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Author Spotlight: Kirsten Jany

Hey guys! I’m back today with something a bit different from what I usually do: an interview! I used to write for Yahoo! Contributor Network, where I originally posted this interview, but unfortunately the network shut down this past July, taking down all of my original work (sad face). So from time to time I will re-post my old work here on my blog! Enjoy!

Author Kirsten Jany was born and raised in Germany. She later emigrated to Canada, where she now works in television post production as a sound engineer. She lives in Ontario and spends her spare time with her four dogs and volunteering for various animal rescue groups. She is also the author of the book, Enter to Win:

“Opportunity knocked ’em dead.

Director Rob de Heer’s latest publicity stunt to revitalize his failing soap Crystal Falls – a contest giving viewers a chance to have a character shaped after them – seemed brilliant…right until Rob was found murdered on the set. Could the key to Rob’s death lie in the four finalists who have been invited to spend two weeks in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills? Now the police recruit Rob’s underpaid lackey Jeremy to babysit two liars, an accused wife killer, and a snitch under the guise of shooting a reality show that will crown one of them the winner. Competition has never been this deadly”

Kirsten was kind enough to sit down and briefly talk with me about her background and her road to success.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing when I was a little girl, but, thankfully, those first few attempts never saw the light of day!

What was the defining moment that made you realize you wanted to become an author?
Not sure if there was one defining moment, I’ve always had an active imagination. But I got increasingly annoyed with the offerings on film and television, and decided it was time for a good plot!

Who are your favorite writers/authors?
I’m a big fan of Donna Tartt. She is one of the few authors who doesn’t even need much of a plot to draw you in. She’s probably the only author I would mention by name. Apart from that, I go on a per book basis. If you have a good plot, if you can make me think/laugh/cry, I’m game! I like unpredictable stories-I guess that’s why I don’t read romance!

How long did it take you to publish your novel?
Oh, it took years. I have a kid, a job (I am a sound engineer for television), four dogs, and four volunteer positions, so that’s where most of my time went. Whenever I had a moment, I wrote, re-wrote, edited and shopped the manuscript around. It probably took five or six years for the one book!

What inspired you to write “Enter to Win?”
I’m a sucker for a good mystery, something that will keep you guessing until the very last page. That’s what I wanted to accomplish with Enter To Win, and, so far, not one of my readers has correctly predicted the end! The book contains a lot of my own, personal experiences, spread out over multiple characters (I’ve had enough crappy jobs for a whole cast!). My brother, who is criminal prosecutor, helped me with one of my narrators. The story of Michael, who is accused of killing his late wife, was actually a case my brother had to prosecute.

What made you choose to write “Enter to Win” using multiple points of view? How do you think it makes the story better rather than using an omniscient viewpoint?
The multiple points of view are one of the most important aspects of this novel. I set out to show how a group of people could see the same event from completely different perspectives, and how the prejudices they have against each other cloud their visions. The whole story is a lesson in prejudices, to the point that the actual murder becomes a secondary issue.

Do you stick to novels, or do you write other things as well (short stories, poems, children’s books, etc…)?
I am currently writing and illustrating a children’s picture book, but will probably always continue writing novels. Sorry, I neither read, nor write poetry.

Do you have any other works coming up?
I currently have two more projects in the works: one is an adult mystery/crime fiction, the other one is the children’s picture book that I mentioned.

Enter to Win is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and iTunes. Kirsten can also be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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