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1) Growing up, did your realize you wanted to become an author?
I was an avid reader as a child. My mother filled our house with books and when I'd read all of those, I'd head to the library, so I really came into the world of books as a reader. I was making up my own stories in my teens and in college, I took a lot of writing classes, but I didn't imagine at that point that I could make writing a career. So when I graduated from college, I went into public relations and I wrote lots of non-fiction articles on high tech and semiconductors. That was super boring and in my spare time, I started writing my first novel, which went on to sell to Silhouette Romance as PROMISE OF MARRIAGE under the pen name Kristina Logan.
2) How hard was the way towards your first publication?
I did end up selling the first book I wrote, but it took me two years to write that book, and another year to figure out how to sell it. I submitted my manuscript to several editors and one was kind enough to write me a long letter about how I could improve it. I took all of her advice and ended up selling the book to a different editor, but I was always grateful that she took the time to help me.
3) Can you handle criticism?
Absolutely. Writers have to have a thick skin. Criticism awaits around every corner from critique partners to editors and finally to readers. Reading is a subjective experience and a book that one person loves another person will hate. So I try to stay true to my vision while also taking into account any professional advice. Writers get wrapped up in their story and sometimes it helps to have an objective third party look at the book with fresh eyes.
4) Is there any reason why you chose romantic fiction as your genre?
I love reading romantic fiction. It's my favorite genre so it made sense for me to write in that genre. The great thing about romance is that you can add anything to it. I often include a mystery or suspense plot, sometimes a paranormal element, sometimes a relationship story between sisters, etc., as well as the main romance. So I look at the romance genre as a big umbrella under which I can write anything I want.
5) How did it feel to receive a RITA for Daniel’s Gift?
Fantastic and amazing! And DANIEL'S GIFT is one of my favorite books so that made it even better. I'm actually nominated this year as well for THE WAY BACK HOME, which came out last July.
6) When you create a story, how do you go about it?
I usually have a few key points or seeds of the story in mind. And then I jump in. I do lots of rewrites as the story develops in my head through the writing. I try to outline a few chapters out in advance, but they always change. I wish I could be more structured but that's just the way the story comes to me.
7) Why did you decide to go the way of self-publishing (to such great success)?
I got into self publishing because I wanted to get some of my older titles back on the market and self publishing was the way to do that. I then discovered that I loved being in control of my writing/publishing career, and I turned out to be pretty good at the publishing side. I understand what my readers want and I understand what covers best reflect the brand of books that I'm putting out. It was a steep learning curve, and it has been exhausting, but incredibly rewarding. In the past two years, I've sold over 3 million copies of my ebooks and that's been just incredible. I'm now self publishing all of my new books. I recently put out the WISH SERIES: A SECRET WISH, JUST A WISH AWAY, and WHEN WISHES COLLIDE. And I'm currently working on a connected family series, THE CALLAWAYS. ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS (#1) and SO THIS IS LOVE (#2) are currently available and FALLING FOR A STRANGER (#3) will be out July 17th.
I think there are bits and pieces of myself and people I know in my books, but never one whole person. It's much more interesting to create my own characters who can have fun, quirky traits and do anything I want them to do.
9) The first Barbara Freethy book I bought was A Secret Wish. It was recommended on Facebook by Teresa Medeiros. Are you two friends?
Teresa Medeiros and I are friends. We met at a publishing conference some years ago and for a while wrote for the same publisher. I love her stories, and she's been kind enough to recommend some of mine to her fans.
10) How long do you intend you go on writing?
I think I'll be writing forever! There's definitely no end in sight. I'm only on book #3 of an 8 book series, and I have lots of other ideas as well. So I'm going to keep writing and publishing for as long as I have stories to tell.