Let Me Introduce You To…Kristina Schram

Every once in a while, you meet someone that just has the ability to really crack you up with their wit and dry humor. Tonight’s author is one such person to me. Kristina Schram, author of The Chronicles of Aneador: The Prophecies (published by Variance), is an extremely intelligent, funny, and highly creative author and her newest release will have you (and/or your tween/teen readers in your life) rivited to the seat as you pour over its pages.
Kristina’s book, The Chronicles of Anaedor: The Prophecies is an epic fantasy that hides just behind the veil of our own reality. A world that exists just below our own. A little girl. Elves, fairies, goblins, and all the denizens of folklore and fables inhabit this beautiful world she has created. Here’s a little bit about what the book’s about:
Strange things happen to fifteen-year-old Lavida Mors. Maybe that’s why her father sends her away to Portal Manor, a mysterious family estate she has never seen. Lavida quickly discovers that not everything at Portal Manor is as it seems when she stumbles across a secret passage to a hidden world–Anaedor.

Anaedor lies deep beneath the surface, separated from humanity, populated by mythical creatures. Long ago, ignorant humans, frightened by the powers of these magical and strange beings, forced them to flee to this dark world of huge caverns, frigid rivers and deep pits. It is these same creatures who take Lavida captive, forcing her to realize there might have been very good reasons for humans to be afraid.

Malevolent forces, led by the evil Malvado, seek to control all of Anaedor, but an ancient prophecy tells of a hero who will save these denizens of the deep. While trying to escape the dark realm with the help of her friends, Lavida must battle overgrown sharp-toothed leeches, survive a poison arrow and outwit a giant, all the while trying to convince the hopeful populace of Anaedor that she is not the savior they believe her to be.

Here’s the book trailer for this exciting book!

But I hope you don’t just take my word that you’ll thoroughly enjoy this book! Here is what others are saying about it:

“An amazing adventure to a unique and mysterious subterranean world.” –Jeremy Robinson, bestselling author of Raising The Past and Antarktos Rising

“This was a great book–really packed with adventure and suspense. I can’t wait to read the next one when it comes out!” –Dan U.

“I really enjoyed the strange creatures and mythical world! I especially liked Vesuvius and Ellie.” –Elizabeth S.

“The Chronicles of Anaedor is a wonderful literary ride for all ages. A real page turner! Can’t wait for the next book!” –Danielle MacDonald

Recently, I had a chance to talk to Kristina about her book, her passion for writing, and tomahawk throwing! Here’s what she had to say:

1) How did “Chronicles of Anaedor: the Prophecies” come about? What inspired such a vivid story?

The idea of Anaedor first came to me while attending graduate school in Akron, Ohio. Being both a grad student and a country girl, I was in desperate need of a place that didn’t involve trying to decipher an incomprehensible research article. Luck was on my side. That fall, smack dab in the middle of the city, I discovered a huge park filled with giant hills, acres of woods and babbling brooks. I was thrilled! One day, as I walked through the woods (and yes, I strayed from the path), I started to imagine an entire, undiscovered world existing beneath my feet. My feverish mind wondered if its citizens knew that I was above them. Were they watching me as I jumped from rock to rock? Shiver. Then I started to think about who these creatures might be. Perhaps they were elves and fairies and goblins and they were hiding out from us humans. Could it be? Why not? Why do we have stories about mythical creatures if they didn’t once exist? The question is: Do they exist now? The answer to this question remains elusive, and so I thought I’d make up my own story about what might have happened to the fey folk, only with lots of adventure and excitement.

2) My readers always like to know the story behind how an author gets published. Can you tell us a little bit about the process? I understand your book has been recently re-released from a previous incarnation…is there a story behind that?

There are lots of ways to get published. Because I can never seem to do things the simple way, I took the long, hard, roundabout route. Once I completed my book, I spent months and months searching for an agent—with no luck. Then one day I happened to stumble upon an Indie publishing company looking for books to publish. Okay, the real story is that we sort of stumbled into each other—the owner moved into the house across the street from me. Finding Breakneck Books was a big break, and after some editing and negotiating, Anaedor 1.0 was published in the fall of 2007. Being POD (publish on demand), my book was only available over the Internet or through me. Most bookstores don’t want to pay up front for books, which is what they have to do if they order POD books, so Anaedor 1.0 wasn’t available via this venue. Going this route makes it very hard to sell your book! Then I had another piece of luck. A larger publishing company bought out the smaller one and took me on as one of their authors. Anaedor was revamped, with lots of editing and a new book cover, to boot. This time around my book will be available in bookstores as well as on-line. I will say, that although I took the long way around, I learned a lot from the process…especially how to be patient!

