Kristi Worrell enjoys her niche in the world of sci-fi, horror and fantasy writing.
As an author who draws from so many deep personal events, Kristi’s literary worlds are both uplifting and uneasy at times. She is an incredibly dedicated writer who loves the craft.
Beyond that, she is a strong woman who has persevered through real life horrors to get to where she is today. But she isn’t the type to ask for a violin reception- she takes to the notepad and pounds books out at a jaw dropping rate.
Recently, I had the chance to chat with Kristi about her projects, her love for the art of writing and we find out that some tales aren’t wrapped up completely.
1. You decided at a very young age that writing was what you wanted to do as a career. Was there a specific book or person in your life that really reeled you into the world of literature?
Not really. I personally enjoyed reading over everything as a child. I used it to escape my difficult times and cope. It was wonderful. When teachers were aware of the fact I had talent, several pushed me to practice. Being able to write runs in the family. I’m seeing the talent in my daughter who turns ten in a few days. She doesn’t seem too interested now but I think over the next 5-10 years she will. I have her writing a journal right now and she is pretty daily about it.
2. I love the fact that you write your stories by hand. I do the same thing and not only find it extremely therapeutic, but I believe there’s a much stronger bond to stories when you actually sit down and write them out long hand.
I started writing some of my books ten years ago by hand. I couldn’t seem to stop. They HAD to be written. I figured someday somehow I would type them up and send them in. Now I just upload and I’m an author! There is a whole lot more work to it than that. I realized that in February of this year. Now that I’ve learned that it’s not impossible I think about my choices and I do what’s right for me. Writing is therapeutic. I suffer from a few health problems and writing soothes and distracts me. Sometimes I find myself in my chair for up to 18 hours a day working on my books. It’s hard to stay in my chair so long but I have 10 years to catch up on. Those twenty hand written books won’t type themselves up (laughs). Even when writing a new one like ‘Shade’s Loss’, I find I fly through it. I don’t know what I am going to say. I don’t plan anything. I just sit down and write. When the ending is ready I just know. I prefer to write large books- short stories seem so unfinished to me. Sagas are the way I am because my characters need to share their message. Shade had to share how she finally grew up and realized she was a strong woman who could protect herself. She overcame her fears and took control of her life. Angel, from ‘An Angels Ascent’, knew her childhood had been devastating but she alone picked up the pieces and made something of herself. Angel doesn’t let anyone take her down. Even having been in the system, orphanages and homes, she pushed to make her dreams come true and even though the world had treated her unkindly, downright abusive, she did her job. As a book store owner she was content to stay home and run her business but when demons came calling she put her skills to the test. When she realized that her world was ending and she was not only the cause of it but the salvation she did what needed to be done. I try to make my characters unique when writing them but also they are me. I mold them from myself and put them in a new world with scenarios and they bloom. They are their own people. Basically they are like my children. Writing either by hand or typing, I find sharing who I am with the world and what I am on the inside and all the many ‘voices’ is beyond words. I have never had a problem writing. No matter what it is, how big or little, I tend to over share. It’s just who I am. These words in my head have to be written. They are worlds beyond on us and its like allowing them to die if I do not share them.
3. ‘Shade’s Loss’ is your first published book and has drawn excellent reviews. How did this book come to be?
