Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Author Interview - B. Kristin McMichael

Happy, happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! By the luck of the gods, I'm bringing you an awesome interview with author B. Kristin McMichael today! She totally came through for me at the last minute, and I'm so very, very grateful to her. You're gonna love her so much. She's one of those strong, well-educated women I love to feature. Want to meet her in person? Well, you can! She's one of the authors attending utopYA Con in June. Ticket prices go up in FOUR days, so get yours here now. You don't wanna be the only girl left out of the party. Grab a cup of something warm, and let's get going!


Jo: Kristin! Welcome to the blog. I’m so excited to have you here I may drop. You’re such an interesting author to stalk *ahem* research—yes, that’s what we’ll call it—and I’m looking forward to reading your answers. It’s amazing how much I can dig up on a person with the internet. *grin* You ready?

Kristin: Uh oh… I mean yes. :)

Jo: Great! I’m gonna jump right in with both feet here, because my readers like the juicy questions to come first. No, no, don’t poke them. So, I have to know: How hard did you dance when your Blue Eyes trilogy hit #1 in so many Amazon categories?

Kristin: No dancing here- just sitting and staring in shock! I was sure it had to be wrong. Hubby might have been dancing in the background (all the promotional stuff is his hard work) but for me it was more like shock, and maybe a little denial, than anything.

Jo: I can jibe with that. When something so amazing and unexpected happens, how does one react? I see you have a PhD. Man, I do love to see a well-educated woman. May I ask what your field of study was and how long it took you to graduate? What was your most trying assignment? Should I call you Dr. McMichael? Heck, you worked hard to earn it, might as well demand it. *grin* Makes me ten times more excited to meet you at utopYA Con! I’m a total science geek, and love the endless possibilities.

Kristin: I am a molecular biologist in the real world and I worked in a lab until last fall when I had my third child. Now I love being a mom who writes books. It took me four years after my bachelor’s to get my PhD, but it mainly meant I spent a lot of time in the lab doing research for that time. The most trying aspect was writing my thesis. A couple hundred pages of scientific text is more than enough for a lifetime! The worst part of it is writing the background section where you have to cite every source for every fact you want to use. I think my reference list ended up including over two hundred papers I had read and cited!

Oh gosh- no- don’t call me Dr. anything! Then I feel like a shrink. It’s best to just call me by my name (and if you know the secret handshake you might even find out my first name….)

Jo: *widens eyes* Holy crap. If I wasn't starry-eyed before, you can bet your butt I am now. That's awesome. Now I'm really geeking out. You're an inspiring person. Okay, okay, no Dr. But I'll tackle-hug you for that handshake code! Okay, if I were picking through your life and meeting all your friends and family members, which person would say they do the most for you and your writing? Why?

Kristin: Oh by far that would be my hubby. It was really his idea to do the whole publishing thing to begin with. I have been writing for years and had novels just sitting around on my computer collecting computer dust. He was the one that said- let’s do this. I was really in the background going- gosh no. Why would anyone want to read what I write? So almost two years and eight books later we are still at it. He does everything behind the scenes and I wonder if people think he is B. Kristin McMichael at times when he contacts them about promotional stuff (his name also starts with a B). He does the marketing, helps out with all my social media (I can be so dense- hubby how do you do this?… How do you do that?… Thankfully I married a computer geek that can teach me everything- over and over again) He also reads all my books to check for any last typos after the editors get through with them, and sometimes he even leaves me messages in the margins like ‘Andrew did not just do that…..’ It is fun. He is my partner in life and now my partner in the book business also. I don’t think I’d have even half as much done if I had to do it alone.

Jo: That may be the sweetest thing I've ever heard. Isn't it a blessing to have someone share so much of your life? High-five your hubby for me! Tell me about the In D’tail Magazine Cover Contest. Are you the one that entered or did someone else nominate you, and what did you hope would come of it?

