Thriller author Krista Wagner joins me today to talk about her spiritual dramatic thriller, Intent.
Krista Wagner is a 70's product who lives in Southern California with her supportive Marine Corp veteran husband, three entertaining and very bright children, a suitcase of stories begging to be finished, and an indispensable faith in Christ. She graduated from National University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Since 2008, she has been an English Instructor. Her debut novel, Intent, was completed during a 2013 summer road trip, Rian Field, a psychological thriller, was released January 2016 and The Gold, a middle-grade fantasy, released Summer 2016, and her YA realistic issue-driven novel, indigo, released December 2016. Krista enjoys suspenseful films, reading the Bible, and spending time with her family.
Welcome, Krista. Please tell us about your current release.
Trying to deal with small town life and feeling that she has no real purpose, Raylee Johnson finds a new source of confidence when her former high school crush returns to town. When she begins to feel better about the direction her life is going, Raylee is thrust into a maze of doubt, uncertainty, murder, and deceit where the only thing she does know for sure is that her life is engulfed in lies.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have always enjoyed the suspense genre and so the story fell into that kind of atmosphere. At some point, we all experience doubt and deception and sometimes a loss of faith, so these elements helped laid the foundation for Raylee's story.
Excerpt from Intent:
Thunder vibrated against the building and the rain was coming down more urgently. She whipped her head toward the window as if expecting something to come through it.
She had been uneasy during thunderstorms since she was a little girl. Her grandmother used to try to soothe her by taking her out to her front porch and sitting next to her as they watched the lightning. They would count "one-one thousand, two-one thousand," and they usually got to five-one thousand before the thunder rolled again. But it was when they didn’t get past two that Raylee would get edgy. She hadn't liked the thought that any moment lightning might zap her. It reminded her of her fear of death in the way that it was so unpredictable, and she didn’t like surprises.
Raylee shuddered and hurried toward the back of the restaurant to the office. She passed a young couple entangled in each other’s arms. “Everyone has someone but me,” she whispered as she walked faster.
What exciting story are you working on next?
A sequel to my middle-grade fantasy, THE GOLD, entitled THE FOREST. The protagonist is the bully from THE GOLD, so we get his story and see how the magical forest changes his life. I am also planning to publish a short story anthology.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was seven years old. This is when I began to write short stories, plays, and songs.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do write every week. I am also an English professor. The best time I find to write is at night, when the kiddies are asleep.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My characters tell me where to go in the story and they surprise me with how they grow!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An actress, then an author. I did perform in many plays, but I never seriously pursued that route. I did have many short stories and poems published, but it wasn't until 2013 when I earned my MFA in Creative Writing that I became serious about publishing novels.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Writing and reading is medicine for the soul.