Honestly ‘Shade’s Loss‘ was an accident. I have been working on another project for a long time, a saga with many books in this series. I knew I was not ready to share it but I needed to learn the ropes as an indie author. I had an idea about a brother and a sister with such an incredible bond. The trio of characters was not supposed to happen but apparently they thought otherwise. They found their moment to shine and they took it. I only wanted to throw something out there but my fans are clamoring for more so I will officially state this here and now. There will be a book two. I just don’t know the title or when it will be finished. It took literally five weeks to write, edit, and publish. It was looked at by some people but did not have an actual editor go over it. I apologize for the editing mistakes and blame myself for rushing it. I have a very good reason as to why and despite what many think, I did the right thing. The whole idea of ‘Shade’s Loss’ is based on my deep and intense desire to find my brother Michael who was adopted before I was born. The story of his birth and adoption is shady. My mom refuses to share the details. What little I can find is just hearsay and no one is willing to give me more. The hospital has no record of him, and the adoption record building refuses to release any info. They cannot find his case without more info and are claiming if it does exist it’s locked. Ten years ago my adopted sister found me thankfully and we get along great today. I have reconnected with my other siblings as well. I had a dream when I was 14 about my brother and knew he had been adopted. When I found out the dream was real, I was shocked. In my dream my brother was dead but as we stood over his grave he swore to protect me, be my guardian angel. After the events in my life I believe he is there looking out over me. He has saved my life on more than one occasion. So ‘Shade’s Loss’ was born and dedicated to him.
4. One of your next projects, ‘The Faellin Angels‘ Realm series, is something you are very proud of and starts off with ‘An Angels Ascent’. The storyline of this series is jam packed with supernatural and horror elements. Can you share more about this series with us?
‘AN ANGELS ASCENT’, first in the Faellin Angels Realm, is about a young woman who is very talented and successful for her age. She ran a Wiccan bookstore, was martial artist with several black belts, and one of the strongest witches in the entire USA. She didn’t know her father and her mother had died when she was a toddler. She didn’t realize she was a half goddess and the reincarnation of Mother Nature, Kali, who Angel would eventually mother. Angel will cause the apocalypse in the name of Kali who is pissed off at us. We are destroying her world and she is taking it back. Angel meets a metal band of vampires and the lead singer is Aries, who has the voice of a siren. He calls to the one woman who’ll lead only a handful of people into the new age. Angel has been fighting demons for some time so when she realizes her destiny, it doesn’t take her long to know it’s all true and she must end what we know of life and protect an island full of people. She ascends into a higher being and reaches her full potential. When Angel and Aries’ daughter Kali is born she rips open doorways to other dimensions and now her mother Angel must protect her until she learns to use her powers to heal their world. A misfit band of protectors and Angel will end and save the world, and Angel will realize that she’s meant for so much more… ‘An Angels Ascent’ was something that took me awhile to understand. Kali must have needed me to write this because I didn’t know what I was writing until it was written. She wanted me to share her anger, disappointment, and a lesson with the world. Kali is based on the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, Shakti. The name Kali comes fromkāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means “the black one”. Since Shiva is called Kala—the eternal time—Kālī, his consort, also means “Time” or “Death” (as in time has come). Hence, Kāli is considered the goddess of time and change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatārini (literally “redeemer of the universe”). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess. At one time she was known as the mother of creation and destruction, mother earth. She can be loving but also full of death. She convinced me to share something of her and her beliefs and how the old gods/goddesses are returning. She wants us to understand why our world is no longer ours and why she is taking it back. I hope her story is one everyone will enjoy, through the eyes of Angel who will surely make you come to love the goddess as much as she will eventually. Originally I had another title for this book but after careful consideration I felt the new title fit a whole lot better.
5. I was a part of the Facebook release party you had for your book of poetry, ‘Broken Angel Poetry’. What a moving project and I admire you for taking dark times of your life and turning them into rays of optimism for both men and women who may be struggling with the issues you touch on with your words in this book. Why was it important for you to share this collection?
