Feature Fridays – Christen Krumm

Today is about Christen Krumm.  She is a friend, #writenight pal, and author who’s imagination has helped me over multiple hurdles.  She guest blogged this week about “Giving a Darling the Axe,” and now we get to find out more about her!

Interview Questions:

1.  When did you decide to be a writer?

I think I was around 6 or 7. At the same time I wanted to be a doctor (I know right?), but I also knew that I ultimately wanted to be a mommy. I didn’t want to go through all the schooling and stop to be a mommy (all or nothing). I knew I wanted to be a writer because I could be anything I wanted to be through my characters.

2.  What genre do you write and why?

I write YA Fiction. I tried to write adult fiction for a while, and it was awful. It was like I was trying to cram myself into a box. Adult fiction is not my voice. I love YA Fiction so it just makes sense that I write it.

3.  What are your writing rituals, if any?

Coffee—but that’s kinda my life ritual so I’m not sure it really counts. I try not to have to many rituals because then it gives me excuses not to write, and I’m already pretty good at making those excuses…

4.  What inspires you?

Other writing, a good television show or movie, music, and life.

5.  The best thing about being a writer?

Creating.

6.  What tools do you use/have used to study the craft of writing. Do you have any formal training?

I have a BA in English, but I’m not really sure that qualifies as formal training. I used to think that you should read every book on the craft that you possibly could before you got started. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there are hundreds of books on the craft—many on opposing sides. If you try to read to get it perfect, you’ll drive yourself crazy. I figure as long as you have your favorite books to study, you should be good.

7.  Would you rather read a good book or write a good book?

Yes.

8.  Best time of the day to write and why?

I have three kids, any time that I can sneak writing in is the best time to write.

9.  Do you write by the seat of your pants, plot first, or a little of both?

I’d have to say a little of both. I kinda pants it and then go back and plot it. Backwards probably, but it works for me!

10.  What keeps you motivated?

Coffee, my #WriteNight people, and getting the story out there.

11.  What are you currently reading? Any recommendations?

I’m about to dive into Chelsea Jacobs’ Happy to be Alive, Because. It is the perfect summer read—you should probably really track down a copy and read it (here I’ll make it easy): http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Alive-Because-Chelsea-Jacobs-ebook/dp/B00K1NQIWK/ref=ckrumm-20)

I will always and forever be recommending Shannon Dittemore’s Angel Eyes series, Keria Cass’ The Selection series, The Hunger Games, and anything by Lauren Oliver.

12.  A Bible verse that encourages you in your writing?

Philippians 4:6-7, 13

13.  Where can we find you online?

website – http://christenkrumm.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/christenekrumm

Twitter – http://twitter.com/christenkrumm

Instagram – http://instagram.com/krummcake

Thank you, Christen for chatting with us! Leave a comment for Christen below, read her guest post, or check out more about her by clicking the links above.

Feature Fridays – Sara Ella

This week’s Feature Friday goes to one of my #writenight gals, Sara Ella.  She joined Christen Krumm & I on a Google chat around maybe October of last year, and we became fast friends, via technology.  She is an imaginative thinker, kind and honest critique partner, and a stellar writer.  I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have on today’s feature!
Sara’s Blog Bio:

“I am a daughter of the King, an adoring wife, a homeschooling mother of two, an  eager reader, and a hopeful novelist. I love all things to do with coffee and books, especially when the two are paired. I love to encourage my sisters in Messiah and am saved by grace alone. I am a true believer that “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away” for those who put their faith in the King of Kings (Psalm 45).

My writing has been published in Shine Brightly magazine and Thriving Family magazine, as well as online by Drama Queen Ministries. One day, I hope to have my first novel finished (if I can ever get a moment to myself..haha). It is my dream to reach others for Messiah through my writing.

Recognition for my writing includes first place in the 2013 ACFW First Impressions Contest (Young Adult Fiction Category), and third place in the 2013 Hudson Valley RWA Hook, Line, and Sinker Contest.  

I review books for Bethany House, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan (via BookSneeze), LitFuse, andTyndale. I am also a part of the Tommy Nelson MommyFlyBy Promotions, and BlogHer Publishing Network programs.”

My questions for Sara:

1. Why do you write?

I write because I’m a writer. It’s just the way my brain works. I see people as characters, places as settings, and everyday conversations as possible dialogue.

I also write because my King has called me to do so. My words and emotions are best expressed on the page. Some people witness by walking door to door. Others travel to faraway lands. We all have a place in furthering His Kingdom. I believe one of my places is behind my laptop, tapping out the words and stories He gives me.

2. Why young adult fiction? What is most appealing about writing for this demographic?

I write YA because I love to read YA. Even my local librarian says “all the best books are written for kids”, and it’s true! Even adults love to read books initially targeted at teens. There’s just something about the rich imagery and complex plot lines that draw me in. Young Adults are the next generation. I’m a mom and feel there is, unfortunately, a lot of great books for teens that contain inappropriate content. I hope to change that. I don’t think a story needs foul language or promiscuous scenes to be a good one. If you need that stuff to sell your book then you’re selling yourself short.

3. What are your writing rituals, if any?

Coffee! I always write with a cup of coffee. Morning, afternoon, and night. I also listen to my novel’s soundtrack on Spotify and sometimes I have a little chocolate nearby. I like to look at my Pinterest board for inspiration, too.

4. Favorite Book/Author? Why?

There are so many good books that I liked, but wouldn’t necessarily read again. If I’m going to pick just one, I have to pick an author that has left me satisfied time and time again. Drum roll please…..Shannon Hale author of the Goose Girl series. I love The Goose Girl and have read it three times (and I’ll read it again).

5. The best thing about being a writer?

Doing what I love. I’m grateful to have a husband who supports me staying at home.

6. The worst thing about being a writer?

Not enough time in the day. Writing Synopses. A wandering mind.

7. Would you rather read a good book or write a good book?

I’d rather write a good book and have it finished so I have more time to read good books.

8. Top three things every writer should have/do, in your opinion?

A love of reading (because if you don’t like to read, why are you a writer?), a strong backbone (because there will always be someone who hates your book), and a good support system (including a working coffee pot, critique partners, friends, and family).

9. Do you write by the seat of your pants, plot first, or a little bit of both?

Both. I have tried to write an entire outline beforehand, but things always change. Like people, characters evolve. I think every writer needs an outline (whether it’s made before or after you write) because it helps you keep track of your plot. Agents and Editors are going to ask you questions and, if anything, a good outline/synopsis will act as a reference for those questions.

10. What keeps you motivated?

The support system I mentioned above and lots of prayer and coffee. I like to enter contests because they give me real and tangible deadlines to meet, which I need since I’m not published yet. Also, reading a book I can’t put down really drives me to work on my own. Last night I saw the movie “Divergent” and then I came home and wrote for 3 hours. Seeing a book I love on the big screen is great motivation.

11. A Bible verse that encourages you in your writing?

There are many that encourage me, but one that comes to mind is Psalm 46:10. “Be still and know…”

22. Where can we find you online?

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Pinterest

Google+

Be sure to leave a comment for Sara, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, her blog, Pinterest, or Google+.