This month I am speaking to Kristen Kooistra, author of Heart of the Winterland. She is a fantasy writer from Michigan.
Thank you for speaking to me today, Kristen. So when did you decide to become a writer?
I think people who write(in any format) don’t decide that’s what they’re going to do so much as it’s natural. Just as an artist might doodle before they take to painting masterpieces.
When did I decide to write seriously, though, that’s easier to answer. Late summer of 2014, I found myself more serious about finishing a novel than ever before and posted two chapters on a site I’d been a member of for 12 years. After waiting and messaging over 30 people who advertised that they were looking for works to review, and receiving no response, I was very unsatisfied. It was then that I started to think that maybe this story meant something if for the first time I was frustrated with the lack of response(the site had never been good in terms of receiving feedback).
I hunted around, found Scribophile, and within a few days knew it was the place for me. I’ve met so many amazing writers, received tons of support, and there’s been countless critiques and people willing to share what they’ve learned.
So now you have found somewhere to support and critique your writing, how often do you write? Is there a certain time of day you prefer to write?
It really depends on what stage of my life that I’m in. Lately, I’ve been running around in tizzy because of my first novel coming out and it’s summer and there’s a lot of summer activities! Not to mention a 7-month-old who doesn’t sleep through the night.
Let’s just say it’s winter, the baby’s sleeping, and I’m not in the middle of “learning a new thing” chaos. In that case, I try to write once a day between 11pm-1am. It’s quiet, everyone is sleeping, I don’t have to worry about interruptions.
Where is your favourite place to write?
On my bed. Since I write on my computer it’s pretty much the only place I write.
I thought beds were for sleeping! Have you written anything in collaboration with other writers?
No, I haven’t. My writer’s group is putting together an anthology and I considered joining in but felt that currently there’s too much on my plate and taking on another project where people are counting on me isn’t in the best interest of me or the rest of the team.
That’s perfectly understandable. Finally, is there any advice you would give your younger self?
None, lol. I think any advice I’d give my younger self would be non-writing related and even then I’d be hesitant to mess up anything. For better or worse, everything I’ve gone through in my life has led me to where I am today and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Thank you for talking to me today. I think that is all we have time for.
Heart of the Winterland is available to read from Amazon.
Kristen Kooistra started reading from a young age. Her favourite books were those based in the fantastical and so it made sense for her book to also be fantasy. She lives in Michigan with her husband, three kids and two cats, and sh finds time to write late at night.