Recently, I posted a Call to Writers, asking my fellow author bloggers to allow me to interview them for guest-spots on my blog. (If you are interested in participating, please contact me.) I asked everyone thirty-five questions — some were basic, and others were multi-part inquiries — and I asked them to answer only what they wanted to or what was applicable. My friend and fellow-blogger, Krystol Diggs, had some very creative responses which I’m sure will captivate you, as well. After you read her interview, please be sure to hop on over to her blog and follow her for a regular dose of her charm and humor. And now, I turn the microphone over to Krystol…
1. Please tell us your name (or pen name) and a little bit about yourself:
My name is Krystol Diggs. My pen name is both Krystol Diggs and Krystol. I use Krystol for my novels and Krystol Diggs for everything else.
2. Please provide the link to your blog (and website, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc.):
Twitter: @Krystol1 https://twitter.com/Krystol1
Donate for writing supplies via paypal email address: email@example.com (I’m currently not working and I like to keep my writing supplies, pens, pencils, folders, and writing books handy).
3 .How many books have you written?
I have written 7 books.
4. Has any of your work been published yet?
I have published all of them. Since, it’s too many to name I will just say go to amazon.com and type Krystol. All of my work will show up.
5. If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing?
I first started out with a “traditional” publishing company. The reason I say traditional in quotes, because that’s what it was supposed to be. I was scammed, big time! Are you ready for this? I had sent chapters to be P.O.D (publishing on demand) company where you pay to be published. I paid $800 for the package that I wanted. Prior to paying, I was so excited to be published that I didn’t get a lawyer, didn’t know what I was signing. I took my tax money, signed the contract and that was that. Now, they did have an editor and everything to work with me. I was able to order books, the whole nine. My books were $5 a piece (which in reality it was a lot cheaper. A year goes by, I’ve had some signing, and my book sold big time on amazon. My royalty check was $13.05. Mind you, any WRITER is supposed to be paid quarterly (at the time, I didn’t know this). When I realized I was scammed out of money I got a lawyer and ended the contract. A year later, I was self-publishing because I wanted to do things on my own. I did.
6. How old were you when you started writing?
I was 15 when I started to write. It was poetry at first, and then because I was bullied in high school, I started to write stories about my bullies dying a horrible death. It’s sad, but true. When did you know you wanted to be an author? I knew I wanted to be an author, when I sat and thought about my life. Growing up, life was hard for me. I had a wonderful grandmother who raised my brother, my cousin and me, my mother and three uncles lived in the house as well and were on drugs, not to mention, I was molested when I was 10 years old by a neighbor. By the time I was 21, I had just lost my grandmother and had gotten my own place. I sat and just cried my eyes out. I would have flash backs of my life as if I was dying. The good, the bad, and the ugly, I thought about it all. I had to get my story out. I wanted it to help others. That’s when Through Her Eyes was born.
7. What would you say motivates you to keep writing?
Now, that I’m 29, I’d say, the fact that people don’t think I’ll succeed keeps me going. Of course, they don’t say it to my face, but that awkward silence when I say, “I’m a writer” it speaks volumes. I want to keep going to prove that my actions are way louder than my words.
8. Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favorite authors, let’s see, Zane, Stephen King, Ann M. Martin, Anne Lamott, Madison, Krystol, and tons, more.
What are you currently reading (or what is the last book you read)?
Right now, I’m reading, “ On Writing” by Stephen King. I had always LOVED his movies, but I never read any of his books. What the hell was wrong with me? This guy is amazing. I seriously have some catching up to do.
9. What is your preferred reading method? (i.e., Kindle, Nook, paperback, hardback, etc.)
At first it was kindle. I have it on my phone, my MAC, and the device. But, for some reason, I can’t get my recent books on the device. I started reading paperback books. Why? To have a book in my hand is the greatest, now that I’m really getting into reading again.
10. Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?
I love writing from first person. I find it difficult to write third person. Who has time for that? I love to be the characters and say “ I”.
11. Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books?
I take too many breaks. For some reason, if I’m no longer feeling the book, I just stop. Like, I was reading a book before I started Stephen King’s book because it got boring. I was life, “Okay, I’m not doing this.” Hey, at least I supported the author by buying it, right?
12. How many books would you say you read in a year?
Oh man, I won’t even go there with the low number that’s in my head. How many at any one time? I read one book at a time. But I’m getting into reading a lot more.
ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BOOK:
13. What is the title of your current work in progress of the most recent manuscript you’ve completed?
I’m supposed to be writing a novel called Hot Like Fire. “ See, what had happened was…” LOL…okay. This book was supposed to finish a year ago, but I’m just not feeling it anymore. It will come back to me and I will get it done.
14. What is your novel’s genre?
It’s a suspense novel.
Would you say there is a sub-genre?
What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?
