Today’s spotlight has caught up to Author Kristin Van Risseghem on her boat, sipping on an ice cold drink and examining her latest shoe purchase. Snow shoes are always on sale in the summertime! Without further ado, here’s…Kristin!
Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small town along the Mississippi River with her parents and older sister. Currently, Kristin lives in Minnesota with her husband and two Calico cats.
She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends.
She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and probably has way too many of both.
In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice-cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women’s Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold!
How did you get started on your writing journey?
I started as a beta reader for my cousin Ann A. Noser. She passed me other works from her writing group and then I had the dream of my own story.
Are there any poets or writers who influence you? How so?
Of course! I loved The Mortal Instrument series and the Iron King series. The Iron King is what inspired me to write about fairies.
Let’s talk about your novel! What is it about?
Zoe Jabril could be just another 17-year-old girl attending parties with her friends and checking out cute guys—except her best friend is a Guardian Angel, and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, half-angel, both sent to Earth to protect her. A high school classmate happens to be a trendsetting shopaholic fairy. And now there’s a new werewolf in town.
Zoe has to deal with her feelings toward Shay, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her.
Now Zoe is under constant attack from demons, trying to kill and stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite the Enlightens to battle evil.
Then on top of that, between boring homework and drama with girls at school, she has to control new-found talents if she’s to prevent the devil from escaping Hell.
In order to do so, Zoe must devise a kick-ass plan ASAP or watch everyone die, because she’s running out of time. She turns eighteen in two months—the date Armageddon kicks off.
How is the title significant?
Each noun depicts one (or more) of the characters. There are three main characters, so three nouns to describe them.
Where did inspiration for this come from?
I dreamed the opening scene for three nights in a row. I saw the brown-haired girl being chased > added the warehouse > added the protector.
Tell us a little bit about the characters? What are they like and how did you come up with them?
Zoe is the main character. She’s 17-years old, a bit naïve about how life really is, but that’s a small town for you. Her BFF, Kieran, is an angel. He’s tall, built like a model and is bossy. The boyfriend, Shay, is old-school/traditional and is a Nephilim (half angel-half human).
I knew the story would have three main characters. Of course each has characteristics from myself, some I wish I had, and others I don’t.
Who do you think would like your story and what kind of readership are you aiming for?
My books are technically urban fantasy for age 10+. I consider them to be clean reads, meaning little swearing and graphic battle scenes.
What is the message you are trying to get across in your book?
Even though Zoe is 17, she can become more if she’s willing to see and be it. She is more than what she thinks she is; she just doesn’t know it yet. With reliance of her friends, and even her family, she can discover exactly what’s planned for her if she’s willing to fight for it.
What is your writing process like?
This book came to me from start to finish, which was nice and I wrote the first draft in three weeks.
How do you go about editing your story?
A section at a time.
Where did you find your cover artist and what was the process like?
I hired a free-lance cover artist, who also happens to work at Clean Teen Publishing. I love working with my artist. I’d send her the book blurb, some graphic images that I would like so she can get the feel for the book and wamo. She emails me a mock-up.
How did you go about getting published?
I queried like so many authors do. I even landed a publishing contract from three different publishers. Ultimately I signed with one of them and a few months later we amicably parted ways.
What was your self-publishing experience like?
I love being self-published. In fact, I’d have it no other way. I did have a publisher at one point and we parted ways. But I love having the control over every aspect.
What are the pros and cons of self-publishing?
Pro: Love the creativeness, the reliability, the ownership, & the marketing!
Cons: Marketing is done all by myself, which takes a ton of time.
What were the surprises? Good or bad? If so, what were they?
How hard it is to get reviews.
How do you go about promoting your book as a self-published author?
Throw things/ideas out there and figures out what sticks.
Is there something about the whole process you wish someone had told you before? Good or bad?
I wish I would have built my social platform earlier. Newsletter, having tons of Twitter followers, followers on Instagram, etc.
Do you have any advice for writers who want to self-publish?
Take your time, don’t rush it. Learn everything you can to make the best possible product available to the masses. Oh, and build your social platform now.
What plans do you have for the future of your writing?
I’m not sure. I’ve been kicking around the idea of a dystopian from a male perspective so we’ll see if that gets written.
What are your social accounts if people want to connect with you?
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