Who is Sister Krissie, The Impeccably Demure?

I was born Anne Kristine Stuart and always went by my middle name, Krissie, hence the confusion on what to call me. I answer to just about everything, including Divine Mistress.

I always had a weakness for nuns, probably because I wasn’t Catholic. When I was in my teens I made myself a nun’s habit out of my best friend’s linen curtains (I’d read Gone with the Wind) and wore it to rock concerts. All went well until I was in Waltham, Massachusetts to hear an obscure folk singer. I was sitting in a diner in full regalia, eating a cheeseburger, when I realized it was Friday. Oh, the horror! I put the thing down and ran. But I’ve kept the “sister” part because I believe that we’re all sisters, even the men.

The demure part came from a lovely man, who referred to me as a demure young lady. Those who know me know just how demure I am, but I rather like the thought that someone, long ago, thought I was shy and well-behaved.

What about all those Damned Sequels?

I know, I know, I promised. I left poor Brandon and Emma (from the wicked Rohan family) abandoned. He went up to Scotland to heal and get clean and sober, she went to become a surgeon, and they’ve just met up again. I’m about halfway through the book (which is either Heartless or Dreamless) and I’m working on it, I promise. Then there’s the Fallen world I wrote as Kristina Douglas. Things never got resolved – poor Lucifer is still in stasis, needing to break free and join with the others to fight the final battle against Uriel. Not only that, with the recent Fire series I need to take care of Remy, and the Ice series remains eternal – the next generation is in the wings. Izzie, Swede, Mahmoud, Dylan will get into even more trouble, and I really can’t wait to enjoy them.

Anything else on the horizon?

There are so many books I want to write – the RAF pilot and the American widow of a conscientious objector. The 1930’s art forger. The Regency-era Angel of Death, the avenging heroine who’s out to right a few wrongs. Oh, and most of all the classic romantic suspense with expats in Spain, which is my version of Mary Stewart. It may not be brilliant but I adore it, and that’s half the battle. As those wise philosophers Ben and Jerry have said, “if it’s not fun, why do it?”

And television?

Oh, God, so much goodness. Outlander, Grimm, Sleepy Hollow, Blacklist, Lucifer, Timeless, Marvel Agents of Shield, Stranger Things, Pitch, The Catch, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver (which should make my politics clear in case you doubted) . Short term stuff like Sherlock, Brain Dead, The Night Manager (be still my heart!) And then there’s streaming … too much good stuff, including the stuff I’m too squeamish for (Game of Thrones, Westworld).

What about Princess Rotunda?

My belly-dancing name. I took lessons when I lived in New York, made myself a costume complete with veils and jangling beads and finger cymbals and danced to the Yardbirds singing “Over Under Sideways Down.” I kept on until I threw out my back belly dancing on the town green for the Bicentennial (1976). Nowadays I’m much more sedate, except when nobody’s looking.

Heard you were a singer too?

I was most definitely a wild child. I used to play and sing country music—some of my best songs had bizarre titles like “Rhinestones and Country Music,”, “I Ain’t a-Gonna Be Your Snuff Queen No More” and “At Your Daddy’s Roadside Truckstop.” I had a good voice back then, and when I went to hear bands I knew they’d drag me on stage. One of my fondest memories was singing “Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love” on the stage at Ray and Lucy’s Diner, wearing a slinky red dress as the entire beer-guzzling, redneck crowd hooted and hollered their approval.

And about those tattoos?

There are times when the legend outpaces the truth. I have just one tattoo, on my shoulder in the shape of a butterfly (though I may get another eventually—my sister had about seven).

I got it the weekend of Woodstock. I lived for music, but I didn’t want to go to Woodstock, because I’d heard there would be 50,000 people there (and there turned out to be anywhere from four to 10 times that amount). Instead I got on the Long Island Railroad and went out to Amityville, Long Island (home of the Amityville Horror) and got the tattoo. They sprayed my arm with alcohol in a Windex ™ bottle, then covered it up afterwards with a paper towel attached with masking tape. Lucky I don’t have hepatitis (it was too early for AIDS).

I was 21, young and sassy. I had it touched up a few years ago when it was getting all faded. Lemme tell you, tattoos hurt a lot more when you’re older.

Audio books and other writers?

Reading has saved my life more times than I care to admit. (I came from a family of emotional vampires and fantasy was the only way I survived – reading and television are my best friends). Unfortunately there came a time when I could no longer lose myself in a book – I’d been published too long, working too hard, and I could see all the flaws and clunkiness (which is funny, because when editing myself I usually skip over the flaws and swoon over my own brilliance). And then I discovered the wonder of audiobooks, starting with checking my own, moving on through every Georgette Heyer (one of my major goddesses) and then branching out. At this point I have two Audible subscriptions and a total of more than a thousand audiobooks. I have so many favorites – I’ve been able to get audio versions of Mary Stewart (my other premier goddess) from YouTube, and there are so many fabulous new writers like Ilona Andrews, Jeanine Frost, Darynda Jones, Kristin Ashley, Jay Crownover, Katie McGarry, Amy Harmon, plus all the writers I’ve missed along the way – the divine Lisa Kleypas (comfort read – MINE TILL MIDNIGHT), Eloisa James, Meredith Duran, Karen Marie Moning … the list goes on and on.

Any other hobbies?

I love to sew. I go back and forth between making clothes and quilts—quilts are more satisfying because they always fit, but then, you can’t drag them around with you. I should be ashamed of myself—I’m so far from a perfectionist that most people would sneer. But I love fabric, I love the colors and the designs and the feel of them, and I love tossing them together. Right now I’m obsessed by American Girl dolls – by making historical clothes for them I can understand period fashion, plus there’s pretty much instant gratification (it takes a lot shorter time to make a doll dress than a full-size quilt or wearable art).