Trista has just released her second major novel, Ranger. For all you fantasy fans like me out there, you'll be pleased to know that the author is giving away a copy of each of her books in a giveaway she is hosting, the link to which will be at the bottom of the post. Here is the summary of her latest release, Ranger:
“ Kimberly Ranger is daughter to the wealthy governor of a small, dry western town. Disaster befalls her and her family one night as they ride through the shadow cloaked forest paths and all of them are thought to be dead. Several years later a young stranger appears in the town’s saloon, asking questions about that night. But as time ticks on, respected members of the town disappear without a trace, animals are slaughtered in herds, and a tale as old as time is brought to light. The greatest adventures are not always the ones that are passed down in fables, sometimes the ones that really mean something are the ones that never get told…” - Ranger
Trista has agreed to an interview with me, so let us begin.
Trista, welcome to A Dark Wolf’s Haunt and thank you for joining us here! So to start things off, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? What are your favorite hobbies and how would you describe your personality?
Trista: Thank you, Dark Wolf! I’m excited to be here and thank you so much for the invite!
More or less about me: Okay well, most importantly I’m a Bible believing Christian and as an author that mind-set and perspective flows into my works. I’m a high school graduate whose dream is to go out into the world and minister Christ’s love through music. A few of my random hobbies are reading, writing (of course), acting, drawing on occasion, and anything that has to do with being outside. And my personality? Bleh, I’m not good at describing myself. Some of the things other people have called me: Random, Adventurous, Strange, Hard-working, Willing to listen, Unpredictable, Godly, Weird, Tenacious, Loyal, and other such things...Sorry, I’m bad at that =P
What inspired you to get into writing? How did you start your journey to getting published?
Trista: Hmm, what inspired me to get into it indeed. I really can’t recall exactly how it all began, for I was writing “stories” since I could make a sloppy sentence. Its just something I’ve always done. I remember I had pages of notebooks filled with prospective book “titles” and I had many pieces of other paper with drawings for the said books. Though none of those ever made it into much more than ideas and a few random sentences here and there.
What really kick-started me into the process of self publication was NaNoWriMo. The young writer’s program, which I did my first year of NaNo, teams with Createspace so that if you finish the 50k (or less or more) words of your novel, you get five free copies of your novel from Createspace. I did finish my novel’s 50k, but the book wasn’t finished yet. So I decided to edit through my other book that was finished (Quest for the Swords of Healing) and go ahead and self-publish that. And that’s how I started the journey, with writing 50k in one month in a crazy challenge I never thought I’d end up doing.
What provides the inspiration for your stories, and what source would you say is the biggest influence on your writing?
Trista: I get inspiration everywhere almost all the time. Sometimes I laugh at myself for it, but in the end it’s helpful. It used to come mostly from reading, but since I began seriously writing I’ve bordered my scope of inspiration, as it were. Pictures inspire characters a lot for me, or some plot pieces. What family and friends say sparks my imagination at times, places I visit, songs and music do a lot to inspire me as well. I think, though, my biggest inspiration is the places I’ve been or will go. The new and amazing world that ignites my curiosity and the old wonderful trails I still find pleasure in walking. I love being outdoors and everything about it inspires me to write. I wish that when I go out for a trip to the woods or walk in the corn field I could just talk my thoughts and when I come back to my room, a novel will be waiting for me with the words I said. X)
Which author’s work do you admire the most and why?
Trista: Hmm, I have many author’s whose works I admire. But I have to say that Christopher Hopper’s The White Lion Chronicles are still my favorite books. At first they were rather slow and I got a little disenchanted with all the description. But as I got into them and read more, I loved them! They speak a deeper truth and have those little hidden stories in there that you can read between the lines if you look close enough, I like that in books; especially Christian books. I liked all the characters, the setting, the plot, and how it ended. So I appreciate these three novels and their author greatly.
Of the entire writing process, what are your favorite and least favorite parts?
Trista: Hmm, there’s so much I enjoy. I love it when you get on a roll and you can write like 10k in less than an hour, that’s a great part. I enjoy working with plot development off of my computer, that can be an adventure in and of itself. I also like going back through things I’ve already written and reading here and there. Sometimes I surprise myself when I do that. X) And, ask almost any author, the least favorite part is the editing process of the second -or more - draft. Arg. =P
Could you tell us about some of your earlier works?
Trista: Well, like I was saying earlier on, I’ve been working on writing for a while. But I never really finished a story until just five or six years ago. Before that I had been working on a story called Storm; it was about a horse and her journeys to find her herd after she was separated from them. That one hung on for a while but never made it very far. Then I wrote Battle of the Dragons, my first (and last...so far) short story inspired by Redwall and a dream I had. That was the first book I actually finished.
So, what we all have been eagerly wanting to know, tell us about Ranger. How long did it take you to develop the story, and did you encounter any challenges with writing it?
Trista: Oh yes, Ranger. *grin* Okay, well this story was inspired by my older brother to begin with and sorta took off on its own. My brother and I were talking about the new Lone Ranger movie they had just made(even thought we hadn’t seen it nor care to now) and he mentioned a few things that set my mind cogs to whirling.
I wrote Ranger for NaNoWriMo last year, and as I went on with it the basic idea I had took off in a completely new direction. I do like the way the story came out, though. And I even tried something I thought I’d never do; I wrote in first person.
I did struggle a little bit here and there when it came to writer’s block, but because it was NaNo and I needed to press on, I did. This novel wrote pretty well and easily all things considered. However, when I came to the editing process I do have to admit it took me longer than it should have to finish it.
Of all the characters in Ranger, which one, if any, do you think best matches your own personality?
Trista: Oh my, characters are so interesting, you know? Because there’s something about you in each one of them: a personality trait, a nervous habit, their appearance, something large or super small. In some ways it’s pretty cool, in other ways it can be kinda scary. Cause your villains also, in some way, have something of yours. That’s what makes all characters unique, because no one else has the same traits as you to put into them. That was a rabbit trail a bit there, but I think the character that is most like me in the book, putting all of them aside, would be Tonto.
What story are you actively working on now?
Trista: I have so many projects I want to see to completion, but right now I’m working on The Guardian Elf Scrolls Book 2, The Nameless. The sequel to Quest for the Swords of Healing.
For our enjoyment, would you mind sharing a piece from Ranger with us?
Trista: Oh sure, why not? Alrighty, a small except from the (almost) end of Chapter 2:
Kimberly sat in silence as the last words faded away, curling upward with the hazy air. She distrusted this boy. Why would he bother to weave such a tale? Was it to cause her confusion so that in this fragile state they could impose their savage ways on her? Something stirred deep within, and Kim knew his story was not meant for illusion. Her hand waveringly rose to her bandage again. She cringed. ‘How have I changed?’ Her heart picked up speed. Eyes darting she saw sorrow pictured on the lad’s face. “What has happened to me? What have you done?” Kim lurched backward and stood as swiftly as possible. “What has changed?” Her feet felt unusual, clumsy and awkward.
Tonto looked on with grief lacing his features. “Nothing that can be altered now.” He spoke steadily, trying to ease her panic. “The people of this village, my kin, see you only as you are, not as you have been. They will accept you for what you are, which I cannot say for the people who used to know you.”
Kimberly stepped away from the fire stones, her heels knocking into an iron kettle. “And what am I? What is wrong with me?” she breathed, scarcely above a whisper.
Tonto rose from his place near the coals, a solitary hand stretched out in a gesture for her to follow. “Come, I will show you.”
Thank you very much, Trista, for that exciting piece of work. All of us are definitely looking forward to future works from you. And if any of you folks wish to snag Trista's amazing reads for free, just click on the link below.