then I turned my attention toward the clerk, unsure if I recognized him or not. I hope he doesn’t know me. “Nothing else. Thanks.” I handed him some bills.
“How’s track going, Zoe?” the clerk asked.
Damn.
“Think you’ll make it to State?”
I realized he was a sophomore on the team. Our paths crossed during several meets. He looked thin in his black polo shirt, and I knew a mirror would reflect a similar physique in me, though my lavender sundress tried to disguise it.
I shrugged. “I have fast times, but we’ll see. If I don’t make it this year, there’s always senior year.”
My fingertips skimmed the glass display of mammoth muffins and assorted pastries as we moved down the aisle to the ‘Pick-up Here’ sign. A heavy coffee aroma hung in the air.
A figure in dark clothing with yellow-tipped, spiked hair stared at me from outside the glass entrance door. His eyes narrowed on contact with mine.
Chills rushed through my body.


PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon           Smashwords                Kobo



Author Bio:


Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small river town in Minnesota with her parents and older sister. And after receiving a double Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University in Paralegal and Corrections, she worked as a Paralegal for various law firms around the Twin Cities for 14 years. Then she left the legal field and is now a Senior Buyer for a technology company.
Currently, Kristin lives in Eagan with her husband and two Calico cats. She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and probably has way too many of both.
In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women’s Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold!
Kristin’s first book, The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos, is published by Kasian Publishing.

Kristin’s Website        Twitter            Facebook         Goodreads