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Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

This forum features interviews with authors.

Hosted by A. Lynn Powers, author of Being Medusa: And Other Things That Suck.

Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#1 by ALynnPowers
» 10 Oct 2015, 09:49

This past Friday (October 9, 2015), I had the pleasure of interviewing author Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill. Kristi’s short story “Ghostwriter” was featured in the anthology Holding Fire, and her novel For the Love of Suzanne is due out on October 26.

Check out what Kristi and I had to talk about!

---- ---- ----

Amy: I guess we'll start with the basics: tell me a little about yourself and your background.

Kristi: I'm married and the mother of two middle-school aged boys. We live in Fort Scott, Kansas. I first started writing when I was in grade school. I tinkered around with it in junior high and when I went to high school, it sort of took off for me. I went to college and took a Creative Writing course, and my professor sent a story to a publisher. That was my first rejection.

A: So what kind of stuff did you originally write back in those days?

K: I messed around with different genres, but it always led back to romance. One of my friends would have a crush on a guy, so I would throw together a short story and give it to her.

A: So you wrote stories to share with friends?

K: At first, yes. Then I became very secretive about what I was writing and didn't want to let anybody see it. It's been like that now for years and years. I'm very shy about sharing my work.

A: I can understand that!
So, let's talk about your story Ghostwriter. It was published in Holding Fire after you won one of the ten spots for the book.
How did you hear about the contest?


K: I belong to onlinebookclub.org and I was going through the posts and saw the announcement.

A: Oh, wow, so you were already a member! Are you on the review team?

K: Yes, but I haven't reviewed anything there for a long time.

A: So is Ghostwriter your first published story, or were there others before this one?

K: I'd entered contests before but didn't win anything. The first time I was published was while I was in high school. I'm not a big fan of poetry and the English teacher gave us an assignment to write a poem for this publication called Prairie Winds. (This was in Pierre, South Dakota). I'd completely spaced it off, and when I got to class the day it was due, the girl next to me asked if I'd gotten it done. Of course not! I wrote that baby in about five minutes, handed it in just so I wouldn't get a zero, and won a spot in the anthology.

A: That is pretty impressive!

K: Sheer luck.

A: Sometimes that's all you need in this business....

K: Ghostwriter is the first time I've been published since then.

A: Well, it seems like Ghostwriter has been a pretty big hit.
And now you have a full-length novel coming out!


K: Yes, and I'm grateful to all of the people who have helped me along the way. I have to say that if it weren't for Scott Hughes, this wouldn't he happening. I had no idea that Ghostwriter was going to be received so well, and that seemed to be my launch. I'm so thankful to him and everyone who was involved with Holding Fire and For the Love of Suzanne.

A: I really want to know the story behind the launch from Holding Fire to For the Love of Suzanne, which is being published BY onlinebookclub.org. What's the deal with that?

K: It's weird how all of this happened. After winning a spot in Holding Fire, Scott and I became friends on Facebook. I'm pretty active there. Well, my son and I were going through some boxes that I hadn't gone through since I moved to Kansas in 2001 and I found this old manuscript. I didn't remember writing it or even one little detail. When I started reading it, it still didn't come back to me. I keep everything on the computer so I rewrote it and jazzed it up a bit, updated it, that sort of thing. I made the announcement on Facebook that it was around 86,000 words, X number of pages and that it was going back in the closet. Scott saw the post and pretty much said, "Ah, not so fast..." And he and I teemed an alliance and here we are.

A: Wow, that's pretty awesome. So Scott was the one encouraging you to publish it?

K: Yes. He's done a lot more than that, and as I said before, if it weren't for him, this wouldn't be happening.

A: I'll be sure to get everyone to thank Scott for allowing us to read your book. For the Love of Suzanne... none of us have read it yet, so tell us a little about it, without any spoilers.

K: For the Love of Suzanne is a western/time-traveler/romance. Suzanne is pregnant and her husband is killed in a construction accident. It was not a happy marriage by any stretch of the imagination but of course, she still grieves. She decides to go for a drive and when she rounds a curve, there's a guy on a horse in the road. She swerves to avoid hitting him and rolls the car and is unconscious.

Enter Cody Black Fox. He is the guy on the horse and he sees this "thing" coming at him. He's never seen anything like it before but knows it's dangerous and rescues her.

When she regains consciousness, she sees this Indian guy who is dressed in buckskins and thinks she's on a movie set and that he's a movie star. She doesn't realize that she's in 1860 until she starts comparing notes with him.

