Tag Archives: 27 Days to Midnight

WWW Wednesday, 22-June-2016

22 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


DanteCurrently reading: I thought about reading In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. I had a lot of working lunches last week and didn’t really have the time to pull it out. I might have accidentally gotten an eReader so that might speed things up…
I’m still really enjoying The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman. The audiobook is superb and I’m starting to see the connections between the current lawsuit she’s facing and the progressing memoir toward that point in time. I’m really looking forward to finding out how they converge.
I started In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches and I’m a bit iffy on it. It started off really far from the plot promised and it’s very… blatant? The main characters so far are gruff men who are honest about what they’re doing and feeling and it’s not always comfortable to read.

27 Days_HighResRecently finished: I finished 27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa! I wish I’d been able to finish it a bit faster, but that’s life. Whatever, haha. School is almost over and I’ll be able to get through these faster. This was a really enjoyable book and I’m really blessed to have been part of the process and watch Kristine grow this book into the great work that it is.

I posted my review on Monday so please go check that out as well!

WingsReading Next: I’ll have to get back to book club books soon. Our next selection is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I’m excited to say that this will hit the 1800s time period in my When Are You Reading? Challenge so this is a well-timed read for me. I’m not always a fan of such popular book-club-books so we’ll see how this one goes.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Book Review: 27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa (5/5)

20 Jun

So this book. I met Kristine in 2014 through a friend. He said “Oh, you write! My friend Kristine writes. You should meet her.” So we had a ‘supervised lunch date’ and hit it off. We worked at the same company and would talk during our slow time. We talked a lot about her novel and querying and about my short works. I remember the day she got a request for a full manuscript and the process of her signing with Giant Squid Books. I changed jobs while she was doing rewrites so we talked a bit less, but I was still aware of the process and what she was going through. This book was born in front of me and I was at the launch party. Naturally, I was excited to read it and see what Kristine had done with these characters.

Cover image via Giant Squid Books

Cover image via Giant Squid Books

27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa

Summary via Goodreads

Everyone in Dahlia’s world knows when they’re going to die. Except her.

Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father died to protect…and the time research that could bring him back to life.

Then she meets Farren Reed. She should hate him. He’s an enemy soldier, a cowardly deserter, and the most insufferable man Dahlia’s ever met. Still, she needs all the help she can get, and Farren is the only chance she has to find the man who murdered her father. But Farren has only twenty-seven days left on his watch.

In that time, Dahlia must recover her father’s time research, foil a psychotic general’s plot, and learn to survive in a world that will never be the same. But the research holds secrets more dangerous than she had ever imagined. She will have to choose what is most important: revenge, Farren’s life, or her own. And time is running out.

If you have this book, you’ll see my name in the acknowledgments. I helped Kristine write her summary for the query letter and at the time, she had to tell me the entire plot of the book. Luckily for me, that was over two years ago and I’d forgotten 80% of what we’d written together so I was still surprised by the twists and turns of the plot. I liked Dahlia and I loved Keet. It’s sometimes hard for me to relate to women in books so this was a nice touch. The world building was fun and I liked the idea of the watches. It made me really think about my own life and what I would do differently if I knew how long I had to live. I thought Kruppa handled the watches well, talking about how you could still die prematurely, but it made me wonder if I would act differently if I knew my time was up. Like the bounty hunter who was shot; what would make him think to leave the house that day knowing he would die? Would he die some other way if he stayed in bed? It made me think about avoiding death.

Kruppa did a great job of explaining why Sebastian was as delusional as he was. Many times, I feel villains can be underdeveloped but I liked that I understood Sebastian. His love for Sita blinded him and drove him to hate Ansel though his self-conversations were a bit further and I missed the connection there. I think it was a psychotic break due to his grief and single-minded thinking.

Keet was my favorite character. I liked the strong female in her and the tomboy personality. At first, I thought she had learned about ships to make up for Tiberius being unable to do many of the functions but I liked learning more about her and finding that she had always been that way. She was resourceful and smart and I saw a bit of Kristine in her.

Part of the reason I liked Keet so much is that I related to her. I can be a very strong personality and very independent so I could relate to that. My husband and I have a very non-traditional relationship where I am the majority breadwinner and he does a lot of the house chores which made it easy to relate to Keet and Tiberius’s alternate relationship.

