Does travel play in the writing of your books?
Absolutely! Travelling is always inspirational to me. On a trip to
, I developed half the scenes for the book I wrote that year (Her Song, a contemporary romance currently unpublished). While at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, I developed a storyline for a suspense novel I hope to write in the next few years, and on a recent anniversary trip to Barcelona, Spain, I kept seeing scenes for Book 5 of the Ærenden Series (currently untitled). Whenever I have a severe writer’s block, I find even short, day trips to some place new will break it. San Diego
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I firmly believe beta readers are critical in the process of writing. While they shouldn’t be used as a substitute for a professional editor (and their good will should never be abused by providing them with a less than near-perfect draft for the beta read), beta readers are extremely important in ensuring a book is both reaching its target audience and absent of any plot holes or unintentional character flaws. A trusted and (sometimes brutally) honest beta reader can make the difference between a solid work of art and a ho-hum book people soon forget.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
Writing is the easiest thing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not actually easy to invent plots, worlds and characters which are desirable for readers, but it is fun and the few weeks or months it takes to write a first draft are only a small part of the process of writing a book as a whole. After the first draft, it takes months upon months to go through the process of editing alone (often two or three times), then with an editor, then with beta readers before one last solo read. After that, working with a cover artist and formatting for print and e-books takes more time. Writing is not the glamorous, book a month from start-to-finish, life I thought it would be when I first began, but it’s far more rewarding than I ever realized it could be. I love every part of the process because I know my “baby” will be grown up when it’s finally ready to enter the world.
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
A bit of both. In order to write the five-part Ærenden series (my current project), I have to have an overall plot laid out or I’ll lose track of where I am or forget to close out story lines (I can’t stand when a series leaves dangling subplots). But plotting for me is nowhere near a detailed, 60-page outline for each manuscript. I have a whiteboard that takes up one wall of my small office where I bullet-point characters, plots, “rules” for the world, etc. and I keep a notebook of the more detailed story arcs, but any more than that and I find I restrict my creativity too much. In fact, I’ve invented most of the Ærenden world up to this point “on the fly”. I even intended the series as one book originally, but soon realized the characters had too much to share. As long as I’m following the overall arc (or I guess the characters are), I don’t mind letting the story lead me. Of course, I’m sure my writing process means more editing after draft one than someone who plots everything out first, but I find I create a richer story this way.
What was the scariest moment of your life?
At the end of 2010, a doctor diagnosed me with two brain aneurysms. While in surgery to coil them, I suffered a hemorrhage and almost died. Not quite a month later, another doctor diagnosed me with thyroid cancer. Initially, the specialists thought it was a fast-growing, rare kind, but I had to wait two more months before they could perform the surgery, since they couldn’t do anything so soon after the brain procedure. Every day of that time, we wondered how fast the cancer would spread and if the two months might cost me my life. From the moment I was first diagnosed with the aneurysms to the moment they removed the cancer (which fortunately turned out to be a less invasive type which they removed fully in surgery), I lived in fear. Although not quite facing the white lights of death in the way some people think of it, my mortality became more real than I ever wanted it to be. Now, looking back at it, I realize the gift in my terror. Soon after and because of that time, I made the decision to publish my work. It’s clichéd, but true: Life is too short to put off until the future what you want to do now.
What book are you reading now?
I just finished a beta read for another author. I’m also reading a non-fiction book on the prohibition, and I’m about to start Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer. Really. I remember telling my mom this when I was about five. It’s taken me a while to get back to that dream, but passions rarely die once they start feeding on your soul. They’re a bit like parasites, maybe, or those creatures from Aliens—only with less gore. I hope.
What are your favorite TV shows?
What are your favorite TV shows?
Currently, my favorite show is Fringe. Other regulars are Merlin (BBC), Burn Notice, CSI, Simpsons, and How I Met Your Mother. All time favorites I like to watch repeatedly (which are no longer on the air) are A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Black Adder, Mr. Bean, Jeeves & Wooster, and Monty Python. Oh, and Star Trek: TNG. Who can forget that!
, author Kristen Taber spent her childhood at the feet of an Irish storytelling grandfather, learning to blend fact with fiction and imagination with reality. She lived within the realm of the tales that captivated her, breathing life into characters and crafting stories even before she could read. Bangor, Maine
Those stories have since turned into over a hundred poems, several short tales, and five manuscripts in both the Young Adult and Adult genres. Currently, Ms. Taber is completing the five-part Ærenden series from her home office in the suburbs of
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
One Kindle Formatted copy of Aerenden: The Child Returns
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.
Follow the author on Twitter for another bonus entry.
Giveaway Ends August 4th 11:59PM Central Time