3) What’s in store for the characters of Anaedor? It sounds as though this is the beginning of a series. How many books have you planned to write in this series? Any word when its sequel might be released?

What’s in store for the characters? Well, mayhem, of course. Adventure and danger. Secrets and mystery. A little romance. There are three more books in the works—all of them are written, but they need their fair share of editing. I have no idea when book two will be released—I’m having trouble just focusing on book one! But I hope it will be soon. Like most people, I want to read books in a series, one right after the other. I might have learned patience while publishing my book, but not in all things!

4) Any other future projects in the works? Can you share some of the ideas that might be brewing in that very creative head of yours?

My creative head is a scary place to be. It’s always brewing new ideas, and sometimes just sits and plots (I have a vengeful mind). Some ideas come to fruition (i.e., I actually sit down and write the story); others sit in my idea book, waiting to be developed at a future date. At the moment, I am in the middle of writing a young adult fantasy trilogy starring my three sons as teenagers. I’m having a good time with it, and my oldest son serves as a good motivator—he keeps asking me when it’s going to be done. I tell him, “As soon as you clean your room.” So it might be a while.

5) What is the writing process like for you? Can you describe your method? Do you outline? How do you develop characters? Do you have a strict regimen for writing or do you write by the seat of your pants?

I write when I can fit it in. I’m a stay-at-home mom to three busy, inventive boys and they take up a fair amount of my time. I have stretches where I get to write very little, so I carry a notebook with me and jot down ideas whenever I can (while they’re swimming, at appointments, etc.). When they go back to school in the fall (all will be going full-time now), I plan to write two to three hours a day. I haven’t decided if it will be morning or afternoon. In the morning I do chores. In the afternoon, I’m worn out from doing my chores. My style tends to be to think about the book as I take my daily walks and then write down what I come up with. Sometimes I put myself in the place of my characters so I can get a feel for what they’re going through. My character development is sometimes like giving birth—long, slow and often painful. My characters can be stubborn and often biff me upside the head if I’m getting them wrong. I do not outline. I hate outlines. Outlines hate me. They make good sense, though, if you can do them. I waste a lot of time because I left out a crucial piece. I told you I have to do things the hard way.

6) What do you like to do in your off time besides writing? Any hobbies or interests you’d like to share with us?

I’m an amateur photographer, which means I love to take photos that I do nothing with. I also love to read—most writers do, I suppose. I read young adult books, typically fantasy, to keep my iron in the fire, so to speak. Otherwise I’m pretty eclectic: Gothics, thrillers, memoirs, humor (I just got done reading an Erma Bombeck book—that woman saves me!), magazines, non-fiction, paranormal (I’m reading the Sookie Stackhouse series right now). Whenever the mood strikes me I like to practice throwing tomahawk and knife. I chop wood. It’s a nice feeling to see it stack up and know that we’ll have warmth in the winter. It’s a tangible reward, isn’t it? Same with canning. I’ve canned jams, applesauce and pickles, so far. They look very pretty sitting on my shelf.

7) Many of my readers are aspiring writers themselves. What advice do you have for those people interested in writing a novel and being published?

Be persistent. I know this sounds vague, but it’s true, and probably the most important factor for success. I’ve been doing this for years (I wrote my first book in 1995) and only now am I experiencing some success. Even so, I still have to work very hard to get everything done, to get myself out there in the public eye, to keep writing new books while marketing this one. Another thing to remember is that you need to break things down so the process doesn’t overwhelm you. Don’t think of it as writing a whole book; think of it as writing one page today. Take marketing (no, please—take it). If I looked at all the things I needed to do to market my book, I’d cry—Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, press releases, interviews, letters, photos. I try to focus on doing one thing at a time because there are moments when the list seems endless. Finally, make sure you like doing this. Passion is essential. You’ve got to love the process as much as the end product. I love writing; I love meeting people and helping them; I love that I finished a book! One last thing: This is not to deter you, but to prepare you. This is a HARD field to go into. There are so many factors that are working against you, it’s depressing. That being said, you still have to keep trying. If you don’t try, you’ll never succeed. And while it’s hard, I can’t think of any other thing I’d rather do, other than being ridiculously wealthy and eccentric.

The book is currently available at all major book outlets! However, due to some complications with Amazon and a few other retailers, it’s not showing up as available at the moment. But go ahead and check out her book (i.e. order it!) here! http://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Anaedor-Prophecies-Kristina-Schram/dp/1935142100/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281555479&sr=8-2
Also, if you want to learn more about Kristina, check out her website: http://www.kristinaschram.com/
And her blog here! http://mischiefmysterymagic.blogspot.com/

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