Up first today is my Moon Twin Cristy Rey…her Incarnate Series and Women’s Fiction works are very good. I’m waiting on the next thing she writes very impatiently :)
Cristy Rey is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Incarnate series. The first book, Taking
Back Sunday, and a short prequel novelette, Edge of Seventeen, are available now at online
retailers. She also writes and publishes unconventional romantic women’s fiction. Her first
standalone, Weeping Angels, is available now, and her second, Heart Grow Fonder, will be out
in winter 2014/2015.
Cristy lives in Miami, FL where she is a reader and writer most of the time, and a knitter much
less of the time than she was six months before she took up writing again. She writes the books
that she likes to read. She describes her writing style as riot grrrl Jane Austen sprinkled with a
little magic. There’s always a killer soundtrack running in the background of her novels – all you
need to do is turn to the playlist to know what’s up.
Find Cristy Rey Online
• Cristy’s website http://www.cristyrey.com
• Facebook http://www.facebook.com/cristywrites
• Goodreads http://bit.ly/1iD1Ujy
• Sign up for Cristy’s monthly updates http://eepurl.com/SHB1j
Get Cristy Rey’s Books
• Amazon http://amzn.to/1g4erJ0
• Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/1inMdi8
• Smashwords http://bit.ly/1nvp7rF
Interview – Cristy Rey
Describe yourself in five words?
Coffee-addicted ostrich human hybrid.
Who do people say you look like?
Marissa Tomei. I don’t see it, but there it is. Also, Jeanette the Chipette, which I do see. I even dressed up like her on a Halloween. DIY costume FTW.
If a star could play you in the story of your life who would you hire?
If I could hire *anyone*, it would be Judy Greer. But I’m pretty sure I’d get saddled with Katherine Heigl.
What genre would your life story be? And do you have a snappy title for your life story?
I’d like to think that my life would be a 1920’s period murder mystery. I want to solve murders…on trains, especially…and in fancy hats, most especially. But I don’t know.
What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
I’m a boring old knitting cat lady.
What are you addicted to?
Coffee and cigarettes.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
What scares you the most?
Tiny frogs. Miniscule frogs. I know, logically, that what I’m about to say absolutely is NOT true, but it totally doesn’t matter: Little frogs can get inside of you. They can spring out of nowhere and then enter your body through your orifices. Then, they can harvest frog eggs inside of your body. That is what I fear.
What makes you happiest?
I don’t know. I’m easily entertained. When I am entertained, I become engaged. When I become engaged, I get passionate. When I get passionate, I become happy. In short, I am easily happy-ed.
What’s your greatest character strength?
I am compassionate and empathetic. It has always been in my nature to just care, really care about things and people. I care unconditionally.
What’s your weakest character trait?
If I could only commit to working out…
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
Bah, I’m proud of everything. I’ve worked really hard for everything I have. I’m proud of my character. I’m proud of the company I keep. I’m proud that I can *still* recite the entire script of “Wayne’s World.”
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
She had hair like a lion. She smoked and cussed like a sailor. She didn’t meet a stray she didn’t love. At the end of the day, she was a really good kid and people liked her. Anyway, she believes she’ll be back. Just like the Terminator.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
I was a telemarketer for a hot minute. I think I lasted three hours. I was also Hello Kitty’s pimp TRUE STORY.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
If I could get a luxury PhD, I would get one in Religious Studies. I’d study American New Religious Movements.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I want to live on the coast, by the cliff of a rocky shore with waves crashing. I want to open my eyes every morning, look out my bedroom window, and see a lighthouse first thing.
Tell us about your family?
I have the family I was born into and the family I created. All of us are pretty amazing.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
I want catnaps. All day long catnaps.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
I think I’d like to just jive with Hemingway for a night. Think Midnight in Paris. That’s, like, a dream I once had. Lasted throughout high school and college.
What’s your favorite meal?
Every year, for our anniversary, my other and I go out to the place we had our first date. It’s an Indian restaurant. Anyway, that is my favorite meal.
What color represents your personality the most?
What movie do you love to watch?
Movies are my life. I can’t answer this question.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
Social media is a great way to connect with people you otherwise wouldn’t have connected with. It gives you a reach that you wouldn’t have otherwise had. That said, it’s isolating. It’s tragic that we live our lives on some quasi-public spectrum 24/7 even when we’re not actively “online.” Questions of identity come to mind: Who are you? Who do you portray yourself to be? Does that manufactured projection match your interior life? Does it match the “real you” that others would have perceived without your intervention? It’s a complicated relationship – ours with social media, I mean. The saddest thing is that people, as without the intermediary of the Internet, are generally not self-aware. They can’t see the forest for the trees and, now, because we’re living in the Me Digital Age, they are both the forest and the trees. It’s going to be amazing to see what the future holds.