Kristin: That was a complete surprise. They chose the cover for The Day Human King out of the books that they were reviewing. They emailed us on a Tuesday morning saying we were part of the contest and sure enough after following the link we saw the book up on it. I actually didn’t have much hope for it as many of my new fans aren’t all indie fans and we were up against some stiff competition. It was just nice to be nominated as I can’t say enough about my cover artist Ravven. She is great to work with, and I love her work. Even if I just give her a slight idea of what I want, she can come up with something great, and then all the little details she puts into a cover makes them complete and unique.

Jo: That's awesome. Yes, I'm very familiar with Ravven's work. Being a cover design lover, I follow a lot of the news surrounding imagery and design. Now, your Facebook page has 23k+ likes. Wow. How does that make you feel on a daily basis? What’s the next milestone you’d like to hit with it?

Kristin: It is completely amazing if you ask me. Again- that is all my hubby’s hard work. I’ve sold tens of thousands of books in the past year but never had a clue who they went to. We were at first focused just on getting the books done, which has a learning curve of its own. As we got a little more used to the publishing part of it, we decided it was time to work on building the fan base to interact with the people who bought all my books. The retailers don’t tell you who buys your books, so we’ve been trying all sorts of things to reach book lovers and build awareness. Really, my hubby is a miracle worker. The best part is that I can finally connect more with the fans. There are so many people out there that have read my books, but I never knew where to find them. Now I get more interaction with them and it has been exciting to attach real names and faces to my fans.

Jo: He certainly sounds like a marketing guru and someone you're very lucky to have in your corner. Huge kudos to you for figuring out how to make the transition from nameless to interactivity. Rapid fire question time! Would you rather a t-shirt and jeans or a hoodie and sweats?

Kristin: T-shirt and jeans (that’s what most scientists wear to the lab every day- it’s a hard habit to break)

Jo: Me too. haha! Bubbles or Stillness?

Kristin: stillness

Jo: Left or Right?

Kristin: right

Jo: Love those answers. Time travel question! Since utopYA 2015’s theme is Time Travel, I’m asking everyone a question along that vein. Ready? If you could return to the past and change one person’s life forever with a small act, who would it be and why?

Kristin: I don’t know if I’d actually do anything at all. I’m one that feels like everything happens for a reason, and if you changed something, it would affect everything else. You have to take the good and the bad because if you change any aspect, everything else could change also. But if I had to choose something, I’d have to go with my grandparents- I’d try to convince them not to buy the laundromat they had for years in the 1950s. They both ended up getting cancer from the chemicals they used and they both eventually died from it. My grandmother was 49 and never even got to see my mother graduate from college, get married, or even have kids. But at the same time, without that my father would have never been roomies with my grandfather (after my grandmother passed away they lived together) and I would have never had my step-grandma who taught me how to make donuts. My parents live every day like it would be their last, since they lost their own parents at such a young age. So as much as it would be nice to change some parts of the past, I don’t know if I would want the other parts to change.

Jo: That's so sad, but I just love that answer. Sending you virtual hugs. Because I can’t help myself: Tell me about your time-travel series, The Chalcedony Chronicles. What inspired you to write them, and which character is your favorite?

Kristin: I’m a scientist, but in reality I actually was more interested in anthropology when I first was in college. I’ve always had a soft spot for historical times and wondered about the past. What was life really like in all these different times? I especially have always loved ancient Egypt. I have done a lot of reading over the years about various pharaohs and there were some that really intrigued me. When I was brainstorming novel ideas- Ancient Egypt was just one place I couldn’t pass up.

As to the series itself- my favorite character from the series is a toss-up between two of the side characters- Ty and Kye- and no they are not twins! Kye actually appears in the book that is coming out next in the series and he’s a character that sort of pushed his way into the story (no he was not planned, he kind of just showed up in the end of the second book. After writing the last chapter it was just like an ah-ha moment where he became more important than just being an unnamed guard in the palace). And Ty is just a fun, nice character who has a sucky fate.

