Kris Johnston is the multi-genre author of This Beautiful Curse and Find me in Heaven. As of writing, she currently has 6 published books consisting of 4 novels, a poetry book and a fairy tale for grown ups.
I ~met~ Ms. Kris through an author friend, Shannon Rieger. I haven’t read and reviewed any of Ms. Kris’ books but it has been a pleasure to interview her!
Nica: How old were you when you wanted to be an author?
Kris: I believe I was born wanting to be an author. From early childhood, when I first fell in love with reading, I knew it was what I wanted to do.
Nica: Who is/are your all-time favorite author/s?
Kris: I have many! Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Edgar Allan Poe, to name a few.
Nica: When did you publish your first novel?
Kris: October 2015; I published a short, gothic fairy tale that I wrote using illustrations provided by a group of artist friends.
Nica: You have several published books already. Can you tell us a little about them?
Kris: My books have a bit of range to them, I suppose that’s why I call myself a multi-genre author. There is, however, one element that can be found in all of my books, and that is fantasy. Even my standalone contemporary romance, Find Me in Heaven, has a bit of fantasy to it. It’s about soul mates who are guided into finding one another online via their guardian angels. Violet is a young woman with self-esteem issues, and Xander is a driven businessman. When they finally meet in person, they are killed together in a terrible accident… but that’s only the beginning of their story. In Heaven, Xander is given the task of locating his love, and that’s when their adventure and love story truly begins.
I’m a big believer of books being something that allows the reader to not only use their imagination, but to offer an escape.
My books emulate life, in a way. Life may take you through some terribly dark times, to the point where you can’t see any sort of hope, or happy ending, possible. Somehow though, a spark happens. Something to change the entire outcome, and you end up with something different (maybe even better), than what you had originally thought.
My current series, The R.I.P. Series, is YA paranormal, and it’s been amazing to write! It centers around the love story of an orphaned teenage girl and the ghost who saves her from an assault. There are so many layers to it. It is full of themes like family, friendship, acceptance, and letting go of the past, as well as romance. I have just released the third book of the series (Rise in Pride Roz), which concludes the main characters’ story, but the response to the series has been so great I have decided to continue it with stories from some of my secondary characters. I plan to release book 4 of the series, which centers around Roz’s best friend Odie, by the end of the year.
Nica: This Beautiful Curse is a gothic fairy tale, what inspired you to write it?
Kris: Poetry and verse is one of my passions, and I wanted to use that strength to write a story that could be read like a children’s book, but for adults. I approached a group of artists whose talent I have long admired, and asked if they had any artwork they’d like to donate for the book. What I received went beyond my expectations, and I used the images they submitted to create the story. I literally had nothing written for the story until I had the artwork. The illustrations truly created the story, because I was able to use them to weave my tale. It was a lot of fun to do!
Nica: You also have a poetry book. What is your favorite thing about writing poems?
Kris: It’s the introspection and reflection that comes forth. With writing poetry, I have found that it requires an opening of the soul, and what comes from that is your complete, 100% truth. You can’t lie to yourself with poetry, and that’s what I enjoy most about writing it. It brings all the things I don’t like about myself (or things that have caused me pain, or regret), to the surface and forces me to acknowledge and, maybe, even change them.
Nica: What is the best compliment about your book have you received?
Kris: A fellow author read Find Me in Heaven, and her response made me cry for days! She told me how my main male character, Xander, reminded her of her love who had passed away. She had been approaching the anniversary of his death, which had put her in a melancholy state, but my book gave her hope and belief that her soulmate was fine, that he was at peace, and that she would see him again someday. She said it felt like I had written the story just for her, even though I never knew about her love who died, or their life together. The entire thing is something that overwhelmed me in a beautiful way, and I’ve never forgotten it.
Nica: What is the most challenging thing about being an author?
Kris: The most challenging thing about being an indie author is finding people to read my books. I’m a single mom on a limited budget and can’t afford advertising, so I’ve come to rely heavily on social media to help spread the word. That has been difficult because I’m typically a private person and I’m not one to “put myself out there.” But, I’ve also met some of the most amazing authors and readers because of it, so I really can’t complain too much!
Nica: What do you love the most about being an author?
Kris: I love the way I can express myself through a story. I love being able to create worlds and characters who become real to me. I love when a reader, who has had a terrible day, picks up one of my books and can change their entire outlook from it. I love being the reason for someone to find hope, or to laugh, or to cry…. Or, to feel.
Nica: Any messages for the readers who support your books?
Kris: I honestly can’t thank everyone enough for giving my books a chance! I have evolved quite a bit as a writer during the past year and a half, and I’m so thankful for each and every person who has taken the time to read and review my books. It means so much to me, words can’t adequately express it! The best part is, we’re only just getting started! You can expect a lot from me in the future.
All her books sound so cool but I’m most interested in her poetry book as well as her gothic fairy tale.
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