Friday, September 16, 2011

My Pal, Author Kris Yankee is here.

Welcome Kris! It is so great to have you here discussing your middle grade novel, Saving Redwind. This book is a must buy, people!

I loved reading your book, Saving Redwind. I was pulled into Nick’s story and was sad to leave Nick’s world when I finished the book. (Yep, this book has a male main character.) I am doing a giveaway. I have an extra copy to give to a lucky reader. Just comment on this post and I’ll ask to pick a winner.

Thanks for your kind words, Robyn, and thank you for allowing me to take over your blog for the day! I’m so excited to be here and am looking forward to your extremely hard fun questions. So, here we go…

Why did you decide to write Saving Redwind?
My agent asked me to try a new genre. She signed me on a women’s fiction manuscript, but was unable to sell it. I had a story idea floating around in my head for years, which ended up being Saving Redwind. She wasn’t able to sell it and she instructed me to self-publish it.

What is your favorite thing about writing?
I think my favorite thing has to be spending time with my characters. I just love them, even the bad ones! I have a lot of fun while writing and hopefully the reader can sense that.

What's the worst part about writing?
The worst part is that I don’t get to write every day. I’m an editor for a small press and an editor/writer for a non-profit. I’m also a wife, a mom to two boys and two dogs, the team manager of my son’s hockey team, and all the other things that a “wife” and “mom” are supposed to be.

What would you tell a young person who wants to be a writer?
I would tell them not to wait. If they have any inclination about writing, go for it. I waited so long before really listening to my gut. I knew, deep down, that I wanted to write but I didn’t have the confidence. If you have a story to tell, don’t give up. Keep working on your craft, making it the best it can possibly be. Always have faith in what’s in your heart.

How did you think up such an imaginative title for your book?
I have to admit that Redwind is a version of Redwing – as in the Detroit Redwings. The story, of course, has nothing to do with the Wings. But the main character is a hockey player and the Wings are his favorite team.

If you could say anything to your readers, what would it be?
I’d like to thank them for taking a risk on me and my stories. I know that there are so many out there, and I’m always outstanding when I get an email or comment on my blog about how much someone loved/liked something I wrote.

Are you working on a new book now?
I’m working on a young adult story with a screenwriter. He’s completed the screenplay (it was his idea and he came to me to write the corresponding novel). It, of course, involves hockey. J

Why do you think it's so important that young people read?
Whether we’re driving, grocery shopping, or surfing the web, we’re reading every day. It is an essential aspect of our day-to-day life. But there’s so much more; there are stories, fiction and non-fiction, that help us all relate to the world, that help us realize we aren’t so different. Without stories, the world would be so boring.

What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m currently reading Linger by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved Shiver-such unforgettable characters.

How do you choose your themes and storylines?
All of my stories have some sort of hockey aspect to them. There are so many life lessons that are learned through team sports, and I wanted to bring those out in stories, especially for kids who don’t play team sports. My main characters are always boys, but I try to throw in at least one girl! Saving Redwind’s main character has a little sister. She’s not a big part of the story, but she serves a purpose.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be a writer?
I’d tell them to hone their craft. Many people think it’s easy to write a story. For some, it is. But for most, it takes practice. Take classes, join critique groups and/or websites that deal with the craft of writing. Learn about point of view, scene and sequel, story question, character development. Write the best you can, and the edit it to make it even better. Also, have a tough skin. This is a very subjective field. One person may love your story and another may hate it.

Are you particularly attached to any characters?
I think I get attached to all of my characters. I often wonder what they’re doing after I’ve finished the story. I once asked my mentor, Bonnie Hearn Hill, if she ever felt that way. I was relieved when she said yes!

Thanks again, Robyn! It’s been fun. If your readers are interested in learning more about me or my books, please visit my website, or my blog,   

Thank you Kris. Excellent answers. Please visit Kris everyone. She’s a wonderful author/pal who has taught me a thing or two in my own writing. :-)
Comment away for my extra copy, people.

And don't forget to comment on the Who Started Your Dream post. Prizes, prizes galore. Who Started Your Dream?


  1. Hi Kris..Saving Redwind sounds like a cool book. Good luck with it.

  2. Love a book that you're sad to leave at the end because you want to keep it going. Great sounding story! :O)

  3. I loved her comment about starting young and having faith in your heart. I've always known I wanted to be a writer, but didn't have the confidence when I was young.

  4. Great interview! I love what Kris said about not waiting, about telling the story you want to tell even if you're a little scared.

  5. Rachna~ Thanks so much. I'm having fun sharing the story.

    Diane~I was touched when Robyn said that. I couldn't believe her comment!

    Patti~ It's amazing how much our brains dictate what we do with our lives. We need to listen to our heart more often!

    Melissa~ Writing exposes the author, whether we realize it or not. As long as we have confidence in ourselves, then we are all good!

    Thanks all for stopping by!

  6. I especially liked the part about not waiting. I waited way too long - wish I had started doing what I love earlier. But, better late than never:)

  7. Lady Gwen~ Yes, better late than never for sure!

  8. Hi! I’m here to complete my Friday Schmoozing Assignment – See you in class :)
    Florence Price
    Romance Me

  9. Great guest post Robyn. Kris: I will have to tell my daughter about Saving Redwind. She is an avid (and I mean this in a yelling and screaming I'm dressed all in red fashion!) fan. She is counting down the days until hockey! Maybe I can win and she will go on and on about a book instead of hockey which I am not so much of a fan of.

