Fierce by Cris Hanson - Author Interview

‘FIERCE’ Author Cris Hanson Talks About Being An Indie Author and Where She Finds Inspiration!

Today, we’re sitting down with FIERCE author Cris Hanson to talk about being an Indie author and her debut novel! FIERCE has everything for urban fantasy fans – a young female werewolf carrying a lot of baggage, and a very sexy Alpha. As someone who is brand new to the genre, I was surprised how quickly I fell in love with the characters. So let’s chat with Indie author Cris Hanson about her book, being an author, and where she finds her inspiration!

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Fierce by Cris Hanson - Author Interview

One of my favorite things about being a book blogger is getting to chat with Indie authors and share their books with readers who might not have picked them up otherwise. So today, we’re chatting with a new favorite of mine – Cris Hanson – about her experiences while writing her debut novel – FIERCE.

Cris, thank you so much for joining us today!


What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve learned from self-publishing?

I self publish with Kindle Direct Publishing and I was genuinely surprised with how easy it was to put all of the elements together and with how fast my books became available.

Have your pets or kids ever gotten in the way of your writing?

I work full time outside my home so my ability to write at home with 2 kids, sometimes 3, 2 dogs and a husband has proven interesting. I do a lot of my writing during my downtime at work, handwritten and then transcribed into the computer. It sucks and I hate it but it is when I am most creative. I enjoy writing to the sounds of my kids sleeping and my dog pressed against my legs.

If FIERCE was ever made into a movie, who would you want to play Andi and Malcolm?

That is such a hard question to answer. I can’t imagine it ever being big enough or good enough to be considered for a print to screen situation.

When writing FIERCE, what came first – the plot or the characters?

I was reading stories on the Dreame app and one of them just kinda irritated me and I thought, “I can do this better.” The first scene where Andi is on her knees in Malcolm’s office was stuck in my head for a solid week before I started writing. I don’t really have a plot in mind when I start writing. Something inspires me and I see something in my head and I write around it.

What part of FIERCE did you have the hardest time writing? Alternately, what part was the most fun to write?

The love scene from Malcolm’s point of view. I have read a lot of spicy books and a lot of non-spicy books but writing it myself made me very self-conscious to have anyone who knows me read it.

How much research did you have to do while writing FIERCE? (or was it more research or just reading the specific genre?)

I research as I go. I love doing research and the rabbit hole discoveries can be amazing when looking for a different take on a legend or fable.

How long did it take you to write FIERCE?

I started writing FIERCE in 2018. I was handwriting it at a previous job in between customers and calls. It was slow going and it wasn’t until I had enough words that I started posting chapters on the Dreame app. It was there that I got such amazing feedback and realized that I could actually do this, I can write a book and people might actually really like it! I finally was able to really hammer it out at my new job and was able to finish and publish it in 2022.

FIERCE

andi turner book #1

A young female werewolf with a LOT of baggage, a sexy new Alpha/mate, and a tentative love story. The perfect blend of urban fantasy and characters that actually make you care.

Do you think you and Andi would get along if you met in real life?

Yes! She has the ability to stand tall and put people in their place. I am short but I don’t put up with anything. I would love to have her on my side in a fight.

Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process – are you move of a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser 100%. I regularly use the hashtag #mycharactersdontlisten because I want them to go this way and they very much are taking me on a wild goose chase.

Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo?

I have not. I really should, though. I currently have 6 projects I want to put out in 2024 so I could really use the discipline.

What do you need in your writing space to stay focused? Do you play music while writing (if so, what is your favorite)?

I need ice water and a jammin playlist. I have a playlist for each book full of songs that inspired me during the writing process. I include a copy of the playlist and a link to the YouTube music playlist at the end of each book. All playlists I create are public and are pretty eclectic.

If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, who would you pick and why?

Paige and Alexander. Writing Alexander was a lot of fun and being able to be there as he became a stronger man and Alpha has been amazing.

If you could spend the day with any author (alive or dead), who would you pick and why?

Patricia Briggs. Hands down. She has been a huge inspiration for my writing style and I wish I could live in the Mercyverse. Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega are my most recommended series to people. She is a phenomenal human being and I hope to meet her one day.

