Thursday, October 20, 2011

Interview with author Krystle Jones

Krystle Jones is the author of Veiled Innocence and several other novels for young adults.  I recently had the pleasure of reading Veiled Innocence and enjoyed getting to know Krystle.

How long have you been writing?

Honestly, I can't remember when I haven't been writing, though I didn't start writing "professionally" I guess until about two years ago. When I was little, I would scribble stories into whatever notepad or journal I could find. Sometimes, they were just loose, lined pages stapled together along the edges to form a "real book." LOL Most of my stories were fantasy, and usually about princesses, castles, and unicorns (which I had an obsession with).

How did you come up with the idea for Veiled Innocence?

I think a lot of people say this, but I pulled the idea from a dream. When I was in college (studying music, actually), I kept having this dream of this blonde, curly-haired girl trying to escape from a palace that had gone up in flames. I didn't know her name (she became Lianora in my story), and I didn't really think anything of it. I'd always had an active imagination, so I dismissed it to that. The dream would come and go, but a few years later - after not having it at all - it suddenly came back, only this time I saw another, dark-haired girl (Vishka). That's when I started jotting down notes and the story actually started to take shape.

How long did it take you to write Veiled Innocence?

*blushes* Over two years. It went through 3 or 4 complete rewrites, I can't remember, but that first draft was AWFUL. There were moments where I wanted to just drop a bomb on everyone and say, "Game over. End of story," but I'm thankful for all the grief VI gave me because it taught me so much about writing and editing. It was very good practice.

What are some of the themes in Veiled Innocence?

Let's see. There are a few, though the main one is choosing to embrace good rather than evil. All of us are shades of gray, though some people, I think, might be more "white or black" than that. The MC, Lianora, really struggles through the bulk of the novel with trying to suppress her darker tendencies, in the form of this velvety, almost hypnotic voice that's trying to seduce her and pull her into the darkness. That voice is her "inner demon," which I think all of us have in some form or another (whether it be self-loathing, trying to be nicer to others, etc.). We can choose to fight them, or let them consume us whole.

Tell us a little about the sequels to Veiled Innocence.

There are two sequels planned. Darkest Destiny (Book Two) will come out Spring of 2012, and the third book (Soul Fire) will come out hopefully by the end of next year, as well. There will also be a prequel called Age of Stars that will reveal more of Vishka's backstory, and be about the events leading up to VI.

What other types of books do you write?

I read a little bit of everything, as long as I find it entertaining, so my writing tastes reflect that. In addition to epic fantasy, I also write paranormal romance, urban fantasy, retold fairy tales, and I even have a contemporary novel planned (though I don't read much in that genre).

Do you write for adults?

While I hope my YA has cross-over appeal, I do plan on writing adult-aimed stories, though I'll probably go under a pen name.

Why did you decide to write YA?

Growing up isn't easy, which is one of the reasons I write for young adults. Being somewhat reserved and introverted by nature, I was an easy target for bullies when I was a kid. Though I'm a much stronger person now, those teenage years were tough. It can be hard finding your place in the world, especially when it seems like your life doesn't make much sense at the time. I wanted to provide characters and stories teens could relate to, and give them strong heroes and heroines they could aspire to be. Most importantly, I wanted to let them know it's all right to be themselves, and to never be afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

Who are some of your influences? 

I read a lot of Robin McKinley's books growing up, and lately I've been reading a lot of Richelle Mead, Sarra Cannon, Melissa Marr, and Maggie Stiefvater (I read mostly YA since that's the genre I write the most in). I also listen to a lot of music (as I'm also a musician), and several story ideas have sprung from songs by my favorite artists and composers. These include Beethoven, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Lady Gaga, My Chemical Romance, Muse, Versailles, Within Temptation, and ALI PROJECT.

What are some of your other interests and hobbies besides books?

I love the flute. I've been playing for 15 years, and I still play every day, if I can. I also voice act. I picked that up my senior year in high school, mostly for fun, but I've done some paid gigs here and there. And I guess you could also say I'm a bit of a "movie fanatic." I'll watch just about anything (as long as it holds my interest!). I'm especially a sucker for Jane Austen/Victorian era romance films.

A few random questions just for fun.
What's your favorite color? That's easy! RED!
Favorite super-hero? Jean Grey (aka Phoenix)
Last movie you watched? Little Fockers

To learn more about Krystle Jones and her books, please visit her website.

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