Friday, December 11, 2015

Interview with Courtney Kristel, author of BEAUTIFULLY SHATTERED

Courtney Kristel graduated from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, but she couldn't shake her true passion for writing. She's currently working on the second novel of the Beautifully Series, Beautifully Mended. When she isn't creating stories to share with the world, Courtney usually has a book in her hands or is searching for new music to add to her writing playlist.  

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Beautifully Shattered.

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About the Book:

What would you do if your world fell apart right before your eyes? If everything you held dear was
stolen before you had a chance to say goodbye, would you give up or keep fighting? Adalynn Maxwell didn't decide to give up. She was robbed of her choice.

After years of therapy, Adalynn finally wants to move on and her brother's sexy best friend Jax lures her further out of her shell. But she doesn’t understand his game and he changes the rules at every turn, making her fall into the waiting arms of the mysterious Doctor Kohen Daniels, whom she can’t seem to avoid. She’s terrified of trusting him, but something about him makes her want to bare her soul.

Adalynn is desperate for that all-consuming love she reads about, but doesn't believe she deserves it. Her desperation to prove to Jax that she isn’t a little girl anymore may ruin her forever. One wrong decision can change her entire future. She has one last choice to make, but will it be ripped away from her like everything else? Will she pay the ultimate price?

For More Information

  • Beautifully Shattered is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thanks for this interview, Courtney.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

Thanks for having me! I can’t write in silence. Music is always blaring when I’m writing, if it’s not then I can hear myself think and the story doesn’t flow out as naturally because I’m concentrating on the storyline too much. I know that’s strange, but hey it works for me. My sister Monica is also my “guinea pig” for the second book of the Beautifully Series, Beautifully Mended, so of course I find it amusing to stop writing right when I hit the climax of a chapter, just for her reaction.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation?

I’m a firm believer in 2-4 hour naps, bubble baths with wine and a good book, talking to my best friend who lives out of state, and hanging out with my five year old nephew (he’s also my favorite person in the world).

Do you have a day job? Or a night one?

I work in marketing and I absolutely love it. I look forward to each and every day. I get to go to a job I enjoy and then come home and write. I’m a firm believer on loving your job because if you don’t, you’ll hate going to work. I had a job like that where I dreaded when my alarmed went off and dragged my feet while working. Now, I don’t have that problem. I hope that anyone who reads this, has a passion for what they’re doing and if not, that they change their situation as soon as they’re able to.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

I would definitely say rocky more than smooth sailing. I’m hoping that publishing the second book, Beautifully Mended, will be a lot easier than Beautifully Shattered was. With Beautifully Shattered, I had to find an editor and a cover artist that I felt saw where I wanted the book to go, what message I wanted to get across, and I’m blissfully happy with the those two ladies. But before I found Stay Juba, my editor, I was losing my mind. She helped with every step of the editing process and is simply amazing. Danielle Hurps is a very talented cover artist, she listened to what I wanted for the cover and delivered. It’s better than I imagined and I can’t wait to see what she creates for Beautifully Mended.

What is it about the romantic suspense genre that appeals more than any other genre you would choose to write?

The suspense is what drew me to the romantic genre. Originally the book was going to be just suspense, but then the love story between Jax and Adalynn came into play. That’s when I new it had to be a romance book, but I also wanted the suspense in it, so I went back and wrote a little more romance in the first few chapters. I think it was by chapter four where the love between Jax and Addie blossomed. The fact that no matter what happens between the two, they always find a way back to each other, is what gets to me every time I’m writing their story. That’s the beauty of romantic suspense, something is happening that makes you keep turning the pages so you can find out, and the deeper you get into the story, a love is found between the main characters that is unwavering. It’s magical.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Kohen Daniels is Adalynn’s knight in shining armor but the love of her life, Jaxon Chandler, is the only one who can lead her back into the darkness, shattering her for good.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

Besides the fact that it’s extremely long for a romantic suspense book, I would have to stay all the background information on the characters. Readers gain more knowledge of the main characters, and from the emails I’m receiving, they love that about Beautifully Shattered. I also hope that the message that readers get is to never give up fighting no matter what has happened in your life.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

All the hardship the character are going through, will go through, are from personal experiences, but morphed into a more dramatic way for the storyline. I believe this helps me connect with Adalynn’s feeling more than if I was just writing about something I could only guess at.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

To always keep writing, every day, even if it’s just a few paragraphs. Practice makes perfect they say. Also, don’t reread every little thing you write down. I’ve noticed getting the story out of my head and into my computer first, works better then going back and making any changes. Oh and if you’re not getting emotional or laughing while you’re writing, chances are neither will your readers.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently writing the second installment of the Beautifully Series, Beautifully Mended. I hope to have it out within a year, but don’t hold me to that. I’m can’t wait to read the finished copy of it, I’m loving the turnout of Beautifully Mended, and I’m excited for all the twist and turns to come into play of Addie’s life. Oh and I can’t wait for readers to read the ending! I wrote the last few paragraphs the other day, and oh man is it going to end with another “what the fuck,” but this time I’m throwing in a hint to the final book of Adalynn’s and Jax’s story.

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