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How do you celebrate when you finish a book?

I take a deep breath and step away from my computer, send it to my editor and hope she gives me a few days at least before she sends me edits. It kinda feels like getting to the end of the 3-hour glucose test when you are pregnant and being cleared.

Do you read reviews of your book? If so, how do you handle negative ones?

I do. I don’t have many but what I do have makes me feel less like an imposter and more like I am doing something right. I hope that it is enjoyed and if not, then that is great too. I don’t want to be everyone’s cup of tea and I write for myself and choose to share it with the world. Negativity that is just meant to hurt doesn’t bother me. I will forever be able to grow and be a better author with constructive criticism.

I love that outlook! Ok, if you could live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that takes place there, where would you choose?

Scotland, Ireland, or Iceland. I have always felt a pull towards those places and they are steeped in folklore and history that is so interesting and worth studying.

Do you like audiobooks, physical, or e-books better? Why? (bonus: do you think audiobooks count as “real” reading?)

I love all books and yes audiobooks definitely count. I prefer paperbacks, myself, but I own many hardcovers. I have a Kindle and it is bursting with books but I am a re-reader so physical is my jam. They won’t run out of batters off the grid.

What is your most unusual writing quirk?

I don’t know if it’s unusual, but I read once that Stephen King writes 1,000 words a day and that he makes a habit of it, even if he isn’t inspired or wants to write. I try to do the same and I have mapped out my projects based on 1,000 words written per day.

Great idea! So, what is the funniest (or the strangest) typo you’ve ever written?

In book two, FIRE, I wrote patricide when I meant infanticide. My cousin, Ariel, is a freelance editor and she caught it and when she told me, I didn’t believe her. But sure enough, I was on the phone with her and looked up the page and there it was. I still haven’t fixed it.

Okay, here’s one of my favorite questions to ask: what is the first book that made you cry.

THE OUTSIDERS, when Johnny died(*spoiler). I bawled. To this day, it is my favorite book and my copy is literally falling apart. (*to see the spoiler, highlight the text)

β€œI feel like Luke Skywalker, only not so dirty and bloody. Yet.”

Andi, FIERCE by Cris Hanson

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I would tell her that she is going to meet this fiery redhead who is going to make her feel less like a crazy person and believes so completely that she will be a published writer. I probably wouldn’t be here without her.

Okay, now you’re going to make me cry πŸ’•

Next up, what is your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Mine? No, I’m kidding. I don’t know that I have one. I have read so many books and while I do sometimes follow the hype when I build my TBR, I think that my appreciation for a book far outweighs what others’ appreciation is. I can hype a book as much as I want to, but I 100% believe that your reading choices are yours alone and should be dictated by you, not others’ opinions.

How would you define success as an author?

I have $3.88 in royalties this month. That is success. Having an amazing person want to interview me as an author is success. For me, at least. I am easy to please.

I am honored to share your writing journey πŸ’•

Next question: What is the most difficult part about writing characters of the opposite sex?

Spicy scenes! I have to admit that I am still in the blushing innocence stage of writing them.

Can you share a bit of your current project with us?

I am currently working hard on Andi Turner book 3, whether it is the final book or not, we shall see. I also am working on a children’s book with my 8-year-old, Esme, a dark paranormal revenge book for my 13-year-old, and a cozy shifter book.

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Are you stuck on the “book rec from a friend” prompt for the 2024 Reading Challenge?

I highly recommend FIERCE by Cris Hanson to anyone looking to fill the “book rec from a friend” prompt! If you enjoy urban fantasy, werewolves, and sexy Alphas, this is the perfect book for you! Consider this your recommendation from a friend πŸ˜‰ You’re welcome.

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18 Comments

  1. I know she doesn’t feel like she wouldn’t get big enough for a full feature film, but I’m still so curious about who she would have wanted to act out for her main characters. It would’ve given some fun insight on what they might look like in her mind’s eye or even what they’re like if the actors are typically type-cast.

  2. I can relate to being a busy working mom. This sounds like my kind of book! It was fun to read some more about the author and the book. I’ll have to check out this title.

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