Okay, I am super excited for this interview!!! This is possibly one of my all time favorites.
When I first discovered Kristen Simmons, she had just released her first novel, Article 5. I had lived in Alaska, and I’m pretty sure I had walked like 2 miles to the bookstore and saw this book in the “new releases” section. Now I was going through a phase where I missed my family and friends in North Carolina. So I was in need of a really good book. And this was it.
She had an instant fan, I bought all of her books in the Article 5 trilogy and her Glass Arrow novel.
Now a couple of years ago, I had lost everything in my name to Hurricane Matthew. I was going through a really hard time. Then she found out about my situation. Before long, I received a large package, full of ALL of Kristen Simmons’s books even her newest release, Metaltown.
She had given me the greatest gift that I will forever cherish.
Now that I have rambled a little bit, let’s grab our coffee and meet Kristen Simmons!!!!!
As an Author:
What was your inspiration on writing? I find inspiration everywhere – in books, music, movies, life experiences, conversations with people. I think curiosity is an essential component of a writer’s DNA – we are always asking, “what if,” and solving those answers in different, creative ways.
Does writing energize or exhaust you? It depends on the scene – some I sweep through, giggling the entire time. Some I have to force myself to write. Editing my work is always a brain exercise. I have to do it in small sections to stay focused.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? Book research is one of my favorite parts of the process. Once I figure out what I need to make the story complete and believable, I go out in search of research opportunities. It’s my feeling that if I can experience something firsthand, I will be able to write about it in a way that feels authentic and genuine. For instance, PACIFICA, my new novel, includes a pirate who sails the trash-filled seas. I knew nothing about sailing, so I took lessons in Tampa, Florida. Let me tell you, sailing’s not easy! I learned a lot, and hopefully the reader senses that (basic) competency in the story.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing a book whose plot could possibly happen in the near future? I think this also comes down to research. PACIFICA takes place is a world vastly affected by climate change. To get some of the setting details right, I spoke to a representative from the Environmental Protection Agency to look at future projections for our world. The results were sobering, but I’m hopeful we will make positive changes where we can!
Do you read your book reviews? I do if someone sends them specifically to me, I do, but otherwise, I don’t typically. It’s good to get a general sense of what people like or don’t like about your writing, but too much of that can crush your creative process. I’m grateful people feel strongly about my books to write reviews, though!
What is your way for relaxing between writing? I like to work out and spend time with my family.
In Article 5, you have a love interest between Ember and Chase, was that intentional or did it happen as you wrote? I love writing love stories. Chase and Ember were definitely intentional, although the details of their fascination with each other came about as the writing progressed.
In The Glass Arrow, what was your hardest scene to write and why? I can’t answer this because of spoilers! But I will say there was definitely a scene I wrote with a box of tissues at hand. I bawled!
What are your favorite scenes in Article 5, The Glass Arrow and Metaltown? My favorite scene in Article 5 is the camping scene where Chase and Ember realize the tent they’re sharing is very small – I had so much fun writing that one. In Glass Arrow, I enjoyed writing the scenes with Daphne and Aya together. They come from such different walks of life, and were fun to mix up. In Metaltown, I actually loved the hardest scene in the book. I won’t give it away, but it wrecked me in the best way.
What can your readers be expecting in Pacifica? Let’s see… Pirates, privilege, pollution, peril, and the imPortance of peers? Ha!
Are there any current books that you have planned in the future? Can you tell us if you are currently working on one? I’m really excited about my next trilogy, starting in February of 2019. It’s a new genre for me – contemporary YA – about a girl accepted into a school for con artists. It has been an absolute joy to work on!
As a Reader:
What was the first book/series you ever read? The first I ever remember finishing was A Wrinkle in Time! I loved that book!
What is your favorite bookish memory? I enjoy hiking. When I was a kid my parents would take me on long treks through the wilderness, and I’d bring a book, and when they went fishing, I would find a cool place in the woods to read all day. It was magical.
If you could live in one book world, which one would it be? None of my worlds – they’re too scary! Probably Hogwarts. I’d make a very good witch, I think.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Katie McGarry, Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, Mindee Arnett, Sara Raasch, Suzanne Collins, and Patrick Ness.
What is your favorite genre to read? I love YA of course! But for fun, I often read romance.
Have you ever reread a book? Of course! I mark up books I read all the time and go back to those scenes when I need a pick-me-up, or to feel calm or inspired.
What is your favorite under-appreciated novel? Truthers by Geoff Girard. Great book!
Do you prefer ebooks over physical books, or vice versa? Physical books! Like I said, I like to mark them up and read them later.
Are there any recommendations you have for your readers as they anticipate your next novel? You can catch up on any of the ARTICLE 5 books, THE GLASS ARROW, or METALTOWN in preparation for PACIFICA, which comes out on March 6th.
Make sure you check out her website and sign-up for her newsletter HERE. Make sure you follow her on Instagram and Twitter @ Kris10writes
Article 5 is available on Amazon HERE
Breaking Point is available on Amazon HERE
Three is available on Amazon HERE
Glass Arrow is available on Amazon HERE and has been on Cosmopolitan’s list of novels like The Handmaid’s Tale.
Metaltown is available on Amazon HERE
Don’t forget to Pre-Oder Pacifica on Amazon HERE
Until next time, my dragons!!!!