Hi, Reader Friends!
I have another interview for you this week. This time I have the lovely Kristen Terrette. She’s stopped by to talk about her release, Time and Tide. Have you read it? Isn’t the cover gorgeous?
About the Book
The Blurb: “Addictions destroy lives. Chad Cusher’s own dependencies change everything he thought he knew about his future.
After almost killing himself and someone else, Chad’s legal problems, addiction recovery therapy, and physical therapy if he ever wants to walk normally again, are a part of his everyday life. He believes there is no chance at true happiness, certainly not love, and only hopes to become a better man than he was, to find redemption somehow.
Chad moves to Moanna Island, a small island close to Savannah off the Atlantic coast, to begin a job with his family’s real estate empire, a job he was supposed to have taken years ago.
Free-spirited Ryan Mason is a Moanna local girl from a blue-collar family. She’s dropped her own dreams to help her father care for her schizophrenic brother.
Their paths first cross at a Rehabilitation Center where Chad attends therapy and Ryan’s brother lives. Chad can’t believe his luck when he finds her on Moanna Island, forty-five minutes away from the Center, only days later.
Chad is drawn to Ryan’s joy, even through the pain and grief life tries to throw her way. His lonely void begins to dissipate with every island adventure spent with her. He soon finds out what her secret is. But is it possible to start over and be restored? Even so, can Ryan except Chad’s horrible, even criminal past? Can their crazy worlds ever fit together once she finds out he is the sole heir to the Cusher Empire?”
Toni: Hi, Kristen! Thank you so much for joining me today. Your novel Time and Tide has an interesting premise. How did this story weave its way into your heart?
Kristen: Because I feel that God has redeemed me from my past, I am always forming characters in my mind who need redemption as well. I think it’s something we all search for once we admit our brokenness, and I wanted to show readers it can happen when God is involved. Chad is a combination of different people from my young adult life who made mistakes, but matured afterwards. Ryan, my heroine, has a mentally ill brother, and I pulled this character, and Ryan’s love and pain over him from my memories. My mother had a schizophrenic brother, and I witnessed her grief and sadness over her sick loved one, but also her love and devotion through it all.
Toni: Redemption themes are my favorite because of God’s work in my life so I completely understand. So glad you wrote this. Now, Chad has a volatile past. How did you get in his mindset to portray his angst accurately?
Kristen: Well, I hope that I did! I knew Chad considered himself a loner, which is his reaction to being an only child and then hiding the drug addicted part of himself from others. Because of this, I knew he’d have a tough adjustment trying to open up to therapists and certainly a girl he’s attracted too. I think keeping that one personality trait in mind during every scene helped to show him to readers, and it also gives them the chance to cheer him on as he begins to heal and change for the better.
Toni: Yay for healing! What kind of research did you have to do for Chad and Ryan’s story (she has an awesome name btw)?
Kristen: I’m glad you like her name. There’s a reason (given in the story) as to why she’s named Ryan. It’s an important scene in the book. The main characters in all have love stories have special names, and the reader is clued into why by the last page, I promise.
As for research, I looked up recovery programs, the steps taken with people who are addicted to substances, and the symptoms of withdrawal they’d have to endure. I also did all I could to explore the consequences Chad would have had to face after his car accident. I even researched leg injuries and their path to recovery. I actually found an athlete who had much the same injury as Chad. I was able to read about his recuperation time and see his scar in pictures. It helped me to visualize how to write about Chad’s injury.
I also did a lot of research on schizophrenia. I knew what I had witnessed personally with my uncle as a kid, but I needed specific characteristics and issues to use. I hope I honored people and families dealing with this mental illness in my portrayal.
Toni: It sounds like you took your research and writing seriously. Love that!Now that this novel is written, what do you plan on doing next? Will you jump right into another story?
Kristen: Honestly, I jumped into writing the third Moanna Island book before the final editing of Time and Tide (Book Two) was complete. I am just over halfway through writing it! It’s about a reno/restoration queen who gets her chance at a reality TV show, and chooses one of the oldest homes on Moanna Island for the show’s first season. Of course, right next door is a smokin’ hot Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer (AST), who’s recovering from a family tragedy and currently on leave from his job. We’ll see if God can bring these two together.
Toni: That sounds great!
Kristen: I also have a young adult historical fiction novel being reviewed by a few publishers. It alternates between present day and the early 60s, a changing time in our country’s history and the beginning of what I call a revolution. Sadly, I feel the revolution has stalled, and I’m hoping the story finds a home because it’s message- one of an awakening to Jesus- is something our country (and the world) needs right now.
Toni: I agree. How about some when writing questions? When writing do you….
Drink coffee or tea?
Kristen: COFFEE! (Never tea)
Toni: I’m the opposite. 🙂 Listen to music or silence?
Kristen: Good question! I actually listen to music most of the time. Certain songs latch on to me when I’m writing a story which seem to fit with a character’s situation, so I play those on repeat. But even if I don’t have music on, I usually turn on the TV. I flip to an old movie or something- anything to bring on the noise, I guess, and keep me alert and awake.
Toni: Same. Sit or stand?
Kristen: I sit to write, but I’ll admit I get antsy, so once I finish a scene I usually get up and do something for a few minutes- clean the counters, start laundry, pick up around the house. I start to rehearse the next scene out in my head and what the characters might say, etc. It’s like a brainstorming session with movement.
Toni: That’s awesome. Snack or take breaks to eat?
Kristen: I take breaks to eat. A lot. Lol.
Toni: Lol. Food is good. Before you go, please tell us how can readers encourage you in your writing journey.
Kristen: I never realized how important giving an author a review after reading their book was until I became an author. Giving a review, whether you thought it was terrific or so-so, helps the author tremendously in their “rankings”, and therefore all genre/theme searches. Seeing a new review pop up on my book listings makes my day!
Toni: Yes! Reviews matter. Thanks again for hanging with me today. Readers, do you have any questions for Kristen?
About the Author
Kristen has a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and was on staff as a Children’s Ministry Director for over five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. With the support of her husband and two children, she stays at home writing Christian fiction, making up fantasy places and characters, allowing God to take the story where He needs it to go. She is also involved in the women’s leadership team at her church, and writes for Wholly Loved ministry at WhollyLoved.com. To see her blog and current novels, check out her website at www.kristenterrette.com.