Me and Kristine Kruppa at the book release party

Me and Kristine Kruppa at the book release party

I enjoyed the scene in Lawson’s Ridge. I thought it was a good demonstration of Keet’s character and a really fun chase scene for the characters to be involved in. The ending of the scene was very appropriate in my mind. It wasn’t a clean escape and the side character we learned about had a big role in the ending. That’s something I appreciated as a writer. I liked Tiberius teaching Dhalia something about revenge, too. That was a good development step for him.

I thought the final scenes were a bit drawn out but still really enjoyable. It felt like Dahlia and Farren weren’t going to get away so many times but just managed to escape and draw the plot out a bit longer and then be foiled and find a way out of it maybe once or twice more than I would have liked. That being said, it was always fun reading their narrow escapes. They were very resourceful and smart about how the fought such a deadly man

I loved what Kruppa said about revenge. As Tiberius said, it doesn’t make him feel any better to kill Grimes after he hurt Keet. Dahlia wanted to kill Macall but knew it wouldn’t make her feel better about her father’s death. Though it was what motivated her all the way to the Southern Lands, she realized it was a folly to chase revenge. There are things worth fighting and killing for, but that wasn’t one of them.

Writer’s Takeaway: Many writers are afraid to make their characters suffer, but not Kruppa. She made Dahlia, Keet, Tiberius, and Farren suffer every step of the way. It wasn’t easy for them to get to their final destinations and I really appreciated that. Luck can only be the answer for escaping something unscathed so many times before it’s annoying.

It’s been a while since I read steampunk and this was a good welcome back to the genre. A full Five out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Book Review: 27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa | Buried Under Books

WWW Wednesday, 15-June-2016

15 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


BeastsCurrently reading: I think I read four pages of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. School is still in session and going crazy. I keep telling myself it will be over in two weeks, but it’s really three more.
I’m getting to the end of 27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa. I said last week I’d try to have it finished this week but with my bike event and school, that hasn’t happened. Next week?
I’m about half way done with The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman. I kept laughing during a run with a friend while listening to this book. The author does a great job narrating it and I’ve really enjoyed the characters so far.

Recently finished: …Nothing. It’s been a crazy week, I hope to have more to report soon!

I posted a review of The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. I really liked this book and gave it a full 5 out of 5 Stars.

DanteReading Next:  In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches is still my plan. One of my book clubs is off for the summer so I’m hoping to enjoy some books of my own choosing for a bit now!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 8-June-2016

8 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


IceCreamCurrently reading: Nothing with In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. There hasn’t been much time when I’m just sitting around lately. My semester is getting crazy and it will be a while before I have any calmness again.
I’m about 2/3 of the way through 27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa, I wanted to finish it over the weekend but this was a busy one for me. I’ll try to get through it before my post next week.
I started a new audiobook, The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman. I forget who recommended this one to me but I have no doubt it’s because I love historical fiction. I was hesitant when I heard the author narrated it herself, but she’s been doing a great job.

DiscipleRecently finished: I finished The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose late last Wednesday. I really enjoyed this book and Roose’s style. He reminds me of A.J. Jacobs, who he trained under and who is one of my favorite writers. It was a treat of a book. My review will be up tomorrow.

I posted my review of Harry Potter y el misterio del principe on Monday. There’s not a lot to be said about this book that hasn’t been said already but pop on over and let me know how much you love it. The sixth book is my favorite of the movies and I watch it a lot but I think this is only my second time through the book.

DanteReading Next: I’ve changed my mind again. I went to another bookstore in West Michigan and found another book that I’ve been waiting to read for ages so now I plan to pick up In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches which has been on my list since October 2012! I went through a phase when I was obsessed with Dante’s Inferno and this intrigued me because of that. It reminded me of Matthew Pearl’s The Dante Club so I wanted to grab this one.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 1-June-2016

1 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


27 Days_HighResCurrently reading: I don’t think I’ve read a word of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. I might grab a little of it this afternoon, but I’m in no rush to read this one. I’ll savor Larson’s writing for a while.
I’m just about finished with The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. This has been a great audiobook and is very thought provoking! I really recommend it. I’ve had Evangelical friends before, but I never knew very much about the culture.
I finally started  27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa over the weekend. I’m not too far into it yet but I’m so excited to read this one! Kristine is a personal friend of mine and I was at her book launch party a few weeks ago where I got my copy signed.

PrincipeRecently finished: I finished Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling! That’s a good speed for me to finish my Spanish read of the year so I’m really happy about this one. I won’t tell you how many times I cried, but it was more than five.

