Name: Krys Fenner
Latest Release: Avenged (Dark Road Series Book 3)
Genre: YA General Fiction/Social Issues
- Has writing always been a passion of yours?
I have always enjoyed creating stuff and seeing how far my imagination would take me. As a child I loved playing fantasy games and writing supernatural stories. It wasn’t until high school that I changed the direction of my stories and wrote something more meaningful.
- At what age did you begin to write seriously?
Although I’ve written poetry and/or short stories most of my life, I don’t think I really became serious about writing until my late twenties to my early thirties. I remember thinking about all of the things that I had been through and wishing there had been books out there to help me deal with them as a teenager growing up. It was then that I realized there could be people out there who were looking for the same thing.
- What is your favorite genre to write and does that differ from the genre you like to read?
I love writing about social issues. I know that sounds weird, but I like being able to delve into the abyss of a person’s mind. I feel that it allows me to see how dark I can go before a reader (usually my mother) threatens to take my protagonist away from me. And this is very different than what I enjoy reading. My favorite genre for reading is anything paranormal, supernatural or fantasy. Something that truly allows me to escape reality. While I have the beginnings of a fantasy novel, it is nowhere near ready. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy exploring other worlds until mine is complete.
- Where does your inspiration to write come from?
Some of what I have written is from personal experience. For the parts that aren’t based on my own experiences, I look to what’s happening in our current society and I use that. This is especially true if I see it more and more in the media. I may be one person, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a difference.
- How does the generation you belong to impact your writing style, or does it?
I’ve honestly never given it much thought, but I guess it does. I come from the generation that first got cell phones and laptops. I grew up playing Nintendo and Playstation. Life was complex and simple at the same time. In fact, I remember a book series called K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple Series, except we used “Stupid” in place of “Series.” And that is how I write. I tackle complex issues, but I keep my writing style simple.
6.What does your writing schedule look like in a typical week?
These last few months have been the busiest ever. Between my day job and school, my writing schedule was a little bit of all over the place. During that time I dedicated Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday to school. And the remaining days were for writing, errands, and housework. Most of the time I would spend an hour or two on my current writing project between 10 P.M. and midnight. Some nights that continued until 1 or 2 in the morning. Now that school is over, my writing time is after dinner or during dinner when necessary.
- Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I am a plotter all the way. For my first two novels I created multiple timelines before I finally got it all worked out. I went from paper, to word, and ended with excel. I love excel the most because it allowed me to build a calendar and create the perfect timeline.
- Can you name an event in your life that has made the biggest impact on where you are today?
I was 19 and I attempted suicide. At the time I was deeply depressed and I felt like a burden to my friends and my family. I thought they would be better off without me. So I locked myself in the bathroom and took my razor apart. There were two things that saved my life that day. One, my lack of knowledge when it came to cutting and two, my roommate. My roommate knocked on the bathroom door just after I made the first cut. That physical and emotional scar has made the biggest impression on my life and the stories I choose to write. So much that a few years ago, my sister and I got two halves of a semicolon butterfly. Mine is over the scar the razor left behind and hers is on the opposite arm. It’s a small way to remind myself that I’m not alone.
- You own your own company and write. How do those two things coincide? Do you find it hard to manage both?
They both go hand in hand, but that doesn’t mean they don’t conflict with one another at times. Some days I have to prioritize my writing over the business, especially if one deadline is sooner than the other.
- Do you think writers have better luck going the traditional or the self-publishing route?
There are benefits to both. I don’t think traditional is better than self-publishing or vice versa. I think it ultimately depends on how much control the writer wants, as well as how sellable their writing is and how much work they are willing to put into everything outside of writing. If a writer understands all the hard work that goes into self-publishing and they are willing to put in the money and time, then that is the route they should go. If a writer wants a little less work with less financial risk, then they should go the traditional route. Or a writer can be like some of the authors I know and go hybrid.
- What are you working on right now both with your company and personally?
Personally, I’m working on catching up on my TBR pile. It’s gotten a little out of control. Business wise, I’m working on my first ghostwriting project, putting together the timeline for the fourth book in my Dark Road Series, and building more of my fantasy world.
- What do you find are the most effective means of promotion?
I’m still learning about the various methods of promotion. Everyday I come across something that I haven’t tried or that I’m just beginning. Despite that, I have found blogs, newsletters, and blog tours effective. Blogs and newsletters can be used to reach other author audiences and blog tours are a great way to get reviews, plus gain exposure.
- What advice do you have for someone just beginning his or her journey into writing?
Build an audience early, but make sure it is interactive. If you gain an empty following with little to no interaction, then you have no audience. To build a true audience, you need to make sure that whatever you say has meaning. This is one of the first things you should do before you even begin writing a novel.
- What piece of fiction has made the biggest impact in your writing career and why?
“Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson. I’m not going to say this was the first YA book I had ever read, but it was one of the most powerful I have ever read. I was sexually assaulted as a teenager and this didn’t just help me with my own experience, but it helped me find my niche. This story showed me that fiction, even when addressing a social issue like rape, could make a difference.
- What final thoughts would you leave potential readers and future clients with?
We all have a story inside of us that deserves to be told or that someone needs to hear. Sometimes you just have to find the right person to tell it for you.