Q1. Tell me about yourself?
A. I was born in the Year of the Dragon (not saying which one) and have had a lifelong interest in reading, writing, art, myth, fairy tales, folklore, legends, and science fiction. I earned a BS in Art-Education and an MS in Professional Writing, illustrated books & magazines, taught creative writing for the Maryland State Arts Council and Harford Community College, wrote columns for various newspapers – plus, I married, had 3 kids, and now have 3 grandkids. I'm a clover hand (which means I find 4-leafed clovers easily, and supposedly can see fairies, elves, trolls, etc.), who believes the world is still filled with mystery, miracles, and magic.
Q2. What are your favorite books to read?
A. I enjoy fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, YA, suspense, adventure, mystery... Truth be told, I enjoy any good book.
Q3. When did you decide you were going to write a book?
A. If we're talking about my newest book, Beneath Raven's Wing, it was after I saw ravens pop up in my short fiction again and again. If we're speaking of my first book of poems, Essential Fables, it was when the core manuscript received a Special Merit Award in Baltimore's Artscape Poetry Competition from poet Mary Oliver.
Q4. How did you come up with a name for your book?
A. For Beneath Raven's Wing, I knew I wanted something with the word Raven – then I recalled the lines of a poem which appears in my 2nd poetry collection, River of Stars: “Raven holds the secrets of night/ beneath her wings/ and guards that knowledge/ with claw and blood.” Here's a book link for anyone interested: https://books2read.com/BeneathRavensWing
Q5. What are you working on for 2021?
A. Besides the January 2021 publication of Beneath Raven's Wing by Fae Corps Publishing, I should have a novel, Beyond the Sheercliffs, published mid-year by Pole to Pole Publishing. I'm hoping to have both another story collection and a nonfiction book published in 2021, too. IF I can get the work done on the projects in a timely fashion. By the way, these books, like all my writing, are Young Adult friendly. I want to be comfortable with my children and grandchildren reading my work.
Q6. How long have you been writing?
A. Like many people, since I was 5! Then, somewhere in my twenties, I began to take writing poetry seriously. Years later, I took the first steps into writing fiction.
Q7. What advice would you give other authors?
A. Persist! It sounds so simple, but it's hard to do. Keep writing, keep submitting your work, and while you wait for a story/poem/book to be accepted or rejected – write more!
Q8. Where can people find you online?
A. Website: https://vonniewinslowcrist.com
Amazon Author's Page: https://www.amazon.com/Vonnie-Winslow-Crist/e/B001KCR6PE
Q9. What is your favorite coffee drink?
A. Not a coffee drinker! But I sure do love tea, hot and iced. My favorites are Constant Comment, Peach-Mango, I Love Lemon and Red Raspberry.
Q10. What is your favorite coffee shop?
A. When I meet with writing friends, we usually gather at a Panara Bread. Some drink coffee, some tea, and others soda. We usually linger long enough to get a meal as well.
Q11. Do you plan on making a new book in the future?
A. Yes! I'm at work on 2 different story collections, several nonfiction titles, and another novel (besides the ones I mentioned for 2021). All of the Young Adult friendly. I'll probably keep writing until my fingers can't type!
Q12. How many books have you written?
A. I've written more books than I've had published! To date, I've had 7 books published with #8 (Beneath Raven's Wing) appearing January 30, 2021. On Amazon you can find my novel: The Enchanted Dagger, 2 story collections: The Greener Forest and Owl Light, a novelette: Murder on Marawa Prime, 2 poetry collections: River of Stars and Essential Fables, and a children's book, Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales. You can also find dozens of anthologies that feature my writing. I've also had 5 individual short stories published as eBooks, but those are no longer available.
Q13. Did you go to college to be a writer?
A. No and yes! I earned a BS in Art and Education in 1974. Along the way, in addition to hundreds of illustrations, I wrote and had lots of poetry published. By 2003, I was teaching creative writing for the Maryland State Arts Council's Poets-in-the-Schools program. One day, my boss said to me, “You're the only one teaching in the program without an English degree.” So I returned to Towson University and earned my MS in Professional Writing.
Thanks, Angelika for having me. It's been fun to answer your questions. Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and blessed 2021 to you and your readers.