Category Archives: KG Stutts

Happy Anniversary, Mirror Image!

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It’s been a year since KG Stutts came onto the independent book scene with Mirror Image. She later went on to publish five more book during 2014, all but two in her beloved sci-fi romance genre.

2014 was a big year for North Carolinian KG Stutts. During the course of the year, the new author released six books, all but two in her beloved sci-fi romance genre. But you never forget your first.

Mirror Image, her first novel, is celebrating its first anniversary onApril 25th. It’s a story of Madison ‘Maddie’ Rhodes, an engineer whose life is forever changed when she finds out she’s a clone. When an intergalactic threat turns toward the Earth, Maddie becomes entangled in a world she never knew existed.She must work alongside of her counterpart, going by the name Mack, to protect Earth, countless other worlds, each other, and the man she loves..

This story is very close to the heart of the author. It started out as a dream she couldn’t get out of her head so she started writing it out. It rekindled the love she had for writing she once thought was gone. As a child, KG, known to others as Kristina, would write stories, songs, and poems to share with her mother. After losing her mother at eighteen, she put away her notebooks. The dreams she had about Maddie, Mack, and the Intergalactic Security Commission opened the doors to the possibilities of fulfilling a life-long dream to become a published author.

Since its release, Mirror Image has hit a chord with sci-fi and romance fans of different ages. Its been in the Amazon Top Ten three times, most recently coming in at number eight. The books that followed, Mirror Shattered and Mirror Reformed, rounded out the trilogy. The trilogy has a number of character focused companion shorts already available for reader consumption. In November, a spin-off launched known as the Amethyst Chronicles was introduced to the world.

Kristina also serves as the marketing manager for her series-only independent publisher, Distinguished Press. She’s proud to be launching a podcast for the company in May.

To celebrate, the entire series is on sale for $.99! MirrorImage
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I started writing my first book in 2012. Mirror Image started as a reoccurring dream and I wrote it down to get it out of my head. Little did I know the journey I would embark on. The original story is vastly different from the published story. For one thing, it was strictly sci-fi. There was no romance. In fact, the three Brooks brothers didn’t exist. There were a couple other elements I didn’t like and actually put them aside to save for another series. I learned a lot during the course of the first year in writing. Writing a sci-fi romance series has been fun and challenging. I have learned there is an art to it. I am just the vessel for telling the stories. They are actually the writers. These characters have become a family for me. Once Mirror Image had been fine tuned into the story it is today, I immediately set to writing the second, Mirror Shattered. That story is very much the cornerstone for that series. During the writing of Mirror Shattered, I signed a contract with Distinguished Press for the series. I took a break to focus on edits and everything for Mirror Image, so when it came time to write the third, it was like visiting old friends.

As writers, we get attached to our characters. I can only hope any reader would get equally as attached or at least some level of enthusiasm. I cried several times while writing Mirror Reformed. When the story was done, it felt finished. The story was complete. I’m not ready to say goodbye to them yet, but thankfully I’m not there yet. I’m releasing short stories for John, Seth and Logan, and Jackson. The prequel for Mirror Image is also coming. Plus, and because this is sci-fi and I can do it, the third book in my other series, Amethyst Chronicles, will cross over with the Mirror series. How, you may ask, since Amethyst is a thousand years after Mirror Reformed? Guess you’ll have to wait to find out how Ember travels back in time. But I can say I am extremely excited for it. Ember facing off with Mack or going toe-to-toe with Logan, another like-minded warrior? Oh, it’s going to be gooooood.

Saying goodbye is never easy, but it’s not really goodbye, is it? I can always pick up the books anytime I want to visit them. I just remind myself in the meantime, there are other stories to tell.

Haven’t read my Mirror series or Amethyst Chronicles? Click the link to hook yourself up!

 

Mirror Image (Mirror series book one, now $.99)

Mirror Shattered (Mirror series book two)

A Mirrors Beginning: John Brooks  (short story, $.99)

 Amethyst Chronicles: Winter’s Kiss

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Diaper Parties and books, what will they think of next?

Greetings and salutations all,

This is my first post at the IWAssociation and as a proud member of the Distinguished Press author family. They have been wonderful so far, very welcoming and fun to talk with. I’ve got a great new editor (and owner) and have already made some new friends. Enough about DP though onto my post.

About a month ago I went to a diaper party, what a diaper party some of you may be asking? (I know what it is because I’ve been to a bunch) Let’s see what the good old interwebs has to say:

“This is the male equivalent to a baby shower. When the mother of the child has a baby shower, the father of the child has a Diaper Party, at which his buddies (usually the significant others of the women attending the baby shower) bring cases of diapers and beer.

