What drew you to writing fantasy - specifically re-writing what happened after a fairy tale's end?
I've always been a fan of fairy tales and the fantasy genre as a whole, but when I saw an old musical version of Cinderella (The Slipper and the Rose), I began to wonder what would happen if the characters didn't have magic at their disposal. The protagonists could still have a happily ever after, but the prince's poor fiancée was another story. So, I decided to dive in and tell Demetria's story in The Jilted Bride: A Footnote to Cinderella's Happiness (Fairetellings #1).
When did you actually start writing your first book? How long did it take to write your first draft? Who encouraged you along the way?
My first book, The Kings' Council, was published in 2012. I probably went through about seven drafts, and that was after I re-wrote the story it was originally inspired by. My friends and specifically my community/Bible study group have been very encouraging.
Each of your books are indie-published. Did you first try the query route with agents and publishers?
When I wrote The Kings' Council, I tried to find a traditional publisher, but I was met by a lot of rejection. I eventually discovered the world of self-publishing and I haven't looked back since.
Other than completing your novels, what was the most difficult aspect of publishing for you?
Editing is the bane of my existence, but it's worth it when I have a finished paperback in my hands that's an enjoyable read.
What has surprised you the most about getting published other than the joy of seeing your book in print?
The feedback! I've had people tell me that The Jilted Bride made them cry and gave them chills. An editorial reviewer even compared it to the musical Wicked, which was really flattering.
What do you know now about publishing that you wish you knew sooner?
That marketing is important. I was extremely lazy when it came to marketing my first books. Also, finding the right audience is key.
What’s been your best promotion for selling books?
I've tried to be better about writing blogs and social media posts. I'm not sure how many sales I can attribute to that, but I've noticed an increase since I started promoting The Jilted Bride online.
What advice would you give someone who wants to indie-publish?
Don't skimp on the editing. I've paid professional editors to take a look at my last two books, and it was worth the money. Also, don't give up just because you get some negative reviews or feedback. Your book isn't for everyone. Just take the constructive criticism so you can grow stronger as an author, and keep going. Someone out there needs your book. They just don't know it yet.
What other works do you have in the process?
Eirwen's Dream: Inside Snow White's Sleeping Mind (Fairetellings #2) will be out on July 1. I actually just posted the book trailer on YouTube. You can find it at https://youtu.be/hBEoNOg3KTo. I also have a third book from the Fairetellings series in the works and an idea for the fourth.
Any last words you’d like to add?
Just that I hope your readers enjoy my books! The Jilted Bride and Eirwen's Dream are uplifting, quick reads that will warm your heart and bring a smile to you face.
That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Kristen's books and upcoming projects, here's some links to get you started.
The Jilted Bride: https://www.amazon.com/Jilted-Bride-Cinderellas-Happiness-Fairetellings-ebook/dp/B01EUE2MPM
Eirwen’s Dream: https://www.amazon.com/Eirwens-Dream-Inside-Sleeping-Fairetellings-ebook/dp/B01G2H6KCG
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kristen-Reed/e/B00A1OX9H6/