This week Kris Norris visits the blog. I met Kris at Authors After Dark in NOLA in 2012 and immediately fell for her charms. Not only was she funny and smart, but she'd flown helicopters as a Canadian military pilot. My hero! :D I'd actually read her books before I met her and already loved her voice, but she says I shouldn't listen to her sing. Kris writes some magnificent science fiction, fantasy, and shifter romance. All of it is suffused with Kris's attention to the humorous absurd and action/adventure. Today I asked her one question about how much of her own experience goes into her books.
BBTF: You write a lot of action adventure romance, both in the present and in the future. How much of your own personal experiences have you put into your writing?
Kris: Can I just say that I love this question? Mostly because it’s that moment when all that time I spend traipsing through the woods, up mountains and doing other, less typical sports, finally pays off. :)
So yes, there's a reason I love writing action-adventure books. And yes, it’s because I like to walk the walk, not just talk it. I suppose it started with the first book I wrote, which wasn’t the first one I published. Hard Target is actually the first book I ever wrote, though like many first books, it was also the one I revised the most. So it took a while before I actually put it out there.
But the heroine in that book, Taylor Austin, was based on a lot of things I was doing at the time. I was a commercial helicopter pilot, and I’d just climbed Mount Rainier with my brother and his partner, so I had a lot of ideas and energy just whirling around, wanting to escape. That’s when I realized I really wanted to try writing it all down and, well, Hard Target was the result.
I like to base my writing on experiences I’ve had because I feel it makes the writing more genuine and believable. Not that you get to try everything you every write down, but—I just think your scenes jump off the page more if you’ve actually had the opportunity to live what you’re relating. So, I try and experience a lot of the extreme sports if I can before I write about them. My second book published was Checkmate, and it’s about adventure racing. Well, seeing as I’d never done that before, I trained and entered a race once I’d decided it was going to be a central part of the story. And let’s just say I've run a dozen since then, including a seven-day mountain bike race through the Rocky Mountains a couple of years ago. I honestly never would have known about all the tiny ins and outs I got to put in the scenes if I hadn't actually done it. It's just the way I like to operate.
I also spent some time in the military, so yes, I've fired a gun and a rifle. I've been through basic training, done those stupid obstacle courses, had to survive maneuvers and being yelled at twenty-four seven. While it's not quite the same as being a federal agent or a marshal, per se, I do feel it at least gives me an insight to some of the inner workings of these careers—enough that I'm not completely pulling random stuff out of my…In addition, I ride horses and dirt bikes, have worked as a 911 operator and was even a boat captain once upon a time.
Okay, reading this it makes me sound very flighty. And while I do get easily distracted by shiny things—squirrel—I think it's just that before writing, I hadn't found that one career that satisfied me. I was always looking for the next, best thing. But being an author—it allows me to be a pilot and and cop. To climb mountains and kayak down rapids without having to change jobs. And I can go out and physically do these adventures, chalking them all up to research!
LOL okay, then, I'll put out the order today, Kris. :D You can find out more about Kris Norris's books on her website. Be sure to buy a book and tell a friend. Happy reading!