He takes her to a military fort, thinking she would be safer there than with his people. From there, it's a quest to get her back to her own time before the baby is born.

A: Sounds like there is a lot going on! Science fiction, romance, western, history...

K: It is a busy book. There are lots of obstacles and trials they go through.

A: So what made you choose to write about this time period (if you can remember your original motivation)?

K: Honestly, I have no idea. Another thing that piqued my interest as I read the manuscript was why did I choose a Chiricahua when I grew up around the Lakota?

A: Right, you mentioned before that you lived in South Dakota.

K: Yes. I lived between three Indian reservations (not on one) and I had several Indian friends. I lived in Pierre which was around the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, Crow Creek and then the Lower Brule Indian Reservations. If I really wanted to stretch my wings, I could include the Rosebud there, too but that's kind of pushing the envelope.

A: Okay, so you have some experience/interest with Native American cultures...

K: Yes. I'm also part Indian myself, but not Lakota nor am I affiliated with any tribes.

A: What about the main character of your story? Suzanne? Is she like you in any way?

K: Not so much. Aside from the physical differences (she's blond and I'm a brunette), I did sort of give her the same ideas in life that I have. Other than that, she's an entity unto herself.

Sometimes when I develop characters, I make them into who I wish I could be if that makes sense.

A: Ah, I see. Kind of like a projection of your ideal self. That's understandable.
So you weren't secretly in love with a handsome Native American at some point? :wink:


K: (Laughing) No. I wasn't secretly in love with a hot Indian, but I have always had a great admiration for Native Americans and their traditions and their way of life. I've been living my life the Indian way for years.

A: That's very respectable.

K: I'm raising my kids that way, too. My husband doesn't seem to mind and never objects.

A: Sounds like you both are in a good position.
So, I asked the members of OBC to throw out some random questions, and now I will pull some "off the wall" for you.

K: Okay. Sounds good.

A: From @gali
What do you like to do when you're not writing or reading?


K: As lame as this is going to sound, that's pretty much all I do. However, I do tutor a child in reading, and our once-a-year big deal is hosting Time Station 30 during Race Across America. We run it out of our house and according to my kids, it's better than Christmas. I'm not a cyclist, though. I'm probably the slowest person on the earth chasing the fastest. It's kind of an oxymoron.
If I'm not reading, I'm writing. I take periodic breaks to do some posting on Facebook and Twitter.

A: Wow, it still sounds like you are pretty busy!

K: Yes. I also spend time with my family, too. I love these guys to death, but I think that goes without saying.

A: Next question from @bookowlie
If you could take a vacation anywhere (U.S. city or state, another country, type of trip, etc.) and money was no object, where would you go?


K: Italy, hands down.I have Italian friends and they post pictures of their towns and cities, and it just takes my breath away. Plus, I'd love to hang out with Andrea Bocelli. He's an Italian opera singer. I'm not into opera at all but something about him sends chills down my spine.
We had Italians stop at the Time Station last summer, too. That was a great time.

A: Well, I hope you can go to Italy one of these days! Maybe when you make a bunch of money from your book.

K: That would be nice.

A: All right! One more question from the wall. It's a deep one from @rssllue
What is your standard for determining if someone is a "good" person? Do you meet that standard yourself?


K: Yeah, that is deep but it's a good one...Let me think of the wording here...

A: I have no idea how I would even answer this one myself...

K: First of all, I try very hard not judge people or label them. I do think that's done far too often in our society and that gets people at a disadvantage. However, I tend to see through people when they're being disingenuous or lying to me. That unnerves me. Lying denies your honor. I appreciate humility, compassion, kindness to children and animals, and good listening skills. Listen to understand and not just to make a response.

A: I must say that I admire your last comment most of all.

K: Thanks.

A: All right. Now for my own random questions: what are you reading at the moment?

K: I'm reading, "Through a Child's Eyes" by Phillis T. Forest. This is her first novel, and I volunteered to read it and review it.

A: Are you currently working on any other writing projects?

K: Yes. I am working on a contemporary romance now. My hero is a bad boy biker who is a single dad with two kids and the nanny who is trying to help him with his kids.

A: Sounds interesting. I can't wait to read it! (I love bad boy bikers!)

K: It's not done even in first draft mode, so it will be a while.

A: I will just have to be patient, then.
But we should try to wrap this up now... so is there anything else you would like for us to know about you?


K: Hmmm...I don't think so, unless there's something else someone wants to know. I'm a pretty open person and I can be contacted on Facebook or Twitter.

