Tuesday, April 1, 2014

PPWC 2014 Q&A - Kris Neri

Kris Neri, Author

1. What was the defining moment that made your realize you wanted to be an author?

Although I've always written, it didn't occur to me that I could make a career of it until my husband, who was a triathlete at the time, asked me to write an article for him. I wrote a humorous article on the life of a middle-of-the-pack triathlete. Triathlon magazine not only published it, they paid me for it! Being in print in a national magazine and knowing countless people were reading it was such a rush. That was when it occurred to for the first time then that I could make a career of writing. I successfully wrote articles for years before I eventually went on to writing fiction, but opening that magazine when it came in the mail, and seeing my article there in print was my defining moment.

2. What is the one thing you cannot work without? What is your creative vice?

Coffee! Lots of rich, black French Roast. I also light a scented candle I keep on my desk when I get stuck, or I pick up and study one of the interesting rocks that I collect on hikes and place there, as well. But it's really the coffee that fuels everything.

3. If you could 'revive' any literary figure from the past for a one hour conversation, who would you choose?

I would probably pick one of my author friends who've passed on, such as Barbara Seranella or Barbara Burnett Smith, to have another chance to talk.

4. What is one of your more notable or unusual conference or convention experiences?

Having my book, MAGICAL ALIENATION, win an award would have to be exceptionally notable. Also, the times when someone tells me that whatever workshop I've delivered has helped them to fix a problem in their writing, have been satisfying experiences.

5. If we asked your friends and family to compare you to a cartoon character, which would they choose, and why?

My husband says Jessica Rabbit, which proves he has an erroneous, albeit flattering, impression of me. I think lots of people would say the Roadrunner because of my persistence

6. What is one thing would you like aspiring authors to know about the road to success?

I would want them to understand it can be a harder road than they probably expect. At times it's all smooth sailing, but unexpected bumps will arise, and there are times when it's awfully steep. The one thing I'd like them to know is that you have to enjoy the journey to make it worthwhile.

About the Author: Kris Neri writes the Tracy Eaton mysteries, the latest of which is Revenge on Route 66, a 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award finalist, and the Samantha Brennan & Annabelle Haggerty magical series. Her novels have been nominated for such prestigious awards as the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, International Book Award, and the Lefty. She is a three-time Lefty Award finalist for Best Humorous Mystery Novel. Her most recent magical novel, Magical Alienation, was a 2012 NM-AZ Book Award winner for fantasy. Kris teaches writing for the Writers’ Program of the UCLA Extension School, and with her husband, owns The Well Red Coyote bookstore in Sedona, AZ. Kris welcomes readers to her website, www.krisneri.com.

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