Interview with Kristen Martin | Author, YouTuber, Podcaster, Business and Writing Success Coach
Hello everyone!! I am SO excited about today's interview!! I stumbled upon Kristen Martin's YouTube channel probably about two years ago. (That long already??) Since then, I don't think I've missed one of her videos. I even have a playlist on YouTube where I save my my favorite videos of hers. (And I've listened to every podcast episode, as well.) When I started this interview series this year, I had a list of people that I wanted to interview. Kristen was on the short list. I took a chance in asking her if she'd be interested and here we are!! Kristen is always terrific when I need a dose of inspiration, motivation or a kick in the butt. (A loving one. haha) I go to one of her videos or podcasts and I get there. In fact, today was one of those days. If you've already heard of Kristen, I hope you find some new things in this interview. And if you haven't, enjoy learning more about her and getting a good dose of inspiration yourself!! Read on to learn which of her characters she'd most want to go on a roadtrip with, her favorite personal development podcast, advice for authors and creative entrepreneurs, and more!!
Amanda: Give us a quick introduction to you. Published books, what you write, etc.
Kristen: My name is Kristen Martin and I am an International Bestselling Indie Author, a writing and business success coach, and content creator. I mostly write Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy. My current published works in these genres include The Alpha Drive trilogy and the Shadow Crown series. I also dabble in personal development and self-help, having published my debut in this genre, Be Your Own #Goals, in May 2018.
Amanda: Favorite book you’ve published so far?
Kristen: Such a hard question to answer! Each one of my books holds a special place in my heart for varying reasons. Be Your Own #Goals cracked me open and allowed me to share my deepest and most vulnerable experiences. Shadow Crown challenged me in ways that are hard to put into words because it helped me cope during a time of tremendous loss. The Alpha Drive was the first story idea I brought to life and published for the world to read. Because of that, if I absolutely had to choose, I’d pick The Alpha Drive. To this day, I am still so proud of my debut!
Amanda: Most fun character to write? Favorite character to write? (Because they can definitely be different. ;) ) Hardest to write?
Kristen: The most fun character to write, hands down, was Torin Porter from The Alpha Drive. I added him in during later drafts, and developing his character was a real treat. He actually reminds me of someone I used to date! My favorite character to write is Arden Eliri (and I say is because the series is far from over!). Writing for Arden has always been a release for me and I’ve channeled a lot of my own struggles into her character. As for the hardest character to write . . . that would have to be King Darius Tymond. It’s a constant challenge for me to really get inside his head, but once I do, I find that I really enjoy writing from his POV.
Amanda: Did you like to read as a child? Favorite book? Do you still have that book or reread it now?
Kristen: I absolutely loved to read as a child! My favorite series growing up was Fearless by Francine Pascal. It was the first time I was introduced to a bold female protagonist. Of course, once the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling came out, those became my new favorites. I haven’t reread (nor do I even own) Fearless, but I plan on purchasing a copy in the near future. As for Harry Potter, yes, I do still own them. I have an entire shelf dedicated to the series!
Amanda: Harry Potter will ALWAYS be one of my favorites. (Any Potter fans catch that reference?)
Amanda: Have you always been a writer/storyteller? How did you start?
Kristen: I sure have! I started writing when I was six years old. I kept a spiral notebook with me at all times and wrote short 2-page stories whenever an idea struck. For my longer stories, I’d fold printer paper in half and staple along the edges to create my own makeshift books. I’m so fortunate in that my parents kept all of my books, so they’re all sitting on my bookshelf as we speak. I refer to them often for inspiration. They serve as a constant reminder that I’ve made that little girl proud in pursuing her heart’s one true passion – writing!
Amanda: This is so similar to how I started. I would do the same thing. My first "book" was when I was two or three years old. It's about Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. Stapled together paper with pictures drawn by me. My mom wrote down the story. We still have it.
Amanda: Do you write to music? If so, what kind? I love to hear about new music!
Kristen: I love writing to music. I tend to choose instrumentals because I’m easily distracted by lyrics. Some of my favorite artists to write to include Seven Lions, Odesza, MitiS, Diamans, CRED1X, and Axhello.
Amanda: Now I've got to go check these out.
Amanda: I know for me, there have been some funny stories since I’ve been deep in the trenches of writing. Like a realization about a work in progress or characters (the funniest has to do with the song Mirrors by JT.) Do you have any funny stories that you’d like to share?
Kristen: Ah yes, the one that sticks out the most is when I was naming the villain in The Alpha Drive trilogy. I originally had given him the last name of White, but once I read The Hunger Games and learned about President Snow, I knew I had to change it!
Amanda: Do you have a typical process or any writing rituals? Anything you have to have with you while writing? (Besides computer, paper, typewriter, whichever…)
Kristen: I always set an alarm around 7:30 PM to alert me to head into my office to write. I fill up a large mason jar of water with a squeeze of lemon, grab some hummus and carrots (my go-to snack), light my favorite candle (which is in the scent Arizona by Homesick Candles), and put on my writing playlist via Spotify. I’m always wearing blue-light blocking glasses, comfy clothes, slippers, and my writing gloves from Storiarts!
Amanda: Who is a character that has influenced you (not from your books)?
Kristen: This might sound so funny, but Blair Waldorf from the Gossip Girl books by Cecily Von Ziegesar. I resonated so much with her overachieving, perfectionistic side and overall demeanor when I was in high school (I still do!). I loved her no-nonsense “queen bee” attitude, too!
