Interview with Courtney Kristel, author of 'Beautifully Shattered'

Courtney Kristel graduated from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, but she couldn't shake her true passion for writing. She's currently working on the second novel of the Beautifully Series, Beautifully Mended. When she isn't creating stories to share with the world, Courtney usually has a book in her hands or is searching for new music to add to her writing playlist.  

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Beautifully Shattered.

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About the Book:

Title: Beautifully Shattered
Author: Courtney Kristel
Publisher: Amazon
Pages: 412
Genre: Romantic Suspense

What would you do if your world fell apart right before your eyes? If everything you held dear was stolen before you had a chance to say goodbye, would you give up or keep fighting? Adalynn Maxwell didn't decide to give up. She was robbed of her choice.

After years of therapy, Adalynn finally wants to move on and her brother's sexy best friend Jax lures her further out of her shell. But she doesn’t understand his game and he changes the rules at every turn, making her fall into the waiting arms of the mysterious Doctor Kohen Daniels, whom she can’t seem to avoid. She’s terrified of trusting him, but something about him makes her want to bare her soul.

Adalynn is desperate for that all-consuming love she reads about, but doesn't believe she deserves it. Her desperation to prove to Jax that she isn’t a little girl anymore may ruin her forever. One wrong decision can change her entire future. She has one last choice to make, but will it be ripped away from her like everything else? Will she pay the ultimate price?

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  • Beautifully Shattered is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The ending was the very first idea of Beautifully Shattered. The ending was originally the prologue but my editor suggested to change it because readers were going to be upset that they read the book to find out what was happening just to have it end with the same cliffhanger. I knew I wanted to touch base on the main character feeling like she deserves to be punished because of losing her family in the car accident six years ago. Then, the love story between her and Jax developed as I was writing. Once I saw their story coming to life, I went back to the beginning of the story to add more detail into their love affair. It wasn’t until half way through writing Beautifully Shattered, that I realized who the villain was. I kept playing around with Jax being the true villain and then finally committed to Kohen being the darkness in Adalynn’s life.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hardest thing for me to write this book was finishing it. Writing has always been a way for me to escape, but I’ve never finished a book until now. I always write with music blaring, to help me not think. I know that sounds strange, but for me it works. If I’m thinking too much, then the story doesn’t flow naturally. I’ve also learned not to reread anything until after a few chapters. Before, I would go back and read what I just wrote when I was finished for the day, but then I was focusing on that, and not getting the story out. Once it’s out, it’s easier to go back and fix typos, where you need to add more detail, and what isn’t important to the story. If you’re going through writer’s block, keep trying new methods until you succeed getting your groove back. For me, swimming and jamming out, or talking the story out with someone else, works best for me.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published through Amazon and I’m about to release the paperback version of Beautifully Shattered through Amazon as well.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

How long it took to find the perfect cover artist. I wanted something that portrayed the story without giving anything away. Danielle Hurps, from the Little Book Designer, made my vision come to life. I love how she even added the glare from the camera in the bottom left corner as if someone was taking the picture of Adalynn (hint . . . hint for the second book). It amazed me how with a few sentences from me, she was able to capture exactly what I wanted. I’m excited to see what she comes up for the second book, Beautifully Mended.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m currently working on the second book of the Beautifully Series, Beautifully Mended. I hope to have that out within a year of the first one and the same thing for the final book. The series won’t stop with them though. And oh man am I excited to get started on the other character’s stories.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I love finding new music online and shopping for clothes, shoes, or furniture. I’m constantly in search for music since I can’t write in silence.

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

Checking instagram, ifunny, and giving my dog Rileey lots of attention before we go to bed. I’m also a huge fan of bubble baths right before bed too. And of course with bubble baths, you have to have a glass of wine or it’s just not the same.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I come from an abusive childhood and yet I’m still breathing. I had pieces taken away from me that I’ll never get back, but I’m still here. I didn’t give up and that’s what I wanted to write about. I wanted the main character to have to fight every day for her life, to remember what life is about. It’s not about being numb, it’s about seeing the beauty in every situation, not matter how hard it is to see at the time. The message I wanted to get across with my book is to never give up, even if you think you’ve been defeated, if you’re breathing, you’re getting stronger, you’re still fighting. So for all of my wonderful readers, don’t give up, your life is important even if you don’t see it.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I want to thank you for this interview and for everyone who has read Beautifully Shattered. A special thanks goes out to the people in my life who listen to me ramble on and on about the book to clear out my own thoughts. For those people, you know who you are, I’m forever grateful to you guys.

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