Thursday, April 7, 2011

Aspiring Author Thursday: Introducing Krista Van Dolzer

This girl seriously rocks. I met her through querytracker and absolute write when I was querying my book. She has a fabulous blog. She does interactive interviews with literary agents, and gets a ton of information from them. A wonderful resource if you ask me. Check it out here! Anyway, let's get on with the interview! :D I don't have a picture, since Krista is rather mysterious... :)

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I started my first manuscript when I was eight. Cliché, I know, but it’s the truth. I finished two novels by the time I was eighteen (and started many, many more), but they were mostly just for me. I took a break from writing while I was in college and never really intended to come back to it, but then I had a baby and morphed into a stay-at-home mom. Writing became the thing I did to fill the hours my son spent sleeping. (Sleeping is his superpower, I’m pretty sure.)

Another stay-at-home-mom turned writer. Love it.

Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just sit down whenever you get a spare moment?

I usually write when the kids are in bed, so from about two to four in the afternoon and eight to ten at night. Occasionally, I write later, but long about eleven, I usually start to feel like the worst writer in the world. That’s when I know it’s time to quit:)


Could you tell us a little about yourself? Random facts? Hidden talents?

I grew up in Kaysville, Utah, and married my high school sweetheart (but not right out of high school). We met on the debate team (he was the debate president the same year I was the lowly novice), and we now have two lovely children that we’re trying to teach not to fight.

Yay for Utah! :D

Any random facts or hidden talents?

I used to be something of a Minesweeper junkie. (That was how I’d transition from real life to writing, actually.) My best time is 96 seconds on the expert level. I also play the piano, sort of, but not nearly as well as my husband.

Holy crap! 96 seconds is awesome! I love that game. I haven't played it forever.

How did you come up with the idea of interviewing agents on your blog? It's such an amazing feature for aspiring authors!

A blogging friend, Bailey Clement, once interviewed Lisa McMann on her blog, which, obviously, I found quite cool. I asked Bailey how she’d gotten the interview, if she happened to know Ms. McMann, and she said something like, “Heavens, no! I just e-mailed her publicist and asked if she wanted to answer my questions.” At which point I thought, “Hmm, I could be brazen bold enough to pull that off. But who would I interview …?” It took me all of ten seconds to come up with my answer: agents!

So awesome. Seriously guys, you must check out her blog. Such great interviews.

What is one book you could read over and over and over?

At the risk of sounding cliché again, I have to admit that I reread the entire Harry Potter series about once a year. I especially like THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE and THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN. And can I just say that Severus Snape is one of my all-time favorite characters? I always knew he was a complex, well-though-out character, but then he turned out to have this unrequited love that he’d sacrificed everything for. When Dumbledore asked him if he still loved Harry’s mother, even after all those years, and he summoned his Patronus, which had taken the form of hers, I just about cried.

**Moment of silence for Severus Snape.** I loved him too.

What book are you dying to read this year?

Honestly, I typically don’t know what books I should be watching for until BEA comes along and all the agents blog about the fabulous ARCs they picked up. Of course I’m planning to read all the seconds in the series that came out last fall (like Kiersten White’s SUPERNATURALLY and Ally Condie’s CROSSED), and I just noticed Stephanie Perkins’s LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR has a cover, which probably means it’s coming out later this year (really enjoyed ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, by the way). But as for the next big thing, I have no idea.

Those books are all on my list too! Looking forward to them!

What genre do you write and why?

I write both YA and MG, and I tend to gravitate toward more plot-driven genres, like urban fantasy, science fiction, and thriller. Contemporary writers blow me away with their ability to craft stories with escalating tension and high stakes that don’t involve car chases and explosions. Contemps, I doff my hat to you.

Agreed. Contemps are awesome.

Do you have any writing rituals? Music, silence, eating, etc.

I definitely write in silence. The thought of writing with music playing in the background, especially music with WORDS, flabbergasts me. I used to write in the mornings more, when everything was peaceful and still and the sprinklers were just coming on. That was my favorite time of day: writing while the sun came up over the mountains and bathed my little workspace in buttery yellow light.

I loved that last sentence. You have some mad description skills! :)

Do you prefer salty snacks or sugary ones?

Sugary. No contest.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Oh, you know, the usual: Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Write even when you don’t want to. Don’t compare yourself to others. That’s something I really struggle with—not comparing. The thing is, my journey is my journey, and I shouldn’t wish I had someone else’s. I should own it, you know? (Which is much easier said than done.)

I agree. Everyone has their own unique journey.

Random Writing Question: If you could set your current main character up on a blind date with any character from literature, who would it be and why?

My YA sci-fi has two main characters, Adair and Seth, who also happen to be love interests (of course), so I’m not sure how comfortable I am with the thought of setting them up with other people:) That said, I’d probably set Adair up with Artemis Fowl (once he was a few years older, of course). They’d have a good laugh. And if Seth ever had the chance to go on a date with Stargirl, I hope he’d take it. It’d be good for him to see that a girl doesn’t have to be a smart-alecky loud-mouth to be confident.

Thank you SO much Krista!! You rock! :D


Candice said...

I can't wait to check up Krista's blog. Great interview!

Ruth Josse said...

Fun interview! I'll be visiting krista's blog soon!

Michelle Merrill said...

Awesome interview ladies! I'm headed over to Krista's blog :) By the way, I ALWAYS compare myself to other writer's. It's the worst thing I can do, but I still do it. Thanks for the advice. I really need to break that habit. Oh, and I totally had a friend that grew up in Kaysville. It always reminds me of Lagoon!

J.R. Johansson said...

Great interview. I think there are many of us that compare ourselves to each other... but really, that helps no one. I'm heading to Krista's blog now. :)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Phew, I made it! (I forgot I was doing preschool this morning, so I didn't make it online quite as early as I meant to...)

Thank you, Chantele, for spotlighting me on your blog! I had a blast answering the questions:)

Golden Eagle said...

Great interview!

I'll have to check out Krista's blog.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I wish I had read agent interviews when I was querying. I'll take a look at her blog. :)

Jordan McCollum said...

Wow, 96 seconds! I used to use Minesweeper as a "transition" too (until I started playing more Minesweeper than writing, LOL). My best expert time was 106.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

@Krista V.Your welcome Krista! :D

Brooke R. Busse said...

I just installed Minesweeper. Going to check it out.

I love Artemis Fowl, the ending of the most recent book was kind of anti-climatic however.