Please help me welcome Krista Kedrik to the blog today. Krista is working with Black Lion Tours to promote her release, FAMILY TIES. And she knows a lot about the subject due to her own closely-knit family.
Caroline: Please tell us something about yourself and be as chatty as you like:
Krista: First off, I love your whole attitude about that chattiness because that is totally me – chatty to a fault. We are of like mind there. I grew up in a little town in Nebraska named after the Sioux Indian tribe. Ogallala (O-gash-lah-la). Typical family, mom, dad, older quieter sister, and me the loud baby of the family. We are a tight-knit family who spent most of our time together with the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents and even the extended relatives eating, laughing and playing pitch. I spent most of my years with a ball in my hand. Softball, volleyball, and golf, those were my favorites and gave me more time to spend with my dad and grandpa. The rest of my time was dedicated to daydreaming and cracking jokes. In my family it was more important to be quick witted than smart.
I am married to a fantastic, supportive and amazing man who makes me a better person every day. We have two little girls, a basset hound named Wally and live in our home town.
Caroline: Aren’t we lucky to each have a supportive husband? Not all authors do. Who are your favorite authors and genres?
Krista: Where do I start? Honestly with my Kindle and the availability of inexpensive books I find great authors all the time, but I’d have to say that Judith McNaught is the writer who made me want to write books. I’ve read her novels more times than I can count. Next would have to be JK Rowling, she has such a passion for her characters and a style that grabs you and pulls you into the Harry Potter world. And who wouldn’t love a writer who actually changed the world and made reading cool again.
Caroline: Oh, I agree about JK Rowling. She did such a great service by making it cool for boys to read and discver they love books. What are your favorite genres?
Krista:: I try not to pigeonhole myself, I’ll read almost anything… almost.
Caroline: I have definite genres I don't read. What are your hobbies or what do you do to relax?
Krista: That’s funny. ☺ I’m an independent author, online broadcast network owner, host and producer of A Novel Idea Live, volleyball coach, PTL president and have a full-time paying job. I don’t relax, take time off or have any hobbies other than family time.
Caroline: You made me tired just reading that answer. Do you have a favorite quote that sums up you outlook on life?
Krista: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Phil. 4:8-9
Caroline: Wonderful quote. How long have you been writing?
Krista: Since about the age of nine, I won a poetry contest. I wrote an ode to my cat Calvin and it was the moment where I found you could share something of yourself no matter how silly and they could enjoy it and appreciate it. It made me feel good about my wild imagination.
Caroline: What a cute story. Where do you write?
Krista: I have adapted to be able to write anywhere. In the living room with my kids running around, on a school bus on the way to a game, on the deck while my girls ride their bikes or swing. PC, laptop doesn’t matter as long as I have one ear bud in my ear and my good old country music playing for inspiration I’m good to go.
Caroline: That’s great, especially with your busy schedule. Do you plot or are you a pantser?
Krista: I’m mainly a plotter. I see it in my head how I want it to go, then I get a stack of notecards and fill them up with a broad idea of plot and scenes and a very specific list of character traits. Now that doesn’t mean the story always stays with my plan. It has taken twists and turns that I never saw coming.
Caroline: Do you use real people or events?
Krista: Not as of yet. I do use real places just renamed. My novels are all set in Nebraska because I love the diversity of the prairies, the rivers and lakes and the Sandhills. But recently I have been covering a lot of funny news stories with my broadcast show that they have tapped into the funnier and more twisted side of my imagination. Recently a story about $450 worth of stolen women’s underwear brought out scenes of a high speed chase and plus-sized undergarments being flung from the open windows as the two women speed away. And it goes on from there but I look to be inspired by real life in future novels.
Caroline: You have a fun imagination. Do you set daily writing goals?
Krista: I’m happy if I can get 500 words, I aim higher but get interrupted easily, darn that Facebook and email. Oh look another status update. Joking. I usually shoot for the afternoon, when my youngest is napping and before we have to pick my oldest up from school. I’m a planner. I have to schedule my whole day out so I can fit everything in.
Caroline: What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Krista: Honestly, I hope that my stories bring people all the emotions they would have if they were experiencing it for themselves. I want them to feel like they know the people in the story and lived the events right alongside them.
Caroline: What are your long-term career goals?
Krista: My long-term goal is to be so good at the answer to the previous question that I have a writing career. Otherwise I won’t be able to defend sitting around in my pj’s and slippers fantasizing to my husband about handsome, shirtless men and spunky, fearless women.
Caroline: Can you share what you’re working on now?
