Deirdra: When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Tristi: Well now, my very first book was penned at the tender age of five and was called Sue the Dog. Sue was a brave little puppy who wanted to be a ballerina more than anything. If you’d like to know when I wrote my first “good” book, that happened in 2000, when I was 24. It was published in 2002 as Nothing to Regret.
Deirdra: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Tristi: I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences because of my writing career. I’ve been able to meet some of my heroes – Jack Weyland, Dean Hughes, Truman Madsen – and I’ve been invited to speak at writers conferences all up and down the Wasatch Front and out of state as well. In fact, that’s where I first met you – at an ANWA conference in Arizona. It’s an amazing feeling to walk into a bookstore and see your book on a shelf, and I love it (and am always surprised) when someone recognizes me when I leave the house. Of course that only ever happens when I forgot to put on makeup or something. Or have a stain on my shirt.
Deirdra: What do you do to relax and unwind?
Tristi: I need to do more than I do – I’m sort of uptight these days. J But I love watching good movies, and I enjoy scrapbooking, and when I can manage it, I like going out into nature. That doesn’t happen nearly as often as I would like, though.
Deirdra: Can you tell us a little about your book, Women of Strength?
Tristi: Women of Strength is an LDS inspirational nonfiction book which I consider a call to arms to remind women of their divine potential, their crucial participation in our Heavenly Father’s plan, and the great importance of staying strong in the face of all the trials and temptations of these latter days. I use scriptures and general conference quotes to supplement throughout.
Deirdra: How many beta readers review your manuscript before you send it to your editor?
Tristi: It all depends on the project. My critique group has been immensely helpful, and I’ve only published a couple of things without them. Other projects have gone not only through my critique group, but my mom, my husband, and various friends. I just feel it out based on the needs of that book.
Deirdra: Besides writing, what other talents or hobbies do you have?
Tristi: I am a trained floral designer, so I do that still from time to time even though I no longer work in a shop. I like to cook, and as mentioned, I like to scrapbook. There was a time in my life when I did a lot of counted cross-stitch and crochet, but I haven’t really done either of those things since I had children.
Deirdra: What are you working on now?
Tristi: Right now I’m working on Tulips and Treason, which is the first novel of a new series about two FBI agents who come to Utah to bring down a Mafia don. It’s a cozy mystery with a lot of humor.
Deirdra: What is the most difficult thing about being an author?
Tristi: At different points in my life, I would give different answers to this question. At times it’s the frustration of not accomplishing what you’d like, or not having enough book sales, or feeling isolated—every author goes through stages. Right now, though, the most difficult thing is what it does to my body. I was in a car accident last December and am still recovering, and sitting up to type really wears out my back. So that’s not a typical answer, and it’s not one that will be the case forever, but right now, it’s the biggest thing I face as it severely limits my productivity.
Deirdra: What is the best thing about being an author?
Tristi: The best thing is when you hear from someone that your book has touched their hearts and strengthened them or enlightened them or lifted their hearts in some way. That’s when you know you’ve done your job.
Deirdra: What are your goals as an author for the next three years?
Tristi: I’m publishing the series I mentioned above – there are five books in that series. I am also looking into reprinting my first two historical fictions, which have gone out of print.
Deirdra: Where is your favorite place to write?
Tristi: Some authors will go to the park or woods or bookstore or library – I can’t do that. I’m a creature of habit. J My two favorite places to write are at my desk, using my desktop computer, or in my bed, using my laptop computer. I know, it’s pretty boring.
Deirdra: Where can readers go to find your books and order them?
Tristi: All my books are listed here, with purchase links: http://www.tristipinkston.com/p/books.html
Deirdra: Any final words you would like to share?
Tristi: Keep reading, keep writing, always keep learning. And visit my blog, because it rocks. www.tristipinkston.blogspot.com