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March CSR Discussion Day: Ridley by Krista


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Who enjoyed reading Ridley by Krista? If you did, please make sure you share your thoughts on the story in the comments below. In the meantime, enjoy the interview with her below! 

If you were an animal, what would you be?

– I used to be into nature documentaries, until I found out they were mostly stock footage with a fake story/narration based on loose science. I’ve always liked Leopards though; they are beautiful and female leopards are one of the more elegant animals in nature. I know I’m aiming high, but since I got to choose that’s what I would be.

What's your favorite room in your house? Do you plot or write there?

– It is the living room, because that is where I force the family to be after I get off work so that we can have some time together. I do write in there a little, but I mostly retreat to my bedroom reading nook to do most of my writing since it is quiet and has a nice view. I also prop the laptop up and write in bed before I go to sleep.

What’s something personal about you people might be surprised to know?

– I’m a natural brunette? :P I don’t know... Lol. I’m tall, 6’3” the same height as my husband and I wore flats to my wedding so that I didn’t tower over him. I do like heels though, so sometimes he just has to get over it. 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

– Writing is what I do when I have free time. For what I like to do, I don’t really know, I have a garden that I’ll be getting to work in whenever things start growing again. My city born husband wants to be a farmer/rancher, so I’ve attempted to train him up. Most of the time though, I am cleaning, I have a full-time job, and I am a mother of four, seven if you count the dogs. I do like a good bubble bath.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging when writing?

– Yes, dialog structure and motivation. Going into writing knowing that I have a set way of doing dialog and it not be structurally correct has weighed on me a lot. It would be a relearning and difficult habit to break for me to learn dialog structure now as well. I honestly don’t see myself doing it the correct way, since this is a hobby and not something I wish to pursue professionally on any level. Motivation is difficult, especially when I try to write far ahead of what I post. I do want to know what people think as I post a chapter and before I start a new one. It isn’t the best system for me, since I have so little time to write, I get behind and slow to post doing it this way. 

After reading, I know why Ridley chose basketball, but why did you, as the author, chose to write about basketball?

I played basketball. I also live in a state known for basketball, although we don’t have a professional basketball team, if you don’t count the University of Kentucky. Like Ridley, I was a “big fish,” in a very shallow pond. I broke tons of school records that are still pretty much intact today. I wasn’t basing any of my experiences with basketball on this story though, I definitely approached the sport far differently than he did. It was also something that I felt a lot of sons play with their fathers, or an interest they could share together far easier than say Football, aside from just playing catch. I also have a story all about Football, so that dynamic for me has already played out and I didn't want to do it again. 

How did the nickname/real name plot theme come to you for Ridley?

– Riddles came first. I had an idea in my head, wanting to write about a character that was different from my usual characters. I have a type: outgoing, talkative, sort of goofy, with close-knit friend groups. Cory and Jackson are different on paper, but their worlds are so mirrored, especially if you read one right after the other. Then Christian isn’t that much different from them. To save myself from complete same-ness I get in a mood where I want to try something new. I thought about a character that didn’t like the world around him. I didn’t have a reason to start with, that part I did have to think a lot on before starting. 

Riddles as a nickname was more or less, a two-meaning nickname for him, playing off his name became the primary reason eventually. Secondly, he didn’t really act the way a high school basketball star should. Complete indifference is something that a lot of people don’t really respond well towards, so Riddles just stuck. Then Ridley, I think I got from hearing the name from some movie trailer? I think maybe Ridley belongs to a director/producer of some kind, I don’t know. I’m not a movie buff and since they both started with R, I went with that. Ridley also sounds like a decent last name, which is important.

The Cafeteria scene in the beginning was the entire idea that got me started I had the image stuck in my head for a week or more. Him looking out the window alone, not caring that he wasn’t part of what was happening around him started the idea.

Did you attend your high school “special events” or were you the popcorn & movies loner type of teen? 

– I pretty much lived at school. I was a three sport athlete, I went to football games, all of that good stuff. I am the complete opposite of Ridley in every way imaginable (basketball skills aside), it is probably why I enjoyed writing about him so much. I am far more like Jackson, if I were to compare myself to any of my current characters, although I did behave a lot better than him. 

