Friday, March 13, 2015

An Interview With Krystal Jane!

Today, we are beginning what I hope will become a new bimonthly or tri-monthly feature on The Sunflower's Scribbles: guest posts and interviews with writers, authors, passionate readers, editors...

To inaugurate this, I interviewed Krystal Jane, a prolific fantasy/supernatural writer from Tennessee. She is a frequent commenter here and blogs about writing at The Narcissistic Rose. Her website Planet Krystal also features stories on getting into and out of debt--and haircare!


From Pinterest.com Twelve Dancing Princesses
Here, Krystal tells us about how she began writing, why she loves fantasy so much, what her favorite fairytale is, and how she's currently revising a manuscript for a revise and resubmit.

When did you start writing? When did you realize you really liked writing? 

Hmm, lemme see…I remember writing picture books in elementary school, but I was 11 before I wrote anything with the intention of being able to call myself a writer one day. I always loved telling stories. Even before I could write, I was making up crazy stuff during lunchtime and telling my tales with all the dramatics of a soap star to my classmates. I never really realized it, I just kind of woke up one day and was like, “Oh, I really love this!”

Do you remember the first long-ish story you wrote? 

Oh yeah. Untitled first crappy “novel” that was nowhere near novel length in reality. I was 12, and I thought it was great until I finished my next book. But it was okay! I could try again! It was about a bookworm who signed up to tutor an ex-“bad boy” after school who wanted to change his ways. LOL! They fell in love. My character was 14, I think. Oh, the horror!! I have no idea why I went from writing horror-laced and fantastical short stories to contemporary teeny bopper romance, but it didn’t last long!


How many novels have you written? They're mostly fantasy, right? 

Um…I think I’m on number 16. I count them all even though half of them are novella length. I thought I was writing a novel, so it counts. But yep, except for that first horrible attempt, all of them are fantasy or supernaturally charged horror.

What is it about fantasy that you find so fascinating? 

Ooh, good question! I think it’s because I really, really like the thought of magic powers. Growing up in the middle, we often suffer from the often laughed at – but VERY real – middle child syndrome! I was kind of naturally drawn to anything that looked like it gave people a sense of control over their lives. I also really liked scaring myself as a kid. I used to sneak downstairs and play this Haunted Graveyard record that my parents would blast on Halloween. I think I was like five.

What was the first fantasy novel you read? 

Hmm…this is hard…I don’t remember if it was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or this book called Into the Land of the Unicorns. I have a much better memory of what happened in the unicorn book before I read the entire Chronicles of Narnia in college. That kind of makes me think Narnia was first, but they’re both portal fantasies, so who knows.

What's your favorite folktale or fairytale? Why do you like it so much?

Ooh!! It’s really hard to pick one, but hands down, I have to go with “Twelve Dancing Princesses!” There’s just something so rich and lavish and mysterious and supernatural and almost frightening and sinister at times about that story. Maybe I just read too much into it, but every time I read my fairy tale book (well, the ones with that story in it), I never ever skip it. And every time I read it, there’s something in there that I don’t remember reading before! It’s fantastic!

I know you have a revision and resubmit going on. How did that come about?
(Note: It's on a manuscript called Discord.) 

I queried this particular agent at the tail end of July and got a partial request in mid-September. That was upgraded to a full in mid-November and the R&R came in at the end of February. So when they say you have to be patient, it's an understatement! This was my seventh time in the query trenches. The biggest relief is that the agent really likes my plot and the main characters in general!

And how is the R&R going?

The biggest change I'm making is with one of the side characters. She [the agent] pointed out some inconsistencies. It requires retooling of dialogue, thoughts, and actions throughout. I’m worried that I’m not making enough changes, because it seems like this revision is requiring me to make a lot of tiny changes throughout, but I feel pretty good about my approach. Of course, I still feel good about the draft in general, so I don’t know if that’s saying anything. I have a lot of internal and external dialogue changes, but my main focus is on clarifying and defining. It’s kind of like taking a tiny chisel to a statue that already looks like it’s done. Which is why I’m like, “Is she even going to be able to tell I did anything?” But I figure if nothing else, it will at least be a stronger version of what I already have, which is what I think I’m supposed to be going for.

What are you working on next?
I'm still outlining my supernatural horror: Painted Chaos

How do you feel about sunflowers? ;-)

You know what, I LOVE sunflowers! I always stop to soak them up when I see them. They're so gigantic, and they look so majestic and happy. I call them "happy" flowers. 

Thank you so much for letting me pick your brain, Krystal! 

13 comments:

  1. This is fun! I can't wait to see what the other guest posts are like. ^_^ Thanks for making me look good! Lol! :D

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    1. Thanks for doing it, Krystal! I think either Karla or Michelle T. may be next, but we'll have to see who else I can get to come on here as I go on.

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  2. Such a neat interview! Glad I got to know more interesting things about you Krystal. Good luck with that R&R! I'm rooting for ya!

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    1. She was very accommodating with all her answers! But, you know, I think new writers could learn about R&Rs (and persistence) from Krystal and this interview.

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  3. Great interview, ladies!

    Gosh, sixteen novels. That's awesome! Into the Land of Unicorns was the first fantasy book that I read! :D

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    1. Yay! I don't know how many times I've read that book. I still have it! ^_^

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  4. Hi Krystal and Michelle, nice interview! I read "Twelve Dancing Princess" when a fellow writer told me it was her favourite fairytale and I love its mysterious atmosphere. (And yes, middle-child-syndrome is very real!)

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    1. Yeah, it is! ^_^
      So far, I've even really liked some of the retellings of "Twelve Dancing Princesses" that I've read.

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  5. Oh, I've never read "Twelve Dancing Princesses" but now I want to!
    What a fun interview!
    I can't believe (well, yes I can!) you've created so many worlds!
    I can learn a thing or two from you! Dedication :)

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    1. OMG, go read it NOW!!! I'll wait. Lol!
      ^_^

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    2. I did!
      It was....interesting. I liked it all except the end :/ lol.

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Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. Check back soon. I reply to all comments. Happy reading!