Interview with multi-published, award-winning author, Kristi Gold
Vickie: Kristi, how many books have you written, and have they all been for Harlequin?
Kristi: Actually, I'm working on my 34th (published) book right now. All have been released by Harlequin under three different imprints--Desire, Special Edition and Super Romance, although most have been Desires.
Vickie: What inspired you to write your first book?
Kristi: Back in 1992, I came up with a plot involving a widowed U.S. President who becomes involved with a journalist during an election year. It took me two years to write it and about two months to give up on it when The American President came out in theaters in 1994. My rejections looked like advertisements for the movie. Needless to say, that manuscript will never see the light of day, but I don't begrudge the experience.
Vickie: After writing so many books, how do you come up with new story ideas?
Kristi: Somehow, someway, something jumps into my brain, and I'm off to the races (a little slower these days) once again. In the past, I've been inspired by odd news stories, personal experience and even hot air balloons flying over my house.
Vickie: What or who has been the biggest influence in your writing career and why?
Kristi: I've met a lot of people who've served as influences over the past twenty years, but my sister, Kim, was the greatest motivator. She told me to stop talking about that first book idea and just sit down and write. I did, and I haven't stopped since.
Vickie: What is your writing schedule? For example, do you write any time of the day, or do you prefer specific times? Do you write for a set amount of hours or pages?
Kristi: I wish I had a set writing schedule, but unfortunately I don't. I've tried adhering to composing so many pages in a day, and it doesn't work for me. I'm very much a binge writer, and that means I can write up to twenty pages a day, if not more. However, I have days where I'm lucky if I write two pages. I'm also much more creative in the wee hours of the morning.
Vickie: What is the most difficult or challenging part of the writing process for you?
Kristi: Trying to be objective when it comes to my work. Sometimes, I know when a book is fairly good. Other times, I worry obsessively that it might not be good enough. Oh, and trying not to be distracted by TV--particularly during baseball season--can be a challenge.
Vickie: Do you ever experience writer's block? If so, how do you cope?
Kristi: Someone once said that instead of writer's block, authors suffer emotional block. I believe that's probably more accurate. A few years ago, I was so stupid/naive/arrogant that I truly thought I could write through anything. Then in 2010, my husband passed away not long after I agreed to a three-book deal. Since the books were already scheduled, I gave myself a month following his death to finish that first story, and somehow, someway managed to complete the contract through the grief and even a move, which forced me to write that second book in less than a month. I suppose you do what you have to do, and sometimes that means digging deep and even tearing open wounds in order to write. Needless to say, it was "grueling," as my editor of twelve years recently put it.
Vickie: Do you plot out your stories first or write them by the seat of your pants? If you're a plotter, do you have any plotting tips to share?
Kristi: I'm definitely a panster, but I have to plot to a point in order to sell a book. I always come up with characters first and the plot usually evolves around their conflicts and backstory. Most important, I have to be clear on the black moment and then work my way back from there.
Vickie: Do you always love what you write?
Kristi: See the answer to question about personal writing challenges. (Question #6.)
Vickie: What is your current work-in-progress, and can you summarize it in a few lines?
Kristi: I'm currently working on BEAUTIFUL MUSIC (Feb. 2013, Harlequin Super Romance)--the story of an emotionally wounded country music heartthrob who begins to heal, thanks to the woman who boards his bus as his temporary driver.
Vickie: What is your personal writing goal?
Kristi: To keep going until I can't go any more and to stay afloat in an extremely competitive publishing field. And I'd also like to see my epic women's fiction "heart book" I wrote some time ago eventually released, either through the traditional or indie publishing route.
Vickie: Do you think it is important for a writer to have a critique group or a critique partner? Why or why not?
Kristi: Critique groups can be extremely beneficial, particularly in the beginning of your writing journey. I wouldn't take anything for the experiences I had with my former group. Just make sure if you're serious about writing, your group is populated with serious writers and they're give and take, not just take. These days, I call on two author friends and colleagues for brainstorming help. I love to brainstorm, especially other people's books!
Vickie: What is the strangest thing that ever happened to you as a writer? What is the funniest?
Kristi: I didn't have to think long on this one. I had a rather, uh, unusual cover featuring a guy who looked nothing like my dark and dangerous Cajun hero. In fact, he looked like he could've walked right out of a disco, minus the gold chain. At one signing, a reader came up to me, book in hand, and said she thought she dated him in the 70s. I replied, I think I did, too."
Vickie: If you could choose anywhere in the world to write, where would it be?
Kristi: On a beach . . . preferably in Barbados.
Vickie: What are you most proud of accomplishing in your life?
Kristi: Aside from my kids, my career to this point. Maybe I should say surviving my kids and career to this point.
Vickie: Name three things you can't live without.
Kristi: Only three? Texas Ranger baseball, music and my DVR.
Vickie: What advice or writing tips would you like to give to other writers?
Kristi: I'm going to answer this question with a quote describing an author's greatest asset during any point in their journey--persistence:
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.--Calvin Coolidge
Kristi Gold has a fondness for pristine beaches, professional baseball and bridal reality shows. She firmly believes that love has remarkable, healing powers and feels very fortunate to be able to weave stories of love and commitment. As a bestselling author, a National Readers Choice Award winner and a Romance Writers of America three-time RITA® Award finalist, Kristi has learned that although accolades are wonderful, the most cherished rewards come from networking with readers. She can be reached through her website at http://kristigold.com or through FaceBook as Kristi Gold-Author.
Website link: http://www.kristigold.com/
Facebook link: Kristi Gold-Author
Kristi, thank you for a terrific interview!