For a long time I just wrote them in a journal, a book I have. I published a few on Poetry.com over the years but I don’t count that. One day I just realized those dark times were lessons for me. I believe every person has a lesson to learn in each life. Mine was strength. I had to be strong to survive the tragic events of my life. I had hoped to one day write an autobiography but I continue to put it off. It would be so full of darkness, despair, and tragedy that many people could not finish it. Some would not be able to put it down I’m sure. I know some of the things in my life are unbelievable so I will make the book fiction. As for the ‘Broken Angel Poetry’, it was something I did when I was in intense and brutal pain and did not know how to cope. Writing is my therapy and job so it’s great that I get to do that now. I have always wanted to help others who were emotionally just as much a wreck as me. As a teen I not only stopped my friends from committing suicide but also put them on the right track of life the best I could. I struggled with cutting, overdose, and other suicidal attempts but I also reached out to others the entire time. It doesn’t make sense. I would hide my pain and scars and be strong for others. I nursed my own mother through many attempts. I have been there for a sister of mine who was into cutting for many years. It took finding out I was pregnant to overcome my grief and sorrow. A life changing event. I have to owe it to my husband though who stood by my while he battled his own issues, which were unknown to me. Together, it’s been almost thirteen years now, we have fought tooth and nail to be together, even our own family and bad luck. Together we raise the children who saved my life. Without my daughter I wouldn’t be here to show others how no matter how dark and painful it is, you can survive. My lesson is a hard one in this life and there are days I do not know if I will make it or not. I put my best foot forth, let fate guide me, and work hard to overcome my past and better myself so I can raise my children. I write for me, I share my writings so they help others, and to provide for my family when I am no longer around to do so. My whole being is nothing but sacrificing for others. I can’t change that, it’s who I am. So if you struggle like I have, and many others, keep breathing, keep walking and someday you will look back and see the darkness is behind you…
6. If you could sit down and chat with one literary icon, past or present, who would it be and why?
Oh that is a tricky question. There are quite a few I really look up to. Edgar Allen Poe would probably be mine. His dark works were something that inspired me but in a unique way. I envied his ability to write so well, and take the chance to share his artistic demented ramblings. Personally I don’t know what else to call them. He wrote such amazing but deeply dark stuff that I no doubt believe came from his heart, like my own. Instead of being ridiculed, he was honored and revered but not as much as he deserves. His mind was a mysteriously delicious cornucopia of passionate but gloomy love. I especially favor ‘The Raven’. He really had a remarkable mind. I guess you have to be a little disturbed yourself to see the depth of his creativity and devotion. Many don’t know of his time in the army. He was a hero just for attempting it even though he failed. He died on my birthday over 160 years ago. Edgar never gave up his dream of writing and even unto death he continued. His rivals tried to deface him but in time many came to know him as the man who accomplished his dreams.
7. I can literally spend an entire check at the local bookstore. I’ve been tempted to on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, Stephen King novels and goth horror hardcovers make crummy bricks for my makeshift home in the park, so I fight the temptation and pay rent like a responsible adult. Bah humbug! Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are quite a few. It’s hard for me to choose my one and only favorite because I love reading so much. Paranormal of course is my favorite genre. I would like to say, though, a lot of authors are the reason I write because they inspire me in some way. Each has a unique ‘voice’ and it is appealing to me. P.C Cast, Richelle Mead, V.C Andrews, Jean M. Auel, Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Stephanie Meyer, Keri Arthur, and even Stephen King. Michelle Hughes is an inspiration as well to me who is an indie author like me. Each of these authors have moved me emotionally while reading. They have made me go “I will be like them someday, move my readers in some way,”.
8. How did you become a part of the Midnight Hour Publishing family?
Haha, it’s a crazy story. I was more or less apprenticing under some authors on Facebook. I would listen to them all and take their sage advice my way after careful consideration. I had to apply it to my own unique circumstances. From these other well respected and known authors I met others. I battled with taking a publisher for some time. I tried to do it on my own but I got so frustrated. I hate editing. I self edit as I write now so I don’t have to go back. I don’t plan what I will write I just do it. I sit down and the words flow. I read them as I write. Sometimes I get so caught up in the story I don’t realize I’m writing because really I’m reading the words as they appear on my screen. Some days I amaze myself at what I see. I never have issues writing but there are times I’m just not in the mood. I learned years ago not to force it. If I’m not in the mood then I don’t write as well. Sometimes though I sit down and look at the screen and the last few words I wrote, knowing that the last time I sat there in wrote them that I was done for the moment, I just pick up where I left off. Like I never stopped. So basically I needed a publisher. I can write 20K words in a day. I don’t have time for publishing my own stuff. Not at the rate that I put out books. I just want to sit back and write and let someone else do the work. I do my best this way. So when I heard that Midnight Hour was accepting authors I gave it serious and intent thought. Despite what a few of my ‘friends’ had to say, I went with them. I gave them a chance. It gives me the time I need to write and them a paycheck haha. My editor cannot keep up with me! I need like three or four. I can literally write a short story in a day. I prefer to hit at least 20K words per day, but I have been known to write a book over 200K words. ‘Shade’s Loss’ is a prime example and it took me literally five weeks to do. I should have spent more time finding an editor but I just went with it.
