Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Kristin Callender

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Enjoy today's featured interview with new author Kristin Callender, who's chatting all about her debut mystery novel!

Hi Kristin! Can you tell us about your latest writing project or published title?

The Truth Lies in the Dark is my first mystery and my first published novel. In it the main character, Amanda finds out that she is not who she thinks she is. She lost her memory after surving a plane crash that claimed her parents. Raised by her grandparents, she only knew what they told her about her life and family. In her quest to find her true identity she uncovers a dark secret that threatens to destroy everything, even her loving marriage. Could it be that everyone in Amanda's life knew this secret and kept it from her? Were they more involved than they are willing to admit? These are some of the questions Amanda must answer.

Sounds do you go about developing your characters?

I like to start on paper. I write down everything I imagine the characters to be; their age, family, background, etc. Once I can see them as real people it is easier for me to start their story. I keep notes on each chapter after I write them too, so I have a quick reference to look at if I get stuck. But I don't outline the whole story in advance. I have an idea in my head where I want the story to end, but I like to give the characters room to move in the story.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

I have been lucky enough to have not suffered a full block, but have had many small jams. I always know what I want to write. The story is in my head like a movie on pause until I sit down at the computer. But somedays I can't sit still or the words just don't come out like I want them to. When this happen I have to get up and do something else, like start the laundry or pick up the house (you know the really glamorous stuff). If it is really frustrating me I put on my music, usually Matchbox 20, and take a walk. It helps to release some energy and then I can focus again.

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

I am still figuring that out. If anyone has that answer please let me know. I love writing and under ideal conditions, meaning no one else home and completely focused, I could write all day. But I am a mom of four, a wife of one:) and I work part time as a substitute teacher. There are very few ideal condition days. Some days I force myself to write and forget about the clutter building up around me and other days I am completely devoted to all things for the family.

When you write, do you use the computer or compose by hand, oral dictation, or some other method?

I start off with a pad. Once I get the characters set and the basic background of the story I go to the computer. I read in Sidney Sheldon's memoir that he never actually wrote a book. He dictated all of his stories and screenplays to someone else and they typed it. The idea of that sounds great; just rattle off the story to someone and be done. But it wouldn't work for me because I like to read and reread before I am happy with my writing. I am always trying to make sure that the words flow, at least to me.

Kristin, thanks for being here today!

I would like to take a moment to thank Allie for interviewing me for her blog. And of course, I want to thank all of her blog fans and readers for taking the time to learn about me and my book. More information can be found on my website:

The Truth Lies in the Dark by Kristin Callender is available on and is the 'Featured Book of the Month' on


Sarita Leone said...

Nice interview! I so understand the balancing act between writing and family. It is something many struggle with, I think.

Best wishes with your book! :)

Mary Ricksen said...

What a cool, unique, cover!
If you thought you were busy before, now the promoting is even more work!! Oh for the good ole days when the publishers did it.
Story of my life always too late! (grin)
Good luck with your first sale!!!

Kristin Callender said...

Thanks Sarita for your interest and comments. It is a struggle for all parents, writers or not :)

Mary, thank you also. You are right, marketing and promoting are non stop. I tell everyone that it has become a full time job :)

Kristin Callender
The Truth Lies in the Dark