Literaturschock: Could you tell your German fans something about yourself? (family, hobbies and so on)

Kristen Britain:Hmm... I grew up in the Fingerlakes Region of New York State, but now live in New England with two cats and a dog. I enjoy reading, walking, hiking, and playing guitar, and doing the occasional artwork. Writing and the day job take up a lot of my time, so I really don't get to engage in leisure activities too much.

Literaturschock: What was the one event in your life that told you "I'm going to be a writer?"

Kristen Britain: Well, there wasn't one event. I really thought I was going to be a cartoonist when I was younger, but I had always loved to read, and I received encouragement for my writing from teachers, enough so that I pursued it in class, and on my own time. Reading Tolkien turned me on to fantasy, and really spurred the creative drive to write.

Literaturschock: What did you feel when "Green Rider" was published?

Kristen Britain: I was happy, of course, but there is a lot that leads up to publication over a long period of time -- revision, proofing, that sort ofthing. In a sense, it was a little anticlimatic. There had been a lot of little thrills along the way -- not one big burst of happiness. And of course, I had to get back to work on the sequel.

Literaturschock: Where did you get your ideas about this Green Riders?

Kristen Britain: I had always thought the notion of a messenger's job as being dangerous was intriguing, which led me to wonder who would do that kind of job, and what sort of adventures they'd get involved in. From there evolved the book.

Literaturschock: How old is Karigan supposed to be?

Kristen Britain: Purposely I left out her age. It is up to the reader to determine her exact age since she is the viewpoint character through which the reader sees the story. That said, she is in her teens.

Literaturschock: Do you know the publishing date of "Mirror of the Moon"?

Kristen Britain: It's due out in North America January '03. I'm not sure when it will appear in Germany.

Literaturschock: Can you give us a little sneak preview of it?

Kristen Britain: First of all, "Mirror of the Moon" may not be its final title. I've still got the revision process to get through, with feedback from my editor, which may lead to a change of title. As for the story itself, it continues the adventures of Karigan and the Green Riders. Quite literally, it is about the past, present, and future. I will leave it at that for now ;-)

Literaturschock: Do you want to continue writing novels about Karigan and the Green Riders? Or do you plan to write about something else?

Kristen Britain: There will be more stories about the Riders, for as long as the story needs to be told, and for as long as my publisher wants them. It's not necessarily something I determine. As for other things? I hope to write other stories, but right now I'm focused on the Riders.

Literaturschock: Now about your puppy: What's his name and are you planning to integrate it in new books?

Kristen Britain: My pup's name is Gryphon, and he's an Irish terrier. I don't know if he'll be integrated into the story -- I haven't done so with my cats. Interestingly, Irish terriers were used by the British military as messengers during World War I, which seems apt since I write about messengers. They're known to be bold and heedless of danger.

Literaturschock: What is the most difficult thing about writing? The easiest?

Kristen Britain: The most difficult thing about writing is how time consuming it is. Sometimes, between the day job and the writing, I feel like I'm constantly working, which can be disheartening. The easiest? Enjoying the book in final form!

Literaturschock: How much of your own experiences do you share with your characters?

Kristen Britain: There's a little bit of me in every character. In fact, most everything one puts into a book relies on the author's experience. I rode horses a lot when I was young, so I have some insight into their personalities, how to ride them, how to take care of them, etc. Despite this, the characters are wildly different than me. For instance, Karigan would never sit down to write a book. She has to be constantly on the move. I, in contrast, would rather not be running around being chased by bad guys!

Literaturschock: Were you allowed to design the covers and titles by yourself?

Kristen Britain: My publisher handles the cover design. I might be able to give a little input, but ultimately the cover is up to the publisher. I come up with the titles, but sometimes a title can be problematic for one reason or another, and my editor may ask me to think up a new one. "Green Rider" was my original creation.

Literaturschock: Are you in close contact with other authors or your fans?

Kristen Britain: I spend time at where a lot of authors have newsgroups, and anyone is certainly welcome to join in. I've had a good time talking to readers and authors there, and keep my own newsgroup. We chat about anything from the antics of our pets, to the weather, to books. I've readers from Canada, Germany, the UK, Norway, and France who have dropped in.

Literaturschock: How does your normal working day look like?

Kristen Britain: I have a day job, so I have to work around that. I will spend my evenings and weekends working on my writing.

Literaturschock: How long did it take you to write "Green Rider"?

Kristen Britain: The first draft took less than a year. It took about three and a half years to get it to a publishable quality.

Literaturschock: Do you have a favorite writer or book?

Kristen Britain: I mentioned Tolkien before, and Anne McCaffrey and Lloyd Alexander were influential inspirations to me.

Literaturschock: Thank you so much, Kristen! I really appreciate your taking the time to let me interview you.

Kristen Britain: You're welcome.

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