No Wasted Ink welcomes Author Kristina Schram, a doctor of Counseling Psychology who writes novels ranging from fantasy to gothic paranormal romance. She is a mother of three and an instructor at workshops for aspiring authors in New Hampshire.
Hello, fellow book lovers! My name is Kristina Schram and I write YA, Fantasy, and Paranormal Gothic Romances. I read something every day, usually from two or three books at one time. I enjoy photography, playing basketball, and throwing tomahawk and knife. That last hobby sounds a little strange, I imagine, but it will come in handy if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing at a young age, beginning with self-illustrated books about wanting to own a castle. I think every author starts writing because they love reading books and feel the drive to create one themselves. When I was a teenager I kept a journal filled with awful poems and tidbits about who I was in love with, along with my struggles to figure out how to get them to notice me. Nowadays, there are times when I think that if I don’t get all the stuff in my head down on paper, I’ll spiral into madness.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably in high school when a short story I wrote was published in a statewide literary magazine for student writers, and which received the Scotty Award for excellence in writing. I didn’t consider myself a writer of books until I finished writing a novel while in graduate school. When you first start writing, it takes a LONG time to complete a book, so to accomplish such a feat really made me feel like I could do this as a career.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
The Prophecies is the first book of four in The Chronicles of Anaedor series. Here’s what it’s about:
When Lavida Mors is sent away to Portal Manor, a mysterious family estate, she unwittingly stumbles across a secret passage to the fantastical and dangerous world of Anaedor. Her misadventure sparks off a series of frightening events, beginning when the enigmatic Frio kidnaps her and her two friends and delivers them into the hands of a malevolent being determined to destroy Lavida. Found guilty for crimes against Anaedor, Lavida and her friends are unfairly imprisoned. To stay alive, Lavida must reveal a secret about herself she has kept hidden her whole life, but in doing so, she could lose everything and everyone dear to her.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I was in graduate school, I was always searching out nature. I grew up in the country, but the university sat smack dab in the middle of a city. Strangely enough, however, in that same city, there was a huge park filled with streams and ravines and rocks and trees. One day, while walking off the beaten path, a strange and rather disturbing thought occurred to me… What if a whole world lived under us and we had no clue they were there, watching and waiting? So basically, being paranoid is how I came up with the idea of a hidden underground world populated by mythical creatures, which I called Anaedor.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I definitely like writing plot-driven books with a lot of mystery, adventure, and drama. At the same time, I love developing unique and realistic characters. In creating these characters, my psychology background, especially the classes I took in abnormal and personality psychology, comes in handy more often than I would have guessed.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
The Prophecies isn’t exactly a unique title, but it’s a major focus in the book. How I came up with my world’s name (Anaedor) is perhaps a little more interesting. The name Anador (which was my original spelling) actually just popped in my head, and I immediately thought I must have heard it before. So I looked up the name and found that Anador was a planet in a Star Wars book. I’ve never read one so I’m not sure how that word wormed its way into my subconscious. I didn’t want to give it up, though, so I added an ‘e’ and kept the name. But there’s more. Just now, I looked up Anador to be sure I had my facts straight and found it spelled Amador, with an M! So I could’ve kept the original spelling. Though now I kind of like the added ‘e’ so maybe it was meant to be.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
All my books have messages in them because I remember how much I liked learning from the books I read as a kid and how much these messages influenced my development. For the Anaedor series, I was hoping to help people become more aware of how easy it is to judge and fear others because they’re different. I was always one of those, shall we say, unusual, kids myself. In writing about Anaedor, I wanted to convey to young people that being different should be celebrated and can lead to wonderful things!
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In writing fantasy, you do make up a lot of your world. However, I don’t think any writer can escape the influences of their own life. I often borrow bits and pieces of interesting people that I see in real life and use these morsels to create unique characters. I also love everything British, an obsession that shapes how many of my Anaedorian characters speak and act.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Discovering C.S. Lewis was a huge factor in my becoming an avid reader. Reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was an experience I had never yet encountered—so mythical and magical and full of wonder—that I couldn’t help but be bowled over! Reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was also a game changer for me. I was having a bad day when I came across the book and sympathized with Mary Lennox because she was lonely, like myself. Her persistence still inspires me to keep going even when everything looks dark and bleak.
If you had to choose, is there a writer you would consider a mentor? Why?
I’m not sure I can consider any of the authors that I love as mentors since I’ll never be able to meet them, but here’s my wish list if I could: Jane Austen, because she has an amazing insight into human nature; Daphne du Maurier, because she’s great at building gothic suspense; and William Shakespeare, for his awe-inspiring ability to turn a phrase.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
Hive Collective designed my book cover. I felt they best captured both the mystery and intrigue of The Prophecies.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t let rejections or roadblocks stop you. Be persistent. Every writer has faced these obstacles, so you’re not alone. In terms of publishing, there will be times when you’ll feel lost and overwhelmed. Again, don’t give up. Most importantly, never look at any project as a whole. Break it up into pieces, take baby steps. Otherwise, you will go screaming into the night.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Dear readers, you’ve been so awesome and supportive over the years, and I’d just like to say a heartfelt thank you! I promise to do my best to keep writing good works that not only entertain, but also educate (in a fun way). And if I ever get my castle, you’re invited to visit!
Publisher: Hive Collective