Welcome to my stop on the Finding Keepers blog tour. Today I have an interview with the author that I’d like to share with you. Also, check out the giveaway at the bottom before you go!!
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: YA Contemporary
Starting a new life is never easy, but Alyssa Doe has turned it into an art form. Abandoned by her parents at age ten, six years in foster care has taught Alyssa how to get through life the hard way.
Now sixteen and growing desperate for a stable life, Alyssa finds herself puzzled by her newest keeper, twenty-five year old Jessica Sona. A feisty woman who won’t accept no for an answer, Jessica’s insistence on safety, family, and unconditional love begin to break down Alyssa’s walls and bring her hope, a dangerous emotion.Can such a thing as family and love exist for a girl whose birth name is Doe, or will Alyssa be forever left finding keepers?
Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?
Yes, but it wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I thought publishing was an option. I have several folders filled with handwritten short stories and novels, because I just always had to write the stories that popped into my head. Once I discovered self-publishing, it was game on and I never looked back.
How many books have you written so far?
So far, I have three fantasy books (The Land of Kaldalangra series, which consists of The Lady of Steinbrekka, Heart of Kylassame, and Soul of Asimina) and Finding Keepers, which is YA Contemporary.
Can you tell us the inspiration behind Finding Keepers?
Finding Keepers actually started as me figuring out a back story for Alyssa, who was a character in an Adult Contemporary novel that I was/am working on. I needed to figure out what had happened in her past to make her so distrusting of people, and that slingshot me into the world of foster care. Once I was there, I knew that I couldn’t just use it as a back story, and had to give “Teenage Alyssa” her own opportunity to tell her story.
Do you have a favorite character?
Caleb. I absolutely adore him. He’s such a scary looking guy and so tough on the outside, but then once you get to know him, he’s nothing but a teddy bear and fiercely loyal. A lot of my inspiration for Caleb comes from one of my best friends from high school, and I never would have survived without him by my side.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What’s that? Just kidding. Right now I have my hands pretty full with writing, marketing, working full-time, raising a three-year-old, and taking classes to become a medical coder. When I’m ignoring the fact that I need to work on any of those things, I’m usually crocheting or finding way too many fun things on Pinterest that I’ll probably never do.
What is one book that you reread over and over?
Dreams Made Flesh, Shalador’s Lady, and The Shadow Queen, all by Anne Bishop. Dreams Made Flesh is actually being held together by a rubber band now, because I’ve read it so often that it’s falling apart. She just has a writing style where I discover something new every time I read the book.
Are you working on another story right now?
Currently it’s a trade off between the “adult Alyssa” story and the fourth book in the Kaldalangra series, with most energy going to the Kaldalangra novel. It will take readers back into the court of Kaldalangra, but provide a completely different viewpoint than the first three books.
What is your favorite food to eat?
Tacos. I could have them for dinner every night and be a happy camper.
Do your family members give you feedback on your books?
Absolutely, and they have no filters. My mom and dad are both my initial beta readers, and my dad and I carpool to our jobs so he gets to spend 2 hours a day listening to me go, “So Alyssa and Caleb had a fight, but I can’t figure out how they make up.”
What is your favorite quote?
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” by Mahatma Gandhi.
Fixing broken computers, wrangling a very spirited little toddler, and creating new fantasy worlds are all parts of the average day for Kristi Strong. While she has called Virginia her home for two decades, her head has rested in two countries, three states, and far too many houses to count. She was more than happy to give up her nomadic lifestyle and settle down with her husband, daughter, cat and chinchilla.
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