As most of you know…
I have retired my blog, ‘Ink Drop Interviews’ to be able to dedicate more time to my latest novel-in-the-making, THE RED STROKES.
When I receive a request from and up and coming author looking to get their name and work out there, I simply can’t refuse. Although sales for LILY WHITE LIES have been incredible lately, I’m still up and coming, too, so I know how tough it can be.
This week, I am happy to welcome Kristi Ayers, author of ONE PETAL FLOWER.
IDI – Hi Kristi, it’s nice to have you here today. Tell us, your debut novel, ONE PETAL FLOWER, is it plot or character driven?
KA – One Petal Flower is plot driven. The story developed and the characters followed accordingly. I really didn’t “get to know” my characters until the story started unfolding.
IDI – When did you have your Eureka moment? When did you know that you were born to write?
KA – I’ve had the dream to become a writer ever since I was 12 or 13. I read a book by V.C. Andrews called Web of Dreams and decided I had to write a book someday. At that age I was amazed that a book could make me feel the same emotions that a movie could. I wanted to do that for other people.
IDI – What are you the most passionate about within your writing? What is it that keeps the fire burning?
KA – The fire has been burning steady for me since I find
myself in a perpetual daydream every day.
My mind will wander into a scene and I inevitably feel the need to write
it down because it either made me laugh, cry, or swoon. I love creating characters and plots that evoke candid responses from me, and I hope it does the same to others when they read my writing.
IDI – The question every writer is asked to the point of exhaustion – where do you get your ideas?
KA – One Petal Flower emerged when I heard about a fellow high school classmate that died. It really hit home for me to realize that someone I grew up with could die…and in essence, I could die too. Life is fragile. My other ideas have come from dreams. The subconscious is a powerful messenger.
IDI – I believe that on a psychological level we ‘become’ the people we write, at least for a time. We have to feel what they feel, think what they think and know what they know in order to make them believable on paper. Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts?
KA – Writing is certainly an escape from reality. You really do become the characters. I think we all have a “dark” or “secret” side that we let loose when we write; it’s the acceptable way to allow our different emotions to surface. It’s even therapeutic. It gives you a time to feel like a hero when normally you wouldn’t have the chance.
IDI – Who’s your target audience?
KA – Technically, my target audience would be teens and young adults. I feel the teenage years are a pivotal point in a person’s existence. I grab onto the charged emotions that come from that age group. That first infatuation with someone, the scary yet thrilling feelings that come with those first intimate encounters, the close friendships with peers…nothing compares.
IDI – Everyone has a dream. What’s yours?
KA – I’d be happy if I just had people contact me and tell me that they really enjoyed escaping into my novel. Sure, being a best seller would be great, and a feature film would be icing on the cake, but I’ll let that be a fantastic surprise if it happens.
IDI – Do you outline your story before you feel comfortable enough to begin writing or do you just wing it and make the decisions as you go?
KA – I simply start writing. I only write down the character’s names down beforehand so I have an idea of who I want in it. The rest just comes to me. The idea is in my head, but if I take too much time working out the details, I get overwhelmed. I let the ideas enter my head as I’m writing.
IDI – We all draw from within and I believe there is an element of ‘us’ in everything we write. How much of you will a reader find in ONE PETAL FLOWER?
KA – Oh, very much! Only they won’t know it unless they really know me like my friends and family do. And even some of them won’t see little hints scattered throughout it. A psychologist could probably piece a puzzle together and it would be a picture of me…and the unseen me: my soul.
IDI – What advice would you give to new/unpublished authors?
KA – Write, write, write until you finish. Worry about perfecting it later. There is always a kind soul who can take you under their wing and help you learn to fly.
IDI – What was the best advice ever given to you?
KA – You can be anything you want to be. My grandmother told me that.
IDI – How do you feel about genre crossing? Is it something you’d like to do?
KA – I like the idea of genre crossing. I have an interest that encompasses: young adult, paranormal, horror, romance, and psychological thriller.
IDI – As a writer, what is the one thing y ou would most like people to know about you?
KA – I try to write what I know. I will either research it or live it before I write about it. For One Petal Flower, I researched ghosts while being a member of a paranormal investigations team. I also researched Native American beliefs by talking to a few gentlemen that were nice enough to offer me information.
IDI – Who is the most supportive of your dream to be a writer?
KA – No one can grasp the blood, sweat, and tears that go into writing a book like another writer can. Mine is my mentor, Mr. Javier Robayo. Authors are the best coaches and cheerleaders a new writer can have.
IDI – I have had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Javier and I must admit that he has been quite supportive of my endeavors also.
What is the hardest or most frustrating aspect of writing?
KA – It has to be re-writing. Perfecting your creation for the public is the most difficult. It’s like a wild animal you take in and care for. Before you release it to fly on its own you want it to be the best it can be.
IDI – What type of research did you do for your novel?
KA – I sat in a dark room in a spooky location with an audio recorder, headphones, and flashlight. I was with my teammates of course, and we were investigating an alleged haunted location. My novel has a ghost as a character and I wanted to pull everything I learned from investigating and apply it in my novel. I wanted it to be as real as possible, and I did that by adding little hints such as cold spots, phantom smells, feather-light touches, and mists. I also added what it was like to get frustrated when other people around you are seeing/hearing things that you are unable to detect.
IDI – And finally, define a great book.
KA – One that makes you either cry or fall in love; or both if it’s an excellent book. I like reading a book that each sentence is poetically beautiful. Like a painting, each stroke is a sentence that will comprise a well thought out picture.
IDI – Kristi, thank you for participating in an Ink Drop Interview. I wish you the very best in your writing career.
Interested in reading Kristi’s debut novel, ONE PETAL FLOWER? You can find it here:
www.kristiayersauthor.com – And don’t forget to leave her a note letting her know what you thought!
Ink Drop Interviews are conducted by Kathy Reinhart
author of the award-winning novel,
LILY WHITE LIES
Or try MISSOURI IN A SUITCASE, written under the pen name, Nova Scott
A special thank you to all who have supported me and my writing, followed my posts or purchased one of my novels. Your interest means the world to me!