Interview with Kristi Petersen Schoonover
The Blog Ring of Power Presents...
I am so thrilled to have dark horror writer Kristi Petersen Schoonover with us today. I met Kristi through Broad Universe, where it turns out she's a fellow New Englander, and started following her blog, where she cracked me up with her "52 Weeks of Spam" feature, in which she posted (and mocked) spam that she had received. It's hilarious. We quickly became friends, and if the weather ever cooperates, we'll be doing our first panel together soon. Today, Kristi stopped by to share a little about herself and talk about her latest release, Bad Apple.
This is part one of a five-part interview. Be sure to check out the other BRoP sites for the rest of the interview:
Part 2 @ Teresa's site - Thursday, February 28
Part 3 @ Emily's site - Friday, March 1
BRoP: How long have you been writing?
Kristi: For as long as I can remember. The first short story I ever wrote was about a lonely tree; I was around five. I wrote plenty of fiction for classes in grade and middle school, but I didn’t start getting them published until high school. I had four or five stories published in our high school journal. What scares me is that people I knew will, on occasion, describe a story I wrote way back then and say they loved it so much they kept it. So I guess I’ve always been a writer.
BRoP: When did you first consider yourself a professional writer?
Kristi: Back in 2005 I sold a short story to a magazine called Citizen Culture at pro-rate. When I opened that letter, I felt I’d made it.
BRoP: What books have most influenced your life?
Kristi: I’ve been more profoundly affected by specific short stories than I have by books, and most of those I’d read before I was ten years old. They include W.W. Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw,” Robert Arthur’s “Obstinate Uncle Otis,” Bob Shaw’s “The Light of Other Days,” O. Henry’s “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen,” Carl Stephenson’s “Leiningen versus the Ants,” and Jack Finney’s “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pockets.” When I read these stories I was blown away—and I was really lucky my Dad was an English teacher. He’d spend inordinate amounts of time explaining the concepts of theme, motif and symbol in every story I read. It’s probably why I remember those pieces the most. I didn’t just read them. I understood them.
BRoP: What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
Kristi: Much of my work falls under the category of slipstream—if you ascribe to slipstream’s official definition, that is, I’ve seen a great many loose translations of it about—so it’s hard to find markets for some pieces. I’m perfectly okay with that. I have, however, noticed I work with the same themes repeatedly: loss, guilt, justice, identity, and transformation seem to be my most popular. I also have a favorite motif and symbol or two. One of my mentors and great friends often jokes, “what is it with you and fires and dead mothers or babies?” I could say the same about him—he’s got a thing for bees. But I think all writers have favorites, and I don’t think, in our first drafts, they appear intentionally. I’ve always thought the use of the same theme, motif, symbol throughout a canon is indicative of what the writer is trying to process on a personal level.
BRoP: If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Kristi: Hands down, I’d be a party/wedding planner. I’ve had a long and successful history of throwing interesting theme parties. In fact, I’m thinking about doing that someday after I retire.
BRoP: What format is your book available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?
Kristi: Bad Apple is available in all formats, both print and e-book, and is available wherever you purchase your books.
Where can readers can stalk you:
Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon
BAD APPLE: After an unfortunate incident on a Maine apple orchard, precocious teen Scree is left with a father she’s not sure is hers, a never-ending list of chores and her flaky brother’s baby. In a noble move to save the child from an existence like her own, Scree flees to a glitzy resort teeming with young men just ripe for the picking. But even as life with baby becomes all she’d dreamed, Dali-esque visions begin to leach through the gold paint…
Fans of The Haunting of Hill House, The Lovely Bones, and Carrie shouldn't miss Bad Apple--a dark, surreal ride that proves not all things in an orchard are safe to pick.
The Blog Ring of Power (BRoP) is a consortium of five speculative fiction writers who have banded together to bring you highlights from the current speculative fiction market--news, reviews, and interviews with speculative fiction authors--with an emphasis on small-press and self-published authors. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and relax. Have we got a story for you...