Summer Splash Book Blog Tour ~ Author Interview ~ Kristan Cannon

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Author Interview

KRISTAN CANNON

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

The better question is when didn't think I was one. I've been writing, and knowing that eventually I'd be published, since I was old enough to know what words were.

Do you write in a particular genre or do you like to bounce around to different ones?

I typically stick close to speculative & literary fiction. Both of them present a wide umbrella, but I strongly prefer the near-future/realistic sci-fi genre, or low-magic urban fantasy and deeper point-of-view. I like to dig deep into the psyche of a character, although... I'll admit... I'm not always the most successful at it yet. I still have a very long way to go before I can stand with the masters of the genre.

I'm not into romance (at all), which makes me a bit of an oddball. Not saying that occasionally there isn't a bit of interplay like that between characters, but it's not the genre I write in or even the main plot. It might be a well-hidden side plot. I have a few readers "shipping" a few pairings I didn't exactly mean to have happen, for example.

Is this the genre that you also like to read?

Yes.

What books have most influenced your life?

Stone Angel by Margaret Lawrence My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Actually, there's a lot of influence on my writing from her. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale also by Margaret Atwood Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon. Much of who I want to be as a person is influenced by the main character, Heris Serrano.

What author has most influenced your life?

I'd have to say Margaret Atwood and Tom Clancy.

Do you have a favorite book or series from another author?

I absolutely love the Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy, which is another author who heavily influenced my writing.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I used to play a lot of video games, but lately, I have been getting away from that and finding more hands on things to do. I've been unable to deal with noise and too much activity around me, so hobbies and activities that are quiet and away from too much frenetic energy. Woodworking, using hand tools... sculpting, painting, riding my bike in the middle of nowhere... or going on long walks or drives (without the radio on... just me and the tires on the pavement).

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Back in 1992 and I was 12.

What is your writing process?

I always start with the characters, with a general feel of how the world they live is different from our own. Why they are the way they are, their backstory. I even write their backstory as if it's a novel--like a biography. I have notebooks full of backstories and biographies of people who don't actually exist except in the fiction I write. Only a fraction of what made the characters who they are make it into the novels, but each character has a novel of their own that leads up to where they are when the novel I release starts.

From that point I figure out the "map" of the world they live in, what rules they need to play by. When things take place.

The drama that unfolds to create the plot of the book comes after.

Do you have a writing routine?

Normally, yes, but lately it's been knocked helter skelter. There's a toddler in my life now, even if he's not my child he spends all day around me.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Planning it can take years.

Once that planning is done I can knock out a first draft, or at least a fair chunk of the first draft, during NaNoWriMo in November. If I don't finish the entire first draft, then a few weeks after NaNo ends I've finished the first draft.