If you haven't read The Ghost of You, check it out—Kristen is like me, she likes to write romances that are a little bit different.
For a little peek into the world of Kristen Darling, read on.
When did you begin writing?
I started writing the moment I was able to hold a pen and form words on paper. My early stories are, of course, nothing that I would ever show anyone, but I still have a few of them and they always remind me of my passion for writing.
Do you have any writing rituals or routines?
I try to visualize the scene in my head before I start writing, just so I have a general idea about the direction. I also use music a lot to inspire me; it helps me set the mood I want to capture and gives me sense of actually living it.
What are your publishing and/or writing goals for 2016?
I am behind schedule on my second novel, but hoping to get back on track and have it ready for publishing by the spring. After that, I have had a lot of requests for a sequel to The Ghost of You, so it is something I am currently considering.
If you could live any part of your life again, what would you change and why?
Many things come to mind, but as I think about it, if I changed anything, I might not be where I am today. It’s a wonderful dream, but in reality, I have learned too much from the mistakes and chances I took, and I wouldn’t change a thing, as cliché as that sounds.
What do you do on the days the words just don’t seem to flow?
I step back and walk away for awhile. The story is always there in the back of my mind, but I sometimes need to distance myself and work out any problems with storylines or characters. Thinking about it away from the writing process always seems to fix something that seemed broken in the story, and I love those “A-ha!” moments, when I can race back to my laptop and see the story once again come to life.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere. Honestly. Everyone has a story, if you are willing to listen, and there are locations for stories, events, small details, everywhere you look. I am most inspired, however, when it is dark, night, quiet. That is when I am free to let my mind wander and take me to faraway places.
Are you able to tell us something about you we may not know?
I suffer from anxiety and panic. I have since I was twelve years old. It can be scary at times, and I describe what someone experiences when they suffer a panic attack. This is so common, but often gets overlooked because on the outside, everything looks perfectly fine.
What else do you love doing, besides writing?
In addition to writing, I am also an avid reader. I have a library of over a thousand books, and I love re-reading old favourites many times. There is nothing like curling up with a good book. I also love to bake, and I love dancing around to music (provided that the blinds are shut and I am alone in the house, lol.) Hanging out with my children and friends is another way I like to pass the time.
What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear has always been that one of my children gets sick. I try not to be a neurotic mother, but there are times, when I play the card “better safe than sorry” and drag them for an appointment with the doctor. Any parent who has to suffer through his/her child being sick has my deepest empathy and my heart goes out to them.
What makes you happy?
My children, first and foremost. My family, who is a great support to me. My friends, who know my crazy and love me anyway. Writing makes me happy, always, as does coming across a book that becomes a new favourite. Rainy days make me happy (I’m strange like that) and the ocean, which is my true sanctuary.
Let’s play This or That
Cake or Ice-cream? Ice cream
Winter or Summer? Summer
Beach or Forest? Beach
Airplane or Car? Car
Paperback or eBook? Paperback
Cat or Dog? Dog
Country or City? City
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Late nights or early mornings? Late nights (don’t talk to me in the morning. You won’t understand me, lol)
Small talk or deep and meaningful? Deep and meaningful usually, but it often depends on the person.
Where to find Kristen online
website I Twitter I Facebook I Amazon
**Sample of The Ghost of You**
APRIL 15, 2015
I roam the dark house like a restless soul. The Ativan, which sometimes helps ease these sleepless nights, is not doing its job. I am somewhere between consciousness and sleep; a waif-like creature who could easily be carried off by a strong wind, and who would welcome the distraction from her ravaged heart.
I find myself in the living room, staring out the wall of windows overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The waves are reckless tonight in the storm, mirroring my own thoughts and emotions. They crash violently against the shore as the wind howls and the rain pelts against the dark house.
I can see the white caps relentlessly pounding against the sand, but further out, I see nothing but inky blackness. A void that resembles the void I feel inside.
Despite the weather warning earlier this evening and the pending hurricane watch, I find myself drawn to the sliding glass door, find myself unlocking it, and with some force I open the slider against the pounding rain. Immediately, the wind slams against me, knocking me off balance as I struggle to walk across the deck to the stairs that will take me down to the shore.
My long hair is tortured and tangled in the storm, whipping against my face and stinging my eyes, and my short nightgown is soaked and sticking to my body by the time I reach the steps that will lead me down to the sand. I shiver, then strengthen my resolve and feel my body relax, the effects of the Ativan finally beginning to take effect.
My thoughts are jumbled, but at the same time perfectly clear. As my bare feet touch the sand, I am grounded. I feel stronger, and the anxiety slowly begins to slip away.
I walk along the shoreline away from the house and once I am far enough away, I allow the dam to break.
The memories bring me to my knees, and as I kneel in the wet sand, I lean forward and rest my head in my hands, shedding tears I've held back for over 13 years.
13 years since I last saw his face, but behind my eyes, I see him as clearly as the day I said goodbye. His dark, dark eyes, filled with desire and mischief, his secret smile that connected with something deep inside of me… I choke back my sobs as I think of what could have been, of what will never be…
I loved him more than I ever thought possible, though I didn't know it at the time. He meant so much to me that I set him free, to live his life the way I knew needed to live it. I knew the pain of losing him would forever change me, but I had no idea that his ghost would linger on, to haunt my dreams and my soul for so many years. The experience of knowing him, of loving him has caused my life to forever be tainted, stained with memories of him and how we were together.
His last words to me, written in an email sent only yesterday, have cemented my future and his forever. "I think of you often, Dita Darling, but our lives have been paved in such a way that I must wish you happiness in your future of which I can never be a part." Such finality in his words, and after all this time, the fragile hope I carried inside for so long has been forever destroyed.
I don't know how long I've been crying, nor how many minutes (hours?) I have been kneeling in the sand, but when the last tear has fallen, I take a deep shuddering breath and slowly pull myself up.
I don't know how I will find the strength to move on, but something compels me forward, back towards the house and my bleak, unknown future. I walk with my head down, the wind still a force that propels me forward, and it is only when I reach the stairs that I glance up to see the dark figure standing on the deck. I can't see very well in the shadows, but my body reacts immediately, and I struggle to catch my breath.
A familiar voice carries on the wind, and I feel my heart start to pound as his words reach my ears.
"Hello, Dita Darling. It's been a long time."