If you could do any job in the world what would you do?
I literally have my dream job: I am a librarian.
What are you most passionate about? What gets you fired up?
I am passionate about intellectual and social engagement. I engage in debate for fun. That doesn’t mean I seek conflict. I’m conflict-averse, to a fault; but I enjoy lively discussion and conversation. But it’s a quid pro quo thing with me. If I don’t sense a mind that loves to learn, then I won’t engage. So, I guess, in the end, I am passionate about discourse that furthers my intellect and my humanity.
What makes you angry?
Social injustice, distrust of science, and willful ignorance.
What’s your most embarrassing moment of your life?
I have so many that I don’t even bother remembering them anymore.
Are you a city slicker or a country lover?
I’m urban. All the way.
What would you love to produce in your life?
A child. Or a vegetable garden that doesn’t freakin’ die. You know, one or the other
What’s the reason for your life? Have you figured out your reason for being here yet?
My life is a coincidence of genetics and natural selection. There isn’t some great mystery about The Meaning of Life for me to uncover. That’s why it’s so important that I give meaning to my own life and make sure that, at the end of it, I was proud of every second of my experience of humanity. So far, I am. I’m a really good human.
Do you know your neighbors?
Yep. Michael and Ehle. I don’t know the rest, though. Which I find kind of tragic.
How important are friends in your life?
My friends are my family.
How many friends does a person need?
This is a silly question. You don’t need any. You just need to be a good one to as many people as possible and hope that you get what you give in return.
What does love mean to you?
Love means nothing without compassion. That is what love means to me.
What social issues interest you the most?
I don’t want to answer this question. I am socially active. I advocate for a lot of things.
When you get free time on the internet or you go to the library – what do you want to read about?
I’ve spent a lot of my life reading the greats, thinking big thoughts, learning grand ideas, and changing my own world (and hopefully others’ worlds) one book at a time…so it, eventually, got to the point where I just want to read plot-heavy books, sometimes with steamy love scenes, and that don’t make me think too hard. That said, I get into “moods” and decide I need to become an expert in some things. Depends on what’s going on, I guess. Lately, I just wish I had time to read something other than drafts of my own [many] books in pre-publication.
Who do you admire?
I admire Kathleen Hanna. If you don’t know who she is, you should probably Google her. I also admire Neil Gaiman and Zoe Keating.
The Professional questions
Why do you write?
I don’t really know why. I just always have. What else is a daydreamer supposed to do?
What motivates you to write?
I like when people get excited about my stories and characters. That, more than anything, motivates me to write more. The next book. The one after that. The one after that. They each come from someone telling me, “I can’t wait to read the next thing you do.”
What books did you love growing up?
I loved Nancy Drew and Baby-sitter’s Club Books when I was really young. My favorite childhood novel was Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. By middle school, I was all up in Christopher Pike and RL Stine (Goosebumps was after my time, I mean his other work), and that generation’s paperback young reader gory horror and thriller. I loved those. I still do. As much as I write supernatural stories with Incarnate, what really calls to me is that campy high school blood and guts slasher thriller. I remember SOBBING while I read some of those from how powerful those emotions were. Those are my earliest literary heroes. After that, it was all high-falutin’ literary fiction and classics.
Who is your favorite author?
I have read too much of too many fantastic authors to pick just one. I think that, easily, some of my favorites are: Neil Gaiman, Thomas Pynchon, Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen, John Krakauer, Elmore Leonard, MLN Hanover, Heather Graham, Alan Moore, Charles Bukowski, Christopher Pike and RL Stine, Ray Bradbury, Patricia Briggs….I mean, at this point I have to stop because I just can’t go on.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I was born and raised in Miami, FL to Cuban exiles who came to the States when they were young. When I tell people that Miami is its own country, they don’t really understand what that means. We are. Down here, we’re nothing like anywhere else in the world. I am a woman from a minority culture and I live in the only place in the US where the minority enjoys majority privilege. I am surrounded by such diversity on such a daily, ever present level that I don’t feel comfortable in places where I’m not surrounded by such diversity. I think that, in my novels, I project that world onto the pages. A lot of my novels are about people who are from here, people, like me, that don’t fit into a mold, yet find comfort in the colorful landscape that is my immediate surrounding environment. A lot of people hate it here, and I get that. Particularly people who are into what I’m into: low-brow and indie art and culture, high-brow and classical art and culture, feminists, social progressives, intellectuals, etc. But I don’t see the point in rejecting the surrounding when, in this one place, I experience more of the world than most people do…and I don’t have to go farther than a mile to be in a whole new version of it.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
I publish for my friends and family. I don’t do it out of some great mission to be a famous author or to even be an author at all. I’m happy writing and not publishing. But I work to make them proud. My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by a mass of people who want big things for me. I almost feel like I’m doing them justice by giving them something to purchase and keep in their pockets. So, yeah, not only do they support me, they’re my reason for doing this at all.
