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KR: My first book, that is unpublished — but not abandoned— is Romantic Women’s Fiction/Family Saga.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 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.