Interview with Kristina Stanley, Author of DESCENT and BLAZE in the Stone Mountain Mystery Series

Kristina Stanley, Author of
Kristina Stanley, Author of “Descent” and “Blaze”

“Interview with Kristina Stanley, Author of DESCENT and BLAZE in the Stone Mountain Mystery Series”  by Joan Y. Edwards
Hello, Kristina. Thank you for joining me on my blog today.

You’re welcome, Joan. I can’t wait to meet the readers on your blog and tell them about my new books, Descent and Blaze. I hope they’ll leave comments and ask questions.
I believe they will. Let’s get started.

  1. Where were you born?

Ottawa, but the real question is where did I grow up. By the time I finished high-school, I’d moved several times. Here’s the list: Ottawa, Boston, Kingston, Stockholm, Kingston, Stockholm, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Ottawa, Tokyo, Ottawa, Unteruhldingen, Ottawa, the Caribbean, Panorama, the Bahamas, Panorama. And on it goes, it hope.

  1. Where was your favorite place to live as a child? Why?

The family cottage. Since I moved so often, it was the one constant in my life. This is where I hung with my family and friends and could just be free to play.

  1. Where is your favorite place to live now? Why?

That’s a hard question. We’ve lived so many places and all have beautiful things about them. I’d have to say I like to live where I can be physically active outdoors each day.

  1. How did you do in English in high school?

I’m embarrassed to say, English was not my strong suit. I’m a math woman at heart. I have an honors degree in computer mathematics. Grammar in school used to drive me crazy!

  1. When did you decide to become an author?

Late one night in Unteruhldingen, Germany I was reading MOONLIGHT BECOMES YOU by Mary Higgins Clark. The opening—a woman trapped in a grave. Darkness and silence surround her, and she doesn’t know where she is. I can still see her fingers clawing at the edges of the coffin.
Tucked in my bed, I knew a driver would arrive at 4 a.m. to carry me to the Zurich airport for a flight to London, England. The sensible thing to do was sleep. But I couldn’t. I turned pages until the car arrived. I was exhausted, bleary eyed and excited. At that moment I knew I wanted to write something that forced a person to read and to forget about life for a while.
When I finally started my first novel, I’d been living in a ski resort for five years. Skiing is one of my passions and seemed the obvious topic.

  1. Who or what has been the most help and inspiration to you as a writer?

Joan Barfoot, author of EXIT LINES and many other books, was my mentor through the Humber School for Writers Creative Writing by Correspondence Post Graduate course. She taught me to pay attention to the craft of writing and not just the art.
Her advice: Learn how to use punctuation and grammar! You wouldn’t try to paint without knowing how to create colors by mixing them, would you? Or play the piano without practicing the scales? This advice stayed with me, and I often refer to Joan’s notes on that novel, reminding myself what she taught me.

  1. Tell me about the Series?

DESCENT occurs in winter. BLAZE follows in the spring with arson. AVALANCHE occurs the following winter and is about a theft, and yes, you guessed it, an avalanche.
The fourth in the series, which I haven’t named yet, takes place in the summer and a murder occurs during an ATV adventure. Of course, the who, what, where, when and why of the murder could change by the time I finish the novel. If you happen to have an idea for the title of the fourth novel that fits with the preceding three and is one word, comment below and let me know.

  1. What’s your favorite book? Why?

My answer my sound trite, but it’s usually the book I’m reading. I love reading every day. Mostly I read in the mystery genre, but I like fantasy, sci-fi and the paranormal, too. I like to read books by authors I have connection with and that will take me to any genre.

  1. Did you outline and plan your stories before you wrote them or did these stories develop on their own as you wrote them?

First I created the crime. For DESCENT, I was enjoying the sun at the cottage. Water lapped on the rocks. Wind kept the temperature cool. My mind wandered…How to kill a ski racer? I won’t give the answer, or I’d spoil the story, but I had the how of the crime. Once I know the crime, I like to build my cast of characters and work with them for a while. What would drive a balanced person to murder? How do the characters know each other? How did a relationship change from love to hate? These questions lead me through the plot.
If I knew up front how the story ended, I don’t think I’d be interested in writing it.

  1. How much research did you have to do for writing and/or publishing your books or manuscript in progress? What helped you in doing your research?