I guess what makes it different is the plot. I’m talking about a woman who works at a strip club and her boss gives her H.I.V. and she goes off. Can you blame her?
15. What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed?
I was inspired because I know someone who dances for a living. She’s healthy, but the stories she told me. I just decided to kick it up a notch!
16. What is your target audience’s age, gender, etc.?
Target audience is women mostly, but some men may enjoy the story as well.
17. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story?
It’s about a girl named Special Jenkins and she’s a college student. She gets a job at a strip club as the assistant, but somehow manages to dance on the pole and date the owner. That’s all I’ll say!
ABOUT HOW YOU WRITE:
18. How often do you write?
Every day. I write something productive everyday whether it’s a blog, an article, screenplay, TV Pilot, or write on Facebook. LOL
19. Approximately how many words do you write at each sitting?
I no longer keep count. I used to and it drove me insane because I felt I had to meet that mark every day. I feel, as a writer, writing shouldn’t make you feel pressured to do it. You do it because you want to.
20. Do you do your own editing or send it to someone else?
About that. Well…my grammar was off base the last 20 years of my life. LOL….I mean, I have no clue how I passed all of my English classes. Maybe my teachers had pity or saw the story behind the errors. I hire an editor and I’m currently taking a grammar and punctuation class so that I can fire the editor. J, Let’s admit, editing is the most expensive part of being a writer.
21. What is your method of writing?
When writing a manuscript, I make an outline of each chapter and I write a chapter a day, if I feel like it. My latest ghostwriting novel, I wrote in 6 days, maybe because I was paid to do it, but I surprised myself.
22. Do you have a muse?
Just the fact that people like to read what I have to say or what story to tell inspires me. I now see that my voice matters. It may not matter to all, but it matters to someone
23. How long does it take you to write a full manuscript?
Through Her Eyes took me two weeks. I can write a novel in 6 days, one month, or if I’m extra slow, two months, or a year. It depends on how I feel about the project.
24. Do you give yourself a word limit for each day or a time limit to finish your novel? If so, please elaborate.
No. It will make you crazy if you don’t reach the limit.
25. How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names?
I think of a great plot. Once I do that I just think of names that I would have for people based on the story. I then make a character outline and bring them to life. I’m talking I give my characters a zodiac sign, personality, blood type, everything that I have, my characters do as well.
26. How long (or how detailed) are the notes you take before you start writing?
They aren’t long at all. A few sentences, my outline and I’m ready to go.
27. Do you have any “must haves” to help you write?
Yes. I must have water, something gummy like gummy worms; music is debatable depending on how I feel, and my crazy mind.
28. Do you only write during a certain time of day or in a certain location?
I try to write during the day, but for some reason the nighttime gets my creative juices flowing.
29. Does your real life ever neglected because of your writing?
I wouldn’t say it neglects my writing, but I will say it doubts it sometimes. Trying to write full time for a living is hard as hell! I have an MFA in creative writing and I find myself applying for writing jobs daily! Sometimes, if I’m so frustrated, I won’t write. Life can get in the way of my writing because it’s what I want to do in my life. I want to write for a company or network.
30.What is the quirkiest thing you do or have ever done when writing?
This is going to be funny as heck! I sometimes, talk out loud, the way my characters would. For example, I wrote a short story for an erotica called; “The Honeymooners” and I would use the Jamaican accent on ALL of the parts of the story. I have no clue, why, but I laughed at myself for hours. Can you imagine a sex scene with an accent that strong? LOL…
ABOUT YOUR WORK:
31. If you have written more than one novel, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite would have to be Sweet Innocence because the main character, Aurica (Erica) Daniels is a total bad ass! She’s everything that I’m not, overly confident, assertive, and takes no shit. I could learn a lot from her.
32. If you could be one of your own characters for a day, who would it be and why?
I’d be Special Jenkins from my current novel that I’m writing, “Hot Like Fire” minus her having H.I.V only because she is a boss and can dance her behind off to my favorite songs.
33. If one of your books became a movie, whom would you choose for the “perfect cast” of main characters?
Wow! This is a good one Rachel. Most of my books are screenplays. I have written screenplays for two of my books so far. My perfect cast for the book Through Her Eyes which is called, “Coming Out of the Dark” would be Fantasia playing me, Columbus Short playing my man, Denzel Washington playing my dad, and Michelle Obama playing my mom.
34. What is the oddest thing you have ever researched for one of your books?
How a woman could have a multiple orgasm. I figured I had to research it, since I haven’t experienced it…yet!
35. What is the most difficult thing you have ever researched for one your books and why?
The difficult thing I had to research was Cancer. It was hard because my grandmother on my father’s side passed of Cancer when I was 10.
Thank you, Krystol, for allowing me to interview you. I hope everyone else has enjoyed learning about you and your work as much as I have.