I recently received an email from an author requesting a blog interview, which is normal. However, as I investigated her blog and social media to create the interview questions, I discovered she interviewed me back in 2015! A lot has happened in the intervening years as you can imagine. More books published and an increase in my reach and many more connections.
I am still reading When Robins Appear and will share my review once I finish. Most probably, that will be this week as I am going on a writing retreat. Whoop! My favorite thing.
I will be a guest panelist and co-presenter at When Words Collide, a virtual writing conference. I will be sharing my experience about my writing group organization, hosting meetings and events etc. The second presentation is with my publisher, Dream Write Publishing’s owner.
We will be in a private cabin beside a lake, so it is perfect for two writing companions and, of course, little Sammie. There will be lots of walks lakeside. I will be revising my current detective manuscript, reading, and relaxing. There is something about being near water that makes me happy. I would prefer the ocean, but a lake will do.
I think I am a romantic at heart, but also I love the idea of relationships because I truly believe that these are the essence of humanity. How people react to each other is like dancing, and the twirling of the steps can be hypnotic. I want to create worlds and lives that reflect these beautiful steps.
2. Which comes first – character or plot?
Sometimes its just the concept or idea, sometimes I can envisage a face or the feeling of a character. For me, the process doesn’t always start logically, but it pulls out and unravels like threads of silk. From there I weave it into a fine thread and make it into a story.
3. Are you a plotter or a panster?
Pantser – 100%! I have tried to plot, but I find it more difficult than just letting the words reveal themselves to me. Obviously with a trilogy I have a base concept of where the story is heading, but even them, the plot can change as the story develops.
4. How does the terrain, history and unique characters of Australia affect your writing?
There is a lush and yet arid beauty in Australia. As if when it was created, multiple worlds fought over the same space and so you have long stretches of sparsely filled desert like sands and plants, followed by fields of wheat, green fields and forests, and then long golden coasts. Its such a pleasure to discover new places and spaces that feel untouched by anyone else.
5. Can you tell us about the Eyre Writers Festival?
The festival was formed a few years ago as a way of engaging local writers and authors with the greater community. Not only do they offer some amazing guest authors and workshops, but they support local writers to engage in various forms of writing through their sessions. For me, its been an absolute joy to be surrounded by such talent and meet some best selling authors and learn their secrets.
6. Did you find anything surprising when writing the magical stories?
Always! The beauty of magic is that there are no limitations or hindrances. If you can imagine it, then magic can make it happen. How wonderful!
7. How was writing the paranormal romance different from your other narratives?
There is definitely a greater freedom in paranormal romance, because what you write can include elements of the ‘unreal’. You can have magic and other world abilities, that realistically are not possible in a general romance. So I have greatly enjoyed paranormal romance, and have many ideas and plans for more characters and worlds in this genre going forward.
8. How do you come up with your novel titles?
I would like to say there is a methodical process to it, but there isn’t. Sometimes I focus on the plot line to generate ideas, but largely I rely on general concepts. For more than one book, I already have the name of the book I just haven’t uncovered all the plot yet!
9. Where do you love to write?
Anywhere and everywhere. Coffee shops can create fabulous characters as you absorb the hum of the visitors around you, but a library brings forward fabulous ideas and worlds. So I try and move around and write in lots of different places, because I think they all bring their own benefits. If I had to pick just one, it would be a special writers retreat location that I go to with other author friends as often as time allows. I think the collective imagination takes hold and brings forward beautiful writing.
10. Can you tell us about your newest novel?
My next novel is The Heart of Nowhere, which is due out in October. Its the second book of a trilogy and brings the next part of the story forward. A Town Called Nowhere was the starting point, which introduced my two key were-panther characters – Dru, a famous race car driver escaping his notoriety and Nicci, a lone were-panther running from her past. They form a new pack in Nowhere, an abandoned town in remote Australia. But they soon find that they cant outrun their history or their destiny. For the second book, there are lots of action scenes which I hope will keep the readers on the edge of their seats!
I just want to thank my readership for their active and avid support. They are what keep me writing!
VK Tritschler is a native New Zealander/Canadian, who is now residing in Port Lincoln, South Australia. She had been a member of Eyre Writers (an established author and writers group) since 2010 and has been an active writer since youth. The Secret Life of Sarah Meads (Chic-Lit) was her first published book and utilized her background as a mother, woman, and degree in Psychology. Her novels include Magic and Mischief – Vital Impetus (Paranormal Anthology), The Risky Business of Romance (Romantic Suspense), and Trade Secrets (Rom-Com) and A Town Called Nowhere was released in April 2021.
. You have written several different genres. Do you decide on the genre before writing or decide which one it fits after writing?
Both! For most of my books, I knew the genre going in. The Hidden Springs series – historical western romance. The Celebration series and Seasons of Love – contemporary romance. Tempted – erotic drama. But with Finn-agled, my cozy mystery, I’d intended to write a thriller. However, the moment Finn Bartusiak took shape, I knew her antics were way too humorous for anything other than a cozy.
