With her signature candor and wit, Keri shares pieces of her writing soul - past, present, and future.
Author interviews? We love them! it’s a great way to learn about other authors and what inspires them to write. And hey, if we’re lucky, we might even get a vibe on just how many cats they have.
So, we thought we’d try a new thing on our blog - a series where we interview authors in any stage of their writing journey. Published? Awesome. Writing your first draft? We can relate. Into writing poetry or flash fiction? Bring it on. You get the idea, we’ll come up with ten random questions for a quick bit of insight into what makes you, as an author, tick.
To kick things off we’re interviewing each other (blast the ego!). It’s a quick read, and if you make it to the end - thanks for humoring us. If you decide you want to join in on the Q & A fun, drop us a line in the comments and we’ll get in touch! (p.s. If we know you, consider yourself asked. 😉)
First up, ten questions for Denise:
If the moon was cheese, would you eat it?
Yes, but only if it was served with fava beans and a nice Chianti...
What is one book you’ve read that you just can’t shake and why?
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. It’s horrible, traumatizing really, but at the same time grand sweeping and filled with wonder - a love story unlike anything I’ve ever read. It shattered me into a bazillion pieces - can’t wait to read it again!
What’s your writing Kryptonite?
Prioritizing! I always wade deep in guilt for not getting “real stuff” done first. Also, Andrea sometimes reads in random accents - I am useless after that.
When you’re not writing or reading, what are you most likely to be found doing?
Well, lately with our frigid Midwest weather I’ve been binging Netflix with my daughter - we watch all different genres, so I learn tons about character and story arcs. Like reading, it really helps with my own writing. Also, I enjoy fun hiking adventures with our ginormous dog.
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Yes! Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina...ugh. Just. Can’t. Loved the movie, does that count?
When did the writing bug bite you?
Oh, haha for a sec I thought you asked where! Um, I wrote a lot of interesting stories in grade school - paper notes count, right? But I didn’t get really into it until high school when I had an amazing and hugely supportive creative writing teacher.
Kiss, marry, kill (hypothetically speaking, of course): Jamie Fraser, Edward Cullen, Mr. Rochester
Kiss - Jamie, love him but couldn’t live without modern amenities. Marry - Edward, only because my skin would sparkle instead of wrinkle Kill - Mr. Rochester, yuck! First wife in the attic? Circumstances be damned - reg flag!
What are you currently reading?
The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton & Dana Fraedrich’s Out of the Shadows. One in the car, one on my nightstand.
You’ve invited your favorite author over for dinner, what’s on the menu?
Crab legs and cold beer, “Welcome, Stephen!”
Would you rather live in a haunted mansion, or in an un-haunted cottage?
UN-haunted cottage. I bring my own demons, so...
Still here? Awesome, Denise had some good questions for Andrea:
If you could travel anywhere on earth right now where would you go, and why?
Bulgaria. It’s so full of mystery, history, and magic *wink* - it’s a perfect setting for our book - I would love to experience it in real life.
What author/piece of writing most influenced you?
Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It is beautiful in its simplicity, and timeless in its message. I was in 5th or 6th grade the first time I read it, and I’ve read it at least once a year since then. Every time I do I get something new out of it.
What dream would you most like to realize?
I used to dream of being a rap music icon. And while I still feel like that’s an attainable goal (despite my obvious lack of musical talent), it has taken a backseat to getting our book published.
What song lyric speaks directly to you soul?
It’s so hard to pick just one, but my brain instantly goes to U2’s “All I Want Is You.” You know, the part (in my head) where Bono singles me out in an ocean of screaming Mrs. Bono wanna-be’s and sings, “But all the promises we make, from the cradle to the grave, when all I want is you.” Yeah, that’s the one.
Who fostered your creativity more than any other?
My mom. She was crazy creative - like, no coloring books in our house because coloring on plain paper forced you to use your imagination - creative. She believed I could do anything, and made me believe it too! (Though, I think she was pretty clear in expressing her doubts about my future as a rap star.)
What’s your favorite movie adapted from a book?
Of course I loved Lord of the Rings, I even liked the Harry Potter movies (I know that’s a touchy one with some people). But One movie I love that was adapted from a book is Water for Elephants. Ugh! It got me right in the feels…I sobbed through the book AND the movie.
If you had unlimited money, what would you use it for?
I’d bust out of Illinois and buy my goat farm in Montana. We’re talking goats for days. Then I’d host a Goat Farm Writing Retreat…yes, you’re invited. No, you cannot milk my goats.
What’s the biggest Ah-HA moment writing advice you have received along your writing journey?
I’ve gotten a lot of writing advice through the years. At first I took it all to heart…and you know, some of it was slightly soul crushing. I have this writer friend who I connected with on Instagram, we were recently talking about how we deal with rejection in our industry. It can be a tough pill to swallow, and you have to have thick skin, for sure. But she reminded me that perseverance is key. JK Rowling and Sylvester Stallone received dozens of rejections for Harry Potter and Rocky. BUT they kept at it and, well, we all know how things ended up for them! We even made up a hashtag to use as a mantra to not give up - #BeASlyBeAJK , I use it frequently!
Would you rather have your book be published or turned into a movie or television series? Yes, and YES!
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing or reading?
I’m in my garden when it’s not sleeping under a blanket of snow and ice. Otherwise, I enjoy taking hikes with my dude and dog, working on my sweet dance moves, and coming up with craft projects that will set the flea market circuit on FIYAAAAA! ;)
There you have it. The weird, the writerly, and the moderately entertaining duo. Want in? We’d love to come up with ten questions for you. We’ll share one Author Q & A each month - can’t wait to learn more about your authorly adventures!