Writer, entertainer, and all-around cool lady (all Joss Whedon fans are cool by default), Krystalyn Drown just pubbed her first book this year (Legasea) with Curiosity Quills. Legasea is about a young girl, Aileen, who uncovers mysteries in her town, about her family, and her connection to the sea after a dead body shows up during a party at the bay. Krystalyn will be doing giveaways on her blog & Fiction Femme Fatale in honor of Legasea's publication so check both sites for more info.
Krystalyn's next book, Spirit World (due out in April from Entranced Publishing's Blush imprint) is a paranormal romance where Riesa has the power to communicate with spirits yet she keeps this hidden due to a trip to a mental institution and a general discomfort to the truth of her abilities.
I was introduced to Krystalyn when I joined Fiction Femme Fatale last summer. I've thoroughly enjoyed Krystalyn's work on Fiction Femme Fatale. Her short fiction has heart and drive. She's great with developing her world and giving her characters motivation for a larger desire. Really good stuff. So I'm especially excited for her full length novels and am particularly psyched to have had an interview with Krystalyn in honor of her first publication of 2013.
In your reflections on 2012 (on your blog) you noted that you had two completed manuscripts (Legesea and Spirit World) you weren’t submitting the traditional publishing route, were you thinking of self publishing? And if so, why?
I have researched self-publishing, but decided that it wasn't for me. Not yet, anyway. I wanted the experience of working with an editor, and to tell the truth, I'm quite an introvert. I just don't have the gumption required to promote myself in the way that would be required for self-publishing.
This may be a daunting question, but what’s your writing schedule like? Is it pretty free wheeling or scheduled? In speaking to other writers, especially emerging ones, this is one of the hardest parts. When you have kids, have a full-time or part-time job, have various commitments it can be really hard to find that notch of time to focus on your creative pursuits. How do you find you’ve done with this balance?
My writing schedule is this: squeeze it in when I can. =) I am a terrible procrastinator, but I do manage to find some down time every now and then to get some new words in. I use mornings when my son is eating or playing by himself to do the business side of things like blogs and responding to publishers, but I have to have quiet if I want to draft or revise anything. I do have at least one dedicated hour a week (8-9 on Mondays). A bunch of us meet here http://tinalaurellee2.blogspot.com/
to write, then chat about it afterwards. Anyone is welcome to join us. I also have my sister. We do writing challenges that last days or weeks. We text and bug each other. "What's your word count?" "Are you writing?"
Much of your work that I’ve seen on Fiction Femme Fatale and your upcoming book Spirit World have paranormal elements in it. What attracts you to writing paranormal stories or ones with fantastical elements?
I've always been a fan. When I was little, I watched a lot of Nickelodeon (you know, back when it was sci-fi). My afternoons were filled with the Tomorow People and this series they had called The Third Eye. That one showed British and Australian serials like The Haunting of Cassie Palmer, Children of the Stones, and Under the Mountain. I read a lot of Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators books, but I always changed Bob's name to Beth, because I wanted to feel like I was part of the story. I'm also a huge fan of Star Trek: TNG, Doctor Who, and anything by Joss Whedon.
Whether one’s work does have fantastical, sci-fi, or other elements within it many times readers consider whether there are autobiographical elements in a writer’s work. Are there traces of you or others you know in your characters or your experiences in the stories you’ve written?
Always. In Spirit World, Riesa loves watching bad sci-fi. So do I. Give me a giant something vs. a mega something, a coke, and some jelly beans, and I've got an afternoon of fun. Might I also recommend Titanic 2 and 2010: Moby Dick. In Legasea, I draw from my experiences boating with my family.
When you look at a blank page, whether it be on screen or in a notebook, do you feel excitement? Trepidation? Inspiration? Or a multitude of these feelings?
It really depends on the mood I'm in at that particular moment. If I'm in a productive mood and have a vague idea of what I'm going to write, then I'm excited. But there are also times it can be very daunting.
You have not one but two books coming out this year! Major congrats! How are you feeling about having your debuts come out in the same year and what would be your ideal way of connecting with readers for these stories?
I'm very excited about having two books come out this year. Last year at this time, I was a pool of mushy goo, because I had started to think this publishing thing would never happen for me. Now, I'm a pool of mushy nervousness. I have multiple ways of connecting with readers. I have a blog
, and Goodreads
accounts, and I try to update them all equally.
In terms of the industry do you think the increase of e-book only imprints and the popularity of self-publishing seem like a boom for writers, especially new ones, and getting more books out to the public?
I think it definitely provides more opportunity. Previously, if you had good work, but agents or publishers deemed the market flooded with that genre, you were out of luck. Now, with the option of going with a small press or self-publishing, people still have a chance to get their work out there. But I still think that people need to go through all of the steps, revising, getting good feedback, and polishing before seeking out publication. I can read my manuscript a thousand times, but there will always be an "it's" or a "doesn't" in there that I haven't caught. And commas, oh they are the bane of my existence.
Congrats on Legasea, Krystalyn. And (virtual) cheers to continued success!