Do you plan to publish more books?
Yes. I do. Have at least 5 ready to go and at least 3 additional ones in the works. 2014-2016 are going to be big years for me. If I choose to never write again, know that, by 2016, I’ll have published quite a canon.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I am a librarian.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I write on laptop at home and I write on desktop at work. I type faster than I handwrite and I have a lot of gusto when I get going.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
My barometer of success is extremely conservative. The fact that I’m learning both a craft (writing) and an industry (publishing) on the daily makes this already a success. Success, for me, comes from my level of engagement in the process and, right now, I’m engaged. I have fun with it from the writing to the publishing. There are lots of people for whom sales and dollar signs or widespread mainstream publicity are markers of “success,” but I’m much more grounded in reality. I am one of millions – literally – and, for as smart and skilled and personable as I am, I am just one of millions. My books can be the best (they are not), but I’d still be one of those. The only true happiness comes from self-awareness, awareness of your surroundings, and accepting that you set your own standards. That’s what I’ve done. It’s what I always do. Never stop reaching for the stars, but never forget that there’s plenty of stuff to celebrate between the ground floor and the penthouse.
Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
My friend died. I was at her funeral and I was writing something else…when it hit me that I had left her. I had left her years ago when she, my sister’s ex, refused to get sober. Her funeral hit me hard. The observations therein struck me as something that I couldn’t let go, that I wouldn’t let go. She is not my first friend to die young, nor will she be the last, but it’s like her death marked something special passing. Anyway, I got home that night and immediately got to writing. I created a sister for her and I told her sister’s story. Then I created an old childhood friend of hers and I told his story. I learned what it’s like to mourn someone twice and I wanted to share that. It’s a hard story to tell, but I think I did right by it. Or, at least, I think I did right by my sister and the real life Iris. She would have been proud of me. Really really proud.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
Right now, I’m revising which is a bit of editing and a bit of writing. When I write, I marathon write. I write whole books in the matter of days. How often I do depends on my mood and my available time. Lately, I’m having to force myself away from other duties like marketing and the like so that I can focus on my writing.
Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Do you have a writing schedule?
Ah, I have schedules. I have agendas. I plan and I plan to plan. But those are mostly for publication – things that are already in the line to get beta read, edited, formatted, etc. For writing, it’s tougher. Sometimes, I get taken in a whole different direction than what I should be working on.
Have you met any people in the industry who have really helped you?
I have met some wonderful people that have guided me and walked beside me. Bella Roccaforte, Shakuita Johnson, Trudy Stiles, Katie Mac, NL Hoffmann…I could go on. Whether you know those names or not, they’re people who are out there are have the good stuff. They are the good stuff. I can’t get enough of them.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
My writing is my own. I write characters that are real to me. They are people I know and they are people that have sprung from my imagination. My friends read my characters and they immediately recognize them as one of us. But I know a lot of people aren’t familiar with my world. So, what I hope, is that people get a glimpse into a reality that’s diverse, a little different, and a little unconventional, but that they can still appreciate as real. It’s fun when you write a conversation you’ve had before and others read it and love it. They think “Oh, she’s so clever,” but, really, that’s what’s happened in my life. Right now, I’m having those conversations. I’m seeing those things. They’re happening just outside your periphery, but they’re real.
How do you think people perceive writers?
People perceive writers as smart. It comes from the notion of the printed word being some intellectual effort and an effort that, in order to have achieved, one must have passed through various “gates,” or tests. It’s an accomplishment; therefore, people who aren’t published look at those who are as though they’re accomplished. In a way, that’s merited. In another, though, it’s not. When anyone can be published – and everyone is published, by the way, because the Internet (i.e. your Facebook profile, your blog or website, your comment on an online news article) – then it’s not so much an accomplishment to just be published. You need to work to stand out. Your work needs to merit your status, I guess. Anyway, I’d hope that’s the case.
How do you feel about self-publishing?
I have a horse in this race, right? I’m a self-published author. I think that it’s great in that it’s allowed me, personally, to overcome hurdles of a trillion proposal query letters and endless waiting for someone to pick me up if they ever pick me up. I’m an active person and I like to participate. Self-publishing has given me the opportunity to learn a new skill: business management and, in specific, publishing business management. So I like that too. I think, though, there are drawbacks to its popularity but, again, I have a horse in this race. If there are a lot of self-published books then there’s more opportunity for people who don’t learn the business to get hoodwinked and scammed, there’s more fiscal risk in that we spend money to produce content in an oversaturated market thereby lowering our potential return, and the like. In the end, I think I’ll keep it up. The good thing is that I control my own writing career so, if one day I decide to let it go, I can. That is a comfort to me.