Krista Michelle: Inspired words
Meeting the Rising Writer No. 18
Fantastic writers hide around the world, staring at empty pages and blank screens until they turn them into worlds of black and white with life and color hidden in the digital ink. Many of these writers don’t know it yet, but they have stories that will one day inspire new writers who will stand where they once did…in the pressure seat.
Today, Krista Michelle has agreed to a virtual interview because like many writers, she has a story to tell, and it might inspire others one day.
Thank you, Krista, for agreeing to an interview.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing, I work as a Health Care assistant. I also travel and spend time with my boyfriend, friends, and family.
Do you ever write about your travels?
I travel to Colorado or Seattle mostly, but no, I haven’t written about that. I have been to other places as well, but have never written about it. My boyfriend does bronze and stone sculpting, so one day I had hoped to write about what he and his dad do, but as of yet I don’t know enough about it.
What inspires your writing?
My own creative mind inspires my writing. I have been reading since I learned how, and always wanted to be a writer.
Do you remember when you wrote your first story? What was it?
My first story I wrote was the poem “The Keys,” which I started around age 18, and lost the manuscript before I could finish it. It is the basis of my current book I am writing with the same title.
What are you currently working on?
I had the idea for my present book from the poem, “The Keys.” Then I lost the manuscript and life happened, so I picked it up again more recently. About a year ago, I co-wrote a collaborative novel as well, which is published as a paperback and e-book version.
What inspired the poem that developed into this story?
The poem came about as an idea that just came to me in my imagination about a girl who goes up to another world after she dies, and is sent on a mission to help the ones she left behind. The actual keys are a twist I threw in to make it more appealing to readers, and more of a challenge for myself.
What is the collaborative novel? How did you find your way into a collaborative novel?
The collaborative novel is called “The Concierge.” It was written by myself and 19 international authors, and is available on Kindle and paperback. I was a member of a Facebook writing page, and a lady posted asking who would like to collaborate a novel to see where it goes, and I signed up. Because of that pilot project, I have made writing friends, and am involved in an up-and-coming 5th book starting in February.
Give us insight to your main character.
My main character is a little child who, after passing away, is given a set of keys. With these keys, she is sent back to Earth, and she has to find who each key belongs to, and how to help the ones she left behind move on from her death. Meanwhile, the ones left behind cannot see, or hear her presence. It is a struggle to communicate in spirit form to the ones left behind. As she is solely a little girl, she encounters many things along the way that confuse and scare her. Including things she used to be able to do when she was alive, and is finding she cannot do them now that she is passed on.
Where do your characters come from?
My characters come from my own imagination, and from an idea for a story that just occurred to me one day. Some of the characters are evolving as my writing progresses, but the main character has always been a focal character from the start.
What/who are your favorite or most reliable support groups?
My favorite and most reliable support groups are my family, boyfriend and friends firstly, who were always there to proofread my writings, and secondly (but no less important), Facebook writing groups. Mainly Fiction Writing and Authors’ Tale, and their respective admins.
What is the biggest mistake you think you make while writing? How do you overcome it?
The biggest mistake (can I use the word “hurdle”?) in my writing is my lack of ability to “show not tell.” Fiction Writing Facebook page has videos on how to overcome that and postings et cetera. That is how I am overcoming that hurdle.
Were you always good at writing?
I was always excelling in English and Language Arts, and as soon as I learned how to read, I was often seen with my nose in a book. Usually historical fiction romance. And I have always been able to sit down and think of a plot in a flash, though I never put my stories to ink.
What writing projects have you done in the past?
In the past, I have co-written a collaborative novel, “The Concierge,” which is a project with 19 international authors, in which I submitted a chapter. It is a suspense drama. “Clarissa, the main character, is on a path of discovery to find out who she really is. On the way, she encounters people and scenarios that confuse her, and put her in constant turmoil. Her love interest, Jim, distracts her from her turmoil. Involved in the story also are greedy people who solely see Clarissa as a problem. She does not know who she can trust, but is determined not to let anyone get the better of her.” You can find it on Amazon in paperback or e-book. Also, check out their website for future submissions and vacancies.
What was it like, working in a collaborative novel? Do you recommend it to others?
Working in a collaborative novel was challenging, and fun, and a great way to get your name on a published work. We were each led by a Coordinator who put us on a schedule, 2-3 writers per chapter, and the chapter that fit the story was the one chosen. The Coordinator had no hand in writing the chapters herself, and it was edited along the way. Before our chapter, we were given the full previous chapter—also the full first chapter—and notes otherwise, so we knew how to keep the story flowing while adding our own twists and turns. With the help of a Coordinator and editor throughout, I would recommend it to others who may enjoy working with others, and want to challenge that area of writing. I would (and am) doing it again.
What genre do you enjoy most, and what draws you to the genre you write?
I enjoy reading historical fiction the most, and what draws me to the genre I write is the simple fact that I believe so strongly that this story has to be told, as every time I think I should quit, it is strong within me to write it.
To you, what makes a story worth reading?
To me, a story is only worth reading if it is grammatically correct, and flows. I am open to all kinds of genres and et cetera; however, it turns me off if there are a lot of grammatical and spelling errors. A good editor is important to the books I read.
Are you interested in self-publishing or traditional publishing? Why?
I am interested in self-publishing at the start, to get my story out, while also submitting to traditional publishers. I believe that one is not lesser than the other, and while I know that many authors get rejections from traditional publishers, there is always that one chance that someone will want to pick my story up and publish it.
Do you have any writing tips to share?
If you wish to write, join writing pages, whether on Facebook or beyond, and always be careful who you share your manuscripts and/or chapters with. Also, find a good support system, and keep going!
Do you have any favorite books? Favorite motivational quotes?
My all-time favorite books are Jane Austen novels. Especially “Emma,” and “Pride and Prejudice.” I have a softness for anything with history in it, and a bit of romance. I also enjoy Tudor English fiction, and the World Wars fiction, based on reality.
My favorite quote is from a song by George Strait. It says, “Life’s a dance, you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. Don’t worry about what you don’t know.” That has helped me on more than one occasion.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The advice I would give my younger self would be to just relax, and let it be. Stop trying to fit in, not everyone is going to like you! And that’s ok! Just make sure that those who do like you have a good reason to. You will always be too much of something for some people, but that doesn’t mean you should stop being yourself. Some people aren’t meant to share your journey, and that’s ok. Be there for the ones who are, and don’t worry about the ones who aren’t. Live and let live.
BONUS QUESTION: If you were a character from your favorite book, who would you be and what would you do differently?
If I was Jo March from the book “Little Women,” I would fall in love with Laurie, the boy next door, and not the Professor. I think that when Jo said no to Laurie it was a heartbreaking part of the book, and I didn’t want Amy to be his wife! (Side note: I was only around age 12 when I read it, so there’s that!)
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