Today I’m happy to present Ms. Kristy Jo Volchko, a children’s author whose writing I really enjoy reading. Her style is eclectic, engaging and entertaining. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her work recently and I’m genuinely thrilled that she took time out of her busy schedule for this interview. So, without any further ado, let’s get right to the interview…
Hello Kristy, welcome to my blog. Please tell my readers, how did you come to writing?
Hello Thomas and thank you for having me. Writing has always brought me a great deal of pleasure and I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t doing it in some fashion.
How did you come up with your stories?
— Kristy Jo Volchko (@KristyJoVolchko) March 24, 2016
Each story has a different source of inspiration. It might be a color that I see or a song I hear. With Frogs Can Fly, I remember sitting on my porch swing imagining what critters might be like if they were human. What types of games they’d play, foods they’d serve at celebrations, songs they’d sing. It made me laugh just thinking of it!
You have created great characters. Which one is your favourite?
Bill the wise ole bullfrog is definitely my favorite. A lot of families have that no-nonsense elder that tells it like it is and doesn’t understand “youngstas nowadays.” His southern drawl and humorous wisdom makes writing his character extra fun.
Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?
Great question! For Bill, I could see James Earl Jones filling the role quite nicely. I love him. And when I think of Mama Frog, I see Florence Henderson.
Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?
I can honestly see parts of myself in all of the characters. Lulu is optimistic, friendly, and expressive. Dozer the Dane is clumsy, naive, and always hungry. Tommy Cat is logical and brave. Brenda Bunny is afraid of her own shadow. Sara Squirrel is a bit mischievous and has a nut allergy. Mama Frog is tender and loving. And Siggy Skunk can be hyper and annoying…Yep.
Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?
I have a basic storyline and structure when I sit down but always leave plenty of room for the stuffing and climax to reveal itself. I like to be surprised!
What is your main reason for writing?
It’s as important to me as eating or breathing.
What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
The best is releasing some of the creative buildup that accumulates, sort of like a colorful exhale. The worst would be the wrist and eye strain, back and neck pain, numb toes…Truth!
How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?
Most days I fluctuate between the two, blocking out time for each. But minimizing distractions of any kind while writing is always a challenge… phone, internet, even radio is turned off.
What do you do when you don’t write?
It depends on the day. I could be doing anything from playing black-jack on a Tuesday afternoon, to sitting in the middle of a wooded trail, snapping photos of a weird looking ant hill…Fun, chores, and fun-chores.
What else would you like us to know about yourself and your books?
That I feel grateful to be doing what I love, and to have met so many amazing, inspiring, and talented people along the way.
Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?
I have a great team I use for certain things but the support from other authors and beta readers has been invaluable.
How have you found the experience of self-publishing?
The entire process and commitment that it takes is fascinating. Nothing beats implementing your vision, your way.
What were your highs and lows?
Holding a physical copy of my very first release was exhilarating and a moment I’ll never forget!
What are the lows?
What do you like best about writing?
The possibilities are endless!
What’s your least favorite thing?
Sitting in a chair for long periods of time isn’t my favorite thing.
What is your advice to new indie writers?
~Never give up or hold back.
~Establish a good team and don’t be afraid to seek advice.
~Find enjoyment in marketing. You’ll learn a great deal, and you’ll be doing a lot of it! That’s the fun part, right?
Who are your favorite independent writers?
Lisa Genova and James Redfield are awesome.
Who are your favourite authors?
Some of my top favorites are Elizabeth Gilbert, Judy Blume, Stephen King, VC Andrews, Judith Krantz, Eckhart Tolle, Don Miguel Ruiz, Judith Bennett, Linda Goodman, Rhonda Byrne, and Isabel Allende.
What is your favourite book?
Impossible to answer!
What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
I just started reading the paperback, How to read the Akashic Records by Linda Howe.
What makes you laugh?
Nothing is off limits…even the mirror!
What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?
A helicopter full of books, food, water, a lighter, a cell phone, and a mapped out departure route after my week there is over. In my supply of books there should be a copy of, How to Fly a Helicopter for Dummies.
Who would you like to invite for dinner?
Summer or winter?
Ice cream or cake?
What would your friends say are your best and your oddest quality?
What would you chose as those qualities?
Tell us about your other books please.
Although I love writing for children, publishing work in a pen name and retaining my anonymity has been an asset when writing other genres. There’s a certain unrestrained creative freedom I experience when writing about controversial or adult topics in this manner.
What song would you pick to go with your book?
For the Cackleberry Creek series I envision a hilarious, rhyming, twangy-banjo theme song-like the Beverly Hillbillies. But since I don’t have one, I would choose, ‘The Morning: Another Morning’ by The Moody Blues.
(Maybe these critters are hippies?)
How do you handle criticism of your work?
Everyone has a different perspective and that’s ok.
Kristy Jo Volchko is a multi-genre writer and creator of the children’s adventure series, Cackleberry Creek. Kristy’s independent services include, ghostwriting, eBook, resume, website content, graphics, and marketing.
Links to Social Media:
My Website: http://www.kristyjovolchko.com/
My Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/FrogsCanFly.Book
My Facebook Personal Page: https://www.facebook.com/krizmiz33
My Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/KristyJoVolchko
My Linkedin Page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristy-jo-volchko-b5a50356