Hey man, is your Diaper Party the same day as the baby shower?”

women-history-month-sports-no-interest   The above is from urbandictionary.com and it sums it up. It’s the male version of  baby shower, here’s the problem I’ve had, all my friends are geeks. As such I’ve  never had a very good time at any of them. Yes I know what you’re thinking, maybe that’s more my fault than theirs but let me give you an example of how they can get weird from a brief recount of the one I went to last month. So a friend of my brother’s (and I guess a casual friend of mine) who we’ll call Bill invited me to his party. I brought diapers but no beer (I had been at a party the night before and was more than a little hungover) and it wasn’t a BBQ. You know how you have friends that you only see once, twice or maybe three times a year? Bill is that kind of friend for me. So I went and as expected the hockey game was on (Bill’s a geek but a lot of people he invited aren’t). I have zero interest in sports, at least watching, I’ve haven’t followed a team since high school and couldn’t care less about the Olympics or any playoff/championship game. There was food but of course I’m a vegetarian (no one else there was) so about 90% was not what I would eat. To make this party even more strange is the fact that his parents are there (he doesn’t live at home but this is where the party was held) and they invited all these people in their 50-60s who are all bikers. I knew maybe 6 people there out of 30. All this adds up to a rather boring time for me, at least for the first few hours.

(I couldn’t find a picture of a guy who didn’t like sports but it’s okay, I’m a lot cuter than her 😉 So as I’ve noticed during parties after a while when the early birds leave (or in this case they really out of place biker people trying to social with people 30 years younger than them) break into smaller groups where people chat more. This one guy came in the room and started talking about TV shows (in particular Game of Thrones, which is amazing by the way!) books and movies. Naturally my geek antenna went up and once I had my chance I worked my way into the conversation. We had a nice chat about geeky stuff (there’s a ton of comic books movies these days and lots of good TV). Bill felt his social duties to mix with the rest of party ended and he came in too (I quite like Bill if you’re wondering, I’m just not a family man and I find you naturally spend time with childless couples rather than those with them). Eventually we started talk about books and in particular horror ones (which I am something of an expert on).

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We both agreed that “The Dark Tower” (by Steve King of course, if you didn’t know that you may be on the wrong website!) starts off wonderful but eventually turns to almost unreadable garbage (King basically admits that he pumped out the last two books because he thought he was going to die after a bad accident). And no I haven’t read the latest one (which actually takes place earlier in the series) and yes the comics are generally top notch so I don’t condemn everything with “Dark Tower” on it. I finally found a chance to start talking about my books (“The Newfoundland Vampire” books 1 and 2) and I handed out a bookmark (now double sided!). I don’t know if he’ll buy a copy (I don’t remember his name, I’m terrible with them) but I think I made a good impression. (You know I was going to work a plug in here somewhere!) I always like to hear people’s perspective on vampire books/movies/TV shows in particular as I’m in the editing process for the re-issue of book 1 at my new publishing home Distinguished Press and this should hopefully be available right sometime in July of 2015.

So if you’re at a crappy party by advice would be drink more (if you’re of age and get a ride home of course) or just stick it out and wait for the people you want to chat with. As for diaper parties…they’re not going away here in Newfoundland and at least I can buy the biodegradable ones, plus I find there’s always a few geeks everywhere I go.

Have you been to a diaper party? What did you think of it? Until next time everyone!

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Troupes of romance

Two days ago, the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan posted an article entitled 25 Erotica Lit Tropes that Need to Die. This spawned a friendly discussion in a writing group on Facebook and got me thinking. To me, most of the article is laughable at best. Regardless of her intention, the author came off as a bitter woman who hasn’t had a good tumble lately, if ever. And judging by the comments on the article, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Yes, some things in erotica are a bit eye rolling. But one thing I think the author didn’t take into account is romance and erotica stories are FANTASY. Sex in of itself is dirty and really kind of gross when you really think about it. Often our private lives are lacking in one area. Not necessary in the bedroom, but we are all wanting or needing something our normal day to day lives doesn’t give. That’s why we escape to books to begin with. I’m not going to get into too detail regarding my sexy time with my husband. That’s just between us. But I can assure you it’s not lacking anything. Still, I have written several graphic sex scenes in two of my novels that differ completely from me and Brad.

Some of the things felt like the writer of the article was calling out Fifty Shades of Grey, not the genre as a whole. Still, erotica is the biggest genre for a reason. Yet there are a few things I’ve seen in novels that do make me roll my eyes. For instance, I will never write a romance with a billionaire or a cowboy. I am breaking two of my rules and writing a story featuring a rocker and one about a pirate. To be fair though, the rocker is just the occupation. It’s not key to the story. I just need a reason why two of the main characters travel a lot and I’m already writing a wrestling romance story.

