From Inspiration to Launch: What Happened Before New York by Kristina Adams
Member Spotlight: Kristina Adams
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to write books, but at the same time, I was afraid. Afraid of people judging my work, and by association, me. Afraid of rejection from publishers. Afraid of the power my words could hold.
Then last year, my nan had a mini stroke. The woman I’d once thought of as invincible wasn’t invincible after all. She had surgery to prevent her from having a more serious stroke, but after seeing her so frail, my perspective permanently changed.
What was I doing with my life?
Where was I going?
What did I want to think when I got to her age and looked back at my life?
The truth is, I didn’t like much of what I saw. I have a happy relationship and great friends, but career-wise, I was unfulfilled. I wasn’t getting paid to write. I hadn’t even put my writing out there: it was tucked away on my hard drive, only shown to those I’d allow the privilege.
I realised this had to stop.
If I wanted to be a writer, I needed to think long and hard about how I wanted to achieve it. I had a novel series I’d been working on for years, with characters that had long resonated with members of my online forum (yes, forum: that’s how long I’ve been working on these books). The plot was lacking, but if I took the relationships between the characters and put them in a new location with a new plot, I figured I might just have something.
And I did.
That something became What Happens in New York, the novel I launched at Nottingham Writers’ Studio on 26 May.
In a year, I’d gone from an idea to execution, one of the tightest deadlines I’d ever worked with. I rewrote the novel not once, but twice; designed the cover and launch poster, and wrote the blurb and other marketing materials. It was a crazy year and I’m still recovering from it, but it was fun to celebrate everything I’d achieved at the launch.
There are inevitably things about the book that I’d change, but I’m proud of what I achieved in such a short space of time.
I’m now working on the sequel, What Happens in London, as well as two poetry collections, a nonfiction book, and an email course, all while blogging at The Writer’s Cookbook and working full-time.
Since last February, my priorities have shifted, but it’s made me realise what’s important in life. I’d rather look back when I’m Nan’s age and know that I tried – even if I failed – than look back and realise how much I let my fear control me.
Kristina Adams is a twenty-something author, poet, and blogger. She has a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Derby, and an MA in Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University. When she’s not writing, she’s baking, sewing, or finding another way to avoid the real world. She lives in the UK with her partner.