Kristen Duvall is a writer of tales both real and make believe. Originally a Midwestern girl, she now resides in Southern California with her boyfriend, her Great Dane and a her rescued calico kitty. She dabbles in horror, science fiction, fantasy, young adult and speculative fiction. Femmes du Chaos is her first foray into publishing her own work, but she has one YA novel and a novella completed and ready to be edited. She also owns a small publishing company called Fey Publishing where she publishes other people’s work because while it’s a lot of work, there’s nothing she’d rather be doing with her life.
The release of Femmes du Chaos has been delayed a little, but currently it’s expected to be finished at the end of August or early September 2013.
A little Q & A with the WRITE STAR Kristen:
1. What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
That’s hard to say since my novel isn’t fully finished. In my book of shorts, my favorite story to write? That changes by the day. Right now, it’s the one I’m currently writing. It tends to be the most recent story I’ve written unless I struggled with one for some reason (which happens often too).
2. What old/new author has garnered your attention the most?
Stephen King, perhaps. I’ve read Stephen King for as long as I can remember, starting with “Carrie” when I was in middle school. I’ve read him longer than any author I can think of. A recent author I can’t get enough of? Neil Gaiman. Love his writing and I’ve even had a Twitter conversation with him not too long ago. I was thrilled.
3. Which author do you feel your stories are most like?
Depends on what I’m writing. I recently re-read “The Illustrated Man” by Ray Bradbury and I’d like to think some of my ideas are in the same vein as his while also being different enough to be my own (I don’t write about other planets the way he does). I think my writing style is similar to his in some way… but I only wish I could write descriptions as well as he can. But some of his ideas and the stories he told made me go “that almost sounds like something I’d write” which is why he came to mind for this question.
4. Did you learn anything from writing your book(s) and what was it?
I’ve learned just how much I hate editing. Kidding (mostly). I’ve learned I’m a lot more twisted than I thought I could be. There are stories in my book that I worry about my mom reading. I also learned that I seem to have certain themes that come out when I’m not even trying. Themes such as strong female characters, girls overcoming insecurities or standing up for themselves, etc.
5. What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?
Not really. I don’t outline too much, though I always have a general idea of what I want to write and what’s going to happen. I like letting the story develop naturally though, so I never stick to an outline if other ideas are calling to me. It seems to work well for me.
6. Tell me about your muse?
She’s one sick, twisted chick. Then again, my brain is a scary place. There’s a reason I write dark fiction… Most of the time, my ideas come to me in the form of nightmares and I love my nightmares for that reason. They’re so dark, so twisted and often more creative than anything I could ever come up with. I’m lucky to be able to lucid dream, so I can pull myself out of the dream and “watch” the story unfold knowing that it’s a dream. Even the ideas that don’t come from nightmares tend to be pretty sick and twisted. You should hear some of the conversations my boyfriend and I have. Many of those turn into stories as well.
7. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Telling my inner critic to shut up. I’m a perfectionist, I have always been too hard on myself. I want everyone to love what I do even as I know not everyone will like, much less love, what I do. I still read and scrutinize every line, beating myself up for silly mistakes. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m brutal to myself, an absolute monster to myself. Turning that sucker off hasn’t been easy, but I think I’m getting better.
8. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Develop a thick skin. Anytime you put yourself out there, there will be bitter and mean people looking to tear you down because they know they could never do what you’re doing. Not everyone is going to like what you’ve done. It’s important that YOU like it. Don;t focus on the bad reviews or the trolls who look to tear you down. The bigger, more popular you are, the more people will set out to prove you suck. Don’t let it get to you. I know, easier said than done… But the quicker you can develop a thick skin, the better off you’ll be.
Learn to take constructive criticism and learn from it, but also learn to know the difference between someone trying to help and someone trying to beat you up. Pay attention to the first group, ignore the second group. Miserable, pathetic trolls aren’t worth your time.
9. Are there certain characters you would like to work with again, or a theme/idea you’d love to work with?
Almost all of my short stories have a potential to be something bigger. In fact, I have so many potential novel ideas based on the characters in my stories, I might never run out of ideas. I also plan on writing a series for my novel, so I do in fact plan to write most of these characters again.
I have similar themes throughout my stories and it’s something that will probably never change. I will always write strong female characters. I don’t see it being any other way.
10. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I don’t know what the toughest criticism might be considering I’m really good about taking feedback in stride and accepting that I have to always work to improve my writing. I’ve had ignorant trolls that tried to tear me down for no reason, but that’s not the same thing. And honestly, it only made me more determined to finish my book. So honestly, I can’t think of anything that has really gotten to me that would be considered criticism. I know I’m not perfect. I find my inner critic is more harsh than any of the editors/beta readers/reviewers have been.
What’s the best compliment? While writing for an online writing contest, I wrote several stories from the same universe. One of my fellow competitors told me he wanted me to write the stories as a novel and that he’d wait in line to buy the book. It was the first time someone other than my friends and boyfriend had expressed interest in buying my work. He also told me he several times that I deserved to win the contest. I didn’t, but the fact that someone thought I was good enough to beat out 350 or so other writers meant the world to me.
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Please VISIT these other blogs today. KRISTEN has a different interview with each one on the hop. While you’re there take a moment to LIKE their page. They are all WRITE STARS in my book. 🙂 ENJOY
Juli Page Morgan: www.julipagemorgan.com/blog
Ruth Davis Hays: http://jorthusbooks.wordpress.com/
Dellani Oakes: http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com/
Rachel Rueben: http://www.rachelrueben.com
Karina Gioertz: www.friedgatortail.wordpress.com
Kristen Duvall: www.kristenduvall.com/blog
Crimson Kildare and Kat Marlow: www.thrutheglass.net
Check back tomorrow as the FABULOUS BLOG HOP stops here again with another WRITE STAR to be premiered…. Author RUTH DAVIS HAYES