Good Lord I write a lot. lol

What are some cliches in romance that take you out of the story or you feel are overdone?

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Rules of Time Travel

Time travel has been an integral part of science fiction for as long as I can remember. I think it’s a fascinating concept. If you could go back in time, where would you go? What would you do if you could go forward in time? Would you make changes, if you had the ability? It’s a concept I explored in the second book in my series, Mirror Shattered. The team has to travel back to 1965 to prevent an alien race from stopping the creation of the Intergalactic Security Commission. The result does have a ripple effect. Truths were no longer facts. Some changes minor, but there were several major effects from the team’s actions.

When I started to write the short stories on the origins of the other characters in the series, a thought occurred to me. I wrote the story as a prequel to Mirror Image, but the actions in Mirror Shattered would’ve changed the first book, wouldn’t it? I had to sit down and draw up a timeline to figure out what I did in my own book. My father and I often get into discussions regarding if the events in the Back to the Future movies could’ve happened the way they play out because of the changes in the timeline.

It begged a question to me. What are the rules of time travel?

  1. Be careful what information you give. This one is obvious to me, but it still takes a considerable amount of thought. Maddie spoke semi-openly about her personally to Charlie, thinking the thirteen year old wouldn’t retain information. She also didn’t know about his identic memory.
  2. What happened in the past was supposed to happen … right? But then it wouldn’t be much of a time travel story if there weren’t some hijinks.
  3. Be careful what you wish for. But, to me, that’s a rule in life.
  4. Always be on your guard.
  5. Do the mission you set out to do. Don’t try to play hero and help. Remember, you weren’t there originally so whatever happened, happened without you there.
  6. Whatever you do, interact as little with people outside of your time as possible.

 

What do you think are other rules? Anything I missed?

On the 21st, book one in a new sci-fi romance series will release. Amethyst Chronicles: Winter’s Kiss, is an exciting story I can’t wait to share. Check out kgstutts.blogspot.com for two excerpts as well as a giveaway for the new series!

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Creating a Series

The idea for my first sci-fi story, Mirror Image, came to me in a reoccurring dream. I had never written a book but I couldn’t get the story out of my head. After much debate with my husband and best friend, I decided to write. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

As it always happens with manuscripts, the first draft to Mirror Image is vastly different than the final. The whole process took a year as I was learning as I wrote. The first draft didn’t involve the three Brooks brothers which really changed the tale. Their inclusion inspired me to look past the first story and thus a series was born.

It partly grew from my love of Mack and Maddie, my two main characters, but mostly the second story came at me in full force. The idea of time traveling, seeing new races, and the danger everyone is confronted with, not just Maddie, was intriguing. As I planned Mirror Shattered out, I decided to split the story into two and now I had a trilogy. In fact, the way I plan to wrap up the trilogy does give room for a fourth, but I think I’ll end it there. Leave something for the readers’ imagination.

It seemed to make sense to me. A small voice in the back of my head is asking if I’ll be able to let the characters go, once my Mirror series has reached its conclusion. One of my worries which led to the decision to split up the two was I was worried about putting too much content into it and the reader will stop caring. Pacing is incredibly important when writing and that’s truer to me when working on a continuing narrative than a stand alone book. Remember to pace yourself before you start spinning around in circles in the dirt, not gaining any traction.

To me, the crux of formulating a series is to keep interest in the characters. My first goal out of the gate after deciding to make the series was to make the reader fall as in love with Mack, Maddie, and the others as I have to the point where they have to know what happens in the second and third installments. The first is character driven but the second and third will be story driven. I hope everyone is ready for the roller coaster that the next book will be. It certainly will be a wild one.

After being knee deep in my Mirror series, another sci-fi story came to me. As soon as it started to form, I knew I had another series on my hands. One of the things that is also exciting to me is that this series could give me years of material to work with. Not only with the current story, but with spin-offs as well. Spin-offs! I have a whole world of possibilities at my feet.

The key to a good series is planning. For my next sci-fi series, I already have the three carefully plotted out, but not so tightly that a new idea wouldn’t throw it out of balance. Also not to the point where it has to stop after three if I get inspired to do more. There also as to be a flow to it. One of the things I pride myself on is how I control the flow of my books. If you feel burned out by the action, so will the reader. Keeping your audience engaged past the first book isn’t simple. And it’s all too easy and a little cheesy to end each book on a cliffhanger. The hook must be created to entice but too often I feel that authors use the tactic to carry over to the next book. Yes, I say this knowing the second book in my first series ends on a cliffhanger. I did, however, leave enough at the end of the first book to (hopefully) make the reader go, “Wait, what?”

