Sunday 22 January 2012


  1. What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?     My name is Kirsten Zeller.  I was born in Fargo, North Dakota.  After much packing and moving, I've settled in Houston, Alaska.
  2. Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?     I've always loved writing, but didn't really consider it as a career choice for a long time.  Man, what did I not want to be?  For a long time, I wanted to be a fighter pilot in the Air Force.  I really badly wanted to be a professional dancer.  I've thought about training horses, and was recently considering a career in real estate.  And something in law; that was an option for a while.
  3. When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?     Tough one.  Probably a few months ago, when I first decided to self-publish.
  4. Did it take a long time to get your first book published?     Yes and no.  I tried sending my work to agents for about a year.  There was a brief period where it looked like that was going to work out, but it sort of fell through.  After I decided to self-publish, it only took a few weeks.
  5. Do you work another job as well as your writing work?     Yes, I do.  Gotta pay the bills somehow.
  6. What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?  My latest (and first) book is called Life With A Vampire.  It's a comedic paranormal romance with a bit of a dark side.
  7. Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?    I self-published.  That will probably be my route for a while.
  8. How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?     From the original idea?  This one took about a year, I think.  I got the idea, wrote the first draft (which needed a ton of work), edited and re-edited, and then submitted it to an agent.  She pointed out some issues with the middle, so I spent another few months fixing that before spending a couple of weeks editing again.  I worked on some other things in the meantime, so that added to the length of time it took to finish it.
  9. Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?     I have one right now that's in an incredibly rough first draft.  I haven't touched it for probably sixth months.  The plot needs a lot of fleshing out, and I'm completely blocked at to what to do with it.  Vampire was pretty easy.  The first version was an easy write, and the additions weren't too hard once I figured out the plot line I wanted to add.
  10. What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?     I'm about to start a sequel toVampire, but the other things I'm working on are all over the map.  I'm running through the first draft of a fantasy right now; I have an inspirational novel that needs to be pulled out off the shelf and looked at again; and that really tough write I mentioned earlier is an urban fantasy.  My interests are pretty much everywhere.
  11. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?     I do have plans for a new book that will turn this one into a series.
  12. What genre would you place your books into?    These ones are definitely paranormal romance.
  13. What made you decide to write that genre of book?    It was actually more about characters than genre.  I'm an admitted vampire lover, but all of the ones that I really like are the bad guys.  I like the more old-school vampire, and we seem to have drifted away from that.  I wanted to write about a vampire that wasn't ashamed of what he is ... or his eating habits.
  14. Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favorite?     Yeah, I think I do.  It's the one I'm working on right now, the fantasy.  It's set in medieval times, so there are lots of swords and horses, which I've always been attracted to in books and movies.  But it's pretty farcical, too.  The main plot line is, to me, very funny.
  15. Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favorite?     I love the main character of my vampire book, but I think my favorite is a knight from my fantasy.  He's the definition of chivalry, a real knight's knight.  But he's also very innocent and naive.  He comes up with the craziest plans and makes these ridiculous mistakes that are very funny.
  16. If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?    Hm, that's a tough one.  Probably Athene Arrington, the main character in my vampire book.  She's sort of a better version of me:  more confident, more sure of herself, willing to speak her mind.  I'm very shy.  The only way I can be assertive with someone is over the phone.
  17. How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?     I've been writing for a long time, since I was a kid.  Seriously writing, about four years.  I've always loved writing, and reading. The first book I wrote was actually inspired by a really crummy year I had.  I think it was an attempt to get my feeling out, down on paper, work through them and maybe figure some things out.  Other than that, I've found that certain actors really inspire me.  I'll watch a movie and go "I've gotta write him into a book!"
  18. Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?     I'm not really sure where I get my ideas from, they seem to just happen.  A lot of times, I'll have an idea for a character, and the plot will just form around that character.
  19. Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?     My routine for writing kind of sucks, in that, I don't really have one.  I do a lot of writing at my job actually, when I have downtime.  At home, there's usually a tv show on.  I can't seem to focus without some kind of background noise.  Listening to music is no good; I'll just sing along, and you can't write while you're singing along.
  20. Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?     I didn't actually.  My sister is my de facto editor right now, and she'll give me her opinions of how the story is working, if there's anything structurally that I need to change.
  21. Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?     I would, yes.
  22. Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?     I only have one review right now, but I probably would unless it got too depressing.  The craft of writing is an ever evolving thing.  I think good reviews can help point out what you're doing well and, more importantly, what you need to work on.
  23. What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?     None so far.  Still waiting.