I spent almost six years as the director of human resources, guest services and security at an isolated ski resort in British Columbia. Much of my technical knowledge comes from this experience. The job gave me connections with the fire department and the RCMP which were very helpful with my research. The people I worked with at the ski resort still assist me with technical details about snow making, running lifts, etc. I think making the right connections has been the most helpful in my research.

  1. What has been the most exhilarating moment as a writer, so far?

This question made me think. I’ve had so many. I think the answer is when I submitted Avalanche to the Humber School for Writers Correspondence program. This was a big moment because I felt like I’d completed a novel, even though it was in draft form and not ready for public consumption. I think this was the moment I knew I was taking writing seriously.

  1. Did you have trouble saying goodbye to your characters once the book was finished?

This is an easy one. I write the Stone Mountain Mystery series, so I don’t have to say goodbye to a character if I don’t want too. They can live on in the next book.

  1. What is your favorite genre? Why?

Mystery, I love a mystery. I’m not a big fan of too much violence, so I love books where there is a crime, but most of the story is about finding the villain.

  1. What’s your favorite book you’ve written? Why?

Avalanche. I wrote it first, even though it is the third in the series, so it’s my “baby”.

  1. What are 5 things a writer should check when revising a manuscript?
  • spelling and grammar – without this, you may lose readers.
  • entry and exit points for each scene. Are you in control of how you get in and out of scenes and do you do this in a variety of way?
  • what is the point of a scene – this is an important question to ask yourself for each scene. If you don’t know the point, then maybe delete the scene.
  • empty stage – are your characters just talking and the reader doesn’t know anything about where they are.
  • point of view – who has the point of view and do you stay consistent throughout a scene.
  1. How did you know your manuscript was ready for submission to an editor or agent?

After finishing the Humber School for Writers correspondence course, I wasn’t ready. After the summer workshop, Mary Gaitskill supported me in a submission to an agent. I think the answer is to get an opinion or two from a professional to help guide you.

  1. Which publisher or agent did you choose for your manuscripts? How did you find your publisher or agent?

I found my publisher, Imajin Books, by reading a novel by Cheryl Kaye Tardif. Her style is similar to mine, so I checked to see who her publisher was. As it turned out, Cheryl is the CEO of Imajin Books. I waited until Imajin Books was open for submissions and sent in my work. I followed the guidelines carefully and had my work submitted seconds after the opening time.

  1. Which blog posts do you have the most fun writing?

The posts I have the most fun writing are Farley’s Friday. I look for humorous days in my dog’s life to write stories from his point of view. I love writing from Farley’s point of view.  Here’s one: http://kristinastanley.com/2015/07/24/farleys-friday-where-can-a-dog-go-shopping/


Kristina Stanley was the director of security at an isolated resort in the depths of the Purcell Mountains, British Columbia. Her time in that job and her love of skiing led her to write the Stone Mountain Mystery series.
Her books have garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated DESCENT (July 2015, Imajin Books) for the Unhanged Arthur award for the best unpublished crime novel. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated BLAZE for the Debut Dagger (to be published fall 2015, Imajin Books).
Purchase DESCENT as an E-book or paperback on Amazon in many countries.

DESCENT by Kristina Stanley

The following link will take you to the Amazon in your geographic area: Kristina Stanley’s book/DESCENT 
USA http://www.amazon.com/Descent-Stone-Mountain-Mystery-1/dp/1772230952


BLAZE, Book 2 in the Stone Mountain Mystery Series

BLAZE by Kristina Stanley

Instead of exchanging vows, Kalin Thompson spends her wedding day running from a forest fire near Stone Mountain Resort, and the pregnant friend trapped with her has just gone into labor. Meanwhile, Kalin’s fiancé, Ben Timlin, hangs from the rafters of a burning building, fighting for his life. Can the situation get any hotter?

When the fire is declared as arson, finding the firebug responsible becomes Kalin’s personal mission. In the course of her investigation as Director of Security, she discovers that some people will go to extreme measures to keep her from exposing their secrets.

Connect with Kristina on Social Media:
Website https://www.KristinaStanley.com
Blog: http://kristinastanley.com/blog/
Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/KristinaStanley.Author
Twitter @StanleyKMS

Google-Plus https://plus.google.com/111458890141744842203/posts?hl=en
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/stanleykms/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14130411.Kristina_Stanley
Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/

Thank you, Kristina Stanley for being a guest on my blog. It is an honor to have you here.

