About Kristyn Van Cleave:
Kristyn Van Cleave is an 11th grade fantasy novelist, dancer, choreographer, singer, actress, and musician. She published her first literary work, Dreambreath, at the age of 16, and is currently working on a sequel. Kristyn is a member of Blurb’s Coffee and Quill Society and has written for National Novel Writing Month for 2 years. She has been dancing since she could walk, and has been a prevalent choreographer for 4 years. She has been singing and acting as long as she can remember, and has played the French horn for 6 years. When Kristyn is not blogging, writing, dancing, choreographing, singing, or playing the French horn, you can find her volunteering in school classrooms, hanging out with her Indian ring-necked parakeet Marcy, or enjoying a skinny cinnamon dolce latté at Starbucks.
What inspires you to write?
From a young age, I have always been intrigued in the art of writing. A good story could take me on so many wonderful adventures and I couldn’t help but want to create my own little adventures. By the age of four, I tried to write every day. Sometimes I wrote “chapter books” of my own, sometimes I wrote stories and illustrated them, and sometimes I would try to write a compelling thought of one or two sentences. Even now, every little thing inspires me to write. Especially the movies. I always walk out of a movie feeling inspired. This feeling of amazing urgency to start writing an adventure comes from the raw emotions I feel watching a good movie.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am absolutely a seat of the pants writer. I have no idea what in the world is going to happen in my books when I start them. This helps me with the emotions and actions of my characters, when it is neccessary that my characters have no idea what is going on or what may happen. It gives my stories this journeyman feeling, like someone who has just entered a beautiful crystal cave with surprises around every corner.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I make up conversations with them. It’s crazy, but I like to call this the imaginary friend approach. I can ask how they feel at a certain point, their motivations, what they think they might do next to solve their conflict, etc. This helps me understand and create a variety of characters with a variety of personalities.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write. Every day, or every week, as often as you possibly can. Write about how you feel, or fantasize about good days to come, or make your own short stories, or write a poem about those birds singing outside. Never stop writing, never stop learning, never stop expressing.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published because of the concept of fully owning my work, from the message inside to the finished product. I also enjoy the fact that I don’t have to deal with the same amount of revenue splitting– Lulu gets a cut but it’s definitely not as much as a traditional publisher would get. I think each case is different and each author should just choose what they’re comfortable with. I was comfortable formatting and designing my book interior myself and I would rather feel in control, but others would rather just send in a manuscript.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Self publishing is already rising, and while I think indies aren’t treated with the same prestige as traditionally published authors, I see a change coming on soon, as indies are slowly beginning to make their way onto charts, and I hope more indies become bestselling and put it out there that self publishing is valid and just as good as traditional.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: fantasy, ya, ya fantasy
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.