Introducing, my fellow RAVENCLAW sister...
Kristina M. Serrano
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. http://kristinamserrano.wix.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kristina and she is AWESOME!!! See for yourself...
Favorite Book/Book that inspires you:
Only one? I recently just had trouble narrowing down my favorites list to, say, 20 books. I can say that I adored (and still adore) A LITTLE PRINCESS by Francis Hodgson Burnett as a child and have recently become obsessed with all things HARRY POTTER. As far as YA paranormal romances go, I think TWILIGHT and the HALLOW trilogy by Jessica Verday will always be my favorites. However, I'd like to say that every book, good and bad, I've ever read has inspired me.
Favorite Fictional Character:
Dally from THE OUTSIDERS, Finnick from CATCHING FIRE/MOCKINGJAY, and lots of characters from HARRY POTTER to name a few. I'm not good at narrowing down things, am i?
If you are a HARRY POTTER fan, what house do you belong to?
Your Current Read:
I literally just finished DEATHLY HALLOWS for the first time minutes before starting this interview.
Reading, writing, singing, formerly horseback riding
Who is a strong woman that inspires you?
If you could spend a day with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Do you have any hidden talents?
I seem to have a knack for correctly pronouncing different accents
Things that you keep at your desk?
Too many things right now, but the usual are notebooks, a lamp, pens, a globe, water bottles, receipts I need to throw away, clothes that need to be folded or stored neatly...Man, I really need to clean.
How long have you been writing and what initially inspired you to write?
I've been writing forever (my first grade teacher predicted I would write books one day), but I didn't start seriously writing until I was 15. Writing and reading have always felt as natural as breathing to me. I remember being the only kind in school who was excited to write a book report, and I grinned with joy when my teacher announced it was time for creative writing.
What's your cure for writer's block?
Various cures; songs that inspire me, walking around talking out plots to myself, writing fluff intil something revelant comes out, and, mostly, reaching inside to remind myself why I wanted to write the story in the first place. The last, especially, usually gets me back in tune with my characters and plot.
What motivated you to write SLOW ECHOES?
I grew up watching boxing matches on television with my grandpa, so I've always been interested in the sport. And before creative writing, my plan was to pursue a degree in Geology/Paleontology/ Archaeological, which is where my passion for Egyptology comes in. Somehow, I figure combining the two aspects would be a fun write, and I was right!
How long did it take you to write SLOW ECHOES?
I got the idea for SLOW ECHOES about 4 years ago. But after writing out notes/character descriptions/ the first three characters, I lost it in a hard-drive crash, pouted for a while, wrote back everything that I'd lost, set it aside for a few years and then wrote the majority in a month, give or take.
How did you come up with the title?
Mummies. It has always bugged me how, in movies and such, they always caught their victims not matter how slowly they moved. I came up with a logical explanation, that they slowed down their prey instead, even their speech, in this case. I also feel the title captures the tone of the entire book, Selk's easy relationship with carefree Whistler, slow and steady.
Can you briefly share with aspiring writers your publishing process?Long story short, I've dreamed of publication since I was a child. I queried countless times for years for another book of mine, both agents and publishers. Finally I decided a different book and smaller publisher would be the best route to kick-start my writing career. After turning down a contract for another publisher who didn't seem quite right for SLOW ECHOES, I found Forever More Publishing, and couldn't be happier.
Who designed your cover?Forever More Publishing's very talented, April Martinez.
Are any experiences in your book based on someone you know or events in your own life?Though my grandpa is, happily, still alive, Selk's grandfather was inspired by my watching boxing with mine on television when I was her age.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) you face while bringing your story to life?I definitely did the most research for this novel out of any I've written so far, and it was kind of challenging t craft completely new backstories for the historical/ mythological figures and tie them into the main plot.
What advice do you offer new writers?The main advice I offer new writers is one word, OBSTINACY. Never give up. SLOW ECHOES is finally published because of God and sheer stubbornness in clinging to my dreams.
Selk Baioumi is Croatian. She is 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 relationships 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.
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About Author Spotlight
I wanted to do something to help my fellow writers because us creative types have to stick together. "Author Spotlight" helps build a platform for new writers, but also gives an inside look at publishing and the writing process to aspiring writers. I am going to feature writers of all genres, traditional or indie published. If you are interested email me: CherylaMontgomery1@gmail.com