Meet our Proofreader / Author
Crystal A Blanton
Genre: Contemporary, Sweet NA Romance. However, she is looking forward to branching out into other sub-genres of romance.
Crystal A Blanton lives in the Show Me State with her sarcastic, loving husband of fifteen years and two crazy, wild sons. She has a love for reading, writing, warm weather, Zero Ultra Monster Energy drinks, massages, traveling, spending time with her family and friends, writing in third person, and chocolate; in no particular order!
We asked Crystal a quick round of Q&A’s, and here they are:
Q 1: What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?
A: It would have to be that I didn’t know a damn thing about writing. It probably shouldn’t have been a surprise. Becoming an author is not something that ever crossed my mind when I thought of careers and I was not someone who ever thought ‘I should write a book, I bet it would be easy.’ When the storyline for The Calm Within came to me it was out of nowhere and I just wrote. Then, after the first draft I started joining different writing groups, reading books on writing, and essentially finding my tribe. All of that is what taught me what to change and how to create a book worth reading. I still don’t know much about writing. There’s so much to learn, so I keep chugging along learning as I go.
Q 2: Grab the nearest book, open it to page 76 and look for the second word in the first sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!)
A: The book is Dysfunctional Hearts by L.S. Pullen. The word is shit. “Shit just got real,” I mumble as I watch the man who’s been haunting my dreams walk through the door.
Q 3: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A: I don’t really have an animal that speaks to me in way of being my mascot or avatar. What I would choose instead is a Sunflower. Sunflowers symbolize adoration, faith, loyalty, and longevity. Much like myself, they need the sun and warmth to grow and flourish. If you were to ask any one of my family members or close friends what one thing they think of when they think of me, their immediate response would be a sunflower.
Q 4: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
A: Almost everything I read makes me think differently about fiction. The way the words are interwoven to create such a vivid picture for your mind. However, even though they are made-up stories, they speak to every one of us in a different way. Some people find guidance or help with closure. They may find another reason to move forward and live. Books can help a person to know they are not alone. Regardless if the Author intended to have a message within their words or not there are people who will find what their souls are searching for and hear it loudly. And the greatest thing is that books are a repreive, or rather, an escape from the trials and tribulations of this taxing everyday life we live.
Q 5: What is your favorite childhood book?
A: Unfortunately, for me, I was not much of a reader when I was a child. I didn’t discover a love for reading until my twenties and that was all due to Stephanie Meyers, Twilight series. Those books hold a special place in my heart for this reason.
Q 6: What was your hardest scene to write?
A: Chapter 29 in The Calm Within. I can’t go into details because it’s a pivotal point in the book and would give away a major plot twist. However, what I can say is even though this chapter is somewhat in the middle of the book (there are 44 chapters total), this was the very last scene I wrote because it was so hard for me, emotionally. Every part of my being didn’t want it to happen, yet it had to.
Q 7: How do you select the names of your characters?
A: They typically just come to me as I’m writing. There are a few times where I’ve spent hours searching for something that would speak to me when the character wasn’t. I also have a list of names I keep for future use. These are ones I’ve heard through everyday life which grabbed my attention.
Q 8: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A: Making sure they don’t sound and/or act the same as all of my other male characters. I love writing in the male perspective. I enjoy getting to know them and delving deep into their psyche. I’m not sure if I could ever write a full book in only the female point of view because you’re missing so much of how the other thinks and feels.
Q 9: What is the first book that made you cry?
A: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams. I’m not a huge emotional reader. I love it when a book creates an ache in my chest but very few can cause me to shed actual tears. One day, many years ago, I fell into Taking Chances and balled my eyes out. I read it two more times and cried just as hard each time. I never knew a book could do that to me.
Q 10: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
A: I’m not sure that I have a quirk, or it’s something I don’t notice. I did write most of the first draft of my first book by hand, pen to paper. Not sure that‘s a quirk or a very good idea to do again. 😂
Crystal agreed to participate in a little flash fiction.
This is the cover of your next book, write the opening paragraph…
“Sitting down, I slowly sink my feet into the sand letting the waves lap against my skin. I wrap my arms around my legs and rest my chin upon my knees, releasing all the breath from my lungs. I glance at the horizon and watch the clouds part, revealing a small glimpse of the sun. It’s as if someone is pushing them aside to show me the light, to give me a sign of better days to come. A nod from the big guy above letting me know I did the right thing.
Laughter dances along the salt filled air but when I turn my head to find the source I’m met with steel-colored eyes with curiosity and wonderment dancing within.”
When you are lucky enough to find love, take it in both hands and hold on to it like it’s your lifeline. Don’t let go. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.
My name is Kinsley Carmichael. I’m one of the fortunate ones, I found my true love. I experienced it, felt it, tasted it. He was my best friend, my soul-mate. Life without him would be incomplete.
So what happens when that love is taken away? Is it possible to come back from something like that? Is it possible to want to move on? Can a person be granted more than one chance of an all-consuming love in one lifetime? I’m not sure, and I don’t know if I have the strength to find out.
This is my story…in all its tragic glory.
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To find out more about Crystal A Blanton, The Calm Within, and her upcoming releases, you can follow her on the links below.