Q: How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for as long back as I can remember. When I was younger I used to hand write everything down on plain paper and save it all in folders. I still have a lot of it, though none of it is great! I used to write a lot of rhyming poetry, but in middle school, I hand wrote an entire book called "The Bloody Locker."
Q: What writer's have influenced your work the most?
R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, L.J. Smith. Those were the first types of books I read. Nicholas Sparks has influenced me to put emotional depth in my stories, but J.K. Rowling is who inspired me to get back into young adult fiction. Before her, I wanted to write historical romances.
Q: What's a book you secretly love and are slightly ashamed for loving?
There are many people who make fun of me for loving the Twilight saga (I'm secretly a HUGE fan), but I wouldn't say I was ashamed of it. I do however, try to hide the covers anytime I am reading straight up romance like anything from Johanna Lindsey or Nora Roberts... I am a sucker when it comes to a good romance!
Q: What other works have you had published.
The Witches Lottery is the only work I have formally published. Although I have had some poetry posted online and when I was in high school, I was a regular contributor to the school's creative writing series "Pegasus". I was also on the school newspaper in middle school.
Q: Tell us about any upcoming projects
I am currently working on the sequel to The Witches Lottery called A Dragon Forsaken. All in all there will be four books in the Enchanted Island series, with The Goblin's Daughter and The Magician's Intuition finishing is up. A Dragon Forsaken should be out sometime in Februray and I hope to have the other two out sometime this year or early next year. I am also working on the first book in a new series called The Relic and one dedicated to my best friend and illustrator called Painted, both of which are paranormal young adult.
Q: Where did the idea for your novel, Witches Lottery come from?
The Witches Lottery started with the title. I liked the idea of using a lottery as a way for a select group of people to do something extraordinary. It was re-written about eight times before finally becoming what it is today though. I got the idea for Sophia and Drew go through the loss of losing thier parents because I lost my father when I was seventeen. It was the hardest thing I have had to live through so far.
Q: Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Reading! I don't think you can be a good writer unless you enjoy reading as much as you do writing. I read fast and enjoy anything paranormal. I also enjoy spending time with my three year old daughter Chloe who is a mini replica of me. She even tells her own stories with herself as the character! I am a facebook addict, love most all music and am obsessed with Smallville, Gilmore Girls, and Veronica Mars.
Q: If you could be any character from a book, who would you be?
Hermione Granger or Ginny Weasley from The Harry Potter series. Hermione because she is smart, always has a book in her face and kicks some major Death Eater butt! Ginny, because well, she gets the guy!
Q: Can you offer any advice on becoming a published author?
Read all of the time... If you aren't writing, read. When you are reading, write. Read the type of books that you are interesting in writing and find out what's out there. Network, you can never have too many connections and you will meet a ton of interesting people along your way. Never give up hope, if your writing is coming from your heart, have faith that someone out there will love it just as much as you do. And last, have fun with it. Researching is hard, but know what you are getting yourself into and never lose sight of why you started writing in the first place.
Q: What was the last book you read?
I am currently reading The Alchemyst by Michael Scott. Before that, I had just finished re-reading The Darkest Power Series by Kelley Armstrong.
Q: What was the last really annoying song that got stuck in your head?
That's a great question. To be honest, I typically find myself singing kids music in my head. My daughter is super into Ni Hao Kai Lan so I sing the opening song to that all of the time! Other then kids music, I have had Back to December by Taylor Swift stuck in my head for weeks, but I love it, so I wouldn't call it annoying!
Q: What was your favorite child hood picture book?
The Little Engine that Could. I just bought the digital copy for my daughter, crazy how the time's have changed!
Q: Do you believe in magic?
I believe that this world would be a very sad and boring place without magic. There is the kind that I write about that may exist on the fringes of our world, but there is also magic in the pages of a great book, in the smile on your children's face, and in the passion of a great romance.
Q: Please tell our readers about any upcoming author events you have scheduled and how they can contact you.
They can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my blog krystalmclaughlin.blogspot.com