Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Picture a magical carnival that is both carnival and circus combined. This is the backdrop for The Age of the Hybrid Series. Our main characters, the dragon shifter Kyra and the mysterious Sebastian, are supernatural runaways who have found themselves using their unique talents in various sideshow jobs at Mystic’s Carnival. Just as their friendship begins to blossom into something more, Kyra gets tangled in dragon burdens, pulled by emanating forces from, Marcus, the man she saved. Over the course of The Moorigad Dragon and Reap Not the Dragon, Kyra and Sebastian must protect Marcus and save Kyra. When things don’t go as planned, Sebastian must extricate himself from his father’s control, salvage their friendship, restore the woman he loves, and somehow best the beast attempting to control Kyra.
Do you have a favorite character?
I find it hard to resist Sebastian’s dark and rebellious nature. There’s something about a guy shrouded in mystery, am I right? His voice comes through vividly and he’s a kick to write.
Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Oh yes! And I love when that happens. The morph of a minor character usually means exciting things for the storyline. I could elaborate, but would risk some major spoilers and we don’t want that, do we? ;)
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did not try the traditional route for this particular project. It wasn’t ever a consideration. From conception I knew this was to be a self-published endeavor. That having been said, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to pursue a traditional contract with a different project. Each idea I work on has a different feel about it, about where it belongs. Some of them I want more creative control over. Some, I’m more lenient. Ideally, I’d like to be a hybrid author.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
These books are part of a larger collective in which other self-published authors participate. For that reason, when I accepted the invitation to write stories in the Mystic’s Carnival world, I knew I would be venturing into the world of self-publishing.
Once my feet were wet in the indie publishing world, I knew it was the best place for my upcoming YA fantasy, too. I wanted to control all the aspects of that particular story, more so than any other.
If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I do have a cover designer for this series. She is brilliant and knowledgeable in ways I am not. I have a degree in Spacial Design, but that doesn’t mean I know what sells books. I only knew I wanted the covers to represent what the reader could expect to find between the pages―exciting, dark, colorful, supernatural, carnival. I think she’s exceptional at pulling it all together. Wait until you see the next cover in the series.
What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I have and will do both. Listening to the wrong music will slow my progress. If the characters know what they want, if I strongly believe were the story is going, I don’t need the music to help move things along. On the other hand, writing with the right music can really create a more intense experience.
Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I am somewhere between a plotter and a panster. I love to give the muse room to play, but have to nail down the main plot points before I get started. The fun and exciting thing about working this way is that my muse usually surprises me in the end, turning things upside down and twisting them around, forcing me to write the story out of a corner. Makes for a better read…once I figure it out.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I love the editor question. I don’t believe any writer should publish without having at least one editor first look over their work. I’ve been known to use several to ensure a smooth final read. My army of editors worked their magic on The Age of Hybrid Series, coming in with different eyes for content, line, and copy edits. Dark Perceptions is an expansion of a piece that was picked up for an anthology and edited by their in-house team. My editor went over my final version. You can also add professional proofreader to my list, and I just started with a new one whom I love!
What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
Pad the timing to every step of the process. Unexpected things will come up, stages will take longer than planned, and the last thing you want is to feel the pressure of an impending deadline you can’t make.
Another important thing I’ve learned; interview and negotiate. Don’t accept a contract because you feel you have no other choice. You always have a choice. Interview your editors and cover artist, make sure they are the right ones for you. Then discuss the price before proceeding.
Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Dark Perceptions is the only one (at this time) that is an Amazon exclusive. My other works can be found at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords. Ask for it at your favorite book retailer if you don’t see any.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I’ve gotten better at the juggling act over the years. In the beginning the writing consumed me, then I fell into the social media trap. Building my platform took up all my time and my stories got zero attention. Now I am somewhere in-between. Not exactly a happy medium, but getting there.
Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I love reading. I’m trying to stay away from a book right now to finish this interview. So hard. Ha ha! I also seriously geek out on movies and television shows, music (all kinds – even musical scores), and my first love as a child that has always stayed with me is dance. It’s good to have other interests, wouldn’t you agree?
What’s next for you?
I have a YA fantasy coming out very soon. I’m super excited about this story and can’t wait to share it with everyone.
A Magical Universe… Hidden throughout the worlds are magical portals leading to the secret dimension where Mystic’s Carnival is nestled. A self-aware fair that is both carnival and circus combined, and filled with a plethora of supernatural and paranormal beings. Performers and runaways, Kyra and Sebastian, are away visiting the human realm when they find themselves at odds. Stay hidden, or interfere with a human’s destiny? Saving a life doesn’t go unpunished.
Kyra thinks saving Marcus’s life is easy – slick as dragon snot – and a one-time deal. The resulting bond tying her to him and enslaving her as protector is unexpected. She didn’t expect one good deed to turn into an endless chain of good deeds. Or to complicate the relationship with her best friend, Sebastian. And she especially didn’t expect it to place her life on the line.
Kyra’s dragon must keep Marcus alive and salvage her relationship with Sebastian without losing herself or dying.
Buy on B&N | Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | Ghost Girl PublishingLove is stronger than fear…or is it?
The last thing Sara remembers is a conflicted night out with her boyfriend, Matt, and laying out under the dark night’s sky. How she came to be seated among the crowd under the Big Top is a mystery. When and how did she get there? She doesn’t wait to find out. Whether it’s due to basic fear or the scary, hideous clowns, Sara and Matt run. Run beyond the tent walls into the deep, dark alleys of the carnival. What they find along their mad dash to the parking lot will have them redefining their idea of fun zones, thrill rides, and date nights. Fear is an eat-you-alive monster. Refusing to be defined by that monster, they will confront those fears. What they find?
Perceptions can be excruciatingly misleading…and some monsters have hidden claws.
A Reaper with a mission.
Sebastian is finished following commands. Higher powers be damned. He has his own agenda – find Kyra and help restore her memory. At first his plan goes better than expected. But as life starts looking up for the would-be Reaper, his metaphorical sickle becomes caught in a web of complications. Things are never smooth for Sebastian and Kyra.
Best-laid plans sometimes rest in peace. A detour?unexpected and unwelcome?delivers Sebastian into the depths of an grave situation. Misfortune and misunderstanding are the cards dealt to him. And events fail to flip in his favor. Creatures from hell all want a piece of the young Reaper. If Sebastian ends up dead, that’s okay. For he has a more grievous beast to worry about. To save the woman he loves, Sebastian will venture into the heart of an all-powerful fire demon.
Sebastian must find a missing dragon and the key to Kyra’s memory without being devoured by sinister beasts or?even worse?consumed by his own inner demons.
Buy on Amazon | B&N | Smashwords
About the Author:Debra Kristi found it rather dull always staying tethered to reality. She decided to let whimsy get the best of her, and with the help of her muse she began bringing magical stories to life in 2010. It’s been nothing but write, write, write and type, type, type ever since.
Born and raised a Southern California girl, she still resides in the sunny state with her husband, two kids, and three schizophrenic cats. A lover of fanciful stories at a young age, she hadn't realized the writer bug infected her until much later in life. As a result, her stories pull from a rich history of experiences. When not busy drumming away at the keyboard or chatting it up on social media, Debra is hanging out creating priceless memories with her family, geeking out to science fiction or fantasy television, and tossing around movie quotes.