Welcome to Kristina Serrano, author of Slow Echoes, a YA paranormal romance releasing January 14, 2016. Kristina has come along to answer some interview questions!
First, a little about Kristina:
After starting college at sixteen, Kristina M. Serrano graduated from Cape Fear Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Arts, as well as a BFA in Creative Writing Fiction and a Certificate in Publishing from The University of North Carolina Wilmington, landing on the dean’s and chancellor’s lists. She was the Executive Editor and Prose Editor of an online literary magazine, and, while in college, had the privilege of singing the national anthem at four large events. SLOW ECHOES is her first published novel, but she has dozens of unfinished YA fantasy and paranormal romance novels stored away for a rainy day. She currently resides in North Carolina with her hyper Bichon Frisé, Jake.
And now for her interview! Let's find out more from the author of Slow Echos:
How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
Slow Echoes came from my irritation with how mummies always seem to catch up to their victims despite moving a quarter of a mile an hour, so I decided to provide a “logical” explanation in the novel’s title chapter. Also, I feel it’s a good summary of Selk and Whistler’s relationship. Whistler is carefree and Selk finds it easy to be with him, so they take things slow, yet, steady.
What inspired you to write this book?
Well, like Selk, I grew up watching boxing matches on television with my grandpa, and I’ve also always had a fascination with Egyptology. Somehow, I thought combining the two topics would make for a SUPER fun book to write, and I was right!
How do you choose your character’s names?
How do I not choose my characters’ names? Name websites and books, making names out of random objects, combining words, making up names. The ways are endless. Once, I even averted my eyes and typed random letters on the keyboard to get a fantasy character’s name, which, initially a joke, actually worked out! Selk’s name, however, was chosen for something relevant to her story, whereas, after much time spent narrowing down, I got Whistler’s out of a baby-name book.
Do your characters speak to you?
All. The. Time.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Obstinacy. Dig your heels in. Never quit. Never give up. Getting your work out there will be one of the hardest things you will ever do in your life, but, if it’s in your heart and the thought of doing anything else saddens your spirit, you will succeed.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Plotter, though I envy pantsers. I’ve even attempted pantsing with some degree of accomplishment, but, generally, when I’m super into a book, I’ll have paper notes, computerized notes, subplot outlines, character-detail lists, maps, and drawings of fantastical creatures handy for reference.
What does your family think of your writing?
They support me, but generally think I’m weird for walking in circles in the house and talking out plots out loud.
Do you have any other author friends and do you ever get together in real l life?
Yes! I don’t know what I’d do without my author and writer friends! Some of them, actually, I’ve known for years online and have never met in person, but would love to one day.
What’s your next writing project?
I have about a million “next” writing projects, but currently, I’m working on Gold Silence, the sequel to Slow Echoes.
How long have you been writing?
Forever, but I didn’t start seriously until I was fifteen. I find it funny that my first-grade teacher predicted I would write books one day.
What’s your usual writing snack?
During my longest writing sessions, I’ve often found myself munching on spinach and avocado salads with lots of crunchy croutons and cheese. I also can’t live without a cold bottle of diet green tea and frequent supplies of iced hazelnut coffee.
Do you have a new story idea in your mind right now?
All the time.
Do you ever write two books at once?
Actually, I have a bad habit of writing multiple books at once when I can’t decide which story seems more fun to write at the moment.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Name one song that reminds you of your book.
“All of Me” by John Legend, I think, captures Selk and Whistler’s love story well.
The most words you’ve written in a day.
I finished the last twenty-eight pages (single-spaced with only a space between paragraphs) of the first draft of my third book in a day. I have no clue how many words that was.
Thank you, Kristina!
Selk Baioumi is Croatian. She’s also Egyptian. And American. Despite her vast heritage, the only family she has known is her mom and late grandfather. Other than that, the closest relationship she has is with her boxing/kickboxing instructor, Cliff. And she’s perfectly happy with her life, until two new men show up in her cozy hometown of Snow Hill, Maryland. The first, Whistler, an ill-reputed boxer with a paranormal secret. The second, Zahid, the Egyptian father who’d left her mother the day after Selk was born.
Zahid’s return brings the truth about Selk’s ancestry and promises of death for many, including Whistler, the not-so-bad boy who’s stolen her heart with his dry smile and effortless empathy. In order to obliterate those promises, Selk and Whistler must enter and survive an alternate Egypt where crocodiles swim in venom, stained-glass labyrinths come to life and mummies can slow your every move, even speech—if overprotective Cliff doesn’t kill Whistler first.