Interview with Kristen Darling

What do your fans mean to you?
They are the reason I do what I do, and I am forever grateful to anyone who reads my work. Without my readers, there is no one to share my stories with. When a reader falls in love with my books, or a character, or takes the time to email me about how much they hated a character, it makes all of the time I spent writing, re-writing, editing, proofreading and publishing well worth it.

If I did not have readers, I most likely would not have the passion I have for writing. So they mean everything to me.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a darker romance called "Losing My Way". Like "The Ghost of You", it will delve into the dark side of love, obsession, letting go and forgiveness, but the story is a bit darker as the main character struggles with her own demons and issues throughout the story. Like many women often do, one day Alex Monroe takes a long look in the mirror and wonders "Who am I? How did I get here? And where do I go from here?"

I hope it will be a story that resonates with women everywhere.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many, I don't think there is enough space to list them all here. I am serious. I literally have hundreds and hundreds of books in my collection.

But my first favorite authors would be Jackie Collins (I will miss you Jackie) and V.C. Andrews.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My three children. I have an eleven year old daughter and twin five-year old boys, and even if I have a raging fever of 102, they inspire me to get out of bed every morning - usually by jumping on my bed and yelling "Time to get up, mom!"
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, of course! And playing games with my children, designing websites, making my trademark cupcakes, baking with my daughter, playing games on my phone, watching The Big Bang Theory, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and trying to enjoy this crazy thing called life.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually get recommendations from fellow authors, or I browse the eBook websites until I find one that interests me. With so many to choose from, it is not difficult to find a good read, and while I prefer romance and suspense/thrillers, I will read anything that catches my eye.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was about nine years old when I wrote a story and turned it into a play for my family. Since then, I have literally drafted thousands of stories, but I wrote my first full-novel at the age of 18. It was called "No Ordinary Love", was over 120K words, had some major issues with the flow of the story, but eventually I put it out there for people to read and surprisingly many people enjoyed it despite the issues with the story.
What is your writing process?
Writing process? What's that? LOL. Actually, it changes depending on what I am working on. With The Ghost of You, I had the story in my head for a number of years, and I finally decided it was time to get it all out there for people to share. Even so, the story took on it's own personality during the writing, and I found myself surprised with the direction the story began to take.

I always start with an idea, and then expand upon it to create life-like characters that people can relate to. Sometimes they are likeable, and sometimes they are despicable, but I always try to make them unforgettable.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the exact first story, but one that always stuck with me from early on was called "Cages of Glass, Flowers In Time" about a girl who was abused by her mother. I never forgot that story, and as an adult, I hunted for it for so long and finally found a used version on a website. I immediately bought it, and reading it again brought back so many memories of that time in my life.
How do you approach cover design?
I see it in my head, and since I have experience with graphics and web design, I can usually bring my vision to life. I am extremely excited about the cover for Losing My Way and cannot wait to share it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
5. Honeymoon - Another book where I find myself rooting for someone who is not a hero - but she is charming in her own way, even though she is quite evil.
4. Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty - this was such a clever, heartwarming story, and I simply love how this particular author writes with such a smooth and amusing style.
3. Gone Girl - I love that Amy is a villain, yet I still found myself rooting for her in the end. Life is not always going to follow what we believe, that the good guy always win, and this story reminds us that life is messy, and all of us are damaged in some way.
2. Into the Darkest Corner - this book is DARK, and I adored it. It really did have my heart racing at times, and was so well written, I felt as though I was living Cathy's life along side her.
1. The Girl on a Train - I just loved the way the author had of depicting a scene as though I could see it happening in front of my eyes. Intriguing story, with lots of twists.

I know the question is 5, but I have to include "The Ghost of You" as an honorable mention. I really do love this book, and it has little to do with the fact that I am the author. I have read it many times during the editing process, but I have also read it a few times for fun - it is so personal to me, and I can relate to Kaitlyn on many levels.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything I can get my hands on! I love romance, contemporary fiction, thrillers, suspense and biographies, but I literally will read anything someone hands me. I simply love to devour words.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have to say, I still prefer holding a real book inmy hands, but for eReading, I prefer Kindle.
Describe your desk
Anywhere that I have a notebook and a pen, or my laptop. My desk has been at the kitchen table, the living room couch, the car, my bed, and, when I am trying to hide from my children, my closet.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up around the country. I was born in Chicago, IL, but have lived in many different states. I think that helps me choose my locations - I can set my stories in the south, in the mid-west, or in the north east, and I can visualize temperatures and atmospheres because I have lived them.
When did you first start writing?
When I was five years old.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It is dark, and it is about a woman who is struggling with her current life (marriage, children, home in the suburbs) and wondering what could have been if she made different decisions. Don't all women have this struggle at some point in their lives? I am excited about the twists and turns in this book, which is titled "Losing My Way". It is set for release on December 1, 2015.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My lack of patience. :) Seriously. I tried submitting to a few literary agents, and one asked me for a complete manuscript, but I wanted my book to be shared YESTERDAY, and the process to publish in the traditional way takes a very long time. I needed to share The Ghost of You with anyone who was willing to read it, and so I explored the indie way - which has helped me meet so many wonderful people and fellow authors - I wouldn't change a thing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It gives me the power to turn the ordinary into extraordinary.
Published 2015-11-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.