Hello there, friends! Today I’m SO excited to be sharing with y’all an interview with Mrs. Krista McGee, author of the Anomaly series and her loosely connected YA contemporary trilogy.
I’ve read all of her books except for The Eli Diaries and can personally attest to how fantastic they are, so I’m hosting a giveaway at the end of this post giving away First Date and Anomaly (Anomaly #1)! Before we get started with the interview and the giveaway, here’s a quick bio of Krista in case you don’t know who she is.
*hello to the readers reading in the Reader: skip over to the actual page on my blog HERE because otherwise it’ll be really weirdly formatted, due to WordPress being annoying as usual. And to readers in general–the post will have some formatting mistakes which I can’t do anything about, again, due to WordPress being annoying. -.- Sorry!
About Krista McGee
Krista McGee’s passion to see teens excited about serving God is a driving force behind her novels. Ever since college when she spent a summer working at a youth camp, McGee knew she wanted to invest in teenagers. Since then she’s been involved in a variety of youth ministries and currently teaches at a Christian school in Tampa, FL. McGee broke into the writing world during her time in Spain. A friend encouraged her to submit an article to a Christian girls’ magazine, and it got published.
Hello, Krista! Thank you so much for joining me on the blog today. I’m so excited to have you! Let’s start off with the first question. Who are your top three authors that inspire you and why?
1. CS Lewis: He was so brilliant, and did so much more than most people realize. He wrote fiction and nonfiction, he taught English at top British universities, he met weekly with other writers to encourage, edit, and challenge, and he mentored untold numbers of young men and women. He lived out his faith in every aspect of his life, and I admire him so much for that.
2. Francine Rivers: I love how her books are filled with so much truth. When my daughter, then in 10th grade, read The Mark of the Lion, she commented that the book changed her life. I can echo that sentiment. Before I read Rivers’ books, I didn’t know just how much of a spiritual impact a work of fiction can make on a reader. Her writing challenged me to seek the same kind of truth in fiction.
3. Phil Vischer: Not exactly an author, but certainly a storyteller, the “Veggie Tales” creator totally changed how I looked at Christian entertainment. He blended humor and spiritual truth in an amazingly creative and fresh way. I was hooked on “Veggie Tales” before I even had kids. And, once I had them, I used Veggie Tales as their nursery theme – complete with a handmade quilt and hand-painted pictures. And, of course, my kids had all the “Veggie Tales” DVD’s. These stories encouraged me to find fun, creative ways to teach biblical truth to my readers.
Great picks, Krista. Who was your most favorite character that you’ve ever written about?
That’s a tough one. Probably Natalia, from Right Where I Belong. I put a lot of myself in her. I know what it’s like to be part of a broken family, to move cross-culturally, and to wonder about my place in life. I also know what it’s like to see God’s hand in unexpected ways. I loved getting to really dig into her character and write that story.
My personal favorite of your characters is Addy from First Date, but I love Natalia too! Her character is so rich. What are some of your favorite tools that you use to write with?
I don’t use anything special. I’m not terribly “tech-y”. I usually compile a short summary of the novel, then a longer one, to use as an outline when I write.
That’s a really cool method that you use! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that. Do you have any tips for writers who have written and completed a novel and are hoping to land an agent (or maybe aspiring authors in general)?
The Christian Writers Market Guide is the best resource I know. I’d also recommend attending conferences and seminars, becoming part of the “writing family”. This gives you networking opportunities and connects you with others who speak the same language.
Definitely! I’ve never been to a writing conference myself but having seen the impact of conferences on other people, I’d definitely recommend that as well. How did you come up with the idea for First Date and Starring Me?
I wanted to connect biblical stories to teens, in the way “Veggie Tales” connected with kids. So I thought I’d take stories and place them in today’s world, filling them with humor and heart. First Date is loosely based on the story of Esther, and Starring Me on Rebekah and Isaac.
Friends, isn’t it so, so cool that First Date and Starring Me are loosely based on biblical stories? It’s so interesting seeing all the similarities between Esther’s and Addy’s stories, for example. Do you prefer writing in the dystopian genre or contemporary / reality TV genre? When did you learn that you wanted to write in those genres?
I prefer contemporary stories, though the foray into dystopian was really fun. The best advice on knowing what to write is to “write what you read”, and my favorite genre to read is contemporary fiction. I especially love fiction with humor in it. I love to laugh, and I love making others laugh, as well.
My favorite genre is contemporary too, and I think Krista does a fantastic job at writing it. 😉 What are some of your all-time favorite books and why?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is my favorite. She created characters that, even two hundred years later, readers love. We all know a Lady Catherine de Bourgh, a Lizzie, a Jane. We all love Darcy and hate Wickham. I still laugh when I read it, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of returning to that story.Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis is my second favorite. This is probably his least-known novel, but it was his favorite. Based on the myth of Cupid and Psyche, it explores so much theological truth without being “preachy” in the least.
Yeah, I’d say so too! So many of my friends have P&P as one of their favorite novels of all time. Do you prefer writing drafts or editing and why?
Writing, for sure. Editing is the “necessary evil” of writing for me. Writing is fun and freeing and exciting – getting to take a story that exists in my mind and put that story into words, watching the word count go up…it’s so fun! But going back through and fixing the many mistakes I made while creating the story. Not nearly as fun!
Haha, right! XD It’s rare to find an author who loves editing more than writing. Speaking of that–When do plot bunnies typically jump into your head?
“Plot bunnies” is a great way to word it! They do just jump in and multiply at random times, don’t they? Hmmm, for me it’s usually when I’m reading other works. Something sparks my interest and makes me think of other ideas or stories or even characters. Reading is “oxygen” for me as a writer – I enjoy stories, but I also see what other writers are doing, how they structure their plots, how they develop their characters, how they increase suspense. I love learning from others and enjoying those whose skills are beyond my own. This is an art form, and we should appreciate the Masters and glean from their skill.
Yes! I think it’s so special that we have such a large community of writers. What are a couple of things that would surprise your readers? 😉
My full-time job is teaching English and Drama, and my favorite part of my job is directing musicals. My writing, as a matter of fact, was encouraged by my students. I wrote First Date, in large part, because my students complained about the lack of Christian fiction for teenage girls. I thought there should be more, and so I decided to try and provide some.
I didn’t know you directed musicals! And I’m surprised to hear that, though I don’t know why. xD I’m so glad you wrote First Date, and I know many others are too!
Well, that concludes our interview. Many, many thanks to Krista and our readers for joining me today on my blog!
And the winner is… Maddy! Congratulations. 🙂
Thanks so much for joining us today, friends! I hope you have a good reading week!