Jo: Yeah, baby! I totally have a book recommendation for you! Give me a quick rundown of your plotting process for your novels.

Kristin: I plot, and I don’t plot. I kind of do both. I normally go into a book with certain points that need to happen (beginning, middle, end) and maybe a few subplots. But as I write, the characters tend to take things where they want them to go. To write the best characters I can, they tend to have extensive backstories in my mind so that I can picture everything they do perfectly. While I might want things to happen a certain way, sometimes the characters don’t let it. If it doesn’t make sense for them to do something, I just can’t force it to happen. Other times I’ll be writing, and then step away to say, “well darn, don’t know how that happened”. And then I’ll have to change parts of the plotline. I will say that a lot of my inspiration comes from my dreams. They feel so real that I can’t change who the characters are even if I wanted to.

Jo: I know exactly what you mean. My characters surprise me every day. Love your process! We have too much in common. LOL! Tell me, which book of yours would you suggest a new (potential) fan start with? Why?

Kristin: Well I’d say that would depend on what you like. For hardcore paranormal fans or those that prefer third person, I’d recommend The Legend of the Blue Eyes. It’s a paranormal series that follows around a sixteen year old girl that just changes into a vampire-like night human. But for those that prefer first person romance and like their protagonists a bit older, Carnelian would be better for them.

Jo: I'm gonna have to check those out. Not a hardcore paranormal fan, but I do love books. Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Is there anything I didn’t ask that you wish I had?

Kristin: Just a thanks for having me. It is always great to do interviews and meet all sort of new people. Can’t wait to see you at UtopYAcon.

Jo: You're more than welcome. Thank you SO much for joining me on the blog, Kristin! I can’t wait to meet you in June.

Now, it’s time to tell you all about the featured book of the week!

Title: Carnelian
Author: B. Kristin McMichael
Genre: College Romance / Time Travel Paranormal
Length (print): 238 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle $2.99  ~  Smashwords $2.99  ~   iBooks $2.99  ~   B&N $2.99

Synopsis: Everyone has a past, but for most it isn't so far in the past as Seth Sangre. His past is literally from thousands of years ago. Seth's past led him to the present seeking something that might help him save his country from destruction. He has been in the present for over three years now, and he just found exactly what he has been looking for. Mari had dreams of college being a fresh start, one where she would start over and not fall for the good looking player like high school. Unfortunately for her, that's exactly what ends up falling into her lap on the first day she moves into the dorms. Now she has to hold to her promise to herself not fall for the handsome Seth Sangre. But he doesn't plan to make it easy for her. Seth has already marked her as his next conquest.

As the semester progresses, Mari learns that Seth might just have a past of his own that's literally in the past. Suddenly, Mari finds her future along with her past put into question. She's connected to Seth far more than she ever wanted to be, and maybe he isn't the player who she thought he was. If Mari can trust her heart enough to follow him, Seth will lead Mari on an adventure of a lifetime-and reveal family secrets she never knew existed.

While your fingers are in the clicking mode, why not give this lovely lady a follow on every social media platform I could think of when writing up the template for these interviews (plus some)?

Pinterest: bkmcmichael
Blog: BKristinMcmichael
Facebook: BKristinMcMichael
Twitter: @bkmcmichael
Goodreads: B. Kristin McMichael
Website: http://bkristinmcmichael.com/
Mailing List: BKMcnewsletter
Amazon Author Page: B. Kristin McMichael
Tsu: B. Kristin McMichael

If you have any questions, pop them into the comments below. Kristin will be around to answer and/or respond!

Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

4 comments:

  1. I love these interviews! So cool to hear about an author's unique journey. Doubly awesome that she came from a background in micro biology.

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    1. Right? She's like, the coolest lady EVER. LOL! I can't wait to meet her F2F in June. :) I'm glad you're enjoying the series.

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  2. Thanks so much for having me and featuring my books! :)

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    1. Thanks for stepping in and being awesome. You were a joy to host :)

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