Please welcome Kristine Raymond to my blog. Good morning Kristine. Have a seat and we shall begin. Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
Hi. I’m Kristine Raymond. I write books, host a podcast called Word Play with Kristine Raymond where I chat with other authors about their books and interests, design books covers (only mine, for now), play with my menagerie of rescued furbabies, read other authors’ books, spend quality time with my hubs, and binge-watch Netflix (or Hulu or Amazon Prime, depending on which has a series I’m interested in), not necessarily in that order.
I recently released my 16th book, a cozy mystery titled Finn-agled. It’s the first in the Finn’s Finds Mystery series with many more to come. Finn is such a fun character to write, and I love her interactions with Spencer, Grandma Lena, Zara and Duley, and her parents. Oh, and let’s not forget Garfunkel. If she was a living and breathing person, I’d want to be friends with her.
Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
Oddly enough, it has not. Oh, I used to jot down the typical, angsty stuff in my teens, but ambitions of becoming an author never crossed my mind – until a friend shared that she’d self-published her book. After listening to her describe the process, I was intrigued and figured, why not give it a try? So, on Labor Day weekend in 2013, I sat down and began writing my first book, Here to Stay, and officially became a published author on November 6 that same year.
Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?
I began by writing historical western romance. I love the Old West and it seemed the perfect setting for my story. I had no way of knowing that it would expand into nine books – the Hidden Springs series. I’ve also written contemporary romance, and, most recently, the aforementioned cozy mystery. As to which I prefer, I enjoy them all, though I’ve discovered writing cozies is an awful lot of fun.
Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
I’d say the characters in my head, once they started speaking, influenced me the most, but I have to give a shout-out to Laramie Briscoe, the friend I referred to in Q#2. She helped the most when I was starting out, guiding me through the ins and outs of self-publishing. And the writing community, as a whole, is wonderful. With rare exception, other authors are welcoming, supportive, helpful, and the first to offer encouragement. We truly do rally around one another.
How difficult was it writing your first book?
It was surprisingly easy, but that’s because I didn’t know anything yet. I didn’t worry about reader expectations, or word count, or chapter length. I simply let the words flow, and eighteen days later Here to Stay was born.
Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
I’ve never wanted to give up, but there have been times when I’ve questioned if I should continue. Then, a reader posts a glowing review or writes to tell me how much they loved my book, or a new idea pops into my head, exciting me with possibilities and I realize I never want to stop telling stories.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
It can be the simplest of things – a thought, a song lyric, a snippet of a conversation. Anything and everything can spark an idea.
Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
My husband. He believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself. I couldn’t do this without him and wouldn’t want to try.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you. They’re two simple words that don’t come close to expressing my deep appreciation to the people who read my books and cheer me on. I promise to do my best to always keep you entertained.
What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
Never drive without insurance or AAA. Courtesy of my dad. 😊
What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
The stories I write have interesting characters, entertaining plotlines, laughter, suspense, romance and, occasionally, a bit of snark. If that’s what you enjoy, then you’re my target audience.
Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
I design my own covers and they’re as much a part of my story as my words. It’s fun using images and text to express the ideas within the pages.
What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
I’m currently writing the next Finn’s Finds Mystery. It’s called Finn-icky Eaters. Here’s the opening of Chapter One:
Flashing blue lights and crime scene tape aren’t what I expected to see upon arriving at the annual Port New Clam Festival and Jamboree. Grandma Lena ensconced in the back of a patrol car, sporting a pair of shiny, silver bracelets on her wrists, is a surprise, too.
Look for Finn-icky Eaters to be released late autumn/early winter 2019.
Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?
Does Jason Statham count? Lol. I’d love to meet Sandra Brown and Dean Koontz. Both have been favorite authors of mine as far back as I can remember. I had the honor of chatting with Ms. Brown on my podcast this past February. It was the highlight of my year, and I managed to keep the fangirling to a minimum. Just barely.
If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Seriously, though; if I’m not busy, I don’t know what to do with myself. There is so much I want to accomplish in my lifetime – more books I want to write, authors I want to chat with, people I want to meet. I’ll be checking off items on my to-do list as I take my final breath.
Any last words before we wrap things up?
Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit with your readers and allowing me a moment to share a bit about myself. Happy Reading.