We have another exciting author this week, Kristina Beck. She writes contemporary romance, and her debut novel is coming out soon. Let’s find out more…
Welcome, Kristina. We’re so happy to have you on Love Indie Romance. I see you have a new release coming out on February 1, 2017, Lives Collide. Where did your inspiration come from?
My inspiration came from a little experience I had when I was little. I didn’t fully know how the entire book would flow but I knew the main plot and it built up from there. Lives Collide is book one of the Collide series. There will be two other books. The theme of these books is “chances are”.
Do you have another story in the works right now?
While going through the editing phase for Lives Collide, I started to write the second book which is called Dreams Collide. I have written about 40,000 words already. Each book in the series can be a standalone but the main characters are introduced in the first book and will be in all of the books. It would probably make sense or be more fun to read them all.
I’m having so much fun with the second book. I’ve learned a lot while writing Lives Collide. I enjoy incorporating those lessons into Dreams Collide. It is serious but has some very funny parts in it. Well at least I think so. I stopped writing it for a little while because I’m busy getting ready for the release of Lives Collide. Once it is released, I will start writing it again. I look forward to it.
Your book cover is so colorful and pretty. I love the colors! Do they have any particular significance?
Thank you. I’m very proud of my cover. The colors do have significance but I’m not going to reveal why. It will be quite clear when someone reads the book. All of the books in this series will have dominant colors in them. Each cover will represent those colors. I’m already excited about creating the next covers.
I wanted my cover to stick out amongst the rest. There are so many books out there so I tried to be as original as possible. My book cover designer was awesome. She captured my image exactly as I saw it in my head. With the white background, I also feel it will stand out amongst the others. Designing my cover was one of the best parts of the entire process!
How did you start writing?
After reading so many romance books, I kept telling my husband about an idea I had for a book. Well he got tired of hearing me talk about it and encouraged me to write it. So here I am, one year later, about to publish my debut novel.
Do you have lots of stories hidden somewhere or is this your first creation?
I can’t say I have a book full of ideas but I do know what my next books will be about. The third book in my series will be the hardest. The plot can go two ways with her character. I like both ways but I’m curious what my readers would like to see. I might have to ask them. :o)
I have a special idea for another book but the thought process will be very extensive. It will not be a series and might even have suspense in it.
What’s it like being an indie author?
Since I’m a first time indie author, the entire process is quite overwhelming. That has been my favorite word for the past several months. I have said several times, it is not necessarily writing the book that is hard, it is the entire process after that. I was introduced to a whole new world. It has been really amazing.
There are a lot of positives. I have been a stay at home mom for over 10 years. My brain was starting to turn to oatmeal. I needed something to stimulate me. This was the perfect experience to do that.
Being around German speaking people all of the time, I noticed I was forgetting English terms. Writing has really helped me re-learn even more English.
My confidence level and pride has shot through the roof. The day I finally announced I wrote a book to my entire family and friends was so exhilarating. I was shocked by the response. Everyone was so supportive and excited for me.
As an indie writer, I dictate my own time. I take advantage of my kids being in school. I can’t imagine the pressure of having a publisher giving me a deadline. I need to do this at my own pace and have complete control….while my kids are running around my desk. My heart explodes when my husband and kids tell me how proud they are of me. That is a high in itself.
Starting out was hard. There is an abundance of information on the internet about how to self-publish books. I had no personal guidance. I wish I could have been able to pick up the phone to call someone. However, I found a great editor and she gave me fantastic advice and was always there when I needed help.
I also had many sleepless nights because of several things. Self doubt would always pop up once in a while. There is an abundance of writers out there that are just like me. We all want to see our book succeed. How can our book be seen when it is like a needle in a hay stack? But I wouldn’t and won’t give up. Even if my book fails or isn’t very visible, I will keep moving forward. Sleepless nights can also be from my head spinning all of the time now. I’m constantly thinking how a scene can be written better or ideas to include in my books, what is the next step in the entire process. It is all so complicated.
What is also really hard is the time change. All of my contacts are in the US while I’m over here in Germany. I have a nine hour time difference with my editor. The positive is that I can work all morning and send things out and it will be waiting for them when they get to work. In the end it worked out great. Computer and internet issues came in to play but that is a long story in itself. Even though I wanted something for myself, it takes away time from spending it with my family. I needed to learn how to balance the two.
And now the hardest part for me is personal. I’m throwing myself out there. I almost feel naked. People are actually going to read my book. That means they will talk about it positively or negatively. I know I will need to deal with negative reviews but it will take time. My family and friends are so excited to read Lives Collide but what if they don’t like it. But I know that there will be people who don’t like.
Doing something that I never thought I would do. I never considered myself creative in the least. To see my paperback in my hands was the best feeling. I get emotional just writing this. I love to learn. There are so many things that are involved with writing and publishing a book. My brain is full but it wants more. I love that I am meeting new people whether it is via the internet or writing events/conferences. I’m sociable by nature so I love to be around people.
You live in Germany. Such a beautiful country. What’s your favorite part about living there?
When I lived in New Jersey, I worked and went to college/graduate school full-time since I graduated high school. I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 12 years prior to moving to Germany. There was really no down time for me. It was work, work, work. I have been living here for over 12 years now. I have learned to sit back and relax and live a little. German culture is different from American culture. Life isn’t only about work. I live in a very peaceful and beautiful area of Germany. When I look outside my window I feel like I’m on vacation all of the time.
I speak German but not fluently. I am proud that I can speak another language. I live in an area where you hear people speaking German, French and English. I love that my children are learning all three languages. We live in the farthest southwest tip of Germany where it rests on the border of Switzerland and France. I can drive 20 minutes and go shopping in France. How cool is that? Granted I have no idea how to speak French.
Anyway, living in two different countries has truly taught me a lesson. Every culture is different and you have to accept the good and the bad. Things that annoyed me when I first moved here are things I truly appreciate now. You must be flexible and open minded.
Crazy question time. What’s your favorite sweet treat? (Okay, that wasn’t that crazy. hahaha)
I have two. Even though I’m surrounded by European chocolate, my favorite is still peanut M&Ms. I can’t eat one at a time. I have to eat a handful to enjoy the true experience. Maybe that’s gross but that is the best way to eat them. My mouth waters just thinking about it. They taste exactly the same over here. I never buy them because I know I will eat the bag in one sitting and I have two kids who are allergic to peanuts. I was at the M&M store in NYC last summer. It was hard to resist buying a pound of them. My other favorite is dark chocolate covered almonds from France. I eat them everyday. My excuse is that dark chocolate is healthy. :o)
Any last thoughts?
I’m not sure I ever mentioned this but Kristina Beck is my pen name. I found my German last name difficult to remember so I shortened it. I look forward to the next year and all that I will experience. To all of the new indies like me, do not give up! There will be good and bad days. But once your book is in your hands, it will be worth all of the hair you have lost. I know I have lost some and gained a few gray hairs along the way.
And for all of the readers who read my book – thank you and I hope you enjoyed it!