Friday 18 January 2019

Interview with Kristin Ward & Review of After The Withered Green

I am delighted to be joined by Kristin Ward today for both an interview and my review of one of her books. Here's a little about Kristin

Kristin Ward lives is a small town in Connecticut with her husband, three sons, and numerous furry and feathered friends. As a nature enthusiast, she infuses her stories with environmental themes and encourages her readers to learn about the world in which they live and strive to do their part to leave it a better place for future generations.

And onto the interview!
Do you read your own genre? Is it a favourite?

I have a rather eclectic taste in books but dystopian is a genre I love. My favorite dystopian series is The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins touched on deep social issues and created a truly frightening world. I'm a classic rereader of books that I love. When the mood strikes, I pick up an old favorite and immerse myself in worlds and characters that I have a strong connection with. One of my favorites is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.

Was writing always your dream choice of career?

I have longed to be an author since seventh grade when my English teacher likened my writing to Saki, author of The Interlopers. While writing is not my career, yet, I strive to bring pieces of this passion into my workplace. I would love to be able to write full time!

Do you have a writing space? Pictures or descriptions!

My writing favorite space is my grandmother's reclining chair. When I tilt it back at just the right angle, I can prop my laptop on my lap and get into the zone. During the winter months, the woodstove pumps out heat as I type away!

Playlists? Yes or no? And why?

I have three sons. With that in mind, a certain level of noise and disruption is my way of life. I have written a few blogs about the cacophony of my boys. When it comes to writing, I can usually hit the mental mute button and block out the variety of sound effects that emanate from my crew. Adding music into the mix is something that gets through the cracks of my listening filters and can be utterly derailing (especially when I start bopping along to the music and end up accidentally typing the lyrics I'm belting out!).

Which social media do you see as a must for writers?

Twitter and Facebook are major venues for writers as they provide platforms for interaction. I have found these social media outlets to be great resources to connect with writers and explore various topics from the writing process to marketing.

Where do you hang out most online?

If I'm connecting with fellow writers, I spend my time on Twitter and Facebook. However, the bulk of my online usage is not necessarily related to writing. Yes, I do my share of research online but I easily find myself getting sucked into the internet rabbit hole. Is this an intentional derailment? Well, sometimes. Writers, by our very nature, are procrastinators. I have been known to while away hours online getting nothing done!

What's your favourite book you've read?

One of my favorite books is The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. It was this book that began my writing journey all those years ago. I was pulled into the story from the first line and in awe of the fact that it was written by a teenager. Within that book is a poem that also proved to be a catalyst to my own love of poetry. I often write poems on Twitter as I enjoy the challenge of keeping them within the 140 character limit. One day, I hope to publish a collection of these works.

Morning or evening writer?

I am often an evening writer, though not by choice. With a full-time job, I find the bulk of my writing time, when I find the time, to be in the evening. On the weekends, I prefer to write during the day (I'm not a morning person and relish my Saturday and Sunday moments of quiet with a cup of coffee)

If you had a hashtag for your books, what would it be?

Creating a hashtag is not my forte! Sadly, I am rather new to the whole social media thing. I suppose I would use something that relates to the theme of the books - global drought - while also reflective of the title.  #withered seems appropriate!
They tell me the country looked different back then.

They talk of open borders and flowing rivers.

They say the world was green.

But drought swept across the globe and the United States of the past disappeared under a burning sky.

Enora Byrnes lives in the aftermath, a barren world where water has become the global currency. In a life dominated by duty to family and community, Enora is offered a role within an entity that controls everything from water credits to borders. But it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. From the wasted confines of her small town to the bowels of a hidden city, Enora will uncover buried secrets that hide an unthinkable reality.

As truth reveals the brutal face of what she has become, she must ask herself: how far will she go to retain her humanity?
My review: 5 stars
I picked this up because of the blurb and the cover. It starts as a historical telling of what's come before and then jumps right into the action. Enora has hopes and dreams like any teenager about to embark on adulthood, but whether or not she gets to realise them is another matter. The Company control all the resources and against her wishes, Enora is ordered to join. The story is engaging, well-written and flows beautifully. I loved getting to see the sides of the world building without it taking away from the story. I am going to read the next as soon as possible as the ending leaves you wanting more. Highly recommended!

You can follow Kristin on her website, Twitter and Instagram.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.

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