What draws you to the genres you write?
I wish I had an easy answer to this one. For the historical westerns, it’s because I love that time period. The other stories just came about on their own. When I wrote By Dawn’s Early Light, the first in the Celebration series, I knew it would be contemporary romance for no other reason than I needed a break from historical.
Do you plot your series’ book by book or as a series arc?
To date, book by book. Usually, the storyline in one leads me to the next. The exception to this is the thriller series I’ve planned. I can’t go into details, but as it stands now, it’ll be a trilogy with the main character’s background as the series arc. Of course, that’s what I say today. By the time I get around to writing those books, I’ll have changed my mind a dozen times.
Do you decide on a theme/topic for your series before writing book one?
Only in the most general sense. I know how the story will begin – more specifically, the opening paragraph or two, a vague sense of the plotline, and how I want it to end, although it rarely happens the way I think it will. Once my characters take hold, they author their own destinies. I’m merely their transcriptionist.
How did you come up with the idea of your side stories?
Side Stories came about after a discussion with a guest on my podcast, Word Play with Kristine Raymond. Aside from writing books, he’s also a college professor and told me that he encourages his students to explore the stories that happen off the page. Between the chapters, so to speak. I thought it was an intriguing concept and added it as a feature on my website, though, to date, I’ve only written one.
When and why did you start your The Felonious Scribe podcast?
The Felonious Scribe was a collaboration with author Dawn Hosmer, who writes the most amazing psychological thrillers! We thought it would be fun to answer questions from readers pertaining to murder, mystery, and mayhem – eh em, on the page, of course.
We recorded five episodes of the show, which can be found on YouTube, and then moved on to different projects. Dawn currently hosts a podcast called Unravel the Binding with her daughter, Jesi, while I’m working on my next book.
Who has influenced your writing the most?
This will sound like a copout answer, but every book I’ve ever read has influenced my writing in some way. How an author tells a story – their voice – is the determining factor in whether or not I choose a particular book, and I believe that has a direct bearing on how I tell my stories.
Do you have an author hero?
All those who took the chance to send their stories out into the world for readers to enjoy – and critique. Because one doesn’t happen without the other, and criticism can be soul-crushing. And, that’s what authors’ stories are, including mine. A piece of our souls.
Where is your writing space? Can you describe it?
I have one room in our house that is furbaby-free (I type sardonically while looking at the cat who jumped over the baby gate before falling asleep in my lap). It’s a combo room – part office/part library/part craft room/part whatever else I can stuff in here. Personally, I think the hubs is afraid to step foot in it which is how it became my space. Lol.
My desktop sits atop a messy desk covered with scrawled notes, pens, and notebooks. It’s a wonder I can find my keyboard.
Where can readers find your books?
Links to all of my books can be found on my website – www.kristineraymond.com. They’re available on all major platforms (and a few minor ones, as well).
Do you have a current release? Can you share what it is about?
My most recent release is Finn-agled, the first book in the Finn’s Finds cozy mystery series.
Running an antique store in the fictional seaside town of Port New, Finn Bartusiak is quite happy with how her life is going – until both a coded message and her high school crush figuratively fall into her lap on the same day. With murder, intrigue, and pierogis – what’s not to love?
This was such a fun story to write, and I’m currently working on the second in the series, Finn-icky Eaters.
Is there anything you would like your readers to know?
Thanks to my readers, both new and existing, for taking a chance on my books. I hope you enjoy them. And thanks, Mandy, for hosting me today. This has been fun!
It wasn’t until later in life that Kristine Raymond figured out what she wanted to be when she grew up, an epiphany that occurred in 2013 when she sat down and began writing her first novel. Over a dozen books in multiple genres later, there are a multitude of ideas floating around in her head thus assuring she’ll never be idle.
When a spare moment does present itself, she fills it by navigating the publishing and promotional side of the business. When not doing that, she spends time with her husband and furbabies (not necessarily in that order) at their home in south-central Kentucky, gardens, reads, or binge-watches Netflix.
This post is a day early but Kathy invited me to interview my character, Evan from Life in Slake Patch. This was my first attempt at writing a novel during my first NaNoWriMo – talk about pressure! Prior to that NaNo, I had only written short pieces and plunged into the challenge full heartedly. I plan to revise and edit Life in Slake Patch next year.
I hope you enjoy the interview and please remember to comment on Kathy’s blog and share.
May I introduce N.M. Pondus, who wishes to keep his anonymity with an icon instead of a photo. His work is influenced by mythology and the standards of those era’s, which links to today’s word quite nicely. Probity – definition: honesty, uprightness.
a) Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why? I definitely like my main character, Diomedes, the best. He was the inspiration for all my stories so far. I’ve always been a mythology and folklore nut and loved the heroes from Homer’s Odyssey, but we only hear about a few of them. The more I read and did research, the more I kept coming back to Diomedes, Son of Tydeus and King of Argos during the Trojan War. Most people never get beyond Achilles, but much more humble and just as capable was Diomedes, who, according to the stories was far more feared on the battlefield than any other Greek in the war. In fact, he is the only human ever to have wounded, not one, but two Immortals in battle—including Ares. He was fearless, and more importantly, incredibly intelligent on the battlefield, and he was the best fighter out there. He was also honorable and loyal.
