Interview with Kristen Parr

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I use to keep a journal of stories that I hand wrote, usually romantic stories. I believe I was about 10 when I began writing in that journal. Long before I wrote them down, I told them out loud to myself or my sister.
What is your writing process?
I like to write in the morning before the kids wake up. That doesn't always work though. I'm constantly thinking about my stories so that when I sit down to write, I'm ready for the next scene. My aim is at least 2,000 words a day.
How do you approach cover design?
I think about what I'm attracted to when I walk into a book store. Does the cover interest me? Does it make me wonder what's inside. I typically go for the ones that don't have a person on them because I like to make up the person's face according to the author's description. If it has a partial picture of someone, that's fine.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. She has included several genres in one, but I don't care because I'm invested in her characters. That's what I want my readers to feel about my characters too. Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas series is another one of my favorites. Again, it's about the characters that draw you in to the story. Stephen King's book 'On Writing' has been one of the most influential books in my writing life and the one that I recommend to any other would-be writers out there. Ted Dekker is another one that has made an impact on me because you never can guess what he's about to do next and there's always a deeper meaning in his stories. And probably the last one is LaVryle Spencer. Her stories are just sweet and romantic and leave you with a happy ending.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Nook and I love it!
Describe your desk
It's in the middle of the living room because that's the only room it'll fit in. It should be clean but it's cluttered with a printer I haven't figured out how to use yet, my iPad, bills and mail. A milk jug and bottle because my toddler wants something to drink and brought it to me to pour it and I haven't gotten around to it. Also, I have a mug with tea from yesterday and an empty beer bottle. Oh yeah, and an empty 5 hour energy bottle.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Northwest, USA. The three books I'm writing currently cover Idaho, Portland, Oregon and down into Southern Oregon. There's a lot of great places, I love the mountains and ocean as well as the weather of the Northwest.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've seen how long it takes to get published traditionally and I honestly didn't want to wait that long. I also wanted to write the story how I wanted to write it without someone telling me I couldn't mix genres or the "rules" of writing. Grammar and spelling rules I will adhere to for sure, and pacing is a good one too, but I wanted to see what I could do on my own.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Watching a story unravel, the characters evolve, and seeing where I end up at. My second greatest joy is watching my readers fall in love with the characters!
What are you working on next?
Right now I'm finishing up the first book in a series called Revenant. The second book is already finished and ready for the editing process. Once Revenant is finished, I'll begin on the third book of the series. I also have a couple of other books that I need to finish up. They are all suspense books with a little romance thrown in there for kicks, but mainly suspense.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, dreaming, playing with my kids, grocery shopping, making beds and sometimes cleaning toilets. I lead a very glamorous life, you know.
Published 2015-07-07.
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