"And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Joel 2:28

Saturday, August 18, 2012

~Author Interview~ Amateur Angel by Karri Thompson

Author Karri Thompson has stopped by for an interview for the Amateur Angel Blog Tour

What inspired you to write your book?

I wanted to write a book about a girl who comes in contact – the ultimate contact – with her rock-star crush, and to do that, she needed to be invisible. But I didn’t want to just give her the power of invisibility – that wasn’t interesting or original enough – so I decided to make her a guardian angel.

Do you have a specific writing style?

That is a hard question to answer. Of course I try to give my characters a strong voice, and I try to be descriptive without being too wordy – I want my readers to feel like the main character is their friend and that they are literally in the scene. To do this, I am really aware of my word choice. One word can reveal a lot due to its connotation, so I try to pick the perfect words to give the emotional edge I want in a scene. I’m also really conscious of sentence structure. Short, simple sentences work best in intense, fast-paced scenes, whereas longer, complex or compound sentences are meant for character descriptions and setting. At least that’s how I look at it.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I don’t think I’d change anything in Amateur Angel. I’ve read it who knows how many times, and I am still extremely happy with the end product. I honestly didn’t want to over analyze it too much, or I’d go crazy over the just the choice of one word.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I was in third grade when I wrote my first story. I don’t remember if it was an assignment or if I just did it on my own, but it was about a ladybug that slept in a hammock strung between two twigs. I even drew pictures to go with it. I’ve been writing fiction on my own ever since.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m currently editing a sci-fi I wrote after Amateur Angel, and all of the ideas for a second and third book for that sci-fi series are in my head as well, so if the first book sells, I’m ready to write more. I also wrote a sequel to Amateur Angel, and I already have the storyline for a third “angel” book.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My favorite classic writer is Charles Dickens. I know he was paid by the page, so he tends to be wordy, but I love his lengthy descriptions of characters and places, and I love the Victorian era. When it comes to contemporary writers, I’d have to say Billy Letts because her characters are so real to me.

Who designed the covers?

The publisher of Amateur Angel has their own graphic design department, so one of their designers, Reed Karriker, designed the cover. The publisher asked for my input shortly after they bought the book. I gave a few suggestions, including Cannon Michaels on stage with Ashley hovering above him, and almost a year later, they sent me a jpeg of the cover. I loved it, so I didn’t make any suggestions for changes.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Editing is definitely the hardest part for me. Sometimes I’ll read a scene over and over again and know that it’s missing something – it just doesn’t quite sound or feel right – maybe a sentence reword or addition is the answer, but it can sometimes take me an hour to figure it out. Thankfully I always do, but until that time comes, it can be really frustrating.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up! I know writers have heard this before, but it really is true. Every writer has been rejected more times than he or she wants to admit to. Rejection is the nature of the business. And be patient because the publishing business is slow. I’d also recommend joining a critique group. In a good critique group, writers get sound advice about their own writing, learn from other people’s writing, and they have the opportunity to share their experiences and frustrations with other writers.

About the Author

As a first-time author, I cannot express- not even in words- how excited I am about the release of my debut novel, Amateur Angel. It took a lot of hard work and sleepless nights. There were many disappointments and rejections along the way, but in the end, my persistence and determination eventually paid off. In many ways, I think writing a novel is easier than finding an agent to represent it and then a publisher to buy it. Two years ago, I almost gave up on my dream to become an author, but then my son, Kyle, wrote a special poem for me, and it inspired me to write a new book and try again. The new book was Amateur Angel.

Here is his poem: 
 You fail and you fail, 
 You fix and you fix, 
 You wait and you wait, 
 Until you succeed.

I hung this poem in my closet and read it every day when I was getting ready to go to work and each night before I went to bed. It is still there and always will be. I know what I’m about to say will sound like a cliché, but based on my own personal experience, the best advice I can give anyone is to always believe in your abilities, hold your head high, swallow your pride, accept criticism and then learn from it, and most importantly, never give up.

I grew up in San Diego County and attended San Diego State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s degree in education, and my teaching credential. I am a high-school English teacher in the East County of San Diego where I also live with my husband, our son, and two dogs. Being a lover of Victorian literature, my favorite author is Charles Dickens although I haven’t quite finished reading all of his books. Someday I’ll finally finish David Copperfield- I promise. If you are one of my students, you are either laughing or shaking your head at this.

I lead a very busy life, but when I’m not teaching, grading papers, or attending my son’s soccer games, I find time to write novels, my greatest passion.

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