Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight - Kristen Britain

| Trading Card Spotlight

Our next Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight Features Kristen Britain who is displayed on card number 344, from the Walter Day Science Fiction Collection.  Kristen is the author of the New York Times bestselling Green Rider Series and several works of short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  She has worked as a National Park Service ranger. In 2003, she concluded her Park Service career at Arcadia as the park’s writer-editor to pursue fiction writing full time. She currently works fulltime as a writer of fantasy novels and short stories.

How early in your life did you know you would be a writer?

Pretty early on I think it was always in the back of my mind. As a kid I adored Beverly Cleary’s books and read every horse book I could get my hands on. In the 4th grade I started writing my first fantasy novel, an undersea adventure. It eventually reached two hundred handwritten pages, with illustrations. By 7th grade I was embarrassed by it and tore it up. In high school I fell in love with The Lord of the Rings and started writing novels again I think that’s when I really acknowledged when I wanted to be a writer.

 How has writing today changed from when you were younger? 

Technology has changed a great deal. I still handwrite my manuscripts, but when I type them in, it’s easier to edit and so forth with a computer. One can also research online and communicate directly with fans via social media. Also, we are seeing more work from more diverse voices which is a positive development.

What do you like or dislike about the changes?

Personally, social media is a huge distraction from the work at hand. Authors are expected to do much of the marketing themselves online. It’s pretty much required in this day and age to put yourself out there. Long gone are the days when an author could remain fairly anonymous. 

 What are your favorite type of books and why?

Epic fantasy. I like being swept away into a well-realized world with characters I can care about.

What are your favorite hobbies today?

Getting out into nature, art, playing guitar.

Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a trading card?  

When I was younger, trading cards featured sports figures (and gum!), but even if they had featured writers back in those days, I would never have guessed I would one day grace a trading card. It’s pretty cool, frankly.

How has your involvement in the writing profession been important to you?

It is the realization of a long-held dream, but more than that, when a reader tells me my books have helped them through some terrible situation or asks me to sign a book that is so well loved it’s crumbling apart or tells me the books have meant so much to them, that is what it’s all about. Connecting with other human beings. It’s humbling to create something that impacts so many.

What does it take to be a professional writer today?

What it has always taken: passion, patience, and persistence.

What do you think about electronic books that you can download versus the actual physical hard copy?

I think people should read the way they like best. Personally, I prefer trade paperbacks, and I like having physical books to put on a shelf.

Who is your favorite celebrity and what makes that person special?

Enya. First, I love her voice and music. It’s very good to have on in the background when I am writing. Second, a mystique has developed around her. She is mysterious and reclusive and does not get caught up in having to be a celebrity; that is, not having to have her picture everywhere and being all over social media. How intentional this is, I don’t know, but it has certainly worked for her. She can go for years without a new album, and when one is finally released it does very well. Her work has persisted for decades despite ridicule and sexism. She does her own thing and defies classification. I love it.

 Why did you choose the Fantasy genre? What excited you about it?

I was enamored with The Lord of the Rings books at an impressionable time when I was 12 or 13. I wanted to find other books like that to read, and of course I started writing it.

If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?  

Centipede. Used to go into the mall arcade and play it with a friend. I can’t explain why I liked it best. It was fast and crazy and…I don’t know. 

If you did not become a writer, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be still working for the National Park Service. Or maybe I would run off to work in Hollywood—I have a bachelor’s degree in film production. Or maybe I would have pursued my love of cartooning.

 Are you still involved with writing today, and what role do you play?

I work fulltime as a writer of fantasy novels and short stories.

 Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I expect it won’t be much different, sitting in my woodland cottage playing with words, a warm dog or cat on my lap, but who knows? The world is tumultuous and feels less secure than ever.

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