Thank you to all of you out there in Blogland for reading my blog. Please leave comments or questions for Kristina or for me. We would love to hear from you.

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40 thoughts on “Interview with Kristina Stanley, Author of DESCENT and BLAZE in the Stone Mountain Mystery Series”

  1. Hi Joan. Thanks for having me on your blog today and letting me highlight the Stone Mountain Series. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’ll check the blog throughout the day in case there are comments or questions.

    1. Dear Kristina,
      You’re welcome. It was fun and delightful to interview you on my blog. Thanks for checking back for comments and questions from your fans!
      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up
      Joan

  2. Nice interview, Kristina and Joan. Thank you!
    It’s obvious you found the right genre, Kristina. With your work background and your love of mysteries, you were meant to be a mystery writer.
    I was trying to brainstorm one word titles, but without knowing what happens to the ATV, I felt my suggestions wouldn’t be helpful. Many years ago, our son’s ATV was stolen. So of course, “Stolen” came to mind. You’ll find just the right title.
    Good luck with your series and books beyond.
    Now a question for you two. How did you meet? Solve that mystery for me, please.

    1. That’s a tricky question. I think I met Joan because she commented on Farley’s Friday, but I’m not sure. We’ve been commenting on each other’s blogs for over 4 years now. Joan, do you remember?
      Thank you for the lovely wishes and commenting.

      1. Dear Linda and Kristina,
        First, thank you, Linda for commenting. I agree that Kristina has definitely found the right genre for her. Krstina subscribed to my blog March 29, 2012. The last blog post before that was Seven Reasons Writers and Illustrators Need Business Cards : https://www.joanyedwards.com/2012/03/07/seven-reasons-writers-and-illustrators-need-business-cards/. Then I checked out her blog.We’ve commented on each other’s blogs back and forth since then. I love Kristina’s Farley posts.
        Keep on writing, Linda and Kristina.
        Never Give Up
        Joan

          1. Dear Kristina, I sent emails to the Muse Conference and put tags for the internet. Perhaps Pub Sub brought you here to my blog. There was a pub sub post before the other I listed. You’ll figure it out. You have a great memory. Thank you for sticking with me all these years
            Joan

        1. Thank you. Farley gets an appearance in my second Novel BLAZE. I thought after being in Farley’s Friday so often, he deserved some recognition.

    1. Liliana, thanks for commenting. Joan always has something interesting to say on her blog. Glad you found it.

    2. Dear Liliana,
      Thanks for writing. There are a lot of interviews on my blog. If you put interview in the search section at the top, they will pop up for you. I am excited that you found me.
      Never Give Up
      Joan

    1. My dad was an engineering professor, and he believed he needed to combine his career between working at a university and working in the industry to the best prof he could. He took on the challenge of many opportunities wherever they happened to be located. Thanks for commenting, Judy.

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for stopping by. The hard part about learning craft is that you don’t know what you don’t know until someone else tells you 🙂

      1. Dear Kristina,
        You are right. Sometimes we don’t know the craft rules until someone points them out. This made me smile because I’ve witnessed it first hand.
        Never Give Up
        Joan

  3. Joan, great post! I enjoyed learning about Kristina’s writing journey and I love a good mystery and DESCENT sounds like it will hit the spot 🙂 Kristina, since the person on te ATV will probably hit the ground or some thing, a possible one word would be Collide 🙂
    Kristina, I am a dog lover and your blog Farley’s Friday is so cute!

    1. Kathleen, Thank you for the suggestion of Collide. That could work in so many ways. I’ll add it to my list. And thanks for the lovely comment about Farley’s Friday. He is a hoot to write about.

    2. Dear Kathleen, Thanks for writing. I’m glad you liked Kristina’s Stone Mountain Series and I love your suggestion for “Collide” for a title! You are good. I love Farley’s adventures, too. He makes me smile.
      Never Give Up
      Joan

  4. Enjoyed reading about your journey, Kristina. Thanks for sharing it with us. You must know how to purge and pack after all that moving! Bet it helps with your writing too!

    1. The key to packing is not to own much. After moving so many times, I keep my stash of stuff to a minimum. As long as I can hang with my man, write and walk my dog, I’m pretty happy.

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