Interview with Author, Kristi Rhodes

Welcome to our series, Interview with an Author. We’ll introduce members of RWF at all stages of the writer’s journey. 

Come join us, learn about the wonderful writers who are a part of Romantic Women’s Fiction a chapter of RWA.

RWF: Would you say you write Women’s Fiction or Romantic Women’s Fiction?

KR: I pick Romantic Women’s Fiction — where Romance and Women’s Fiction are intertwined. My books are set in places with turquoise waters and palm trees. They’re also light-hearted, a treat for foodies, funny, and follow a love story, as well as the heroine’s journey.

RWF: Do you write in other genres?

KR: My first book, that is unpublished — but not abandoned— is Romantic  Women’s Fiction/Family Saga. I also write short stories in Middle Grade and Romance.

RWF: Want to tell us what you’re working on?

KR: Currently my MS is finished and I’m querying. The title is The Tropical Transformation of Joanie Weston and it’s a Romantic Comedy/Romantic Women’s Fiction about a woman who’s on her 25th wedding anniversary vacation when her husband drops the bombshell that he’s gotten his secretary pregnant. The couple agrees that time apart might make their long marriage salvageable but complications arise when she stays in their tropical cottage, takes a job as a maid and is courted by the hotel handyman. Meanwhile her husband can’t seem to keep his car from driving to his questionably-pregnant-and-highly-persuasive secretary’s house.

RWF: What are your favorite books to read?

KR: My favorite books to read are funny, romantic & tropical. Also, I’m addicted to writing books from craft books to creating-the-best-author-blog books. Plus, I can’t put down nature books. Well, come to think of it – I pick up lots of Carl Hiaasen titles. Then there’s the large number of Kristan Higgins novels crowding my shelves. Okay, I love wonderful books, period.

RWF: When writing do you read in the genre you’re writing in or something else?

KR: A lot of times, I’ll read non-fiction that is related to the book I’m writing, like about the culture and geography of the region, or cookbooks from the area.

RWF: Do you have a running theme for your books?

KR: The theme that runs through my books is that women can do and overcome anything — especially with humor and in the sweaty tropics.

RWF: Do you read non-fiction? What kinds?

KR: I read lots of non-fiction – nature books, motivational books, memoirs, cookbooks, and travel books. Books are an amazing way to get a glimpse into something or somewhere I’d like to explore. For example, I just bought two books on raising chickens. I love the idea, but I’m a little impetuous, so I bought the books to get the real dirt/chicken poop. After skimming through the books, I found out they’re wonderful to have, but lots of work. I’ve yet to purchase a chicken —but it’s still on the radar and so far I only have thirty dollars invested in the idea.

RWF: Which do you feel you learn more from – an online class, local workshops, or writer’s craft book?

KR: I feel like I learn more from a local workshop – because I can ask questions, take notes, and feel comfortable to talk to presenter after class.  The next would be the online classes – I picked online second because sometimes I overbook my time with them and am rushed with other obligations. Also, I’m not as comfortable reaching out to the presenter. Last on the list is a writer’s craft book – because there’s no one to ask questions or bounce ideas off. The positive is that I can go back and read over sections in a craft book.

RWF: Where do you find inspiration?

KR: Inspiration for my MS, I find from life, loves and whatever stirs passion inside. Inspiration for working relentlessly towards a better MS and writing career, I find from other writers in RWF and other RWA chapters. Also helpful are other writing groups, reading writers’ blogs and writing books.

RWF: Do you have a job outside your writing?

KR: I work part-time care giving and volunteer in the schools and for two writing organizations. Plus I have a husband, a highschooler, a college guy, two black cats, a black guinea pig, and a fourteen year-old Jack Russell at home.

RWF: How do you fit writing into your life?

KR: I fit writing into my life by waking up early to organize what I’d like to work on then trying to fit it into the spots I reserved. Sometimes it works, and sometimes not so good.

RWF: How do you fit editing into your writing life and the one you actually live in?