    W.S. Gager on Writing

  10. Great post. Agree totally with the 'don't wait' advice.

  11. Start young! Have confidence in yourself. Keep working on your craft. Oh I wish I read this...say, 30 years ago! Too right!

  12. Hi Robyn. I hope you are well. Ahhhh thanks yeah it was definately too nice for blogging plus I had no access to a computer out there :). Ireland is beautiful isn't it? I love Ireland. :) Oh no I hope you get them sorted out soon chick.

    Oh it does make me feel better to know I'm not alone in not doing the first challenge.

    I've just done my synopsis luckily, phew glad you have done yours too honey :0

    Thankyou so much.
    Lovely to hear from you x

  13. Hey thanks Robyn and Kris for a great and inspiring interview, well done!

  14. Hey again Robyn

    Thanks for stopping by my page again. And thankyou so much foe the links. I'll give them a go when I'm next at my laptop. 
    Happy weekend to you
    Eve xxx

  15. What a great interview. I'm a new follower to this blog from the campaign but I know Kris. :) *waves*

  16. Great interview. I wish I could write everyday. And I agree about not waiting.

    I already have Saving Redwind in my TBR pile, so don't enter me. :)

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, ladies.

  17. Hi Robyn, a great interview and lots of good advice. I'm just popping by to let you know there are several awards for you over at my blog.

  18. Great interview, Robyn and Kris. I always enjoy reading about writers following their dreams.

  19. Great interview, Ladies! It's really interesting that your agent recommended you self-publish. Great advice. :D

  20. W. S.~ That's funny! Does she play? My son is addicted to the game. That's the only way to describe it.

    Lower~ I wish someone had told me that years ago. Maybe someone will listen to me!

    Liza~ You and me both!

    Marja~ Thanks for stopping by!

    Ciara~ ((waves)) - thanks for coming over to Robyn's blog!

    Medeia~ Oh wow! You have Saving Redwind?! Thanks so much for the support. I would love to know what you think about it after you're done.

    Michele~I'm glad you thought it was a good interview.

    Michael G-G~ It took me long enough, but yes, I have to say I'm following my dreams. :)

    Sharon~I was very skeptical at first. She sort of had to talk me into it. I'm glad I did self-pub it, but I really, really want to be pubb'd traditionally.

  21. Good luck with your book, Kris. Thanks for the interview, Robyn.

    I like the advice to just start writing. I waited way to long to begin. Then I saw Melissa Glen Haber speak at the school I was working at. She also hid away stories. I decided to just give it a real a try.

  22. Great interview and great advice!

    I just got my copy in the mail and can't wait to start reading (as soon as I finish ATU)

  23. Great interview. Saving Redwind sounds like a great read.

    Also love the advice to young writers: Don't wait. Totally agree.

  24. Interesting that your agent suggested self-publishing. I thought they frowned at that but maybe the publishing world is changing with the arrival of e-books. Redwing sounds like a great read and a hockey playing hero certainly makes a change from the usual footballers that we get in the UK.

  25. Very cool! We're big hockey fans here so that grabs me right away. This was a terrific interview to read. I also needed to hear her advice about not waiting to write. I know, I know... Robyn...I'll get going :)

  26. Fun interview! I'm glad to know there are others that get attached to their characters like that too. That's one of the reasons writing The End is so hard. :)

  27. Thanks, bff. I hopped over and said hello to Kris. her book sounds wonderful! :-)

  28. No my daughter doesn't play hockey. No female leagues when she was younger or very far away. Now she is just an expert on rules and such from watching college and pro hockey. Her new school does have a hockey team and now we have to go to those games! I just bring a book!
    W.S. Gager on Writing

  29. Theresa~Seems like it's not that uncommon to not begin when we *think* we should.

    Janet~I can't wait to hear what you think about the story!

    Lynda~Thanks for stopping by!

    Rosalind~Christine is very forward-thinking. She told me to self-pub while we wait to hear about those stories that are on submission (two currently).

    Septembermom~ Glad to meet another hockey person!

    Danyelle~ There is a sort of mixed relief and anxiety for me when I type The End; I'm glad it's over, but sad it's over! That's one of the reasons I write series!

    Shannon~ Thanks so much for stopping by.

    WS~ We have a girl on our team right now. She's the toughest of them all!

  30. Hi Robyn, I hope to find you well :)

    Just thought I would pop by and thankyou kindly for those links you sent my way. Very kind of you to take the time to do that. I STILL can't do it though lol. I think I will admit defeat this time lol.

    Take care and stay in touch.

  31. I'm way behind in keeping up with blog posts, but I'm so glad I got to read this interview. I really enjoyed it. How cool that your agent told you to self-publish when she couldn't sell it for you. She believed in your work, and that's great that she encouraged you to get it out there. I hope your sales soar.

    Congrats to Septembermom for winning the book!

    Thanks for this interview, Robyn, you young whippersnapper, you! LOL!


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