Today I get to share my very first author interview – starring Priscilla J. Krahn! This was a new experience for me, and it was great fun to get to know a like-minded author. Please join me in welcoming her!
What made you decide to be an author? What encouragements have you had along the way?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I’ve dreamed of being an author for as long as I can remember. But it wasn’t until one of my big brothers told me that I would never get published that I decided I was going to become an author! Once I decided that I wanted to write, my mom was the greatest encouragement. She never discouraged me and always made sure I didn’t give up. I would NEVER have gotten my first book published, if it hadn’t been for her.
Tell us about other things you do – work, family, church. What do you do for fun?
I live on a farm! Dairy cows, Beef cows, a corn maze, grain farming, and all the other little things that come with a farm keep us busy! When I’m not writing, or working around the farm, I enjoy baking, playing piano, fishing, and of course reading! I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and my church family. I’m a part of a small church in northern, MN and my grandpa is the pastor.
Family is a big thing for me – especially sibling-love. Your bio says you have seven siblings, which sounds really cool!
Tell us about your family and siblings. Do you all get along? Do you have favorites : ) ? Do you sometimes wish you were the older sibling?
Until I was about ten years old, I thought being the youngest was the absolute worst! I had six siblings to pick on me and I never got to pick on anybody! But somewhere around then, I started realizing how blessed I really am. I was born when my oldest sister was still nine, so all seven of us are really close in age. There were challenges, of course, but overall, we were really great friends! When I was little, I was definitely closest with my closest brother in age. We did a lot together! But as we got older, we didn’t sneak off and play anymore and I found out that doing things with ALL of my siblings was AWESOME! Today, four of my siblings are married, and I’m blessed that they all live relatively nearby. We often get together Sunday nights and hang out and we’re all still friends. After twenty years of being the baby of the family, I can’t imagine it being any other way. Although, I do treat some of my younger cousins like siblings!
How did your parents choose to educate you (homeschool or institutional) and why? Would you choose the same for your own children, should you have any?
Although my dad taught at a Christian school off and on, my parents chose to homeschool us. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I want to homeschool my children, if I ever get married and have kids! Because of the way my parents chose to educate us, we had opportunities to travel and be involved in a lot of competitions and conventions that we wouldn’t have had the time to do if we’d been in school. We also were able to spend a lot more time on our specific interests. For me, it was writing. Mom found a lot of helpful writing programs and incorporated them into my school, allowing me to pursue my dreams, and my education at the same time.
What are three things about you that are interesting, unusual, or unexpected?
I competed at the National level of the Bible Bee competition twice, and qualified three times. I have fifteen nieces/nephews and the sixteenth is on the way. I enjoy hunting and shot a 10 point buck when I was thirteen.
Who is your favorite author (and book) ever and WHY? (If you can’t pick just one, narrow it down to two!)
Like most readers, every book I enjoy is ‘one of my favorites!’ and I simply can’t narrow it down! But, for the sake of keeping my answer short, I’ll say the Frencolian Chronicles by Carolyn Ann Aish. Mrs. Aish has been an inspiration to me for years and I appreciate her advice and encouragement.
How does your relationship with God interact with or influence your writing?
At some point during my writing journey, I decided that I couldn’t spend my life writing books just to entertain. If I was going to spend years of my life writing, my books were going to have to impact lives. For those of you who have done much writing, you know how hard it can be to put spiritual content into a book and make it seem natural. My personal prayer life has increased a lot as I write. I’ve found that if I want to share a lesson that the reader can learn from, I’m going to have to experience the lesson myself because I can’t write about a person learning contentment, if I haven’t learned it. I’m amazed at how often one of my books is lacking a message, and then God teaches me something that just seems to fit in my characters life as well.
Do you include your own life in your books? Why or why not?
I include a lot more stuff from my personal life than most people will ever catch. I find that truth can be stranger than fiction, so every time something unique happens in my life, I file it away in my brain, and when I’m writing, I often use those ideas. For example, in Never Forget, book four in the Adventures of Amy series, Amy’s dad is trying to save money so he’s cutting the use of everything. In one scene, he waters down the butter before he puts it on the popcorn. While most people laugh and think that’s going too far, I remember my dad doing that! I enjoy putting these real-life tidbits into my writing because it somehow makes my characters seem more real to me, and of course, the people who know me enjoy trying to find the real-life events woven into the story!
Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
Money can be an issue when trying to self-publish, so I decided from the start that I was going to learn to do everything I can to save money. My mom and sisters did a lot of the editing for me, and I was also able to get a few family friends to look my work over. I’ve been very blessed with willing editors, but even there, it’s important not to take advantage of the volunteers, and I’ve had to do a lot myself. When it came to formatting, I learned it all the hard way. There were days that I just wanted to quit, but I saved the money of hiring a professional, and I learned to do it myself. For covers, my mom did most of the design work to start with, but even with that, I’ve been learning to do it myself as we go. It’s amazing how much you can learn by researching. Articles, YouTube videos, and books are great ways to learn new things.
What can you tell us about indie versus traditional publishing?
There are a lot of pros and cons to both of them, but I’d say the biggest difference, is the work load. Traditional publishers do your cover design, your editing, and your marketing. When you self-publish, you have to either do it all yourself, or hire people to help. The advantage to them doing it is, you don’t have to. The advantage to you doing it, is that you have more control. With a publisher, they decide a lot of the cover details, and the editing details, with self-publishing, you get to make those decisions. The biggest benefit to traditional publishing is the fact that they can get your book where you can’t. With my traditionally published book, they’ve got it in CBD, Barnes and Nobles, and other places that I can’t get my self-published books. The biggest pro to self-publishing, is that you’re in charge. You get to decide how things are done, and when they’re done.
Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Mission of a Lifetime was the most intense book I’ve ever written. For me and the reader. I had to do research like I’d never done, and I had to mentally put myself in the steaming jungles surrounded by hostile tribes. Through it all, I found that my own struggles were woven into the pages, and Willie took on a more real-life personality than any of my other characters.
A missing airplane . . . Hostile tribes . . . Mysterious kidnappings . . .
Responsibility falls upon twenty-one-year-old William Rodriguez when his missionary parents disappear in the hostile jungles of Columbia. Willie knows that he has to go find them, but what will it cost him? When his dreams and his very life are on the line, Willie doesn’t know whom to trust. Will he be able to overcome his past mistakes and the present failure that seems set on destroying his mission?
When Willie finds himself in the midst of a drug smuggling ring, difficult decisions are thrust upon him. Can he escape his captors before his family is killed? Can he find forgiveness in his heart for the very people who ruined his life or will it only bring back more painful memories? Will he be able to survive the mission of a lifetime?
What’s your next project?
I’m currently working on writing the last two books, and editing the first book in a trilogy of 12-16-year-old boy’s fiction.
There’s nothing like spending the summer with a grandpa that you don’t remember ever meeting . . . especially when he’s murdered the day you arrive. Fourteen-year-old Ty Carson wants nothing to do with the boys’ home he’s placed in, but with his mom travelling, he has no choice. Searching for clues to the alleged murder brings him across questions that should be answered, but no one will answer them. As he tries to unravel the clues, he wants to know why he’s not allowed to talk about the police hero who had died ten years before. The man that he had called ‘dad’. Accused and alone, Ty realizes that the answers have to be nearby, but can he understand them? Can a baseball game, a figure dressed in black, and an old gun collection be the things that he needs to find friendship and bring him closer to God?
Where do you see yourself in five years? Do you still hope to be writing books? Are there other accomplishments/projects you hope to achieve?
If life goes on as it is, then I see myself still being a writer, helping at camp in the summer, working at the corn maze, and being involved in different church ministries. If things don’t go as they have been, in other words, if I get married, or something else happens that I can’t imagine, then I may end up putting my writing down for a while and focusing on the situations around me. Raising a family, or whatever God brings. Of course, I’m open to God’s leading, and whichever direction He points me in, I’ll follow his call.
Where can people find you on the Internet?
I blog at www.priscillakrahn.blogspot.com
My website is www.priscillajkrahn.com
My Facebook Author page is www.facebook.com/PriscillaJ.KrahnAuthor/
I can also be found on Google+, Goodreads, and on my Amazon author page.
Find Her Books!
Priscilla and I are both participating in the Indie Christian Books Black Friday Sale, which goes live Nov. 24–30! In the meantime, you can find out more about her books on her sites above, and I hope you’ll come by to get some good deals and giveaways 😉
Thank you so much for your answers, Priscilla!
There will be scads more posts talking about this in the coming week, so look around, enter some giveaways, and come back to IndieChristianBooks.com to meet the authors and win stuff just by getting free or discounted books (some ebooks are listed as “Sold Out” because they aren’t sold through the site – go ahead and check them out anyway)! There’s also a week-long Facebook party starting the 24th – don’t miss it!