KR: I work with a critique partner, so I need to have my materials ready for our weekly meetings. Also, I follow the same method as the question above. Scheduling like crazy and fitting things into small time spots.

RWF: Are you a plotter, pantser or a combination of both?

KR: I’m a combo pantser and plotter.

RWF: Do you plan your writing time? Or do you go with the flow of family to-do’s and work out your writing in between?

KR: I try to plan my writing time, but it’s always a juggling act.

RWF: Are the stories you write based more on the woman’s journey or more on the romance?

KR: The stories I write focus on the woman, but romance is an integral and wonderful part of her life.

RWF: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo?

KR: I haven’t done NaNoWriMo yet, but I’d like to participate this year.

RWF: Do you first come up with a setting or character for your story idea?

KR: I first create/discover a character.

RWF: Do you prefer to write at home or go somewhere to write?

KR: I like to write at home, unless I’m writing a first draft. For that I go to the library and spend a couple of hours at each sitting furiously writing down the story as it comes.

Kristi Rhodes pic

Kristi Rhodes has been the Treasurer for RWF since January 2016. Her current MS, The Tropical Transformation of Joanie Weston, was recently selected as a finalist in the Women’s Fiction category of the WisRWA Fab 5 contest. In her spare time, she loves to cook and entertain, especially using tropical ingredients. Foodies will enjoy the references sprinkled throughout her work. Contact Kristi through her website, on Twitter or on Pinterest.

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Interview with Author, Kristi Rhodes

  1. What a fun interview. I read and write nonfiction, too, so I understand the pull toward the odd collection of topics that appeal. It sounds like you’ve managed to make writing a priority within a busy, interesting life. For some reason, those first ideas and drafts often do flow easily at the library or in a coffee shop–I’ve wondered why that is, but it often works for me, too. And, oh, the tropics…love those settings. Best of luck with all your projects!

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    1. Thank you so much, Virginia for the kind words and encouragement. I think a place outside of an office or home works best on first drafts because there’s no expectation of doing other work at the library. I can’t hear the dryer ding or the phone ring, or the dog bark, or the dirty dishes sing, just the story sitting and waiting in front of me. And, the tropics – just inspirational. Thanks again.

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  2. Love getting to know you and a bit about your work, Kristi! Can’ wait to read one of your books. I, too, love the tropics – especially when it’s winter in Idaho! Good luck with your writing!

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    1. Thank you so much, Judith. I’m submitting now and have fingers crossed for an agent’s interest. I live in New England (after living in Florida for many, many years), so dreaming about the tropics is fun sport here too. Thanks again.

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    1. Thank you Vicki. Shared love of Carl Hiaasen is a wonderful way to start a friendship. Quite a few years ago, I was in a Seattle bookstore and asked for funny fiction and the clerk handed me, TOURIST SEASON. I’ve been hooked on his funny, quirky writing since.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sharon. The title was changed twice, but this one seems like the perfect fit. Unless an editor says she wants something new:)… Thank you for your early encouragement of my work!

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  3. I’m not sure where to start–there are a lot of things I could comment on here. I’ve never read any of Carl Hiaasen’s books even though I’ve cataloged them–now I’m curious. I’m not big on the tropics (I live in the humid South), but your story makes me want what I don’t like–*lol* I love that you hang out at the library to write your first drafts; so many people these days feel there isn’t a need for libraries. In defense of libraries, I believe libraries are great places for everyone. Also, I love the idea of having chickens. We tried to raise them when the kids were in 4-H, but one afternoon, while we were gone, something got in the 6-ft high fence…. That was the end of our raising chickens. We do have a good friend that raises them and she loves it! She’s even made saddles for them. Here’s her FB page, if you want to know more–she has lots of fun pictures. https://www.facebook.com/thehallheritagehomestead/

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    1. Carl Hiaasen books are set in steamy Florida. They’re quirky and funny with outrageous characters and the good guy always wins. Plus the bad guys get karmic treatment. I love the idea of chickens too, but so far no chicken reality. I did love your friends FB page. Kittens were so adorable! Thanks so much for hosting these interviews.

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