Amanda: Which of your characters would you least want to go on a road trip with? Why? Most want to?
Kristen: Least . . . Emery Parker from The Alpha Drive, which is actually pretty funny since she’s the protagonist. She’s directionally-challenged, so I imagine we’d end up somewhere we weren’t planning on going! I’d most want to go on a road trip with Felix Barlow from Shadow Crown. He’d definitely get us where we need to go, and his ability to talk us out of any potential trouble would also be a major plus!
Amanda: Top three favorite books and authors right now.
Kristen: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
And absolutely ANYTHING by Marie Lu (I know that’s 4, but I couldn’t help myself!)
Amanda: That's okay, I cheat all the time with questions like this!!
Amanda: Favorite writing craft book?
Kristen: Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by Steven James. This book unleashed my creative side in a way I can’t even explain. It completely shifted my perspective on the craft of storytelling.
Amanda: Another to add to my list!! I think the "Breaking the Rules" got me....I love to do that.
This or that:
Strawberry vs. Chocolate | Chocolate!
Poetry vs. Fiction | I love poetry, but I love fiction more
First draft vs. Editing | First draft, always and forever
T. V. Show vs. Movie | Movie
Book vs. Movie | BOOK! A million times over
Hero vs. Villain | Villain (the psychology behind why they do what they do is fascinating)
Villian vs. Anti-Hero | Oooooh, tough one . . . Anti-Hero
Witch vs. Vampire | Witch!
E-book vs. Physical Book | Physical book (There’s something so satisfying about turning an actual page)
Tea vs. Coffee | Tea
Amanda: What is your favorite event you’ve attended so far? As an author, guest speaker, etc.?
Kristen: I love every event I’ve had the privilege of attending, but putting together my own Book Tour in 2018 will forever be my favorite -- seven stops in a week and a half, including California, Canada, Illinois, Florida, and Texas. It was a whirlwind trip, but the people I got to meet and the memories we made are priceless!
Amanda: What made you decide to go in the direction of creating courses and branching out from writing books?
Kristen: I’ll always have a passion for writing books (and won’t stop writing any time soon!), but there’s always been a part of me that gravitates toward teaching and helping others. I suppose that’s why I made a YouTube channel offering writing advice. When I created my first digital course, it came so naturally; not to mention, I had a lot of fun putting it together! I started getting asked a lot of the same questions by my viewers and realized what a great opportunity it was to reach even more people with educational content. The feedback has been nothing short of phenomenal, so I plan on launching many more courses in the future!
Amanda: I have to ask this because I know you love personal development. Favorite personal development book? Favorite personal development podcast? Do you have a favorite person in the personal development space right now?
Kristen: There are so many phenomenal books to choose from, but if I had to pick, it’d be You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. As far as podcasts go, I’d say Style Your Mind by Cara Alwill Leyba. At the moment, Rachel Hollis is one of my favorites in the personal development space!
Amanda: I started listening to Style Your Mind. And I LOVE Rachel Hollis!!
Amanda: A piece of advice (or more) you would give to someone just starting on their personal development journey.
Kristen: Keep an open mind, be vulnerable with yourself, and read as many books as you can get your hands on! You can’t expect to grow by staying stuck in your ways, and you certainly can’t expect to grow if you’re not brutally honest with yourself.
Amanda: What about advice for those starting on their writing or entrepreneurial journey?
Kristen: Don’t wait to start. There will never be a perfect time and you will never know everything there is to know . . . but I can guarantee that if you don’t start on your dreams now, you’ll regret it later on down the road. I have only one regret in my writing journey, and that is not starting it sooner. Your dreams are placed on your heart for a reason. They are your soul’s calling. So go after them!
Amanda: What direction do you see your books/business going in?
Kristen: As far as my books go, I love writing YA SciFi/Fantasy, but I’ve also been drawn to some other genres (although I can’t say which ones just yet). Personal development has become a quick favorite to write, so I plan on having more projects in that space. As far as my business goes, I still plan to create and launch digital courses and programs, but I’m hoping to do more in-person events (workshops and such) in the future.
Amanda: I hope to meet you at an in-person event one day!
Amanda: Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?
Kristen: I’m currently working on the edits for Jaded Spring (which is Shadow Crown Book 3) as well as writing a brand new personal development book! I’ve got a few other things in the works, but can’t share just yet ☺
Amanda: Any last comments or inspiration to share? :)
Kristen: I want to thank you for having me here today! And to all the dreamers out there . . . Don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are silly, unrealistic, or too big. Just because they gave up on theirs doesn’t mean you should give up on yours. Never stop fighting for what you truly want in this life because you can have it all. Don’t be your own roadblock. Know, in your heart of hearts, that you deserve every single thing you’ve ever wanted. Your life is completely up to you . . . so make it happen!
Kristen, thank you SO much for this interview!! I'm so happy I took a chance and asked you. I love learning about authors and it was terrific to read about your journey. I hope everyone reading learned a little something new and got some inspiration to go out and go after their dreams!! <3
Kristen Martin is the International Amazon Bestselling Indie Author of the young adult science fiction trilogy, THE ALPHA DRIVE, the dark fantasy series, SHADOW CROWN, and the self-help book, BE YOUR OWN #GOALS. She is also a Writing Coach, a Business Coach for Creative Entrepreneurs, the founder of That Smart Hustle and Black Falcon Press, and an avid YouTuber with hundreds of videos offering advice for aspiring authors and creatives alike.
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