Name Kristy Jo Volchko
Where are you from?
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I was born in Ohio and then lived with my grandmother on her small farm for a few years. Around the age of five I moved to Pittsburgh and have lived here ever since. I am married and have one son.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am super excited about my newest release, Operation Scrub-A-Dub-Skunk. It is the fourth installment of the Cackleberry Creek children’s series, and is available in both paperback & kindle.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing at a very early age. I wrote songs, jingles, rhymes, silly jokes, letters, anything. Around the age of eight I wrote a little story about becoming an accidental stowaway on a flying saucer to Mars. I remember that one specifically because I received a typewriter that year from ‘Santa’ and felt so inspired!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was in the sixth grade, and had just finished reading the last page of my favorite Judy Blume book, Blubber. I remember feeling a bit disappointed that such a cool story had come to an end, so I decided to sit down and type what may have happened afterward. I realized rather quickly that I was no Judy Blume! Haha. But that’s what inspired me.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I do not
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles just pop into my head and out through my fingertips.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I always want for there to be a core message of kindness and compassion for oneself and for each other.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I would say all of it. For instance, in Frogs Can Fly, Lulu Frog needed to learn how to love herself for who she is. Many people struggle with self esteem.
Operation Scrub-A-Dub Skunk teaches about accepting each other’s differences and tolerance. We never want to be left out of things, or to discriminate because of race, gender, religion, a disability, or for any other difference we’re sure to have.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Fiona: What books have influenced your life most? A mentor?
Judy Blume books influenced me the most as a young girl…I read them over and over again. Stephen King and VC Andrews ruled my literary world throughout my teen years and into my twenties. As for my thirties…self help books reigned supreme!
My mentors ranged from caring grade school teachers, a guidance counselor, aunts, my dear friend Judith G. – and other authors that have written about their struggles or triumphs. Watching teaching documentaries or even shows like Oprah’s Life Class will sometimes put things into perspective, inspire and grow me some. Mentors are all around us, but I do believe books to be my biggest.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and re-reading Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, Gillian Flynn- Lena Dunham- John Green- Cheryl Strayed- Eimear McBride.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am currently approaching the final stages of a few merchandising projects for the Cackleberry Creek brand as well as editing the fifth installment for that series. I’m also revising a YA novella series that will release this Summer.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There is always something I’d like to revise…it never ends for me. It’s best that I not even look at it again!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here is my latest release:
Operation Scrub-A-Dub Skunk
Davy Frog’s surprise birthday bash is a huge hit and everyone on the farm is there to celebrate! On the way to the party Lulu meets a lonesome critter and invites him to join the fun. Siggy is funky, spunky, but unfortunately a bit too skunky! He smells worse than rotten cackleberries! Worse than chicken coops on a hot summer day! No matter how funny or sweet he is, no one seems to want him around.
Lulu and her pals are determined to help Siggy get rid of his bad odor and change his life for the better! Will Operation Scrub-A-Dub Skunk help Siggy to finally have friends and not be left out of all the fun? Or will this bunch learn some valuable lessons about compassion, compromise, and acceptance of other’s differences? And maybe it takes all kinds of different critters to have one big happy farm.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I still have so much to learn!
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Stephen King- I like the rawness of his writing and his ability to dive deep into the psyche of each character, allowing them to unfold without strangling them with societal censorship.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I have not, as of yet. Pittsburgh has a lot going on around here!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I design my covers to the smallest detail and Sean Winburn did the gorgeous illustrations.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Time constraints and re-learning proper grammar!
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
- I eat way too much chocolate.
- Just when I feel that excitement of a new release, its short lived because my mind is thinking up new chapters or color schemes for other projects. I’m learning to ease up on myself.
- I have poor time assessment/management skills. I’ll catch myself in some kind of weird, time traveling, twilight zone, because when I power up my computer at 2pm, I’ll look up at the clock and wonder how it magically turned into at 4am. (I mindlessly gobble down another chocolate bar and wonder if a story about a chocolate eating, ADHD writer getting abducted by aliens through her laptop would sell.) Nah…back to editing.
- Perfect-Punctuation-Land continues to be just a far off, beautiful dream to me.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
(Yes, if you buy my books your life will be better, haha)
I’ve always liked the quote by (??)…“Never give advice…a wise man won’t need it and a fool won’t heed it.”
There isn’t anything I could advise that isn’t already a meme somewhere.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you to the hundredth power! Your emails, messages, cards, and genuine support mean so much to me! I hope that I inspire you as much as you inspire me.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It was a boxed set that contained, Jack and the Beanstalk, Princess and the Pea, & The Frog Prince. I also had a book of rhymes that I loved.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh at most everything- I love to laugh/I cry when I see something suffer or when I’m missing those I’ve lost.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I’d like to hang out with Edgar Cayce or Nostradamus. It’s hard to decide between the two. Both would make very interesting conversation!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
No head stone for me. I’d like to have my ashes sprinkled at the roots of a newly planted tree so that I may grow inside of its leaves and limbs forever! I hope it’s a lemon or pear tree.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Reading/learning/Crocheting/Singing/Music/Photography/Dance/Theatre/Cinemas/Crafts/Beading/Games-Scrabble-Trouble-BlackJack/Yoga/Meditation… (I like to do many things.)
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I enjoy a wide range of movies, from Quentin Tarentino films, all the way to Disney. As for TV, I like to watch Survivor, The Leftovers, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, even The Bachelorette. I also like Family Guy, and old sitcoms such as, Married…with Children, and King of Queens.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite foods are ones that I’m not allergic to, favorite colors are Salmon, Coral, White, Black, Red, and I love ALL music- even the crickets outside my bathroom window.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Secret Agent (of course)
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?