Is there a line or scene in the story you love the most?

– I liked the Homecoming surprise scene before the game started and the first kiss scene. On a smaller scale, I liked every scene where Ridley and his sister Cara interacted. For lines I liked:

Spoiler

“No,” he answered and I watched his eyes dart between the two of mine. “It would feel like a punch in the gut.”

“So why do this then?” I asked as his hand slid across the small space of bed between us and up to rest on my side.

“Because all this might be worth getting punched in the gut,” he answered and I felt his hand grab hold of my shirt and gently pull me forward. It wasn’t enough to slide me across the bed, it was more of an invitation for me to close the remaining space between us.

Then on a lighter moment:

“Where have you been?” Cara asked and I barely heard her over Adele enough to stop and lean against her door. She turned off her wireless speakers and eyeballed the pizza in my hand.

“I was out with friends,” I answered as I took a second bite.

“Did you finally completely lose it and name your fingers?” She asked as she rolled off her bed. She was wearing what she worked out in, so I figured she was working up to a jog around town this morning.

“Funny,” I answered, rolling my eyes.


Can you share a little of your current work or future project with readers?

– I don’t really have anything ready that is set in stone aside from the next chapter to, “The Best Year,” so I guess a small paragraph from that will be all there is at the moment. I did send something to @wildone, to gauge his reaction to the writing. After TBY my plate is empty.  

Spoiler

“I wish I knew this existed when we were still sneaking around for good party spots,” I said as I looked around. I could already picture a volleyball court, a bonfire across from the pond. It was far enough away that parents and cops wouldn’t be breaking it up and I highly doubted Cindy’s uptight ass had ever stepped foot out here either. Seeing it in the daytime, I could see the draw of the place, the peace and quiet that didn’t seem all that confining, not in the way the dead ass town made everything seem. 

“I really don’t want the place covered in beer cans,” he said, shoving my shoulder. “Come on, I want to show you something.” 

“If it is a snake, I can go without seeing it,” I said as I shoved him back and watched him take a half step to his side to rebalance himself. Shooting me a glare, I knew I would be paid back for that later.

“You’re a baby sometimes,” he said, shaking his head.

“I am not,” I countered and when he shrugged his shoulders and laughed I figured I somehow proved his point.

“I mean honestly, you’ve lived here your whole life,” he added as we made it to the other treeline after crossing the clearing. I took one last look around before I turned to see Luke ducking inside the dead undergrowth, holding back a tree branch.

“So what if I need to have half a case in me to enjoy nature,” I said as I stepped around the bent back branch and watched it swish back to where it had been. “I’m not you.”

“I found this two years ago, last year I walked it all the way to the river,” he said as we fell into what looked like a trail in the woods. Looking around, I didn’t see much of anything and when I looked up I saw birds fluttering around above us.

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Thank you for surprising me with a feature in the CSR Discussion blog. :D It was fun answering the questions asked of me and thinking back on some of the processes. Ridley isn't and old story, so I could still answer them with confidence and pluck things from memory better. If there's anything else anyone wishes to ask, I don't mind answering. 

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Great interview!  I didn't have time to read the story, but I'll add it to the list. 

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  • Site Administrator

What was your nickname in HS? :P 

 

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Krista

Posted (edited)

16 minutes ago, wildone said:

What was your nickname in HS? :P 

 

I know what yours was, @wildone... it was written on the bathroom walls. Minions Mic Drop GIF

---

To answer the question, I don't recall any nicknames, Krista isn't my first name so I guess that counts. I was the type of person that corrected people that attempted to call me by something that I didn't like. So that ended the Krissy, Kris, Tina, attempts rather quickly. A group of guys liked to call me Legs. And I still don't like pet names like Babe, Baby. I live in the small town south, we don't get very original when it comes to nicknames for girls. Guys on the other hand, there were plenty. Bub, Spanky, Ace... there was one guy in my high school that came to be known as Sure Shot... and not because he was good with a gun... or basketball. I think I used it in a story once, I can't remember. 

Edited by Krista
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