A: Well, Kristi, I have had so much fun! Thank you so much for doing this interview!

K: I've had fun and I hope you have, too!

END

----- ----- -----

Side note: This interview was edited for clarity, time lags, and annoying typos (mostly from my end!).

I had such a great time interviewing Kristi, and I feel like I made a new friend from this whole experience! As Kristi said, she is willing to answer additional questions on Twitter and Facebook, and she is an active member of both and pretty easy to find. She’s also lurking around the forums from time to time, so don’t forget to say hello if you see her around!


----

The Books

For the Love of Suzanne by Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill ~ View on Bookshelves | View on Amazon

Being Medusa: And Other Things That Suck by A. Lynn Powers (interviewer) ~View on Bookshelves | View on Amazon
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#2 by gali
» 10 Oct 2015, 10:14

Great interview! Well done! I enjoyed reading the well construct questions and the answers to them. Well done to Scott for seeing the potential of the book and for encouraging and helping out the author with the publishing process. The book sounds intriguing and reminds me of a series I loved, the Outlander. The Native American culture interests me and it sounds like a great book. Good luck with the book! :)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#3 by ALynnPowers
» 10 Oct 2015, 10:25

Thanks gali! I was really worried/nervous about doing the interview and I had a billion questions listed out, but Kristi was sooooo easy to talk to, I didn't even look at the list of questions until I started to get the ones off the wall! It ended up coming together very nicely, I thought!
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#4 by gali
» 10 Oct 2015, 10:30

ALynnPowers wrote:Thanks gali! I was really worried/nervous about doing the interview and I had a billion questions listed out, but Kristi was sooooo easy to talk to, I didn't even look at the list of questions until I started to get the ones off the wall! It ended up coming together very nicely, I thought!


You did a great work and picked up interesting questions. I loved it and eagerly await to your next interview. :)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#5 by bookowlie
» 10 Oct 2015, 11:02

What a great interview! I really enjoyed reading it. This reminds me that I need to get my own Author section going!
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#6 by Scott
» 10 Oct 2015, 12:17

Great interview! And I was mentioned in it. I feel famous. :)
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#7 by khudecek
» 10 Oct 2015, 12:23

It was a first for both ALynnPowers and me. It did go well. She's very easy to talk with and put me at ease right away.

Thank you for the questions and the support. As was mentioned in the interview, you can contact me on Facebook (Author Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill) and at Twitter @khudecek. Please feel free to like and share my page and follow me.

Thank you, everyone and a special thank you to Scott Hughes. I know I keep saying this and please forgive my redundancy but this wouldn't be happening without him.

Maybe when things start settling down, I can spend more time here at OBC. It's a great site and I knew it when I first signed up with it. I just had no idea that it would be so beneficial to me.

Thank you and I will see you soon!

-- 10 Oct 2015, 11:24 --

Scott wrote:Great interview! And I was mentioned in it. I feel famous. :)

Me, too! :)
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
.

~~
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#8 by ALynnPowers
» 10 Oct 2015, 12:29

@Scott you were a very hot topic during the interview. You're so famous now! :teasing-neener:
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#9 by PashaRu
» 10 Oct 2015, 17:43

Thanks for a great interview! Congratulations to both of you for the first official author interview on the site! This is a substantive, meaningful addition to OBC. I look forward to further editions.
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#10 by TrishaAnn92
» 10 Oct 2015, 22:01

Great interviewan congrats on your success!!
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#11 by khudecek
» 10 Oct 2015, 22:44

Thank you. :)
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
.

~~
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#12 by ALynnPowers
» 11 Oct 2015, 02:07

PashaRu wrote:Thanks for a great interview! Congratulations to both of you for the first official author interview on the site! This is a substantive, meaningful addition to OBC. I look forward to further editions.

Thanks for your kind words. Substantive AND meaningful! I feel uplifted somehow.
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#13 by chytach18-
» 11 Oct 2015, 04:53

What a great idea - official interview! I hope we`ll see more.
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#14 by ALynnPowers
» 11 Oct 2015, 21:28

Hey @khudecek if you were a bicycle part, which part would you be?? :wink:
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Re: Official Interview: Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post Number:#15 by khudecek
» 11 Oct 2015, 22:52

ALynnPowers wrote:Hey @khudecek if you were a bicycle part, which part would you be?? :wink:

HA! The sprocket, of course. You know it's there. You just don't know what it's for! :lol:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
.

~~
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
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