Thursday, December 3, 2015

Talking Books with Courtney Kristel, author of 'Beautifully Shattered'

Courtney Kristel graduated from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, but she couldn't shake her true passion for writing. She's currently working on the second novel of the Beautifully Series, Beautifully Mended. When she isn't creating stories to share with the world, Courtney usually has a book in her hands or is searching for new music to add to her writing playlist.  

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Beautifully Shattered.

For More Information

Title: Beautifully Shattered
Author: Courtney Kristel
Publisher: Amazon
Pages: 412
Genre: Romantic Suspense

What would you do if your world fell apart right before your eyes? If everything you held dear was stolen before you had a chance to say goodbye, would you give up or keep fighting? Adalynn Maxwell didn't decide to give up. She was robbed of her choice.

After years of therapy, Adalynn finally wants to move on and her brother's sexy best friend Jax lures her further out of her shell. But she doesn’t understand his game and he changes the rules at every turn, making her fall into the waiting arms of the mysterious Doctor Kohen Daniels, whom she can’t seem to avoid. She’s terrified of trusting him, but something about him makes her want to bare her soul.

Adalynn is desperate for that all-consuming love she reads about, but doesn't believe she deserves it. Her desperation to prove to Jax that she isn’t a little girl anymore may ruin her forever. One wrong decision can change her entire future. She has one last choice to make, but will it be ripped away from her like everything else? Will she pay the ultimate price?

For More Information

  • Beautifully Shattered is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a huge supporter of two hour naps, I’m the kind of person that is already planning the next time I can take a nap. I love spending time with my dog Rileey or talking to my best friend and family. My five year old nephew is my favorite person in the whole world. He might have some competition though since my sister is about to have her second kid! I’m way excited to see the new addition to her family. 

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was around 14. It was a way to escape for a little while, and that hasn’t changed. I love being pulled into the lives of my characters. To me, they’re real. There’s time where I’m thinking to myself, “Oh wow Harper would have loved that dress,” while I’m shopping, or when I’m watching a scary movie I picture Adalynn cuddled up on the couch with Jax watching the same movie. As my writing progresses, I never want to lose that love for the characters I’m writing.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

It would be the night I allowed the first person to ever read anything I wrote. My sister Heather and I we’re drinking wine and watching movies. I got this bright idea to show her a book I was reading on my computer. It wasn’t until she told me she loved it, that I told her I wrote it. I can still picture her shocked expression and hear her googling phrases of the book because she didn’t believe I wrote it. That wasn’t a blow to my ego or anything big sister. That was the night that she told me I had to finish writing and publish the book. I made her promise not to tell anyone, she of course lied to me so she could push me to reach my dreams. Long story short, that was the night that led to publishing Beautifully Shattered.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

If I listed every town I would love to visit to write, I could probably write another book so I’ll narrow it down to just Europe. That’s where all the greats drew inspiration and for me, just to write where they were would be magical.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

If I had an extra four hours I would get all the stuff done that I’m putting off until tomorrow like grocery shopping or getting a new phone since mine decided to go swimming, but since I don’t I’m going to stay relaxing at home in my favorite sweater with my dog beside me, music blaring while I work on the second book, Beautifully Mended. I haven’t put as much time into writing the second book as I should be since I’ve moved to Chicago. Time management is not my strong suit. Sorry for the delay to everyone who’s waiting for the next installment of the Beautifully Series. 

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

That’s a tough one. I’m thinking a college town somewhere hidden in the woods maybe. I have a few ideas on what I want to write next once this series is done, but that’s so far from my mind at the moment it’s hard to picture clearly. I already have a name for the new series and a few jaw dropping spoilers that I’m going to keep to myself at this time. Insert sinister laughter.

Back to your present book, Beautifully Shattered, how did you publish it?

I decided to go the indie route because I feel like this is the best choice for me right now. I self-published with Amazon and I’m about to release the paperback option of the book.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

No, but google became my best friend for key points and spelling errors since I’m a horrible speller. My oldest sister Monica was always a phone call away when google couldn’t figure out what I was trying to spell, and Taryn my best friend is a frequent visitor of NYC so she gave me a lot of advice too.

Why was writing Beautifully Shattered so important to you?

I wanted to write a book that meant something to readers. I wanted to show them that no matter what happens in life, to remember that life is worth fighting for, to always keep breathing. When Adalynn realized that she wouldn’t ever be able to get over what happened to her that dreadful night, realized that she’s still breathing, that was a turning point in her life. She didn’t want to be numb anyone, she wanted to join the world. The hardest part of her life, mine, has already happened, yet we’re still breathing. We’re still fighting. That’s what I wanted readers to see and hopefully allow them to escape from reality and into Adalynn’s rollercoaster of a life. Once her love for Jax came into play, the hardships that she has faced, and what she’s about to overcome now, I knew that I had to keep writing, to share her story.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

My best ideas come from personal experiences but with more drama added to it. I think these are my best ideas because I’ve personally gone through something similar, even if on the smallest scale to my characters, so I can relate to how the main character is feeling and everything she had to do to overcome the hardships she’s currently facing.

Any final words?

I want to thank you for this interview and for everyone who has read Beautifully Shattered. A special thanks goes out to the people in my life who listen to me ramble on and on about the book to clear out my own thoughts. For those people, you know who you are, I’m forever grateful to you guys.

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