Diomedes and Athena attacking Ares (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
His back story is awesome, too. At 15, he and a group of young men lead an army to restore the proper king to the throne of Thebes in the War of the Epigoni, the greatest war until Troy. They did what their fathers could not and it cemented his legacy. The coolest part of his story and the one that played best into the mythology of my stories is that he was so honorable in battle that Athena chose him as her champion at Troy and she granted him special abilities and powers to enable him to see and attack Immortals during battle. At the end of the war, Athena offered Diomedes immortality, but nothing is written much beyond some conflicting stories except he simply disappears over time. That was my cue: A human with the abilities to recognize non-human beings influencing and using humans for their own gains and strong enough to defend them. He’s also got a bit of me in him, too.
b) Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one? No, I’m pretty much Urban Fantasy all the way. I love to read all kinds of stuff, but I still head there first when I look for something to read. I love the myths and tales, but I also find great inspiration from our modern, real world.
c) What do you enjoy most about writing? I love weaving a story and developing characters. I really like those times when I’m doing research and I find things that seem unrelated at first, but then figure out some way to tie them together. I seriously enjoy using mythological reasons to explain unexplained real world events. And developing characters allows you to live outside of yourself for a bit. It’s all fun.
d) Have you got a favorite place to write? You know I still write on a desktop-based computer so I write in my “office.” It’s actually a spare bedroom with a desk in it. I will say that I use my iPad to do all kinds of research though, which I will do when and wherever an idea strikes me.
e) Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer? The basic story line and framework is planned, but most of the details are seat of the pants. I know where I want to go, but not necessarily how I want to get there. Again, I do lots and lots of research on stuff, so I constantly get ideas that I want to incorporate and sometimes a perfect opportunity presents itself as I’m writing. It keeps me thinking.
f) What inspires your stories? Partly my background and interests and partly pure imagination. Sometimes it’s more one than the other, but they all play a role. Originally, I was inspired by a crazy thought about creatures that could only be killed with specific weapons. Why wouldn’t a Barrett M107 firing Raufoss rounds not blow the living snot out of a vampire? It’d blow a hole through a cement wall at 1000 yards and still kill the guy on the other side of it. Simple physics would tell you that much energy would do some serious damage to anything, even if it didn’t kill it. Also, I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to myths and legends. I like things in their original forms, mostly because they were so much cooler. Now we change things to romanticize them or make them fit into a specific world, and we insist on using the same name for the creature. I’m sorry, but vampires just should not sparkle in the sunlight. I’m really big into accuracy and authenticity.
g) What are you currently reading? A few books. I’m re-reading the Hobbit and I’ve been desperately trying to get through The Naked Edge by David Morrell. I’ve got a big list of books I want to read, but just haven’t yet though. I constantly re-read a lot of classics, too.
h) Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories? I am an odd childhood story. My parents considered me the “good” one in the family. That’s odd enough. Other than my addiction to fly-fishing, I can’t think of any really bizarre stuff. I once threw up on our pizza at a Pizza Hut when I was little. In my defense, I was sick. I threw up on my younger brother, too. He slept below me in offset bunk beds.
i) Do you have any pets? Always. Right now, I have a cat and a dog. The dog is a Shiba Inu named Typhon that thinks he’s a Cu Sith. The cat is named Nyx. See, lots of mythology there… and each aptly named.
j) Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one? You know, I don’t. Writing to me is very private and painful at times and I choose to push through on my own. I have a small group of friends and family that support me and act as my Beta readers and I have an outstanding editor.k) What age did you start writing stories/poems? Technically, not until my late 30s. I wrote academically for scientific journals for years through graduate school and then for magazines, but I never wrote fiction until recently. As a kid, I used to come up with all kinds of stories in my head though.
l) Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it? Alas, not yet. I’m still in that search-for-a-publisher/agent phase, even though I’m just wrapping up my second story. You can still go to my website and read the first few chapters of the first book, Humanity’s Fist and see a description of the one I’m just finishing now, The Hanner Brid.
m) If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why? I guess I would say Jim Butcher, author of Dresden Files series. His stories have been a major influence on me and he sounds much more fun and less uptight than so many other authors out there.
n) If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be? Anywhere my wife is… but someplace warm, near water would be good, too.
o) What’s your favorite movie of all time? Oh, holy mackerel… a toss up between The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Jaws, The Count of Monte Cristo (the newer one), and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.
q) Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Of course! And even the one after that. I get so many ideas from so many weird places that I now keep track of them. It’ll stay in my same story line, with the same characters, just different problems and issues. The real world provides so much fodder for Urban Fantasy its almost unreal!
r) Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager? Easy–my wife. I’d never have been able to do this if not for her support and encouragement.