9. If you had to choose five paperbacks to be stranded on an island with, which ones make the cut and why?
Oh wow, this is a super hard one. I can reread some books. P.C Cast for sure, Richelle Mead. I prefer to collect those and find more. To choose between those two authors and all my other favorites would be impossible. I would have to just make a raft and find a mainland haha. But to answer your question, if you’re really gonna make me do this Justin, I would have to say… arg. I’m whining at the thought! Can’t I take more than five? I would have to have several hundred but to choose only five… P.C. Cast and the ‘House of Night’ Series. I know there is more than five in the series but if I had to shove the extra books in my underwear I would find a way!
10. What words of advice would you offer a young woman who may be struggling putting words to her feelings?
Publishing your own books is a passion and a job. It’s not a job as in going to work and clocking in. It’s a series of steps that you take like with anything. Writing just to do so is a whole different matter. Writing is something that comes from within your heart, mind, and soul. It’s words that are a part of us. Some are just ideas that expand but some stories are epic tales that we fashion within the realm of our minds. To force it is to ruin it. Take your time and feel the words. If you can’t feel what you are writing then how can the reader? Many writers complain about writer’s block. I say ‘what the hell is that’? What I mean is writer’s block, I believe, is our fears incapacitating us. What do you fear about your writing? Will it be good enough? Will it have passionate meaning and depth? Will the readers flow with the emotions of the story and ‘get’ your characters? Will it be good enough to publish? Do you have pressing matters that in the back of your mind you know are more important than taking the time to write. Sort out those matters and decide which is more important. If doing the dishes first will settle that aching itch then do so. When you sit to write, like with any job, thrust out the outside world and delve deep within yourself to find what is there and must be released. We are only the tools in which these words must be shared. Give yourself over to your gift and let it go, like with Love if you let it go and it stays with you then it is yours. Let the words go and they will grow up into beautiful creations that others will adore like you have. Sometimes writers refuse to part with what they love. Just like in relationships, we are afraid that if we let them go they will fly away never to return. With writing, it’s much more complicated, believe it or not, but relatively simple. Just sit down and start with the first thing that pops into your mind. Is it a character who keeps knocking at the door? Let him out. Describe him, his personality, his life and before you know it you are adding to it. Same with ideas. Write them down and then keep adding to it. I though just sit and the story flows. I don’t go back and rearrange sentences usually. I just let the words come as they are. Sometimes music makes me emotional and when I listen and write my books become deeper and more emotional. Find what does that for you. Reread your favorite book and then sit down and think about what made you like the book and which parts you would change. Take those changes and create ideas for other books with them. Please do not plagiarize. Writing for me is a pleasure. Do your best and relax. Even if it’s horrible, it is practice. I write tons better now then I did ten years ago as a teenager. Reading helps- broaden your vocabulary and learn which words express what you truly feel you need to share. Reach for your dreams- dreaming of more is what makes us human.
11. Any last words?
I enjoyed this interview! I think it is some good stuff of mine. At least I think so. I will leave some links below for you to find me and my books. If you liked my nonsense ramblings please check out my blog and drag your friends haha..
I gratefully appreciate Kristi’s time and thoughts. I look forward to great success and more amazing projects from her.
Check out more Faellin Angels content on two different Facebook pages-