Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Q&A with Kristine Ochu




Kristine Ochu is the author of the new novel Campfire Confessions. She worked in the human resources field and also founded a documentary film company. She is based in Florida.


Q: What inspired you to write Campfire Confessions, and how did you create your characters Annie, Sondra, and Jo?


A: I wanted to read a book that was upbeat, entertaining and had a little “swizzle of sex” instead of a book that was heavy and sad. I spoke to a lot of women who felt the same way.


However, I also wanted the book to have meaning interwoven through the character’s own internal journey.


I’ve been a lifelong researcher of human potentiality through my work as a HR executive, to then teaching empowerment skills to women through my workshops, “Creating Your Amazing Life,” and then of course my own personal journey.


I appreciate the many different spiritual beliefs and the accompanying tools and practices that I’ve learned from women of different cultural backgrounds.


Annie, Jo, and Sondra all represent different perspectives and use different tools to help them such as visualization, prayer, yoga, etc. They are able to share their differences on their adventure which empowers them to survive and to learn how to embrace self-love, forgiveness and letting go of their past mistakes.


It is the power of friendship and it’s conditional love and acceptance that helps them make life-changing decisions.  

Q: What do you think the book says about friendship, and about secrecy among friends?


A: The book at its core is about the power of friendship. True friendship gives us the beautiful gift of comfort, unconditional love, support, and acceptance of who we are, even at our lowest moments in life.


The book does ask the question if you can ever really hide a secret from your best friends? Of course everyone is different. But we all need support! The world is tough out there to get through all the challenges by ourselves.


When we can become vulnerable and open ourselves up, we realize we aren’t alone and that others are struggling too. We are able to lift each other up by sharing our wisdom, along with our laughter, and even our tears. 

Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I had a general idea of wanting to incorporate the messages of the importance of learning self-love, forgiveness, and letting go, and that I wanted the story to be wrapped in an action-packed adventure.


However, the ending wasn’t clear and I made huge changes along the way over five years of writing it! New scenes developed and the characters developed as my own life evolved with many life challenges.


I had three different endings at one time but in the end, it felt like the characters took over and the ending became clear and it just flowed. 

Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?


A: First of all, I hope they have that great feeling of satisfaction of feeling a soulful connection with the characters and that they were part of the journey.


The big takeaway would be to know they aren’t alone in their internal and external struggles. That many women are dealing with anxiety, depression, forgiveness, letting go of the past, and learning to embrace self-love but that there are tools and people that can help.


Also to reach out and make time for those friends who lift your spirits up! 

Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m going deeper into writing about self-love, forgiveness, and letting go, so I can share more empowering tools. I’m also working on a novel about a woman whose life is spinning around but discovers a piece of family history that changes her life. 

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: My answers here have been serious but the book is full of humorous scenes and the witty banter of friends as they reunite. I do believe that laughter is like a daily vitamin that we should experience every day! 


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

No comments:

Post a Comment