The kind folks here at The Long and Short of It asked me for a guest blog. The topic? The top ten things people don’t know about me.
Now that’s a dangerous topic for a writer. Because I might tell you the truth and I might not. And who’s to say what the truth is?
In my life, I’ve been a detective—in 1990s Portland, Oregon, 1960s Memphis, and on the Moon. I’ve been a serial killer more than once. I’ve been a wreck diver—of lost spaceships, thank you very much. I’ve been a lawyer several times. I’ve conquered the world. I’ve built a multinational corporation, and I’ve been a rock star. I’ve been a prince, an evil stepmother, and many, many confused children.
You see, my characters are all me. Good and bad. Especially the bad. The bad scare me. I have no idea where that stuff comes from, and I really, really don’t want to examine it.
I write under a lot of different names—Kristine Grayson, Kris Nelscott, Kristine Dexter, Kris DeLake, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I also write under some names I can’t (or won’t) confess to. And every character I make up—every single one—has a bit of me in it. Scary when it’s a serial killer. Rather cool when it’s the smartest woman on Earth.
So how do I do that? Honestly, I wish I knew. Some of it is pure imagination. Some of it comes from my reading. Some of it comes from my weird life experience.
Let’s go with the life experience first. I worked as the (world’s worst) secretary for a forensic psychologist. I met all kinds of deviants there—really. I gave a test to an illiterate guy accused (later convicted) of murder. We sat alone in a room, and he slipped out of his handcuffs so he could touch his pencil on two words he could read, “yes” and “no.” I debated whether or not to run screaming from the room, then decided the better part of valor was to do the test, and tell the guard that the guy could slip free.
I was a journalist so I interviewed everyone from famous actors to famous politicians to not-so-famous people caught up in events. Always, always I imagined what life had to be like for them, and often I asked just that question.
And I had a lot of trouble in my life—divorce, failed businesses—so I read a lot of imaginary worlds to keep my bad one at bay.
But most important for my romance writing career is this: I met my husband on a hot day in May in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have been together ever since. Love at first sight—it exists, and I’ve experienced it. In fact, I’m still experiencing it.
I don’t know if that’s ten things. It might be more, it might be less, depending on how you count my imaginary life experience. But it’s all mine—and some of it is even more real than the things I actually did go through.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering: the Portland, Oregon detective appears in The Perfect Man, which I wrote under the name Kristine Dexter. The Memphis detective has an entire series (The Smokey Dalton series) that I write under the name Kris Nelscott. The detective on the Moon also has a series (The Retrieval Artist) and so does the wreck-diving woman (first book: Diving into the Wreck) written under my real name, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. (The Kathryn is there to honor my wonderful grandmother—another thing most people don’t know about me.) Under that name, I’ve conquered the world (The Fey Series), run a multinational corporation (Recovering Apollo 8), and been a rock star (The Death of Davy Moss). You’ll find a lot of confused children in Rusch stories as well.
The lawyers show up in all pen names, but the one you’ll get to know soon enough is Nora Barr, heroine of Utterly Charming, which Sourcebooks will reissue in October. She has her own Prince Charming—Sleeping Beauty’s. Believe me, all the princes charming are different. All have a bit of what would attract me which means that there’s probably more of my husband in them than he wants to admit.Particularly in Charming in Wickedly Charming. Not that my husband is ever defeated, but he is charming, and he loves, loves, loves books, and he’s a fine writer.
So there you have it: My secret and not-so-secret identities. My real life and my imaginary life, which I often can’t tell apart. And all of the things I’ve made up, or at least, a few of them.
You can find out more about what I write on www.kristinekathrynrusch.com. But if you only want to know about the Grayson books, check out www.kristinegrayson.com.
Because one more thing about me? I never realized that multiple identities meant multiple websites. I could spend all day updating and never ever do the writing at all any more. But I don’t.
Since writing is—and always will be—my first love.
Wait! Second love. Reading came first. Then reading led to writing, and writing led to my husband, and there it is: my life in a nutshell.
Thanks for asking.
WICKEDLY CHARMING BY KRISTINE GRAYSON – IN STORES MAY 2011
He’s Given Up on Happily-Ever-After…
Cinderella’s Prince Charming is divorced and at a dead end. The new owner of a bookstore, Charming has given up on women, royalty, and anything that smacks of a future. That is until he meets up with Mellie…
But She Might Be the Key to Happily-Right-Now…
Mellie is sick and tired of stepmothers being misunderstood. Vampires have redeemed their reputation, why shouldn’t stepmothers do the same? Then she runs into the handsomest, most charming man she’s ever met and discovers she’s going about her mission all wrong…
It’s only natural that sparks fly and magic ensues when these two fairy tale refugees put their heads—and vulnerable hearts—together…
www.kristinegrayson.com/ and www.sourcebookscasablanca.com.