Monday, April 15, 2013

Author Interview: Cris Olsen

Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I currently live, and grew up in San Diego, CA. I can’t say I have much to compare it to, as I have little traveling experience, but that’s by choice. Who would ever want to leave a place where the sun shines almost every day? Every time a family vacation gets planned, we usually end up doing a “staycation,” because there’s just so much to do here.  I am truly blessed by the geographical location that my family calls home! And that family consists of a super sweet hubby, a brilliant 7-year old son and a mini poodle named Charlie Swan.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

I’d probably end up on an Indiana Jones style crusade to find archeological dig sites and research the relics and the spiritual history behind them. In Pure Blood, Jonah was an archeologist for decades before coming to live with his current family. In the first draft of the story, he had a special room where he kept all of the relics he found that had strong spiritual vibes within them, but ultimately, it sounded too zen and less spiritual, so I axed the scene. Another character, Zech, is a Judaic Studies student at UCSD, whose class goes on a dig in the Negev desert every year. I could get some major research under my belt for the next books in the Pure Blood Chronicles series by talking to the locals about ancient spooks and legends!

What is your favorite genre to write?
What is your favorite genre to read?

I LOVE paranormal romance . . . the more paranormal, the better. Some of the books I’ve read have gotten a little off-the-wall and others have been a bit too steamy for my conscience to handle – I even spent about a year obsessing over one particular story. I would wake up, and images of what I read the night before would flood my thoughts . . . I would be driving to work and I’d be having a conversation with myself about the heartache I’d be feeling for the characters. I literally had to force myself to stop reading the books over and over again. As a Christian, I prayed for months for this obsession to go away – or for God to give me a reason for it. He did both. As soon as my obsession dissipated, I had the most vivid dream of my life. This dream turned into Pure Blood. I thought . . . I can do this . . . I can combine a major paranormal element with a hot PG-13 romance and an uplifting subplot that any reader would enjoy!

What is one silly fact about you?

I like to think I’m a walking contradiction. I’m a legal secretary by day (most people associate that job with type A, hard working, business-minded individuals), and I’m a paranormal romance novelist by night (most people think of paranormal romance novelists as colorful and quirky). I like to listen to Christian music, but I also love LMFAO, Justin Beiber, and Maroon 5. I try to balance my secular-loving self with my God-loving self and blend the two worlds together. A wise man I know once said “meet the world right where it is.” I strive to accomplish that in my writing. Oh, and I LOVE Laura Scudder’s natural peanut butter and glitter nail polish!

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?

I want my books to be for everyone, from young adults to gray-haired women (seriously, my 16 year-old babysitter AND my grandma both LOVE Pure Blood!) When I read paranormal romance books, they’ve GOT to have a strong love story in them, or I tend to lose interest. I think I found a way to write heated emotions and feelings of love, even a little forbidden lust, in a clean way. One of my best beta readers made the following comment when she read one of the love scenes in Pure Blood: “It’s like they do everything, but they do nothing!” All of the non-Christian’s who have read Pure Blood have said that the religious aspects of the book were intriguing, but not over the top. If I can give readers a truly new spin on the Christian Paranormal Romance then I’ve done my job!

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2013?

I’m currently in the middle of writing Redeemed Blood – The Pure Blood Chronicles Book 2, and New Blood – The Pure Blood Chronicles Book 3.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

Pure Blood has a ghostly twist. As I’ve had experiences with the supernatural since about the age of eight, I have researched these things quite extensively. Most of my research and many of my personal experiences are written into Pure Blood, and my latest supernatural experience will be written into Redeemed Blood (you can read all about my latest experience on my website blog ).

Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas largely come from all of the reading I do, the sermons I hear on Sunday mornings (our Pastor frequently preaches about the metaphysical, which always interests me) and my own supernatural experiences. The idea for Pure Blood came from a dream.

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

Pure Blood is my very first attempt at writing anything, ever. I almost feel embarrassed to admit that I published my very first work, but I felt so convicted to tell this story, that it just sort of happened. I did get professional critique assistance during the writing phase, I’ve done extensive research on how to write a novel, and my husband is a high school English teacher with a very critical eye, so I was able to hone my craft over the year and a half that it took me to write Pure Blood. Some may call me green, but according to the reception Pure Blood has received so far, green may be a good thing in this instance. I write from the heart, I pour my own life into the story and I cry when the characters cry . . . my heart pounds when they kiss and I flush when they touch. I feel very connected to my writing and I write for enjoyment, not out of obligation because I have a writing degree that must be used or a writing job that pressures me into pumping out words that don’t come from the heart.

Please share about your book

I wrote the below synopsis for the back cover of the book, but it leaves out the religious aspects that tie this story together and the powerful electric magnetism that draws the two main characters to each other. Pure Blood is unlike any other romance novel you’ve ever read – I promise (think an angelic Twilight meets the Da Vinci Code)…

Anna Immaculada begins her freshman year of college, hungry for a new beginning. When a mythology assignment leads her to investigate mysterious creatures called the Nephilim, her research begins haunting her-literally. And these demons aren't the only ones pursuing her; amidst this darkness, a warm spirit with sparkling, emerald eyes has been invading her dreams. Anna's first touch from this green-eyed angel sends electric power coursing through her veins.

He gazes on her affectionately, for he knows something she does not. She is pure, untainted by angel blood-a direct descendant of Noah. He is here to protect her from the dark forces that hunt her for this purity, but at what cost? If she gives into her desire for him, he could be bound in chains until judgment. Can she survive this evil long enough to figure out a way to love her Watcher and keep him on Earth?

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?

Anna Immaculada: Resilient, humble, smart, unwillingly lovestruck

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

Both Anna and Jonah know how dangerous it is to have the feelings they’re having for each other, yet they both believe they can overcome the greatest of odds to find a way to be together. With the fate of the souls of the earth on their shoulders, they each fight their feelings for the good of mankind, but are drawn to each other in a way they’ve never experienced before. They’re very similar in this aspect, but their origins are worlds apart.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

What if we could tap into power from above to overcome the evil that stalks us?

Do you have a favorite character you have written so far?

Yes. Jonah. He’s HOT!

Check out more about Cris and Pure Blood:

Pure Blood website:

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