First, Kristina, for those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a refugee from the television news wars! I grew up in small town America, loving re-runs of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and WKRP in Cincinnati…so I guess it was only natural that I became interested in television and radio news. I’ve worked all over the US, and now I’m excited to call Ohio home, and work my own stories.
Television news sounds very exciting. But when did you start writing, and what inspired you?
I really can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing, even before I learned my letters. I’ve been making up stories and playmates and exciting adventures from birth according to my mom! But I never took my talent seriously until a good friend told me my stories were as good as the books she’d been reading. That was a great light-bulb moment for meâ€¦as for what inspires me, it’s that first flash for a story or character â€“ I just have to know what happens next!
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve ever received? The biggest compliment?
I think the toughest criticism is no criticism. Form rejection letters are very tough because they don’t offer any idea of what went wrong. I understand the need for them, but I don’t like them. On the other head, the biggest compliment I’ve gotten (so far) was in a rejection â€“ an editor told me my writing voice was ‘sparkly and fun and wonderful’â€¦she turned down my book because it wasn’t right for her listâ€¦but that was very encouraging!
Do you have any advice for those authors just beginning this journey?
If you want to make writing a career, you have to make it priority. Turn off reality TV, stop talking about the story you have inside you and start writing it down. If you want to make a career out of writing you have to do it â€“ because there will be a million people telling you that you can’t. Sometimes the only person telling you to keep going will be you, so tell yourself to get started and then keep moving forward.
On a personal note, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
Anywhere with a beach! I love the sound of waves on sand, it’s totally relaxing and invigorating and exciting all at the same time. Some of my most productive days are spent on the beach!
Now what about relaxation? Complete this sentence: “When I want to kick back and relax, I â€¦”
This depends â€“ in the middle of winter I grab my favorite blankie and turn on Soap Network. Other people’s drama relaxes me. I don’t know why! In the summer when I’m in need of a mental health day, I head to the pool. A little music, some hot sunshine and a floatie are all I need!
Can you tell us about your upcoming release?
What a Texas Girl Wants, my debut, is on cyber shelves nowâ€¦it’s a marriage of convenience book, set in Texas (obviously!) and I hear it’s going to print soon. So I’m very excited about that!
Kathleen Witte is a down-to-earth girl. She has to be, with the family ranch on the verge of success. After seven months of keeping it all together by swearing off men, however, Kathleen needs a bit of fun in the sun. Waking up with a husband she can’t remember isn’t how she planned to blow off steam. The last thing Jackson Taylor wants in his life is a down-to-earth girl. He has four weeks of freedom in which to find his birth mother. He’s done well avoiding commitment until now, so when he wakes up on a Mexican beach with Kathleen his first reaction is curiosity. When he spies the matching wedding rings on their left hands curiosity turns to concern. Neither Jackson nor Kathleen want to stay married, but when her family shows up, they have no choice. Once back in Texas, however, can they keep this all-business marriage from turning into an all-consuming love?
“So the man calling you sweetheart on the patio isn’t your husband?”
Kathleen blanched. “No, idiot. He’s my grandfather. What do you think I am some Anna Nicole wannabe?”
“No, but. . .Well who else would call you sweetheart besides your husband?”
She glared at him. “Start talking, Cowboy. Am I remembering last night?”
“I’m not sure, either.” When Kathleen would have socked him in the shoulder, he continued. “I was sent down here on a photo shoot for Sports Weekly last Monday. It wrapped and I decided to stay for a few extra days. I have a show booked in New York in a couple of months and I thought some shots of the crowds on the Malecon would do well. That would have been. . .Wednesday. Then I woke up on the beach this morning with you. So assuming this is Thursday, yeah, we’re both remembering the same night.” “Kathleen?”
She ignored Grandfather and focused on Jackson. “You seriously don’t remember how this”-she wagged her right index finger between their left hands-“happened?” His only response was a slow shaking of his head from side to side. Wonderful. Wait. Wouldn’t that make the annulment that much simpler? All the celebrities did it. Get drunk, get married, plead incompetence because of alcohol and get a quickie annulment. If it was good enough for Britney it was good enough for Kathleen. As long as she could get the annulment ball rolling before Grandfather found out.
My next release is coming up on October 1, it’s a reunion romance called The Saint’s Devilish Deal. This is the book I’ve most enjoyed writing (but don’t tell my other books that, I don’t want any jealous rages!) because it’s set on a beach in Puerto Vallarta â€“ one of my favorite places!
Thanks so much for joining me today, Kristina.