Writing and maintaining an array of stories is one of the most difficult and rewarding challenges for me as an author. One of the biggest compliments I have received to me was my editor telling me that there were a few spots where she felt I could’ve stopped and the story would’ve been satisfied until the next, but then she saw how much she still had left to read and was excited. Ebb-and-flow is crucial. CRUCIAL to the success of the story.

I had a difficult time finding a publisher for Mirror Image. Some of which I have chronicled on in previous posts on my blog. I had gotten several publishers that came back saying that they loved my characters and the story, but were wary about publishing it not having read the second book. I was forever thankful to cross paths with Distinguished Press, a publisher who only puts out series. If you’re a writer thinking about or working on a procession of stories, submit to them. I’m grateful and proud to be a part of this team.

In May, my first book in my string will be available. I hope lovers of a great sci-fi story, and sci-fi romance will love Mack, Maddie, John, and the others as much as I do. You can read more about my Mirror series or any of my upcoming books and works in progress by visiting kgstutts.blogspot.com

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Meet Kristina Stutts

book-and-glassesHello, IWA! It’s a pleasure to come aboard and join this group. My name is Kristina and I am the author of Mirror Image, the first book in my Mirror sci-fi series. My Mirror series is centered around a young woman named Maddie, who finds out that she is a clone and must work with her counterpart, who works for a secret government agency to protect the Earth and a coalition of other worlds. I could go on and on about Maddie, but this is supposed to be a post about me, not her or the series.

I have a wonderful husband, Brad, who I am thankful for every day. Lived in the Carolinas most of my life. My parents were in the Air Force, but I didn’t move around a lot as a kid. We were in Texas until they retired then moved to South Carolina when I was nine. I lived in Charleston until meeting Brad and moved up to North Carolina. I graduated from Miller Motte College with a certification in massage therapy, but never took the national boards to get licensed. It’s still something I plan on doing. Just life keeps getting in the way.

I’m one of the biggest nerds you’ll probably ever meet. I love Disney and am probably a walking fact book on the films and parks. I collect Disney waterglobes, most of which is from my favorite film, Beauty and the Beast. I love Star Trek (Original, Next Gen, and Voyager), Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, and Star Wars. Mara Jade is one of my favorite literary characters from the books and comics. Every Christmas, I get something Garfield related. This year, my wonderful husband surprised me with a Webster dictionary that had Garfield cartoons in it. It’s really cool. Hunger Games is one of those series that I can read over and over and not get bored with it.

I can’t stomach horror/slasher movies. I can handle suspense and thrillers, but blood and guts for no reason…I’m a weakling. Zombies especially freak me out. I can’t even deal with zombie comedy movies. I am a sucker for good storytelling. If sex or violence is not essential to the plot, I find it a turn off more than anything.

I’ve had the most random assortment of jobs as well. I’ve been everything from a cashier, to a restaurant mascot, to a Sears photographer, a video game store manager, and customer service professional. I’ve done just about everything in retail and am very glad to no longer be working in that field.

More than ten years ago, I met my husband when I came to North Carolina to train to become a professional wrestler. I’ve always been a fan of wrestling. I actually got knocked out one day while training (completely my fault) and decided that wrestling wasn’t my thing. I’ve been a referee for over ten years, though. I’m a den mother to most of the locker room which gives me countless hours of entertainment. Besides wrestling, I’m a big football and hockey fan. Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks are my hockey teams. Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, and whoever is against the Cowboys for my football teams. Would make things easier if I was a hometown fan, but where’s the fun in that?

I save pictures of my phone to send out to friends when they need cheering up. I’m fiercely protective and loyal to my friends and family. If I consider you a part of my circle, there’s not much I wouldn’t do.

To add to my geekdom, I’m also a big gamer. Final Fantasy series (X is my favorite), Kingdom Hearts, most role-playing games, Lego games, and the Legend of Zelda series top my list. I also love Once Upon a Time, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, The Crazy Ones, and The Newsroom are a handful of my favorite TV shows.

Let’s see…what else…my favorite color is purple. I love cats, but don’t have any due to rules in the complex I live in. The older I get, the more I appreciate 80s and 90s music. I love taking pictures, but hate pictures being taken of me. I am not photogenic at all.

I could continue, but I don’t want to bore you anymore than I probably already have. I look forward to meeting and working with everyone. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of the IWA. Thank you for having me.

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