My guest this week for Twenty Questions is fellow Clean Reads author Krista Wagner. She has written four books and her latest release is Indigo. Here is the synopsis:
When emotionally driven Indigo falls for flirtatious Brian, her senior year quickly spirals out of control. Faced with the afflictions of her cruel peers, Indigo is quickly becoming numb to the world, and if she doesn’t start to care about herself soon, she will be dead.
So let's hear more from Wagner and, when you are finished, you may visit her website for more about her works.
1. How did you get interested in writing?
I started writing at the age of seven; it was just something that came to me naturally.
2. What inspired you to come up with this story?
A lot of teenagers experience issues, like depression or bullying, that they tend to internalize. I thought it was important to address those difficult issues in a fictional world, where it is safer to do so.
3. Tell me about the main character, Indigo, and what inspired you to create her.
Indigo is, I think, representative of a lot of teenage girls who lack confidence for one reason or another. In her case, her biological dad took off once her mom was pregnant and her stepdad left them during her middle school years, so she is searching for a male figure who loves her and will commit to her, but the problem is she believes her happiness will come from another person, as so many people believe.
4. What characters, other than Indigo, did you find enjoyable to write as you progressed with the book?
Brian, Darlene, and Jason. They all have such layers and are intriguing in their own ways.
5. What are some of the themes you explored in writing the novel?
Bullying, Depression, Suicide, Sexual Sin, Secrets
6. What were some of the things you learned along the way as you wrote and edited the book?
How relevant these issues are, even today, not just when I was younger, especially with bullying.
7. What were some things you learned about writing this book when compared to other books you have written?
How personal it is to me. I, too, experienced bullying (not the same degree Indigo does) hiding my sexual activities and suffering from doing so.
8. I see you’ve written screenplays of your novels, too. How is writing a screenplay different from writing a novel?
It's a very different way of thinking, namely with pacing. The more white space, the better. So, scripts focus on lots of action and dialogue, unlike novels that can add stream of consciousness and go into specific details of events.
9. Take me back to the days when you were writing for your school’s literary magazine and how that experience helped you as a writer.
I was one of the contributors and editors for my high school's Avocado Press. I was able to contribute a number of poems and some short stories for several editions and my input was highly regarded, so this experience boosted my confidence to continue writing creatively.
10. What do you find is the right environment for you to write?
Late at night, when the kids are asleep.
11. Are there specific programs or tools you find useful to help you with the writing process?
Not usually. I just jump right in and go!
12. What have you found to be useful methods for promoting your writing?
In person conversations. People need to get to know you first.
13. Tell me more about Dean Koontz and what you like about his writing.
I started reading his novels when I was 14. His were the first thrillers I read and I fell in love with his deeply complex writing style, his relatable and fascinating cast of characters, and the way that he always ended his stories on a positive note.
14. What other books or authors inspired you to become a writer?
Classics from George Orwell to Mary Shelley.
15. Any aspiring or independent authors whose books you’ve read that you liked and want to mention to others to check out?
RJ Conte--an amazing writer whose love for others and God is evident in all that she writes.
16. What advice would you give to those who want to write a novel before they actually get started?
Start writing. Let your thoughts flow.
17. Tell me about your work as an English instructor (what students you teach, where you teach, etc.).
I teach all English-level courses, from Developmental English to Composition to Critical Thinking with Literature. Currently, I am an adjunct instructor at two Christian colleges and a public college.
18. What are some of your favorite suspenseful films?
Jaws and Scream.
19. Tell me what you’ve learned from reading the Bible, whether it’s from the spiritual, inspirational or historical perspective.
Honestly, all three. God's Word has guided me, protected me, and anchored me.
20. Who would win a battle of superhero skills: Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman?
Batman. He's just dark and edgy enough.