On Fiction Wombwell Rainbow Interviews
I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these fiction writers you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.
Kristina M. Serrano
After starting college at 16, Kristina M. Serrano earned an Associates Degree in Arts, BFA in Fiction, and a Certificate in Publishing by the time she was 20, which she regretted because she loved college and wanted to stay there longer. She rode horses for 10 years, sang the national anthem at four large events, and gave up her title as Executive Editor of a literary magazine for more time to pursue her writing career. When not writing, you can find her reading novels and manga, watching anime, tending to her pet fish, or snuggling her fluffy bichon frisé. More about Kristina and links to her books and social media can be found on her website:
1. What inspired you to write fiction?
Mostly, I love writing to escape, like so many others. I guess you could say my inspiration stemmed from a desire to find both wonder and realization, to take a break from mundanity while learning about the real world through fantasy, kind of like astronauts observe Earth from space to study it.
2. Who introduced you to fiction?
Well, I’ve always loved reading and writing ever since I was a little girl. I don’t even remember learning how to read; I just always could. So I guess I kind of introduced myself to fiction, haha.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older writers?
Oh, it’s always intimidating to think of just how many writers there are out there who are better and more experienced than me, but I’m grateful for them because their success stories offer valuable encouragement and advice.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
I used to write just about every day. Not really a routine; I just had to write because I loved it so much, and I still do. But over the past year or so, I haven’t written nearly as much as I would have liked because of battling mental health issues: severe depression, OCD, anxiety, and insomnia, comorbids of my autism, which I was diagnosed with only this year. I’m slowly working on reviving my past write-as-often-as-I-can habit as I continue therapy.
5. What motivates you to write?
Lots of things. I get an idea for a story, and I want to see what happens. Or maybe I have something as small as a specific scene in mind that I’d like to jot down to see how it develops. Or maybe I have another world or worlds spinning in my mind, and I want to explore them, so I design them and creatures and such; these are usually alternate dimensions. Or maybe (because I love romance), I get an idea for two characters and I want to see how they meet and/or interact, and how their relationship develops through facing obstacles. There are so many wonderful things about writing and stories that I could probably list things that motivate me all day!
6. What is your work ethic?
When it comes to publisher deadlines, I try to finish edits and revisions as quickly but efficiently as possible. I actually enjoy this process because it reminds me of homework, which I miss dearly!
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
When I was a child, I read pretty much nothing but horse books. My two favourite series were Pony Pals by Jeanne Betancourt and Heartland by Lauren Brooke. I’m sure the former first taught me about adventure in fiction, and the latter introduced me to light romance in books. I remember reading them over and over again, so I’d also say they taught me how to recognize my favourite themes and elements in stories.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
Wow, this is a hard one because I’m looking right now at so many good books and authors I’ve read on my shelves trying to choose. J. K. Rowling is obvious. I actually first read the Harry Potter series as an adult because I was so obsessed with horse books as a child that I didn’t read much else. I remember admiring her when I first learned her story because she clung to her love of writing despite so many challenges, and, well, everyone knows how awesome the Harry Potter books are, so I don’t need to elaborate on those. I also admire Tite Kubo, the mangaka of Bleach, for his expert blending of plot and subplots, settings, characters, and backstories.
9. Why do you write?
I don’t know where I’d be without writing. It’s my special interest, my life. I write because I love it, because it’s therapeutic, because it gives me a sense of accomplishment, and just for fun.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
Think of all the things you could write, then narrow those down to the things you would want to write, then write those. Sure, you could write anything whether you like the topic or genre/et cetera or not, but I believe it’s important to write what you love, because a writer is someone who writes, and it’s hard to keep doing something you don’t enjoy.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
Dozens, haha. Pretty much all YA paranormal and fantasy romance. I definitely need to finish the last book in my published series, Post Worlds, about an Egyptian-goddess descendant who finds love with a boxer despite supernatural challenges prying them apart. I would also like to complete a science-fiction book one day, but mostly I’ve just been working on those scattered YA ideas.