I’m so excited to post my second spotlight this week! Come meet another writer friend of mine and her debut Young Adult Urban Fantasy!
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.
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.
Now for some fun questions and answers with the author!
Q: Can you pick a favorite line from your latest work (or the work being highlighted) and tell us why this is your favorite?
A: It’s not a line but a scene: This close, my rescuer—Shay Curator, apparently—had long, powerful legs which fit nicely in his black jeans. He wore black biker boots, and a black T-shirt hugged his upper torso, the sleeves barely contained a set of rippling biceps. I imagined he was trying unsuccessfully to hide what would no doubt be an impressive six pack. In sharp contrast to his dark clothes, he had fair skin. Even though he was over six feet tall, he had moved with catlike grace.
Q: 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?)
A: I took a lit course in highschool 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.
Q: What is the name of your blog (include the URL) and what can readers expect to find there? (If you don’t have a blog, explain why. Also consider adding insight as to how you have worked to develop a readership.)
A: My blogity blog about nothing really: http://www.kristinvanrisseghem.com/blog. I don’t blog regularly, but what you find are writing tips, author spotlights, cover reveals, and upcoming contests.
Q: What does your drafting and/or editing process entail? (In general, how do you get the writing done? Are you disciplined or more spur of the moment? Do you participate in a critique group, utilize online critique partners or beta readers, or mostly self-edit? Do you hire a professional to critique or provide editing services?)
A: The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos was written in three weeks. I wrote at night and into the morning hours. It just seemed to flow out of me. In my head the story unfolded chronologically. Once it was fully written, I joined three writing groups and eventually created my own, too. But now I’m only in one of them and I found another that I really enjoy. I have used both beta and critique partners who do line-by-line edits, plus I have hired a professional editor to do the final read through.
Q: Are you traditionally published or self-published? (Why did you choose that path? Do you hire help for tasks like text formatting, book covers, and promotion?)
A: I queried like I’m sure a lot of writers do, but didn’t get any hits. Then I sent subs directly to the publishers where I was offered three contracts, one of which I signed. But about four months later I asked to be released from the contract. When I started writing, I started a company under Kasian Publishing (pronounced K-Asian), so technically I’m both because I am my own publisher. I hired out for editing, formatting and covers, but I am doing all the promotion myself.
Q: Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity? (What specifically has worked for you? What’s the best advice you’ve received in this area?)
A: This might be a very common answer, but social media is a must these days. You as an author need to be found by your readers. So I have a website, FB-Author page, Twitter and Goodreads accounts. I do keep a personal FB page separately though as I try to keep my professional/personal life separate from my writing life. Brand yourself! You need to sell yourself and be a believable and legit author before readers will take you seriously. There are many free websites and places to help you, just make sure that it looks professional. And when in doubt? Ask other writers. At some point we’ve all been there.
Q: What future projects can we look forward to?
A: I have planned The Enlighten Series to be a trilogy with two novellas. I have the first novella, The Masquerade, an Altar, & a Fairy, scheduled to release in August 2015. But after this series? I’m not sure. I guess where ever the pen (or in my case, the keyboard) takes me.
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, will be published in May 2015 by Kasian Publishing!