Krista: Of course I would! I’m working on my first series, The Doves of Primrose. It’s based on three friends Lacy, Emmylou and Scarlett. The first book is Lacy’s story. She is rumored to be the decendent of Frank James and her family’s B&B has an amazing history of prostitutes, thieves and ghosts.
Caroline: Sounds interesting. What advice to you have to share with upcoming writiers?
Krista: I would say have a plan, know your goals and if it’s truly your dream never give up.
Caroline: What’s a fun fact about yourself others might not know?
Krista: I was a band majorette and had to wear a giant orange and black plume in my hat.
Caroline: What’s something about you others would find surprising?
Krista: My mother, sister and I owned a pet store together for 8 years and never got into a fight.
Caroline: That is impressive! Are your books series or single title?
Krista: Both my books are single title contemporary western romances, but my next three will be a series.
Caroline: Can you share something you learned while doing research?
Krista: I don’t remember having to research anything specifically, but I did sadly pull from my extensive experience in planning family funerals. As I said we are a very tight-knit family and I have lost a fair amount of my closest relatives.
Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Krista: I am the co-founder of the Writers & Readers Broadcast Network, the first network dedicated to authors and readers. I host and produce my own show on A Novel Idea Live where I interview guests and talk about the news in the book world with a Tip of the Week at the end. And co-host another show on the network called @Random where we have a roundtable talk with other authors.
Caroline: Can you give us a blurb about FAMILY TIES?
Krista: Happy to:
She’s all country…
He’s all city…
Grace Tucker thought she had her life put back together, with the help of her over-protective brothers. She had a quiet, predictable life operating the family hardware store in her hometown and spending her free time with her friends, the Caldwell family. That was… until a tragic accident took her two best friends and left their daughters orphaned. If that wasn’t devastating enough - Dirk Caldwell, the egocentric, completely handsome brother no one’s met, blows into town.
Dirk Caldwell realized he wasn’t in California anymore when he stepped from the redneck, rattletrap airplane and was smacked in the face with a cold breeze laced with manure. It was exactly what he’d expected from the backwater town his brother called home. But going head to head with Grace Tucker was not. The hot-headed, leggy cowgirl was almost more than he could handle. But, oh how he’d like to give it a try.
When two worlds collide can they realize love, tame passion and form a bond strong enough to tie a family together?
Caroline: Very nice set up.Now how about an excerpt from FAMILY TIES?
Krista: Here you are:
“Push that tape down so it don’t stick to your butt.”
Twelve hours ago Dirk Caldwell would’ve never imagined another man making reference to his butt. Ever. It just wasn’t done. Then again, twelve hours ago he wouldn’t have pictured himself struggling to get inside a tiny, run-down, four-seater plane carrying his own luggage.
He would never have been anywhere near a man who’s idea of style was Wrangler jeans paired with scuffed cowboy boots, Nebraska Huskers t-shirt and a dusty camouflage baseball cap with the phrase “That’s Mr. Redneck to You” emblazoned on it. He hadn’t realized people like that existed let alone were allowed to hold a pilot’s license. Yet here he was bumping elbows, knees and any manner of body parts with him while juggling his way around the cockpit.
“Just toss yer’ bag back over there.”
Dirk looked in the direction the work-worn hand pointed and balked. He was supposed to put his $4,000 Bottega Veneta on top of a pile of dirty rags, maintenance manuals and something that looked like it came straight out of the engine of this nineteen-seventy something Cessna? Yeah right.
He surveyed the tiny plane, finally resigning to set his bag on the floor beneath the mess. The distinct sound of tape being pulled from its roll drew his attention back to the pilot in time to see him tear a strip free with his teeth. At least they were clean and in the vicinity of white.
The weathered hand held out the wide silver tape motioning towards the co-pilots seat populated by other such strips. With a sneer, Dirk took it and laid it across the most obvious spot.
“Good as new.” The pilot smiled and tucked the roll back under his seat.
Oh Christ! They were going to end up dead in a fiery inferno in the middle of some cornfield. Well, then he wouldn’t be any worse off than his brother. His chest constricted the instant he thought that. Danny. Tears stung his eyes, he swallowed hard and they disappeared.
Dirk loosened his tie. Not his favorite. He normally went for a flashier style, but it was a Christmas present from his brother and it just felt right to wear it for the occasion. The tears threatened again, he blinked rapidly, but they welled further. Thank God for his Ray-Bans. He quickly swiped a finger beneath them while pretending to check his pockets with the other hand.
“If you’ll get buckled up, the tower said we’re next for take-off.”