  24. Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?     No, definitely not.  The only time I would do that is if I feel that the review is unfair, or if the criticism isn't constructive.
  25. How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?     Titles!  Ack!  The title for Life With A Vampire was easy, because that's what the book is about.  The title for another one is actually a line from the book that's a good indication of the plot.  The others I'm a complete blank on.  The cover for Vampire is a really cool door knocker that I actually wrote into the book.  My sister did a ton of work on the picture, filling in the background so that it was black.  I wanted the words to be red, and it took a little while to find a shade that wouldn't disappear on black-and-white Kindles.
  26. Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?     Except for one book, the title is usually the last thing I decide on.
  27. How do you market/promote your books?     I have a blog, and a facebook page, and a twitter account that have very few followers.  Right now, I'm working on getting reviews to my name out there.  
  28. What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?     Another tough one.  It's a number of elements:  it has to have a good plot, characters that people care about (or are at least interested in), good structure, and good writing.  Without all of those things, I think the book is going to fall flat.  Although, I have sometimes liked things just because the characters are so good.  A really great character can really elevate a story.
  29. Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?     Oh, good grief, yes.  One was fairly brief, when I was trying to come up with another plot line to flesh out Vampire.  I have another one hiding away in the back of my mind right now that's been there for about a year.  Other than pulling out the draft and having another read-through, I have no clue how I'm going to get past it.
  30. What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?     Relaxing is basically curling up on my couch with my blanket, hot cocoa, and a funny tv show.  My main hobby right now is horseback riding, but there are a lot of other things that I want to learn how to do when I can afford it.
  31. Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?     Definitely.  One whole book is based on things that happened to me.  The environment my character is in is a lot different, and a lot of things are exaggerated, but it's definitely about me.  Actually, a lot of characters in that book are based on people I've known.  A character in the fantasy I'm working onwas inspired by someone I know, but I wrote him out.
  32. Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")     I don't think so.  Not "hidden" ones, anyway.
  33. Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?     For the book I'm currently working on, Terry Pratchett was a big influence.  Besides that, I think I'm influenced in some way by everything I read.
  34. Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?     For reading, anything that has actual paper.  I love books,real books.  For publishing, I would love hardback or paperback, but, right now, I'll take whatever I can get.
  35. What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?    So many tough questions!  When it really comes down to it, I'd have to say The Lord of The Rings.  I've read it about four times, but it inspired a whole Tolkien obsession that's still going on.
  36. Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?     Some do, some don't.  I think it mostly depends on the crew that's doing it, how dedicated they are to sticking to the book and being true to the characters.  My favorite book transfer is Fellowship of The Ring.  Worst ... I know there is one, but I can't think of it at the moment.
  37. What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)    I'm reading The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman and greatly enjoying it.  I packed Going Postal by Terry Pratchett to take to work with me today.  It will probably be my fifth time through it.  They're both paperbacks.
  38. Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?     I really hope not.  For a person who loves 400+ page classics, I definitely understand the appeal.  But the joy I get from reading a real book is pretty much indescribable.
  39. Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?     Without having had any experience with the public school system for the last ten years, I would have to say no.  I've worked with a lot of kids in their late teens to early twenties, and they don't seem to have much interest in reading.  I think it's the same with creative writing, but they seem to go hand-in-hand, so that's not much of a surprise.
  40. Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?     I've always read a lot.  It's actually a bit of a drawback right now.  I spend way too much time reading as opposed to writing.  I wrote quite a few short stories growing up, too.
  41. Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?     Not one specifically, but there are a few genres that I'm not very interested in.  There have been a couple enormous books that took me a very long time to read.  Other books kept interrupting.
  42. Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?     My one review said there was too much description.  Thinking back on my book, there were probably a couple things that I could have shortened.
  43. What do you think about book trailers?     I've never actually seen one.  I think it's an interesting idea that could probably work if done well.
  44. What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?     Just keep trying, keep working, keep improving and learning.  Write what you want, and not what's expected or just because something is popular.  Rejection happens; don't let it stop you.
  45. Do you or would you ever use a pen name?     I thought about it for a little while, for the sake of privacy.  A lot of that thinking was because I am so shy.  I wouldn't be averse to it.
Where can readers follow you?  I'm on facebook, twitter, and I have a blog

Your blog details?     My blog is   I would love to have more followers.
Your facebook page?
Your Twitter details?     I'm @kirsten_zeller although, I just tried to find myself and couldn't.

And the Amazon link to buy the book ?   

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