Kristine, please tell us about yourself.
I’m a native of sunny San Diego, recently transplanted to the soggy Northwest with my five boys. I’ve been married to the oldest “kid” for nearly 30 years and am way too young to be that old!
I graduated from Biola University with a degree in Communications shortly after the earth’s crust cooled. I’ve been a child prodigy for over 50 years and have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Can I get back to you on that? In the meantime, I’ve authored 12 books and all kinds of short stories, essays, and devotionals.
I enjoy hiking, reading, camping (except for the tent part), swimming (except for the water part), fishing (except for the fish part). Also Andrea Bocelli tunes and almost anything other than cleaning the oven.
Thank you for sharing. Where can readers find you online?
Blog: “Roads Diverged”: http://www.kristinelowder.wordpress.com
Facebook Fan Page: “Kristine’s Klips”: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Kristines-Klips/157046047659927
Twitter: Road Diverged (singular, not plural. That one was already taken.): http://twitter.com/#!/RoadDiverged
We'd love to find out more about your writing.
I write in both the fiction and non-fiction genres; a personal favorite is humor. My latest inspirational fiction is Akeldama. Set in first century Palestine, this historical novel of faith revolves around an unlikely trio of women and an enigmatic young rabbi from Nazareth. Beautiful Yo-hannah’s tortured past has imprisoned her body and heart. Veronica’s mysterious malady has made her ceremonially unclean. A despised half-breed, Chava’s checkered past is about to catch up with her.
Thrown together from dead-ends, each woman seeks answers to her own desperation. Will Yo-hannah find the peace she craves? Can an unclean woman receive a touch of mercy? Where can a half-breed go to be made whole? And what about old Hadessa, whose shadowy past is as mysterious as the young man who crosses each woman's path? Each woman's life and future hinges on his answer to one question: Who are you?
From Living Stones Fellowship International. Available from the Living Stones bookstore at: http://www.lsfi.org/moodle/mod/resource/view.php?id=389
or from Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/Akeldama-Kristine-Lowder/dp/1885054742/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1294103506&sr=1-2
Sounds like a great book!
So, Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I knew I wanted to be a writer after receiving that first “A” on a story I wrote in Mrs. Margie Flickinger’s Creative Writing class. I was in the seventh grade. She encouraged me to keep writing and practicing. So did my mom and dad.
What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?
I spent about three years doing research for Akeldama. It took awhile to develop a “head” for the era, which I felt was necessary to provide a backdrop upon which the story unfolds that’s true to the setting. Since my main characters are a trio of women, I had to become a “fly on the wall” within a particular time, place, and culture. It also meant immersing myself in as much material as I could relate to the time, so my heroines would think and act consistent with the historical context. While the story is fictional, it’s rooted in the biblical record and rounded out by extra-biblical material.
Where do you go to do your research?
That depends on the project or subject. Believe it or not, my favorite research venue is the library. (Google doesn’t necessarily cover everything adequately and can never replace a good reference librarian.)
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
I’ve always got something “on the stove.” Right now I’m working on a literary commentary on the Gospel of Luke called Buy the Book, a children’s fantasy, The Story Slayer, and A Likely Story, a novella about spiritual abuse (real topic, fictional characters and plot). I’m also wrapping up a non-fiction book titled Forgiveness: What It Is, What It Isn’t, And Why It Matters and working on a memoir, The Mountain and Me, which revolves around Mount Rainier National Park.
Just the other day I unearthed an unpublished manuscript from a deceased uncle, the guy who introduced my Mom and Dad to each other. His title is: Life With an Italian Father, Mother, and Uncles. Fascinating stuff dating back to 1890. It was buried in my files for years. So I’m also working on getting that ready for publication.
Wow, sounds like you're busy! That's exciting!
Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?
My advice to beginning authors is: revise, revise, revise. I’d also suggest that whether or not your books hits "best seller" status isn't that important. What matters is what you think of your work. Hopefully others like it too, but be true to yourself and your story, first and foremost. Also, eat lots of chocolate following each rejection letter and keep the following quote from Patrick F. McManus in mind:
"Laughter is the best revenge, although being rich and famous and outliving all your enemies are good ones, too."
Love that...especially the part about eating lots of chocolate!
What is your favorite work of literary fiction and why? Do you have a favorite literary author?
Man! That’s like asking a mom which kid is her favorite! But alright, if you insist, here’s the short list:
Contemporary: Frederick Buechner, Virginia Lee Burton, Isak Dinesen, John Eldredge, Elisabeth Elliot, Richard Paul Evans, Cornelia Funke, Phillip Gulley, Jan Karon, C.S. Lewis, Max Lucado, H.A Rey, Charles Swindoll, Corrie ten Boom, and the incomparable O. Henry.
Classic:Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, FyodorDostoyevsky, Alexandre Dumas, George Elliot.
Who is your favorite contemporary author? Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?
Whenever I’m sitting down I feel compelled to be reading something. Anything. Even the back of a cereal box. I usually have three or four books going at the same time. Sometimes more (so many books, so little time!). Right now I’m reading a couple Gordon Korman books aloud with our youngest, Schooled and Everest. I just finished A Christmas Carol (C. Dickens), Peace Like a River (Leif Engler), Going Rogue (Sarah Palin), and I am not SPOCK (Leonard Nimoy). I’m currently reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Stein on Writing by Sol Stein.
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
I write for at least an hour a day, often early in the morning or late in the evening. This doesn’t necessarily mean I actually sit down alone somewhere for an entire 60 minutes of uninterrupted writing. (Yeah, right.) It may mean grabbing ten minutes of writing six times a day or fifteen minutes, four times a day. It may mean jotting ideas, chapter outlines or dialogue down on a napkin or on the back of an envelope. If I’m not writing physically, I’m often writing mentally – rolling around potential plots, conflict, dramatic tension and story ideas in my head until I can get throw them onto the computer or dash them down on paper. I’ve learned to carry a pocket notebook and pen with me everywhere, because you never know when inspiration may strike! BTW, I rarely “find time” to write. I have to make time. Tip: turn off the TV!
Definitely true about turning off the TV!
Do you have any writing idiosyncrasies?
How much time do you have? I will say that it drives me nuts when “its” (possessive) and “it’s” (contraction) are used improperly in print. Another one is “your” vs. “you’re.” What’s with that?
Kristine, thank you so much for stopping by today. Enjoyed chatting and learning more about you and your books.