Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I'm a 26 year old author from South Jersey. I started writing as a kid-silly stuff, but I've worked my way up to our local newspaper, The Reminder-where I've done my township newsbeat and an opinion column for the last 3 years.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
Concerning my new release The Vampire Family I wouldn't want to be any of my characters! The novel is a departure in that it doesn't glorify vampirism. The novel show the issues and complexities that can arise when one has such dark powers and is displeased with them. You would think The Vampire Family has it all, but they don't. Not all the vampires are happy in his or her condition. It's a foot in both worlds. Issues, consequences, messy decisions. No, I don't need more of that!
What's your favorite genre to read?
I like old stuff, classics, Dickens. I read a lot of sf growing up-Asimov, Star Wars books. I haven't read Anne Rice in a few years. Strangely, I like more British books than American literature. Although I love westerns and Tarzan and comic books. I read in phases. Currently I think my trend is fantasy-Arthurian stories, but no, I love Hornblower, too, and I want to start reading the Sharpe series. Non fiction, of course, too. I like religious and devotional books. What don't I read? I'd read much more if I had the time. Don't we all say that?
Who or what influences you when you write?
I can get distracted, for sure. I think negative influence undoes any positive methods. Family, chores, work, fatigue. They can put off any inspiration, beware! Sometimes I'm backwardly influenced. If I see or read something that could have been better. That bugs me into the notion that I could do better! I listen to The Bee Gees or other records when I write, strange.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Depending on what has to be done that day, I get on the desktop for email or the laptop for writing. I go back and forth between the two, then break in the afternoon for all the bits of normal life-errands, chores, eating, pets. On certain days the normal routine is priority, and I hate it. I feel so out of wack if I don't get to write. Like a child you've abandoned. I must keep a list of the day's tasks, otherwise I can get lost on a tangent. Sometimes that good, but not always. I also try and group like work together. Editing at this time, nonfiction work and newspaper material on Tuesdays. My mom can't understand when she is off work and wants to go to the store, "But Mom, it's Tuesday!"
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
Don't jinx me, but I don't get the block that often. Some days I am kept from my work for real life obligations, but if I don't write it's not often because I am simply stuck. I struggle with the opposite-when you get some many ideas that you can't possibly use them all. Last night I had an idea that was seemed so good, I had to get out of bed and write it down. I don't know if I'll every write about that gem or not. There's never enough time to write! Occasionally I write more if I convince myself it was `bonus' time, or that I `snuck in some writing' in between something. It makes the act more appreciated and invigorating somehow. When I was at school or working full time, it was also just something to do before I could write again. When a teacher was talking and I couldn't be into writing 100%, I'd draw a square and color it in with my pen. I used to call those my `writer's block.'
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
The Vampire Family is coming out on my birthday, Feb 7. Eternal Press has been so darling to us! I was amazed at how quickly they accepted. Sometimes you have to sit back and allow yourself the question, it is that good? The Vampire Family begins in the 12th century and moves through the timeline with The Welshire Coven. Patriarch Antonio seeks power and revenge always, even though he can't keep a handle on his wife, Elizabeth, or her sister-his mistress-Ann. The vampires even have rival powers, some transform into wolves, and others cats. Antonio's children are also in conflict over the family business. Antonio and Ann's daughter Samantha searches the globe trying to end their vampire curse, butting heads of course with legitimate daughter Victoria's decadent lifestyle. Battles with other covens just throw another wrench into the mix. There's something for everyone in The Vampire Family. Love, sex, and betrayal. Vampyness, of course, but food for thought and duality, too. Who in the family is good? Are they all so bad? Which side of The Vampire Family are you on?
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I've been doing some editing work with another NJ author Leigh Wood. On The Way To New Isosceles is her first erotica novel. Strange that erotica is not how I've perceived the work as I've edited. I mean, no doubt about it, the book meets the sex criteria, but it has drama, too. SF dystopia and issues. I read one conversation discussing the trouble with biological warfare, and I had to pause. Good stuff. I'm hoping Leigh gets a contract for it soon. After The Vampire Family's born on the wind, I have a few short stories that need polishing. And She Was Late is a short science fiction piece, and The Haberdasher is a twisted little story that I wasn't even going to finish, but my husband said I should give it another chance. I think about it often, how I'd like it to play out, perhaps. There is never a dull moment as a writer, I think. Even when you are `taking a break' as I often do in December, there is still things to be done. Edit, correspondence, marketing. Whether it's all planned or not, well that's another story!
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I start with a general outline of the who, what, when, where, and why, but it is not set in stone. I know where I want characters to end up, but they often dictate the transportation. If I have thoughts that need to be written down or if I'm on a roll I just go. You can always revise, rearrange, or even cut out something later. I'd rather rush to write something down that turns out to be not so spectacular in the big picture, than dismiss something. Writing to me is a lot of instinct, natural somehow or subconscious. You must let it have its will. Then you can worry about the polish later.
If I'm outlining a major space opera epic or something big, however, I usually tape my outlines on the wall. It can get very complex. Index cards color coordinated for character or storyline-it all looks very ugly. My mother hates it.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Joining the Kristin Battestella Yahoo Group is a lot of fun for any book lover. Regularly I host contests there, post news, and chit chat. If a reader has a question or comment, feel free to join, post, and discuss! Our next contest is coming in January.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
I have a slew of websites! My main site For Flying Servants Only.. (http://jsnouff.com/kristin) has excerpts, a bio, photos, press, fun, and more. In addition, we've got a great bunch at the Kristin Battestella Yahoo Group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kristinbattestella). We're always having contests! But of course, don't forget the blogs! Kristin724.livejournal.com for general news and vampfam.blogspot.com for vampire-centric news. I've also do movie reviews at ithinkthereforeireview.blogspot.com. Whew!
What was your first published work and when was it published?
Wow, My first e book was actually published in 2005 by the defunct Lilac Books. The Adventures of Pave is a children's story told from the point of view of my Bichon Frise. It is so incredible to be published, no matter how small you may think it is-or how small the pay is if any. Just the notion that others made read your work-thoughts, feelings- and relate. IT gives me goosebumps. I still get excited when a feature of mine runs in the newspaper. You'd think after 3 years of weekly appearances I'd be used to it, but no, I'm not!
Thank you for this opportunity!