Name Anna Kristell/Isabella Kole
Where are you from southern Indiana
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have been an avid reader since I was old enough to pick up a book. Romance was always my favourite genre, although I like historical and some mystery. I grew up in southern Indiana, but I have also lived in Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas before moving back to Indiana in 2005. I am married, have two grown children and six grandchildren. I work a day job and I also edit for my publisher and help with their audio books.
One day, I decided to write a book. After many interruptions from that thing we call life, the book was finally finished. LazyDay Publishing released Crossroad to Love in early 2013 and a series evolved from that book. A few weeks later, Rebel Ink Press released Unlikely Lovers, a standalone romance. Anna Kristell writes sweet romance. A few years ago, one of my editors suggested I try my hand at the spicier stories. I was reluctant, at first, but decided to give it a go. Thus, Isabella Kole was created. Isabella writes exclusively for Blushing Books and is now a USA Today Bestselling Author. I think, looking back, that was a good decision…
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
In October, Isabella’s Hannah’s Horror was released. It was originally an Anna sweet romantic mystery novella entitled The Legend of Blackhawk Manor. I turned it into a full length Isabella Kole book. I added some spice and more mystery. The reviews have been fantastic! An interesting thing about this book is that some of the things described in the beginning actually happened to me in a hotel in Iowa. That is what gave me the idea for the story.
In November, the ninth Fab Five series book will be released. Eternal Road to Love is the final installment, although I am doing two crossover novellas next year in Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire and Rescue kindle world. The series began with my first book, which is about a longtime group of friends and their romantic dilemmas. The friendship in the book was inspired by my own lifelong group of friends. In December, the entire set will be offered as a box set.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing my first book 16 years ago. It was published in January, 2013. I write because I have always read voraciously and I have always dabbled, in some way, with writing. I decided to throw my hat into the ring, so to speak, and see what happened. Over thirty releases later, I can say that I am glad I did. A story I remember from years ago that I like to tell took place when I was in the second grade. We were supposed to write a story for class. I did, and I remember the teachers taking me aside and asking me where I got my story. I was too young to realize they thought I had copied the story. I wrote that story myself and I was heartbroken. I don’t remember what happened, but I wish those two teachers were alive today…
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The day I received my first acceptance from a publisher.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I have a group of friends, there are nine of us, who have been friends since the early 1960s. We still, to this day, get together for dinner, weekends, shopping trips etc. We have gone through life together, experiencing the good times and the bad. My first book is about a similar group of women.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
With all my other obligations, I write when I find the time. I am a fast writer, so that helps. I have an outline, but I don’t always follow it. Ideas come to me throughout the process, and I stray to an entirely different direction at times.
Anna generally stays pretty tame, and Isabella writes soft erotic with a dash of discipline.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles often just pop into my head. Other times, I enlist the help of my beta reader or my daughter, who is my assistant. Sometimes, my editor offers suggestions. Some books, I have the title before I have the story, others I struggle with.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
With the Fab Five series, you will see unconditional love, friends stepping up to help in a crisis, no judgments, only care and concern.
My books always have the happy, fairy tale ending.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of my books do contain things that have actually happened to me or someone I know in them, tiny bits of real life. Some are purely fiction, the result of an overactive imagination.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Kathleen Woodiwiss was a favorite for years. Danielle Steel is another that I read often. As far as a mentor…that would have to be my editor, Staci Taylor. I have worked with her since 2012. She has pushed me to become a better writer. She has dared me to try new things.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Oh, wow, there are so many…too many to list in one interview. One that I will mention is Anne Welch. She was my assistant at one time, but she always wanted to write. Through the encouragement of many of her author friends, she took the plunge. Her first book is purely satire, one of the funniest you will ever read. She has started writing romance and has a series now. She is doing well, just as I knew she would. When I beta read or edit for her, I see so much of herself in her stories.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Only one? Then I would have to say friends.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, the ultimate goal is retirement from the day job in order to make writing and editing my full time retirement job. I love to travel and more author events will definitely be on the agenda.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a thing.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I believe it came from reading.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Eternal Road to Love is the final book in the Fab Five series, but can easily be read as a standalone. It is about a young woman, Madison, who recently learned she was the result of a teenage date rape. Her adoptive parents entered into an open adoption with her young mother and her family, so she has always known her biological family, but as family friends. When she learns the truth, she is reeling. And when her biological father accidentally enters her life, things really start to spiral. Her lifelong friend, Caleb, is the only person she can freely talk to about it all. With his loving support and that of her family and the “Fab Five” clan, she will make a decision about her life and who she chooses to include in it.
All the books can be read as a standalone, but to start with book one and work your way through them is a treat. I have a new reader to the series, who read the entire series in one week. She is disappointed that the series is coming to an end, as are several others.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I love to travel. I make it a point to write about places I’ve visited or lived. I travel to book signings and author events. Right now, I do about four events a year, with some local ones scattered in throughout the year.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The cover artist with my publisher does my covers. There have been more than one artist through the years. Most of my books with Blushing Books are done by Lawson Craighill now. The Cover Artisan did some of the earlier ones. Carl Franklin designed most of my covers with Rebel Ink Press.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Fact checking is a very important part of any story. I spend a lot of time researching.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn something new with each book. There is always room for improvement.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Oh wow, I would have to think about that! So many books, so many actors…
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for all your support!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently, I am not reading one. As an editor, I read books daily. For pleasure, there isn’t a lot of time right now, with deadlines always looming. I love Lori Ryan’s books for my pleasure reading, so I am sure the last one I read “just to read a book” was one of hers.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Honestly, no, because I began reading everything I could get my hands on as early as second grade. Gone with the Wind was an all time favorite of mine.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Fun times with family and friends make me laugh. I cry when I read about death or the end of an era, end of a relationship or end of a friendship.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Princess Diana, because the royal family has always fascinated me, and she was one of a kind, a light gone from our lives much too soon.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I would hope it would say, “She lived life to the fullest.”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Traveling, seeing new places, meeting new people.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Ha ha, I don’t have much time for TV, but I am sucker for Hallmark movies.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Coffee, wine, chocolate, Italian food/ blue, aqua and melon/Country love ballads
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Hmm, nothing else comes to mind. I have always wanted to be a writer. Possibly a travel agent or real estate agent.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Hannah’s Horror buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Hannahs-Horror-Romantic-Isabella-Kole-ebook/dp/B01LYZLE9T
Crossroad to Love, Fab Five series book one buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Crossroad-Love-Fab-Five-Book-ebook/dp/B00B1HP2KE
Anna’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Anna-Kristell/e/B00B1LK14W/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Isabella’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Isabella-Kole/e/B00FQ1X8KM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1476027200&sr=1-2-ent