Q: Your story Heart of Wonderland made it to the top 10 of the 2014 edition of World’s Best Story. Did you think you were going to make it so far? How did you react when you got the news live from The Toronto International Book Fair during the live finale this past November?
Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to make it to the Top 10. I had written several books over the years but I never did anything with them. Everything changed when I got handed a card at Book Con last year advertising the World’s Best Story Contest and so I submitted one of my books without giving it much thought. The next thing I know, I am one of the Top 100 finalist and then one of the Top 10. It was this amazing feeling to make it to the Top 10 and it was this catalyst that made me want to pursue my dream of writing professionally.
In November 2014, when I placed 9th, it was an exciting feeling. After fifteen years of writing, I had finally shared one of my books and I got recognition. Again, the World’s Best Story Contest was the encouragement I needed to get out there and start promoting my books.
Q: I really enjoyed reading Heart of Wonderland, I would describe it as Walt Disney meets Quentin Tarantino. Can you tell us a little more about the story and how you came up with such an original premise?
I absolutely love that you describe my book as Disney-Quentin Tarantino mash up! I think that is the best description anyone has given so far! As for how I came up with the storyline, that would be from daydreaming. A lot of times, I will drift off and start thinking about how different scenarios might play out. When I would find an idea I liked, I write it on whatever is near bye whether it’s a napkin, notepad or even just in my cell phone.
Heart of Wonderland came to be simply because I love fairy tales and I wanted to tell my own version of the beloved stories. I made sure I stuck to the traditional fairy tales as my base and then I let my imagination run wild. Honestly, it wasn’t too hard to imagine a world where all the different fairy tale character were interconnected.
Q: Part of your prize package includes being published with FastPencil. How has the experience been so far?
FastPencil is one of the easiest, if not the easiest publishing websites I have ever used. The experience was beyond fantastic and I would recommend it for anyone looking to self publish.
Q: What story has influenced your life?
I am not sure if there is any one book that influenced my life. My style of writing was inspired by Shakespeare as I really enjoyed the play format and the dialogue aspects of his work. Anita Shreve’s book, The Last Time They Met, drew such strong emotion from me and that has always been my goal as a writer, to get that same reaction from one of my readers. There are also countless others who I am sure influenced me without even knowing.
Q: Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t listen to people as they will try to bring you down. People will say your books will never sell or you need to change everything about your story for someone to want to read it. If you are true to yourself and even just one person reads your story than that’s all that matters.
Q: What are the ingredients for a blockbuster story to you?
A consistent storyline with actual character depth is something that every blockbuster movie should have. Sure, intense action scenes and good looking people are always fun to watch but if a movie has no heart than it gets boring rather quickly.
Q: What story do you enjoy reading over and over again?
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Q: How would you increase literacy?
A lot of school’s need to change their reading list. I am all for the classic but get some modern stories in there that speak to the children. There were many times back in high school, I remember hearing my fellow classmates complain about boring books that they hated. Years later, these same people would tell me that they would have read more had they actually been introduced to books they liked.
Q: What’s on the horizon for Kristina Garlick?
I am working on rewriting my book, Imaginary Friend. This story was originally written in 2007 but I am giving it a complete overhaul but still staying true to the original story. I am also attending some local events in New Jersey, where I am signing books. My website www.kristinagarlick.com is the best way to keep up with any book related news that I may have.
Q: What is your favorite drink while writing and/or reading?
It’s usually water as I write late at night and try to avoid anything with too much caffeine.
Q: Favorite poem?
“Daughters” by Nicole Blackman
Q: What is your favorite genre of music of music, artist?
I listen to everything from pop, rock to even country. My all time favorite band is Trapt.
Q: What is your favorite movie, tv show, superhero?
My favorite superhero is Captain America as he stands for so many ideals that seem almost lost to us, as a society as a whole. I guess call me old fashion but I just enjoy nostalgic charm that this superhero brings to the big screen.
Q: What is your must have snack?
Nachos with salsa but I try to stay away as it’s hard to stop eating them.
You can follow Kristina here: http://www.kristinagarlick.com