GB: Thanks for agreeing to do this, Kristen!
KM: Thank you for having me! I am honored to be here today.
GB: What book character(s) did you relate to when you were younger? What book character do you relate to now?
KM: This is an interesting question – one I’ve never gotten before! When I was younger, I definitely related to Gaia Moore of the Fearless series by Francine Pascal. In my opinion, she was the first true #girlboss – as the title suggests, she was fearless. I related because I wasn’t afraid of anything when I was younger. I was very much a tomboy, so I took a lot of risks and definitely had an ‘explorer’ mindset. Switching gears to present day, I really can’t think of a book character I most relate to.
GB: What first got you into reading?? Was there a certain author who sparked your interest?
KM: Watching Beauty and The Beast. I had a borderline unhealthy obsession with Belle, and she always had a book in her hand. When I saw the library in that movie, I immediately wanted to go to my own school’s library and look through the shelves. It wasn’t nearly as glamorous, but that’s really how I started reading. Again, the Fearless series by Francine Pascal really sparked my interest. From that point on, I devoured books. I couldn’t get enough – and I still can’t!
GB: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
KM: I’ve been writing stories when I was six years old. I used to take notebook paper and fold it in half, then staple along the sides and illustrate and write my stories. Stories stole my heart at a very young age, and I knew that one day, no matter what, I would publish my own books. It’s really neat to go back and read my childhood diary entries knowing where I am today in my writing journey. Six-year-old-me would be very, very proud.
GB: Which format do you prefer to read? Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, eBook?
KM: I prefer hardcover books. I’m super old-fashioned, so no surprise there
GB: Do you have a writing process? Where do you prefer to write?
KM: Yes, I have quite a lengthy writing process, and I actually go into the details of it on my YouTube channel. It consists of a pre-writing phase, writing phase, editing phase (which has 6 sub-phases), and my publishing phase. I prefer to write in my home office, or at Barnes and Noble.
GB: What are your books about? Where did you get the idea to write these books?
KM: My first series, The Alpha Drive, is a young adult dystopian series that follows the life of Emery Parker, a sixteen-year-old introvert who is unknowingly living in a comatose world – an alternate reality. She is approached by an organization to participate in an initative to free the “dormants” (those living in that alternate reality), but when someone makes contact with her from the other side, she begins to question who she can trust and realizes that uncovering a family secret will lead her to the truth. I got the idea for these books after reading the Legend series by Marie Lu and watching The Matrix movies. Something in my brain just clicked and I went for it. I am currently working on a new dark fantasy series – the back cover blurb is posted on my website, so feel free to take a peek if you’re interested!
GB: How do you publish your books? Is there a way to get signed books?
KM: I self-publish my books through CreateSpace, IngramSpark, and Kindle. Eventually, I will work with Audible to publish audiobooks. You can order signed copies by going to my website, http://www.kristenmartinbooks.com, clicking on the “Books” tab, then clicking on the “Order Autographed Copy” icon.
GB: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? Any advice you received that helped you when you were first starting out?
KM: Don’t wait to start. So many of us put off our dreams, waiting for the perfect time, the perfect moment, the perfect situation. I will tell you right now that the perfect “time” doesn’t exist. The perfect time is now. Take the leap now and start writing now. My only regret is that I didn’t start my writing and publication journey sooner. It may be scary, and yes, there are so many unknowns, but the reward more than outweighs the doubts and fears you may be having. Because if you wait to start, you’re only delaying what you were inevitably put here on this Earth to do. And that is to write.
GB: Are you a full time author or do you have a part time job in addition to writing?
KM: I actually have a full-time career in chemicals for the oil and gas industry. I have a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management and a Master’s degree in Industrial Distribution. Even though I have a full-time corporate job where I work 40+ hours a week, I still consider myself a full-time writer with what I’ve accomplished along my writing journey. It’s not easy, and it takes some serious time management skills, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I do hope to be a full-time author and vlogger on YouTube one day, but for now, I am so blessed and feel very fortunate to be in the position I’m in today.
GB: In what format are your books released and how do we buy your books?
KM: You can buy my books in hardcover, paperback, and ebook.
GB: Do you have a favorite author or book series? Did they influence any of your books?
KM: Chuck Palahniuk and J.K. Rowling will forever be favorite authors of mine, but I wouldn’t say they influenced my work. Sarah J. Maas and Marie Lu have been huge influences on my work. Their storytelling is masterful, and while I’ve had the absolute pleasure of meeting Sarah J. Maas in person, I hope to meet Marie Lu in person one day as well!
GB: Thanks for doing this! I look forward to marathoning your books!
KM: Thank you so much for having me! I hope you enjoy the books!