Interview with Kristen Strassel

Published 2013-12-14.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Massachusetts, and so far, each of my books feature main characters from Massachusetts. Night Moves (March 2014), starts in my apartment!
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first short story in fourth grade. It was a dual POV about a stolen bicycle. My teacher told me that dual POV was a no no. I was crushed. I thought the story was a masterpiece.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I just finished The Night Songs Collection, and I realize each book has a piece of me in it, wherever I am in life. In Because the Night, I was having a hard time making decisions, because I wanted something that no longer existed. We Own the Night (August 2014) deals with insecurities.

Because the Night and Night Moves feature different characters in the same world. In We Own the Night, the characters all need to band together to solve the problems they face and move forward.

It's hard to answer this without spoilers!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I don't follow rules well. I don't have a "normal" job, and I'm like a bull in a china shop when I try to conform. Going indie made sense for this series. I could write the story these characters needed to tell and keep it raw and edgy.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm offering When the Night Comes for free as a taste of what The Night Songs Collection is about. So far, it's got a ton of downloads with no promo! (Promo is coming!) I hope that the people who've discovered When the Night Comes love it and come back to Smashwords for more!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I'm always floored when people want more. I also love it when men enjoy my work. I don't apologize for being a girl, and my writing reflects that.
What are you working on next?
I just started a stand alone book that fits in The Night Songs Collection world...a Christmas story set in Boston.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work as a freelance makeup artist on films, TV shows, commercials, and weddings. When I'm not dong makeup or writing, I love decorating my house, cooking, and dancing! I'm learning how to swing on a pole!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Friend's recommendations.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My mom used to read me The Perils of Penelope every night from the Sesame Street Encyclopedias. It featured Ernie in drag as Penelope. I loved having that story read to me so much! I still will say "Unfortunately for Penelope..."
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Dirt Rich, Clark Howard
The Dirt, Motley Crue
Just Kids, Patti Smith
Anything by Pat Conroy
Signs of the Zodiac Series by Vicki Pettersson.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love rock n' roll biographies.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
An actual book! Sorry Smashwords, nothing beats a real book!
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.