Tuesday, August 21, 2012


It’s that time of month again.
Oh! [Face turns red]
What I meant was – it’s once again time for the AUTHOR INQUISITION.

In our hot seat today is an author who is wildly successful, having published not one, not two or three, or even four – but FOURTEEN books! That, my friends is nothing to sneeze at! And she still makes time for cyber-friends, like me.

 Drum roll please . . . . . .

Our guest is none other than Tristi Pinkston.

[Tristi comes into the room and sits down.] Thank you, Tina. [She looks around] You spare no expense on decor, I see.

Hey! [looks offended] This chair is an upgrade. I brought it from home.

Tristi: Yes. [adjusts self on the chair] You’re right. This is a very comfortable chair.

So, Tristi, give us your best bit of writing advice. [raises eyebrows] Will you, please?

Tristi: The best advice I ever received came to me by way of Brenton Yorgason. He and I were signing together at the BYU Bookstore when my first book was released, and he said to me, "Don't pollute your pen." He then went on to talk about how it's very tempting for authors to succumb to peer pressure to please what the market is demanding, but that as long as I kept my pen clean, I would have success. I have never forgotten that conversation, even though it took place ten years ago.

Ooo. A book signing at BYU - and with Brenton Yorgason. [fans self] Whew! That's big time stuff! Good advice, and very wise, indeed. [Knees shaking. Whispering off stage, "I didn't realize."] Um, since you’re successful in your writing, then, [wiping forehead ] I assume you took the advice. So, then, on your road to publication—what one thing would you NOT do over? [chuckles manically]

Tristi: I would not freak out so much.

Freak out?! Ha, ha, ha. [places hand over mouth] Hmm, hm. hm. ha,ha. No, I'm sorry. I'm fine, really. Go on, please.

Tristi:  [clasps hands together] In retrospect, I can see that all the frustrations I went through have shaped me into the person I am today, and I can see the place they've had in my life. If I could do anything over, I would tell myself to chill out, that the experiences were there to make me a better writer and a better mentor, and that someday I would genuinely be grateful for everything I learned along the way.

My family thinks I'm mental too! [nods approvingly] We have that in common.

Tristi: [looking confused] Mental? Oh, [smiles knowingly] I meant mentor, not mental.

[frowns] Whatever. I hear that you’ve been on an incredible life-changing diet, so do you snack when you write? If so, what?[taps pencil on desk]

Tristi: Well, now ... I used to drink Cherry Coke and eat gummy peach rings and chocolate-covered cinnamon bears. I also used to weigh 300 pounds. :) Now I drink ice water and munch on sunflower seeds, apples, string cheese ... and I don't weigh 300 pounds anymore. :)

Apples, sunflower seeds, and string cheese? I guess it could work. I like all three. What’s your favorite writing activity for when you’re feeling stumped.

Tristi: When I'm stumped, I actually don't do a writing activity - I do another activity altogether. I watch a movie or scrapbook or leave the house for a while. I use different parts of my brain for a bit and let the writing part take a break. Before long, it starts firing on all cylinders again. I'm not one of those writers who can joggle writer's block by doing more writing - I have to walk away from it. It never lasts long, though - I come back pretty quickly.

With fourteen published books on your resume, you are the comeback kid! And, how many books do you have in the works?

Tristi: [blushes] Four.

Four? Wow.

Tristi: I do keep myself rather busy. It's my hope that it will keep me out of trouble.

This sounds just too incredible. [Leans forward] Let’s dish up some dirt. Which vegetable to you think is the most vile?

Tristi: To be honest, I like vegetables. [smiles serenely] Do you maybe want to ask me a new question?

There must be something. Turnips?

 Tristi: Love ‘em.


Tristi: Delicious.


 Tristi: One of my favorites.

[Folds arms and leans forward] Give us your deepest darkest writing secret.

Tristi: Secret? Me?

Everybody has one.

Tristi: [looking entirely too innocent] I'm not entirely sure what you're looking for. I have no secrets – my life’s an open book.

Ha, ha. Very clever. Now dish it up.

Tristi: [Tapping finger on lip, thinking] Well, although I like veggies, I do have a mackerel story.

Mackerel? Sounds fishy.

Tristi: My husband enjoys eating different and unusual foods. He brought home some octopus one day from the Latino market and cooked it up - I wasn't home that day, and my children tell me I'm lucky, because it made the house reek. But the other day, he mixed up some canned mackerel with some mayo and some barbecue-flavored salt and popped it in my mouth before I had the chance to ask him exactly what it was. It was vile and awful and disgusting and took me hours to get the taste out of my mouth.

Yum. [whispers off stage, “there must be something.”] Let’s move on. Do you have a favorite writer’s memory?

Tristi: I've had some amazing things happen to me during my career so far - I've gotten to meet some of my heroes, such as Jack Weyland, Dean Hughes, and Susan Evans McCloud. I've received touching e-mails from readers who have resonated with my writing. I've been able to present at conferences all over Utah and out of state. I would have to say, though, that my favorite memory was seeing my first book in print for the first time. That was in November of 2002. I remember where I was, what I was wearing, who was with me ... and I carried my book around with me for hours. There was absolutely nothing in the world like seeing my name in print on the cover, and then opening up the book and remembering writing those very words on my computer.

[sighs deeply] Well, time’s short, can you tell us a little about your newest book, Turning Pages? 

Tristi: Be happy to.

With his pride and her prejudice, what could possibly go wrong?

When the arrogant Blake Hansen steals Addie Preston’s promotion at the library, he pretty much rubs her nose in it. But Addie, who dreams of being a full-fledged librarian, decides to stick it out. She loves surrounding herself with books and keeping her father’s memory alive in the building where they spent so much time together.

Soon, Addie learns that her beloved library will be torn down to make room for a larger facility, and she has to make a choice. Fight, or let go?

To complicate things, she finds herself attracted to Blake, who is engaged to someone else. Will Blake and Addie ever resolve their differences?

This sounds really good. Where can we get a copy?

 Tristi: I’ve gotta go now. [ stands up and rubs derriere, then limps away.] It’s been real.

[Peeks around the corner] Thanks for coming, Tristi. Maybe we can do lunch sometime? Tristi? [Turns back ] Well, she is one busy gal. Her links are below. Be sure to look her up. Tell her Tina sent you.

Tristi’s links are http://www.tristipinkston.com and


Ryan Hunter - Writer said...

Enjoyed this interview - and the adorable personalities that oozed from your replay here!

Joyce DiPastena said...

Another torturous--I mean, tremendous interview, Tina!

Angie said...

Nice interview! Love learning more about Tristi. She is amazing. Thanks, Tina!

Tina Scott, author, artist said...

Thanks, you guys! Tristi is amazing. And it was amazing that she would put herself through such torture. haha. Actally, no authors were hurt during the performing of this interview.

Tristi Pinkston said...

My rear has recovered, and I have come back to say thanks for the awesome afternoon we spent together!

Sherry Gammon YA Author said...

Great review!! Book looks good too. I love Jane Austen inspired books!

Valerie Ipson said...

Lovely, as always, Tina! Kudos to Tristi on all her success and stick-to-it-iveness. (That's a word, right?)