Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blooming Author: Kristie Cook!

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to
become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ~ George Sheehan

Kristie Cook is a contemporary fantasy writer whose book Promise will be available July, 2010.

Tell us about Promise. What is it about and where will it be available?
Promise is about two souls that must overcome their internal demons and unite because their union is part of the Angels’ preparation for spiritual warfare to enter our physical realm. The demons plan to bring the battle to the humans and the Angels are preparing their own army. This book is a prologue to the rest of the series – the beginnings of the soul-binding relationship between Alexis and Tristan. Here’s the “official” blurb:
Alexis Ames has a life full of promise…but not all promises can be kept.

When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can’t be real, she decides it’s time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family’s secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her façade of normalcy…until she discovers he’s not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel.

Their union brings hope and promise to her family’s secret society, the Angels’ army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy – Satan’s minions and Tristan’s creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.

Promise is the first novel of a series that explores the ideas of how damaged a soul can be before it can no longer be saved and how far we will go to protect the souls we love and those we do not. This first book introduces Alexis and Tristan and their trials and tribulations to unite. Their union is the Angels’ first step as they prepare for the war for human souls to enter the physical realm.
We are currently taking orders at Anyone who orders by July 9 will have their book signed and delivered by July 30, the official release date. The book will be available on that week, then other online and offline retailers sometime in August. It will also be available on Kindle, iPad and other e-readers.

What were your inspirations for Promise? 
I had been thinking of angels and demons for many years, but didn’t have a story to go with the concept until a couple of years ago. J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyers inspired me in two totally different ways (one was, I wish I could be that good; the other was, Well, I think I can be at least that good). I had also been playing World of Warcraft with my kids at the time and drew some inspiration from that world, as well as from J.R.R. Tolkien’s world.

What sorts of thing inspire you as a writer in general? 
Music, real-life conversations and events, the what-if game, other awesome and not-so-awesome-but-could-be stories…I try to find inspiration in everything. Sometimes in real life, especially if I’m bored or completely out of my element, I’ll wonder how my characters would be in that situation and that can get the creative juices flowing…and make the reality of it at least more bearable for me while I’m there. LOL

Let's talk about your process. How do you approach a story, do you start with outlines or something else? 
I started with a couple of character ideas and a life-changing scene. The whole series blossomed from that. I know the ending climactic scene for the whole series and important happenings that must take place to get there, but no more than that (so I’m not positive how many books there will be). I’m the same way with the book I happen to be working on at any given time. I know the key parts that must happen, but I let the characters take me there. Sometimes they take me to much better places, though, and that’s the fun of writing to me. I’ve learned that if I outline something, I have no interest in writing it. I already know everything that’s going to happen. I like the twists and turns, just like when reading. In fact, I set out to write a book that I really want to read but no one has written yet. That’s why I’ve always enjoyed writing, since I was a kid.

Where did you work when writing Promise? 
Pretty much at my desk, which is in my bedroom. I have a laptop, but I usually have so many peripherals plugged into it, it’s a pain to move around. But sometimes I’ll go out on the lanai and write by the pool.

Do you think it was the optimal writing environment for you?
Yes and no. I definitely need to be able to shut the door and we have a big box fan that I run just to drown out the household noise. I listen to music to prepare for writing, but it distracts me when I’m actually working, so headphones don’t work. I would really like to get out of my bedroom, though. It’s too easy to get all-consumed and I really need more exercise than the three feet between the bed and the desk. LOL My oldest son graduates high school next year. Little does he know how much I’m coveting his bedroom. Bwahahaha.

Tell us about your "story of getting published." 
First of all, my first two books, Promise and Purpose, were originally one book and that’s how I started my journey to publication. I queried thirty-something agents with it. I received many rejections and some requests for partials, which ended in rejections (though two didn’t come until I made the following decisions…). I realized two things in this process: 1) I was having a hard time hooking people because I had too much going on in my book to focus on one main plot line. I decided to split it into two. And 2) I was told that it wasn’t marketable. No reason why, but I assume a lot of it had to do with my MC being 18 in the beginning and supposedly no one wants to read about college-aged MCs. I, um, don’t like being told I can’t do something that I truly believe can be done. I’m also impatient (which doesn’t work well with the years-long publishing process) and a control freak. I have another business (I’m actually a serial entrepreneur) and had already tossed around the idea of starting a publishing company with my business partner, who was my first reader and has been my biggest cheerleader. She didn’t like to be told my story wasn’t marketable either because she had already been doing an awesome sales job to everyone she knows. People were always asking when my book was coming out because they were so excited to read it. So, in February, we decided to publish this ourselves and we started our own company, Ang’dora Productions. And nobody has to wait two years to see Promise on the shelves. I never even tried querying Promise as its own book. Traditional publishing just isn’t for me. Did I mention I’m an impatient control-freak? Of course, it helps to have a marketing background and an incredible support team.

What are the publicity plans you have coming up?
We’re holding a Virtual Release Party July 24-30 on my blog (, Facebook and Goodreads pages, that will include a virtual tour with interviews, guest blog posts, reviews and a scavenger hunt with lots of prizes. There are also a couple newspapers publishing articles and I’m working on a trailer right now. We’re having a big release party and signing with family, friends and supporters on July 30, which is when I’ll be truly celebrating (with lots of champagne and other yummy imbibing). There will be more going on after the release date, and then we get to start all over with Purpose’s release in the fall. The best way for people to stay updated is on my blog.

Besides her blog, you can find Kristie on Twitter (@kristiecookauth) and Facebook.

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