I posted my review of The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. Thank you so much to everyone who popped over and took a look at my thoughts! It really meant a lot to me to see you all over there for the day as well. Like I said, I enjoyed it, but I don’t think I would have read it if it weren’t for my book club. 4 out of 5 Stars.

Cat DancingReading Next: I’m going to have time to read off of my bookshelf for a while! This is so exciting, I’m not sure I know what to do with myself. Next on my shelf is The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing by Marilyn Durham. Yes, this is a very obscure title for me, but the author was educated at my university and it was turned into a movie so I’m super curious. I looked for years before finding a copy in a Grand Rapids bookstore. I think it was waiting for me.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 25-May-2016

25 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


DiscipleCurrently reading: I’m so close to finishing Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling! Two chapters left in this one and it’s great to have the end in sight! I’d love to finish this by the end of the month. I haven’t finished my Spanish book until the end of the summer the last two years so this is a great pace for me.
Not much with In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson this week. I didn’t have a lot of waiting time going on to fill with the story and I don’t see a lot coming on this week so it might be a while.
I started a new audiobook that I’m really enjoying so far. It’s The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. I forget how I heard about it, but in the beginning, Roose mentions interning with A.J. Jacobs, one of my favorite non-fiction writers, so that’s probably it. It’s great to get Roose’s opinion on what he’s witnessing going on around him because, like him, I don’t know many born-again Christians. I find other people’s lives fascinating.

AskingRecently finished: I finished up The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer on Wednesday last week. I’ll have a review up tomorrow. I liked it, but I’m so different from Palmer that some of it was hard to wrap my head around. Four out of Five stars from me. The audio was great because Palmer included a lot of her songs.

27 Days_HighResReading Next: I hope to start 27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa this week. I had drinks with Kristine last week and after hearing her talk about her book launch, I’m even more excited to read this one! Woop.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 18-May-2016

18 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


BeastsCurrently reading: I feel like I can finally say I’m getting toward the end of Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling. I’ve got 150 pages left, but it feels so obtainable at this point. I’m ecstatic.
I read a few chapters of In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson and got the renewal again. I’ll be working on this one for a while still, probably.
I’m getting to the end of The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer already. I’ve had a lot of long runs and cooking in the past week and I feel confident this one will be on my ‘finished’ list next week.

Recently finished: Nothing this week. BUT! I did write reviews for both A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin and The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier. Check it out!

27 Days_HighResReading Next: There’s still some time until my next book club book will come up so I’m planning on 27 Days to Midnight by Kristine Kruppa next. She’s a friend of mine and I can’t wait to read the book!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Release Party for ’27 Days to Midnight’ by Kristine Kruppa

12 May
Me and Kristine.

Me and Kristine.

I was so excited last Tuesday to join my good friend Kristine Kruppa for the release of her first book, 27 Days to Midnight! She hosted a release party at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’m so excited for Kristine and this success! She’s published with Giant Squid Publishing (as you can see in the pictures below) and hopes to publish some more books in the future.

I was introduced to Kristine by a mutual friend three years ago and I’ve watched her develop this book into what it is today. We worked on the synopsis together and even though she told me how it ends, I forget the details and am really excited to read the published version of the book! I hope you might consider picking up Kristine’s book in the near future. It’s available on Amazon.

It’s too bad not all of you could make it to the book release party, there were cupcakes! 🙂 Here are some pictures to make up for it.

Until next time, write on!

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 11-May-2016

11 May

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community.


AskingCurrently reading: I’m finally getting back to Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe (Half-Blood Prince) by J.K. Rowling and it feels so good! I’m not sure how long it will take for me to finish this, but I’ll enjoy the ride.
I made small progress with In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson again. I’m at about 20% but I’ll get there to be sure. It might take a while, though.
My audiobook now is The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. It’s nice for runs because music from her band will randomly come on during it but the narration is a bit quiet which is frustrating when I have to play with the volume so much.

ClashofKingsRecently finished: I finished A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin! I’m glad I finished it and I honestly don’t think I’ll get to the next book anytime soon. I felt this one was a lot less exciting than the first book. I dunno. I’ll get to it eventually, but I’m not sure when.
I flew through The Virgin Blue by Tracey Chevalier. The book was a bit more magical than her others books have been, but I still enjoyed it a lot. I’m excited to discuss this one with the book club. I’ve volunteered to lead the discussion.

