An interview with David Kristoph

David Kristoph

I reviewed David Kristoph’s The Siege of Praetor on Tuesday, so that means an interview this Saturday. I have the second book in his Tales of a Dying Star quadrilogy, and am looking forward to reading it.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was twelve, reading The Wheel of Time series for the first time. Robert Jordan’s worldbuilding and storytelling was so thorough and unique that I immediately knew I wanted to be a storyteller.

How long does it take you to write a book?
At a bare minimum, I write every morning for 2 hours. So it doesn’t take me too long to write a first draft, usually 6-8 weeks.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
A writing quirk that I have is insane outlining. I outline most of my book before I ever sit down to write. For the current book I’m working on, it should be between 80,000-100,000 words when it’s done… and the outline alone is 8,000.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m a triathlete, so I do lots of running, cycling, and swimming. It gives me plenty of time to brainstorm.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing The Siege of Praetor?
I originally wrote the first part of Siege of Praetor as a short story. I realized that I don’t like short stories; I prefer longer, more intricate books.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I hear from readers pretty often on twitter. I tweet about my writing process and give word-count updates, and a lot of people comment on how quickly I write.

Is there a message in the Tales of a Dying Star that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t want to give too much away, but I like the concept of morally grey characters. In real life, very few people/actions are black-and-white. One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. There are different viewpoints on each side of every conflict, and that’s something I explore at length.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Tales of a Dying Star series?
I don’t think there’s anything I would change in my Tales of a Dying Star series. Drowned by Fire is the final book in the quadrilogy, and has what I think is a satisfying ending (although I do have future books planned in this universe). I’ve planned most of the series out ahead of time, which means I avoided writing myself into a corner the way some authors do (looking at you, GRRM).

Tell us about other projects you’re working on.
I’ve got a lot of balls in the air right now. Drowned by Fire, the fourth book in my Tales of a Dying Star series, is currently with my editor and will be released in July. I have a massive Fantasy manuscript that has gone through two drafts, and is almost ready to send to my beta readers. In terms of fresh writing, I just broke ground on a techno-thriller called Spore, about a man with a sleep disorder who’s admitted into a research study at a secretive facility.

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About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degree in Computer Systems and Applications and is currently attending Northern Arizona University. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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