Interview- Krystina Rivers

Something Between Us is the debut novel by author Krystina Rivers. It will be released on April 12th. Krystina was kind enough to chat with me.

Krystina, tell me about Quinn and Kirby from your new book, Something Between Us and how personal is this story to you?

Something Between Us is a second chance romance between Quinn, a recently retired Navy lieutenant who is starting the next chapter of her life in corporate America, and Kirby, an Army veteran who picked up the pieces of her love life but never really moved on after Quinn broke her heart when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell forced her to choose between her military career and Kirby, and she picked her career. Fast forward ten years and they run into each other at Pride, discovering that they both call Chicago home. Pride is just the first of many run-ins that they have, and as they continue to run into each other, Quinn is secretly hoping she can make amends, and Kirby starts to realize that maybe she isn’t as fulfilled with her life as she’d thought.

This story is a little personal to me as my wife and I met while serving under DADT. We have been together ever since, but it was a difficult time and involved so much lying and hiding that most of the relationships I knew didn’t make it. The story of how two women who were meant to be together but were driven apart by DADT somehow finding their ways back to one another began to form, and Something Between Us was born.

How are you feeling as the release date approaches?

I think the best way to describe it is nauseously excited. I’m excited that my little baby is going out into the world for readers to enjoy, but it’s also scary to put something I’ve put so much time and emotion and energy into out for everyone to read. Though there’s also a sense of relief as well. I started writing this book in April of 2020 right as the pandemic lockdown began, not knowing if anything would really become of it. Then I was really excited when I signed my contract with my publisher, Bold Strokes Books, almost a year ago. After almost two years since I started the book it’s now getting released, so there’s excitement, nervousness, but also a sense of relief that the time has finally come.

Have you started writing your next book and if so, can you tell us anything about it?

I have! Last New Beginning is a workplace, enemies-to-lovers romance between Skye, a career focused commercial real estate broker who spends most of her waking hours negotiating leases in some of the nicest buildings in Chicago, and Bailey, a small business owner who has three loves: her dog, her construction company, and her large family but has been burned in the love department before. Their professional and personal lives collide as they are forced to team up on a construction project and deal with their meddling mothers, who think they’re perfect for one another. But the more they clash, the harder it becomes to resist their simmering attraction.

I actually just finished writing this book and am preparing to send it to my editor in the next few weeks. It is slated to come out with Bold Strokes Books in January 2023.

You were born in Florida, currently live in Chicago and have visited all 50 states. What are your three favorite cities?

That’s a really tough question. Definitely Chicago is one of the top three. I’ve lived here for almost thirteen years and love its mix of big city amenities with Midwest friendliness. Lake Michigan almost feels like an ocean and, though rather dirty at times, the Chicago River is beautiful as it slices downtown into different neighborhoods. I also love the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. I went to school there and it’s got great culture and food, and the Mississippi carving its way down the middle creates a beautiful natural backdrop as well. Can I pick Napa Valley as my third favorite? It’s a region not a city, but the scenery is beautiful, I love doing tastings in the wineries, hiking in the state parks, etc.

Tell me about your crush on Julie Andrews.

It all started with The Sound of Music when I was a kid. I think Maria was probably one of my first crushes even though I didn’t recognize it for what it was at the time—or maybe Sister Stephanie from Father Dowling’s Mysteries as I apparently had a little thing for nuns… But after Sound of Music my crush grew with Mary Poppins and Victor Victoria, and now she’s my not-so-secret biggest crush, and I wish she could be the narrator of my life. Anytime I need comfort, I pop in Sound of Music or Mary Poppins and let her voice lull me into relaxation.

You’re a big women’s basketball fan. Who are your favorite players?

I love college and the WNBA, but we have season tickets for The Chicago Sky, so I pretty much love all the players here. My favorites are probably Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot (The Vanderquigs if you will), Candace Parker, Kahleah Copper, and Azura Stevens. I also have a lot of love for Gabby Williams and am still a little bitter that we traded her two years ago.

You briefly lived in Italy, what were your favorite things to do there?

Wine, wine, and more wine? Just kidding…sort of. I loved touring wineries out there and sampling all different reds, but I also loved eating. One of my favorite things about traveling is eating in local restaurants and sampling local cuisine, and Italy is one of the best for food. Pizza (specifically in Naples), pasta, polenta… I like to live my life through food (and wine), which is very compatible with Italy!

On a non-gastronomic note, simply touring all of the history in the country was amazing. Everywhere you go there you are surrounded by more than a thousand years of history, so the architecture, the bridges, the city walls tell a story. Even just driving in the countryside is beautiful. Florence was my favorite city, but I enjoyed every minute of the six months that I lived there.

It’s been far too long since I’ve visited though, and all of this reminiscing makes me a little desperate to go back!

What are a few of your favorite lesfic books?

Goodness, this is a tough one. There are so many that I love… Curious Wine by Katherine V Forrest, Heart on Fire by Dana Simmonds, The SoHo Series and Back to September by Melissa Brayden, Blend by Georgia Beers, Temptation by Kris Bryant, Atramentum by MJ Duncan, The Crush and Chef’s Special by Susan X Meagher, Turbulence by E.J. Noyes… I could honestly go on and on here, but to try to be brief I’ll stop here!

Thanks so much for taking time to chat with me, Krystina. It was great getting to know you better and good luck with the book!

Thank you so much for having me!