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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas SIberian Style: Author Interview with Kristen Joy Wilks

How did you come up with the idea for your book, The Volk Advent?
Well, I knew that my publisher did a Christmas series and I love Christmas. So I put on my favorite Christmas CD's and started cooking and cleaning and praying in my kitchen, just trying to think of something fun. That was when the idea of a Gothic Christmas mystery for teens. zipped through my head. My intention was to make it all spooky with an old derelict castle, a murder mystery, and escaped pet wolves. My story has all of that, but it also turned out to be somewhat humorous. Which is a strange combination, but fits my writing voice so I went with it.

Could you give me a short synopsis on the story for my readers?
An orphaned Siberian teen loses her job and home on Christmas Eve. Left on the streets to freeze, Faina flees to an abandoned castle for shelter. At the castle, she discovers the animal-torn body of a local recluse. No wonder Eurasian wolves are not recommended for the first-time pet owner. Can a girl with no past, preserve her future from accusations of murderer and a pack of escaped wolves? 

What made you decide to do a Christmas themed book?
I saw all of the fun Christmas books in Pelican Book Group's Christmas Extravaganza series and wanted to be part of it. Readers have the option to buy all of the Christmas titles on a gift card that works well as a stocking stuffer. Since I am a new author, I thought this would be a good way to introduce myself to Pelican readers, besides Christmas stories are both meaningful and tons of fun. What's not to love?

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
There are so many...I make homemade cinnamon rolls the day we have our first snow, so that starts the season out. I read three books out loud to my three little boys every December. "The Nativity Story" which is a beautiful picture book that has photos from the movie of the same name paired with Bible verses about Christ's coming. I also read them "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson and "The Shepherd, The Angel, and Walter The Christmas Miracle Dog" by Dave Barry (I skip the chapter about bras when I read it to them...even though it is hilarious). 

I make scones and cocoa for breakfast on Christmas morning, we read the story from the Bible, and open gifts and eat way too much food, but our family also chooses a birthday gift for Jesus and we open the card that tells about the gift along with the other presents. Sometimes it is a goat for a family in another country or chickens or new school books. It's an incredible thing to choose this special present with our young family, the boys get so excited. Although, the first year we did it they were very upset that the chickens did not show up in a box for us to give away personally!

What’s next for you in writing? 
Sometime next year I have another Passport to Romance novella releasing with Pelican Book Group. It is called Athens Ambuscade and my young heroine must fly a Montana taxidermist to Greece to stuff her grandmother's dead cat in two days time or lose her inheritance. 

I am also working on a series for children, but haven't found a publishing home for it yet.

Any special awards or achievements you’d like to mention?
I was a semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis contest in 2014, but really, I'm pretty new to actually being published and am just thrilled to see my name on the cover of a book!

What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been give that you’d like to share?
I absolutely love the 15 point story outline in Blake Snyder's writing book, Save the Cat. It has really helped me find a loose outline for my books before I start writing. Very helpful.
What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned

Years and years of your writing is going to be practice. Learn and grow and write every day and enjoy the act of writing and watching your abilities bloom. Stop being so caught up in getting published right away, it takes time. After fourteen years of serious writing (online courses, writing 5-7 days a week, sending out countless queries) I finally have my first book out.

If you would like to buy her book or learn more about her writing, here are some links
to get you started...
For her first novella, Copenhagen Cozenage -
Pelican books -
Watershed Books -

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