Hi everybody and welcome to the second MuseItUp! Interview, with Krista D. Ball, author of Harvest Moon. I’ve enjoyed working with her, as I have enjoyed working with all the authors I’ve interviewed so far. I think writers are really gracious people-and there’s a special breed of writer who participates in Nanowrimo. But Canadian authors are my favourite, so without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff:
1. Can you tell us something about Harvest Moon?
Harvest Moon is a Canadian First Nations tale that explores a young woman’s gender identity. Dancing Cat angers an ancestor and her punishment is losing everything, including her own gender. Now in the skin of a man, she has to rebuild her life while being cared for by an enemy.
2. What first inspired Harvest Moon?
I was working in Edmonton’s inner city, where there is a large aboriginal population, plus several members of my extended family are aboriginal. I love Canadian-themed stories, being Canadian. And, then, there was an anthology call out for gender-bender stories. All those things mixed together and Harvest Moon came out of it. It became way too long for the anthology, turning into a short novella, so I decided that I’d sell it as its own stand-alone work.
3. On that note, what first inspired you to become a writer?
I soon figured out that I wasn’t qualified for any other job.
4. How did you find MuseItUp Publishing?
I found them through www.duotrope.com. They were listed as a new market and I was willing to take the risk to sign up with a new publisher.
5. What is your favourite thing about working with MuseItUp Publishing?
I enjoy being a part of a Canadian publisher who is interested in Canadian works. Most of their authors and subject matter is American, which makes sense considering that there are a heck of a lot more folks in the US than in Canada! However, as a Canadian, I didn’t have to change themes and setting which some state-side publishers have requested in other works. I was able to keep the setting of Harvest Moon Canadian (even if I don’t come out and explicitedly state “THIS IS CANADA.”) That’s important to me and I’m happy that my publisher respects the cultural uniqueness I try to aim for with my work.
Also, I write mostly speculative fiction and it’s really wonderful to see an e-publisher that takes those genres and who understand them.
6. Would you like to continue working with MuseItUp Publishing for future works?
I have a time travel short story coming out in March through them called “Flying Kite, Crashing Ship.” It’s important for me to find the best markets for all of my work. Some of my upcoming projects might be suited for Muse, while others I already know aren’t the best options for Muse, or that Muse isn’t the best option for the project. I see the relationship with my publisher as a business arrangement. We work with each other, but it’s also important to ensure that each project is situated with the best possible house for it.
7. What are you currently working on?
I set aside November, as part of National Novel Writing Month, to write a few small projects that I’ve been wanting to all year. Let’s see. I just finished a draft of a paranormal mystery novella set in Newfoundland where the Vikings are (accidently) brought back to life. Then, a novella exploring a Mi’kMaq girl’s identity as a human when she discovers her shape shifting abilities. I also explored healing and moving on with a woman who had lost her wife in an accidient within a rural Alberta setting. I have a couple more projects to write this month to finish off NaNoWriMo.
December is set aside to finish the edits on my science fiction novel, Road to Hell.
8. If you could do any one thing in your writing career differently, what would it be?
Nothing. The fact remains that I wasn’t in a stable enough situation in my twenties to have handled the business end of things. I moved several times, I got married and divorced, I went through several jobs. It really wasn’t until I turned thirty that I felt in a stable enough situation to really start focusing on writing the way that I wanted to. Now, at thirty-five, I’m finally where I can financially write close to full-time. I balance non-fiction freelance, fiction, and a part-time contract job where I do a number of tasks, writing being one of them. I’m really happy where I am right now and all of the choices I made earlier in my life have allowed me to make my choices today.
9. If you could have dinner with anybody, alive, dead, famous or unknown, who would it be and why?
I’d love to swap dirty joke with Jane Austen. You know she knew some good ones.
10. What’s your favourite book about writing and why should my readers check it out?
I’m not a huge writing book person. There are some good ones and all, but I find that often new writers spend all their time reading instead of writing. With that said, I really enjoyed “I’d Rather be Writing.” It’s out of print, so you’ll have to check with the library or ebay to get a copy. This book is what got me serious about writing again. It’s meant for those of us with really busy lives and can’t see to get back into writing. It was comforting that someone else was struggling, too.
Bio: Krista D. Ball is a writer because she’d been fired from every other job out there. Also, writers don’t work a lot, get big cheques, and get to drink cocktails whenever their Muse demands it. She talks about her adventures (but never misadventures) on her blog over at www.kristadball.com/blog. She also rants a lot at www.twitter.com/kristadb1.
You can buy Harvest Moon here.
My current word count: 81, 995.