Dirk was grateful for the distraction. He wondered if the seat belt was also secured with Duct Tape. He wouldn’t be surprised. It was amazing this rattle-trap passed inspections, but then he wasn’t sure if privately chartered planes to nowhere had to go through inspections. Probably not.
The seatbelt seemed secure enough. At least he would be strapped in when they crashed. The pilot adjusted his headset and communicated with the tower. Dirk was surprised he actually used professional pilot jargon. Instead of “Gee, y’all we’re ready to git the heck outta here now”.
His estimation of a safe arrival notched up a fraction. Even though, his full attention was on the runway and horizon until they were safely up and cruising.
Dirk pulled his phone from his pocket with the intention of getting some work done, except it wasn’t working. He poked at the screen anyway. They hadn’t even left the state of Colorado and already he felt the constricting weakness of being disconnected from civilization. It was like being naked in the wilderness. He unbuttoned his top shirt button.
“Sorry you won’t be able to use that for a while, probably not til you get home.”
Dirk twisted his head to the pilot. “I’m sorry….” He honestly couldn’t remember the guy’s name.
“Clive.” The pilot nodded. “Name’s Clive.” He returned attention to the sky.
Of course it is. “Clive. I can’t go two hours without contacting my clients, let alone two days.”
Dirk didn’t like the assessing once-over he got from Clive. What did he know anyway? He probably communicated by smoke signal. Dirk adjusted his cuff links glancing at his watch.
“I’ll getcha there on time.”
Dirk looked sideways at Clive, whose concentration was still on the horizon and his gauges. If it weren’t for the sympathetic half smile on his face, Dirk wouldn’t have known the man said anything. He was really tired of those smiles; he had seen them on his girlfriend’s face for twelve straight hours. At least it looked genuine on Clive’s.
“Did you know Danny?”
“Of course.” Clive smiled warmly, as if remembering better times. “He was a good man.”
Dirk waited for him to say more, wanted him to say more, but Clive fell silent again. He seemed to be a man of few words, not something Dirk was used to. In his line of work people never shut up. They jabbered just to hear their own voice, thinking if they stopped they might disappear from the spotlight.
It was that very thing that kept him busy twenty-four hours a day covering media, defusing situations and bailing clients out of trouble or jail. So busy, in fact, he hadn’t seen his brother in more than a year. He hadn’t even met his youngest niece and she was nearly five. Not that Danny hadn’t asked him to visit; there just was never a right time. Public relations never slept.
When Dirk’s phone had rung two nights ago he thought that’s what Danny was calling about. Another trip. A vacation to Nebraska. Nebraska. Not exactly the ultimate dream destination. Corn fields and feed lots. Seemed like a place of misery to Dirk.
He had ignored the first call. He would listen to Danny’s lighthearted message and subtle plea later. He was making progress with a smoking hot redhead at the club and didn’t need any distractions. Of course in L.A. you never could tell what was fake and what was real, so smoking hot was all relative, but that was part
of the fun.
Dirk loved his life. He was successful; at least it appeared that way. His bank account wasn’t too awful to look at. He worked and played with the rich and famous. They liked having him around and it was nice to be needed by them. He had been gifted with the amazing talent to twist anything into an advantage. He was the ultimate bull-shit slinger and the people loved him for it.
Caroline: I can tell I'm going to love, love, love this book. ☺ It reminds me of a trip to Mexico several years ago in an airplane that sounded as if it were about to vibrate apart any second. I feel for Dirk! Where can readers learn more about you?
Krista: Website Link: www.kristakedrick.com and www.anovelidealive.com
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/family-ties-krista-kedrick/1110925098?ean=2940014459082
Sept 29 - My Devotional Thoughts/review and guest post
Oct 3 - Makayla's Book Reviews/review and author spotlight
|Krista Kedrik, author|
Her light-hearted take on the world splashes the pages of her novels creating a wonderful mix of seriousness and humor. And living in small communities has given her the inside view of small town people-their wholesomeness, kindness and appreciation of the little things in life. These one-of-a-kind people are the heart of her characters. She stumbled into broadcasting when her friend interviewed her on his show and a love for the microphone bloomed into a weekly broadcast of news and humor as a co-host for the online show @Random.
Krista makes her home in Nebraska with her husband, two daughters and basset hound where she loves to work in her yard, which supports her vivid settings in her novels.
Her novels UNDER A PRAIRIE MOON and FAMILY TIES are available in both paperback and ebook on www.createspace.com, www.amazon.com, www.smashwords.com and for the nook at www.barnesandnoble.com.
Thanks for stopping by!