Featured Friday! Kirsten Weiss

Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.

Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.

What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?

I love the freedom and flexibility that comes from being a full-time writer. I can work anywhere. And of course, I love to write, or I wouldn’t be doing it.

What made you start writing?

I wanted to be a mystery writer since I read my first Nancy Drew. Well, originally I wanted to be a girl detective, but it didn’t take long to realize that wasn’t very likely. So, I decided I’d write detective stories instead. In short, like so many writers, my love of writing stemmed from my love of reading. But I didn’t start writing seriously until much, much later.

Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?

There are so many inspiring authors out there. I love Carlos Ruiz Zafon for his lyrical language and byzantine plots. JK Rowling inspires with her world building. PG Wodehouse for his humor. Edgar Allan Poe for sheer spookiness. I could go on and on.

What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?

Read more and write more. Sorry, that’s two tips, but they tend to go hand-in-hand.

What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?

I like to read exactly what I write – mystery novels and urban fantasy. If I didn’t enjoy reading a certain genre, I don’t think I could write in it, or at least not very well.

Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?

Riga Hayworth is the heroine of my first published urban fantasy novels, and she’s close to my heart for that reason. I’d love to hang out with her, drinking wine and watching the colors change on Lake Tahoe.

Which book do you consider a must-read?

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. Read it for the language, the characters, and the heart, but most of all, for the heart.

What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?

I have a very predictable routine when edits come back from my publisher. First, I stomp around in high dudgeon and wonder how DARE she suggest those edits? Then the next day I read her suggestions again, realize she’s right, and make the damn edits. 99% of the time, the editor is right. It’s just a matter of getting my ego out of the way.

If you could live in a book, which one would it be?

I love the world of Harry Dresden. But if I lived in it, I’d probably be the character who gets killed. Horribly. So… best I stay where I am.

Is there any conflict between what you want to write and what you think your readers will like?

This is a question that frequently troubles me. I write what I want to read, but I often wonder if I did more research, wrote more “to market,” if the books would sell better. A part of me doesn’t want to know the answer to this question.

What effect can a review have on you, if you read them at all? Both the good and the bad.

I try not to read reviews, because the good ones inflate my ego and the bad ones are devastating. People tell me I should be tougher about it, but I’m not sure why I need to put myself through either. That said, if someone who’s opinion I value gives me a solid critique, I definitely will listen. I am not a perfect writer, and I will always have things to learn.

What’s exciting you about your next project?

I write a “straight” cozy mystery series, Wits’ End, and a paranormal cozy mystery series, The Witches of Doyle, in the same story world, but so far there hasn’t been much crossover. I’m currently plotting books in both series that tell the same story from two different points of view – mundane and magical. It’s complicated and twisty, and I’m really enjoying the process. Hopefully, readers will enjoy it too! If all goes well, both books will be available by the end of 2019.

Thanks to Kirsten for taking part! Great stuff!

You can sign up for Kirsten’s newsletter on her website to get a free ecopy of book 1 in the Riga Hayworth urban fantasy series, The Alchemical Detective, as well as short stories delivered straight to your inbox!

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