Interview: Kris Radish

There are some people who can just make you bust out laughing without expecting it. I realized Kris Radish was one of those people when she was an editor at a local paper and I was a newbie marketing chick years ago. The things she would say sometimes in corresponding with me… just hilarious. I would laugh out loud from one of her emails, and my crabby boss at the time would stomp over and ask why I was laughing. (Heaven forbid someone has fun at work.)

The reason I have kept up on Kris Radish’s activities is that I am amazed at her ability to go after her dream. Listen to the words she says, writers! If you want to write, you do it. Keep at it. Sit your behind down and write.

If you’ve never read one of Kris Radish’s books, well what are you waiting for? I can tell you that they are funny and also make you cry. (But all in a good way.) They are touching stories, with memorable characters. Once you read one, you will go back and pick up the others. She’s that kind of writer.

I know you’re going to love this interview, too.

Kris Radish-1

First of all, congratulations on your success! I was familiar with you from your work as an editor for a Wisconsin newspaper. It’s great to see another Wisconsinite get ahead! Why do you believe your books have been so very popular with readers?

Well, I hope it’s because they are well written and because I am so pretty!! Ha!!! I don’t just write to write but I like to empower my readers, mostly women and REALLY smart men. I write about real issues and real lives and I think that resonates with my readers. I am just like they are – except usually taller! – and I write about the emotional elements that tie all women together….and my books are like life – crying on one page and laughing on the next.

Tell us about your latest book.

The Shortest Distance Between Two Women is a story about a place I think all women find themselves in at one time or another. It’s so easy to get lost in your birth family and to think that they will not survive without you. The main character is on the verge of feeling lost in this family sea and then she gets a phone call from the only man she has ever loved and her world is turned upside down. I hope readers come away realizing that they are always holding the reins to their own lives and that blaming someone else is just not the right path to head down. There is a ton of change and chance and love and light inside the back and front covers as well.

As a poetry fan myself, I love that you include some in many of your books. Which poets have influenced you and will you ever release a book of poetry?

I love to read and write poetry and find that lately I need to head into the wilderness to do it. I love Mary Oliver and Audre Lode. And I hope to have a book of poetry out sooner than later! This past spring some of my poetry was set to music and a CD will be released soon with the music. Listening to it was one of the most moving moments of my life. Who would have thought!!!!!!

You have such a great selection of photos on your website. Can you share a favorite memory from one of your book signings?

I love to tour and meet my readers and friends and come away from a tour with just so many wonderful stories. When I was in California recently one woman drove almost four hours to see me. She has been ill and I had never met her but I answer all my own emails and we have “chatted”. I encouraged her during a hard time and she really wanted to see me and get a hug. She did it! And it was an empowering moment for her to see that she could get her life back and equally as empowering for me to see that my work and life make a difference.

Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?

I just finished my next novel, Hearts on a String. It will be released next June. I have already started the novel after that and am working on three works of non-fiction, some essays, poetry and I blog all of the time about everything from free beer to cancer. Some day I will also take a nap.

What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

Probably the Nancy Drew books as a young girl. It was life changing to be a young girl growing up in the 60’s and to know that I could write and wrangle horses…!!!!

Favorite authors?

Alice Munro is absolutely the most talented living writer. Barbara Kingsolver. Kate Atkinson. Kaye Gibbons. Louise Erdrich.

Book you’re currently reading?

I am reading several…..The Outlander by Gil Adamson is FABULOUS. Also reading an old Tony Hillerman, Sing Them Home by Stepanie Kallos, an Anita Shreve, Joyce Maynard’s Labor Day and I love non-fiction and am about to order The Strangest Man. If I don’t have at least five books lined up I need to go into the hospital.

Any type of writing ritual you have?

I write/work ever single day. I love to get up early and do my business stuff and then edit what I did the day before and start in again. I love to take a gym break (so I can keep drinking wine..!) and then come back and work until at least 8, 9, or 10…maybe later.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?

I stole a line from Barbara Kingsolver who once said she can’t have writers bock because she is a working mother. I feel the same way. I write a book a year, tour, manage my website and 1,000 other writer related things. I have two kids in college and there simply isn’t time for writer’s block.

In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?

It’s very personal. Being happy is very important as is being able to live your passion. I get to do that ever day. I am a writer. I am an author…I am living my greatest dream and I never gave up – even though getting here was hard as hell….

Advice for other writers?

Put a word on a piece of paper and you are a writer. Do it. Don’t make excuses. Don’t be scared. You must write for the joy of writing and because your soul is singing a story. Do not measure where you are against anyone else. You must crack open that soul in order to get where you need to go.

Where can we learn more about you?

Do NOT call my mother!!!!!! HAAAA!!!! Check out m website – www.krisradish.com…I also blog on there and my life is its own open book.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes…thanks and let’s share a glass of wine!!!!!! Now back to my chapter…….it is simmering and about to boil over……

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1 Comment on "Interview: Kris Radish"

  1. When I read The Sunday List of Dreams, I laughed and cried throughout. Kris, you quickly became one of my favs! I wish you the bests in all endeavors! I have been writing a mystery series but you have inspired me to try humor in the future.

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