Your Name: Krista Tibbs
1. Where you are from and where are you now?
I was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Lincoln, ME, and now live in the Boston area.
2. How did you get started writing?
I found that writing my thoughts on paper helped me to focus on other things, until eventually I realized I enjoyed the writing more than the other things!
3. What do you do when you are not writing?
I work in clinical research (human studies) in the biotechnology industry. I am currently working on a gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease. When I’m not working or writing (which takes up most of my time!), I like to swing dance.
4. What would readers like to know about you?
I honestly don’t know!
5. What inspired your first book?
Most of the books I’ve read on the topic of drug development portray greed, corruption and ineptitude as the root of all problems. I have worked in the biotechnology industry, government, and academic research, and I haven’t encountered a single evil mastermind in my travels. I have seen a lot of people trying to do the right thing but getting in each other’s way, which is a more complex, interesting, and important story, I think.
6. How many books have you written?
I have only finished one so far.
7. What are the titles of your books and what genres are they?
The Neurology of Angels is mainstream fiction, with political, medical/science and famile elements.
8. How do you decide on that topic or genre? Why are you specially qualified to write about this topic?
Because I used to work in the lab and now work in biotech industry, I have an insight to the process anddecisions that must be made to develop and market a drug. I have also worked in Washington, DC in the Executive Office of the President, so I have spent time on Capitol Hill and have some insight into that world as well.
9. How do you manage to keep yourself focused and on track when you’re writing a book?
I have a schedule to make sure that I write at least 5 days a week. And I constantly ask myself when I start to do something instead of writing – is this necessary for my health? That generally ensures that I don’t clean just to procrastinate and that I go out for fun on occasion to maintain my sanity.
10. Do you write to make money, for the love of writing or both?
For the love of it. (By “it”, I mean writing, not money!)
11. What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used? Which were the most successful?
I’ve tried celebrity endorsement, sending postcards, handing out bookmarks, in person book signings, and visits to independent stores. But the most successful traditional method I have used is simply getting reviewed. Getting the first one took quite a bit of time and effort, but one legitimate review made others more open to reading the book and to posting reviews on their blogs or Amazon or goodreads.com, etc. Word of mouth is still the best publicity.
12. What are some unique methods of marketing you have used? Which were the most successful?
I’m still in the process of all of the online possibilities through social networks, which seem endless. The most successful non-traditional thing I have done was a preview video, which may not be particularly unique, but it’s fairly new, I believe. I have received many comments on it and suggestions to send it to anyone who’ll look at it. In fact, here’s a link now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACtarZ1e72s
13. Do you sell through a website? If so, what’s the address? If not, why not?
14. Where can people order your books?
The book is available on that website or a variety of online retailers including Books a Million, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Target, or through most local bookstores.
15. What format are your books – e-book, print, audio etc?
The book is in print in trade paperback, and there is an electronic version for Amazon Kindle.
16. Will you write more books?
Yes, I have one that keeps me up nights right now.
17. What do you have in the works now?
I don’t like to talk about what I have in the works, because there is always more research to do, and I want to leave the characters free to take the book in a direction that might not have occurred to me yet.
18. What does the future hold for you and your books?
The only thing that is certain is lack of sleep in the near future!
19. What was the most successful thing you did to promote your books?
True relationship building. It takes time, but nothing has been more of a sure thing than just getting to know people and letting them know me and my characters’ story.
20. What was the least successful thing you did to promote your books?
Sending press releases upon publication. Even though I had a press release that was relevant to current news (not just “hey, my book came out”), it didn’t receive any response that I could measure, not even a request for a review copy. However, it was good to have a press release available for later, to have something to publish in the local paper just before a book signing.
21. Tell us about your most recent book.
The Neurology of Angels is a novel about the hearts inside the business and politics of drug development and the consequences of a choice between saving one child and treating thousands.
22. What makes this book special to you?
It is my first.
23. What sort of comments have you gotten about the content of the book?
My favorite comment was “This book will not only make you cry, it will make you think.” That is all I could ask for.
24. What makes this a book that other people MUST read and WHY?
Decisions made about the health care system affect everyone in the country. It is vitally important that different sides of the issues are seen in context so we can understand the full complexity of the reasons drug development takes so long and costs so much, in order to: a) avoid unintended consequences from one-sided decision-making and b) think about creative ways to change the system or find what works and make it better.
25. What people NEED to read this book and WHY?
Anyone who cares about someone or represents someone or is someone or might become someone who has a disease with no cure. Because this book gives you a voice and encouragement to act.
26. What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own creativity?
Forcing myself to write every day, even just in a journal gets the juices flowing and also helps me to see themes that are important to me. Whenever I read anything, I keep a notebook by my side and stop mid-sentence to jot down ideas. Actually, I have a notebook in my car and every room of my apartment (yes, every room), because I’ve realized that the best ideas hit when I’m concentrating on something else, and I won’t remember them later. Funny thing, how the brain works.
27. What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?
I once had a friend whose father was an engineer-turned-minister, and he said that being a minister is something you only do because you have to. For me, writing is like that. I do it because it nags at me and stirs inside me and clogs my brain until I get it out. Then it bothers and bothers until I edit it into submission. It’s either write or go insane!
28. Tell me about the most unusual things you have done to promote any books?
I once stood in line outside a concert venue in the middle of a hurricane to give my book to one of the performers that I knew liked to read.
29. If a potential reader thinks that your book wouldn't interest them, what would you say to convince them to buy? I'm thinking something better than "Its the greatest book ever." Give me something more specific :)
I would say, take 2 minutes to watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACtarZ1e72s