Welcome to Authorpalooza Day 3!
Kris Sedersten is a Registered Nurse with a degree in Human and Social Service Administration. She has held credentialing in both Gerontological Nursing and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing.She is currently employed as a Nursing Home Administrator and RN Consultant in her home town of Harvard, NE. where she lives with her husband, Paul. Kris has a passion for the paranormal, writing fiction, and sharing her faith in innovative fourms so combining the three has led to a series of books she is working on. If you've go Mojo, look for upcoming releases in 2011.
About the Novel:
1. When did you decide to start writing?
There was never a time when I consciously decided to start writing. Once my children were grown and I found myself with extra time on my hands, I started to write a short story. It was supposed to be a little shout out to my friends who liked to explore haunted house in high school. It was just a goof and I never planned to publish it. But, once I started writing, the ideas kept coming, and the story took on a life of its own. It ended up going places I never intended! I discovered, quite by accident, that I love to write and I thoroughly enjoy the creativity. It sparked my fiction addiction and now I am hooked on writing.
2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?
I have always loved the mystery-horror genres. I love a good ghost story. I have a passion for the paranormal and exploring unexplained phenomena. Since it’s one of the things that interest me most, I guess, it would follow that the paranormal would be my genre of choice. It’s wildly popular right now, which makes it even more fun. I’m not into the whole vampire craze but I love the paranormal. Writing and researching the topic does not feel like work if you love what you are doing. I started a web site http://www.krissedersten.com to market my book, Mojo, invite others to share ghost stories, and write about paranormal adventures. It’s only been up a few weeks but thus far it has been so fun! Everyone is invited to stop in and check it out! If you have any personal ghost stories you would like to share, please feel free! We’d love to hear them.
3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?
No. In the first place, I did not know enough about writing to give it a thought! I just wrote the story as it came until it was finished. I now realize that publishers want novels of certain length, and I have learned to pay more attention, but it’s not a high priority for me. Telling the story the way it needs to be told is the main concern. As I grow in the profession and continue to learn the ropes, I’m sure I will! I feel like I’ve learned so much in the past three years but there is still so much more to learn.
4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?
I don’t know if you would call them quirks but I have some bad habits! I tend to repeat myself in my writing if I get interrupted too much during the creative process. When I proof read later, it can be a mess! I tend to write for long intervals if the ideas are fresh and flowing. I can spend twelve to fourteen hours lost in a story if the world leaves me alone long enough. That does not happen often, however! Since I work a full-time job, I write on week-ends and during the evening hours for the most part. I drink a lot of coffee!
5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?
BOO! Mojo is dark and edgy, maybe more so than I first intended. Like I said, the story goes where the story goes. It is pretty intense and fast paced. There are unexpected twists and turns that keeps the story moving. If you scare easily, don’t read it too close to bedtime. (lol)
6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?
“Mojo” was the natural title since the story is all about the mojo! It takes place in the mojo-city of New Orleans, Louisiana and encompasses all the cultural and religious diversity of the area. “Mojo” itself is a term that brings a number of definitions to mind, depending upon the context. It can be a whimsical, fun-filled term that rolls off the lips or it can invoke visions of terrifying curses and voodoo zombies! It has evolved over time and demographics to suit the slang and terminology requirements of those who use it. As far as I could determine; the word root of “Mojo” comes from Africa and perhaps first came to the American south with the African slaves. The word source is probably “mocos”, which means conjure doctor or priest. In its original sense, mojo came in the form of magical charms filled with recipes from conjure doctors. They were filled with any variety of special ingredients designed to invoke spiritual powers, enhance good fortune, or to serve as protection from evil spirits. The mojo bags were worn around the neck by practitioners of Creole hoodoo or voodoo religions and their followers. Of course, in current times, ‘Mojo’ is used in a more light hearted sense to describe an extraordinarily bewitching personality, supernatural charisma, or sexual prowess. The characters in Mojo certainly have their own kind of mojo! At any rate, the term encompasses a mysterious and unexplainable concept that I thought was perfect for the novel. I’ve decided to use it as the title for the series as well. I am planning four books in the series so stayed tuned!
7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?
First and foremost, I hope they will be entertained. For those who like novels with intrigue and excitement, combined with elements of the supernatural, I hoped to keep them engaged and guessing. I try to be descriptive so the reader can imagine they are involved every scene, experiencing the haunting along with the characters. And, without ever being preachy, there is an underlying spiritual message. I hope to show the reader that having faith in a higher power will help get us through even the most unexpected challenges in life. God is bigger than the boogey man!
8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.
Initially, I queried a few agents and traditional publishers, but not many. The information on the internet, in the news, etc., painted a bleak picture for the prospect of new fiction authors being picked up by traditional publishers. I decided pretty early on to pursue the route of self publishing. I chose Booksurge because it was affordable and offered everything I thought I needed. I had my book professionally edited and received a lot of good advice from my editor, Cliff Carle. He has twenty plus years of experience in publishing and he was very generous about sharing his knowledge with me throughout the editing process. I am also working with Author Marketing Experts to help market my book. Again, I have learned so much from the team at AME. They are a pleasure to work with, and a fledgling author can always use all the moral support they can get, right?
9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?
My advice is to learn from others who have the knowledge base and experience that a new author lacks. Do your homework and chose your team wisely! Once you have done that; listen and learn. I believe God will always send us the right people to help us through adversity but we have to pay attention! Another word of advice—patience! Everything takes time so be prepared for the long wait ahead! Keep busy with other projects once you’ve submitted your manuscript and don’t get discouraged! Even when you can actually envision your skeletal remains at the computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other still clutching a half-full cup of coffee—waiting—have faith! It helps to network with other authors and bloggers, too. We all experience the wait.
Thank you, Kris, for being a part of Authorpalooza 2011!
If you have any other questions for Kris, don't hesitate to ask in the comments section. And don't forget Giveawaypalooza. Mojo is on the list!