27 Days_HighResReading Next: I’m posting about this tomorrow, but my friend Kristine Kruppa released a book last week and I plan to read it next. It’s called 27 Days to Midnight and I’m really looking forward to reading it!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Q+A with Author Kristine Kruppa Plus Cover Reveal for 27 Days to Midnight

8 Mar

I’ve mentioned this on my Facebook page before, but I think it’s the first time I’m posting about it here. A little over a year ago, a mutual friend introduced me to Kristine saying, “You’re both writers, you should meet.” So thank you, Mike, for introducing me to a great local writer and friend. Her new book, 27 Days to Midnight, is coming out May 3rd. With the date fast approaching, today is her cover release! I asked Kristine to do me the favor of answering a few questions I had for her to share some advice and talk a bit about her book. If you want to ask her some questions of your own, she’ll be doing a Twitter Q&A from 8-9pm EST tonight. Be sure to follow @kskruppa and use #27Days to participate.

27 Days_HighRes

Everyone in Dahlia’s world knows when they’re going to die. Except her.

Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father died to protect…and the time research that could bring him back to life.

Then she meets Farren Reed. She should hate him. He’s an enemy soldier, a cowardly deserter, and the most insufferable man Dahlia’s ever met. Still, she needs all the help she can get, and Farren is the only chance she has to find the man who murdered her father. But Farren has only twenty-seven days left on his watch.

In that time, Dahlia must recover her father’s time research, foil a psychotic general’s plot, and learn to survive in a world that will never be the same. But the research holds secrets more dangerous than she had ever imagined. She will have to choose what is most important: revenge, Farren’s life, or her own. And time is running out.

Author Photo - Small

Author photo by Sunny Wong

Kristine Kruppa is a mechanical engineer, writer, and world traveler. Her days are spent designing cool new car parts, but her evenings are filled with writing and cats. She has traveled solo to seventeen countries on five continents. Her other hobbies include hunting for the perfect cup of coffee, exploring used book stores, and accidentally climbing mountains. To keep up with her adventures, follow Kristine on Twitter @kskruppa.

And, finally, my Q&A with Kristine about her writing.

Sam: When did you start writing? Do you remember the first thing you wrote?
Kristine: I don’t remember when I started writing; it’s just something I’ve always done. As a kid, I wrote and illustrated little picture books. I think the earliest one involved a cat detective tracking down a pizza thief. After my family bought a computer–somewhere between sixth and seventh grade–I fell into the habit of waking up early, slipping downstairs, and typing away while the house was quiet. I broke countless staplers trying to wrestle the stacks of pages into something resembling a book.

Sam: How do you stay focused on your writing with life going on around you?
Kristine: This is something I struggle with. I try to set aside a little time every day to write, but this doesn’t always happen. Instead, I end up hauling my laptop to cafés on the weekend for a few hours of coffee and words. To stop myself from getting distracted by the internet or other people, I set a timer. I write for twenty minutes straight. Then I break for ten minutes of watching cat videos and chowing down on cookies before going back to writing. It’s easier to focus if I break up long sessions into small chunks. And it stops me from wandering off-track!

Sam: What advice would you give to writers who want the same success you’re enjoying?
Kristine: Finish your stories. Around the halfway point, I’m always tempted to set aside a novel-in-progress. Usually, it’s because I have a new story idea, something shiny and exciting that seems far better than the messy draft in front of me. I have to force myself to work on the draft for a while. Within a few chapters, the magic always comes back and I’m able to finish it. While it may be appealing to drop everything for a new idea, this technique will work against you in the long run. You can’t publish half a book!

Sam: Why did you decide to go into engineering? Would you ever consider leaving your day job for a writing career?
Kristine: I’d always been good at math and science, so engineering seemed the natural choice. I originally wanted to be a civil engineer, working on bridges or roads (or roller coasters!). But I switched to mechanical engineering when I realized I could do a wider variety of things with it. I don’t think I would ever give up my day job for a writing career (the stable salary funds my crazy vacations), but I’d certainly switch to part-time work if my writing really takes off.

Sam: Why have you decided to travel so extensively? Does what you see abroad show up in your work?
Kristine: I travel because I love it. Seeing the world, meeting new people, discovering different places and cultures…there’s nothing like it. Plus, travel gives me excellent writing material! Many of the settings in my stories are based on real places. The cliff town from 27 Days to Midnight was inspired by the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Dahlia’s hometown is reminiscent of Paris. And the marketplace in Janmasthala is similar to markets I’ve wandered in Peru and Southeast Asia (besides the mechanical tortoises, of course!).

Tune into her author chat/interview tonight to find out anything else  you want to know about the upcoming release. Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!