Jan 3, 2011

Well, Hello There

by Kristin Baker

Ever since Marsha approved my request to be a team blogger with ANWA (thanks, Marsha!), I've agonized over what to write in my very first post. It took me a little while to realize that probably the best thing would be a simple intro. That'll give me another two weeks to agonize some more. ;)

I live in Sparks, Nevada, with my software engineer hubby Dennis and our six kids. I'm crazy about Pirates of the Caribbean, wacky tights, vintage jewelry, and neo-Victorian fashion. Unintentional shenanigans tend to occur when I'm around, and I have a bad habit of injuring my feet.

Instead of using a bookshelf, I like to pile my favorite YA fantasy books all over my desk and any other available surface in the house. I think an awesome pile of books looks inviting and homey. (Despite being a little messy!)

I can remember stapling together little books out of scrap paper before I even knew how to read, scribbling in them, and asking my poor parents to read my newly written "books" to me. By sixth grade, I'd tentatively decided I wanted to be an author, then had an insane year in seventh grade when I thought computer programming was for me (Dennis would laugh), and by high school my passion had luckily switched back to writing. For years I practiced mainly with short stories and various writing exercises, always wanting to write something bigger, but not until my early 30's really having the guts to jump into the water and brave the stormy seas of Novel Writing. *insert dramatic shudder here*

A few years ago, my husband gave me a laptop for Christmas and told me to stop whining about wanting to write a book and just write it already. I figured I'd better get serious, since you don't take a gift like that for granted! A ton of research, self-education, tears, and banging on the keyboard followed, and the result--three years later--was The Moongate. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the sequel now, and have a lot of other book ideas floating around my head!

I'm still undecided as to whether to use my maiden name or my married name for writing. Someone once said that "Przybyla" sounded like something the cat would throw up on your bed; other people, including an agent, told me it's an interesting name that would get people's attention. But due to its generally unpronounceable nature to strangers, I have a hard time imagining it on bookshelves. Unless I used both last names. Opinions are welcome. ;)

My testimony in building one's talents has been strengthened through the often difficult lessons I've learned from writing my first book. Along the way, I've encountered a lot of obstacles and criticism (and I'm not talking constructive criticism). However, I'm sure you'll all agree that achieving any goal, let alone the daunting goal of finishing a novel, feels pretty darn great! I also feel like I'm setting some kind of example to my kids about finding an uplifting passion and following it. I'm very grateful I found ANWA and have made so many talented and helpful friends through the group, and I'm excited about the opportunity to get to know more people through this blog!


  1. You finished a novel. Hurray for you!

    Welcome aboard, Kristin. We're glad to get to know you better.

  2. Excellent post Kristin, I'll be a loyal reader of this blog!


  3. I echo welcome aboard. I didn't realize until Marsha's comment that I was one of the first still posting. I still don't know if that's bad or good, ha. As for your name, let the publisher decide. They know their business. That's my take on it.

    Good post. What YA fantasy books? I tend to read those myself.

  4. Oh, I love you already. Good job setting an example for your kids about finding their passion and having the confidence to go after it. Glad to have you here.

  5. Hello again, Kristin! It is fun getting to know more about you and the things you write. Good for you on finishing a novel. woohoo!

    I look forward to hearing more from/about you.

  6. Nice to meet ya Kristin. I'm new posting here too, and I, too, waited until thirties to really start writing.

  7. Terri--I love any kind of YA fantasy that's like Harry Potter, Fablehaven, and Artemis Fowl. Sometimes my tastes run closer to lengthy, intelligent middle-grade books that could pass for YA--if the fantasy element is intriguing enough. If you haven't read Bones of Faerie, 13 Treasures, and Eyes Like Stars, I highly recommend them.

    Thanks for the welcome, everyone! :)

  8. I like the same sort of books. I will check out your recommedations. I waited till late thirties and forties to get back to my interest in writing. Wish I had been more like you.

  9. Hey, Kristin! I was happy to see you as one of the new blog team members. And can I just say, your post captures - or should I say shows - your energy and personality perfectly.

    I look forward to hearing from you here.


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