We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Schulte and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kristen, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?

I love to read and own a lot of books that range from romance to mystery, biographies to sci-fi to philosophy. However, I’m most drawn to books filled with romance and mystery. My favorite books have to be “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks, “The Tea Rose” by Jennifer Donnelly, and “YOU” by Caroline Kepnes. There’s a whole list of reasons why I love these books. “The Notebook” is a classic romance novel. It gives you that feeling of finding true love and the risks you’ll take to be with the one you love. “The Tea Rose” is a historical, romance fiction novel, it is also a series. This novel has the perfect mix of romance but also dives into mystery. Lastly, “YOU” pretty much speaks for itself. It has the perfect touch of romance but mystery and is very twisted. It’s the kind of novel that just draws you in and you can’t stop reading. Not to mention, it is a series, as well as it is well-known for its Television series. All three of these novels have played a part in inspiring me to want to write novels. They have impacted even my writing style and the kind of author I want to be. A goal of mine is to hopefully be a Best Seller and each of these novels have inspired me to continue writing novels of romance filled with mystery and pushing the limits.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets me apart from others is my kindness and positive-attitude. I have this really high priority in finding something to be happy about and believe that what is meant to be yours, will happen. Along with that, my drive and curiosity. Once I set my mind to something, I’m all in. The moment I decided to start my blog or to publish a novel—I was all in and I’m so excited to just keep writing novels. What I am most proud of to date would be my recently self-published novel. It is a romance, mystery novel that follows a young girl through her journey to find love. But in the midst of it all, there’s a mystery and she’s entangled in this crime that she ends up working with an ex to solve. I’m very proud of this novel, because not only did I pour my heart and soul into it, but I stepped outside my comfort zone by doing it all on my own. When you go with a publisher, they do it all for you and the only thing you have to really focus on is writing the story. As a self-published author, I didn’t just focus on writing the story and developing the characters. I also took the time to work with an editor, plan the cover, figure out where I was going to sell my book, and all the marketing was on me.
As mentioned previously, writing has been a passion of mine for so long. I love writing poems, songs, and short stories. Sometimes we need an escape from our everyday lives, and writing is mine. I absolutely love reading books and just knew that writing novels is something I am meant to do. I love to tell stories, to hear about other people’s journeys, and to be inspired by everyday moments. About six years ago, I started my blog, “Socal Charm”, where I share my most candid thoughts on fashion, lifestyle, travel, and everything in between. I’ve had amazing opportunities to meet some of the greatest people I know through blogging as well as work with incredible brands through collaborations. Blogging gave me an outlet to keep up with my love for writing and have something fun in the mix. I have always dreamt about being an author, and finally publishing a novel has just been a dream come true. I was in the middle of writing one novel when I got an idea that sparked my inspiration for what is known today as, “La Vie En Rose”. I immediately switched gears and couldn’t stop writing. I just knew it was the perfect time to take that leap of faith and publish it.
Writing a novel is not easy and it takes a lot of time and effort, a lot of trial and error. I spent hours, days, months creating the perfect storyline. I worked with my editor on getting the perfect and final draft. The overall writing process wasn’t challenging, however, with anything in life you will come across roadblocks. Because I had never published a novel before, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. For anyone interested in self-publishing, I highly recommend copyrighting your work. It’s not a mandatory thing to do, however, it is beneficial to have in the long run. I took the initial steps to copyright my novel and it definitely took a weight off my shoulders knowing it was mine and I had documented proof that it was mine.
As a writer, I have learned many lessons along the way. For starters, reading can fuel your writer’s brain. I believe that the best writers are insatiable readers. I’ve always loved to read; however, I have learned that when I consume myself with books, I’m actually learning from these authors. I begin to pay close attention to how each writer builds suspense, how they develop their characters, and how they decide to resolve conflict. Every detail plays an important role in helping me grow as a writer. Another thing I have learned is passion is absolutely crucial. We all have talent and many of us are capable of writing well, but you have to take those risks and follow what you’re passionate about. I’ve learned that you’ll get a lot farther in your career as a writer if you learn to 1. take the first steps and 2. always have passion. I have learned that if I want to be the best writer that I can be and to continually grow with my writing skills, then I have to hold myself accountable for this craft and allow it to become a priority in my life. And lastly, I have learned to enjoy the good with the bad. The realization that not everyone is going to connect or enjoy what you’re writing and that’s okay. Negative comments are just as valuable to your growth as positive ones.
I’ve had many passions growing up, but the one that stayed constant was writing. As an author, I want to continue to enjoy life and inspire others in the process. The most exciting feeling as a writer was seeing my novel come to life and being able to share it with the world. I decided to sell my novel on Amazon as well as I got the opportunity to have it available on Barnes and Noble online. My next goal will be to get it into bookstores. I currently have a few novels in the works, including the sequel to my most recent self-published novel. It’s exciting to get the opportunity to create these stories and to develop the characters. Inspiration is all around us and I hope that the stories I’m creating inspire others to chase their passions and to never give up.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Living in California, there’s so much to see and do on a daily basis that a week long trip wouldn’t be long enough. Nevertheless, I have narrowed it down to some of my favorite spots.

Day 1: We would first check out the Grove in LA. We could grab lunch, walk through the shops, check out the Farmers Market. On the way home, we would stop by the LACMA Lights and of course, take tons of photos.

Day 2: We would make a day trip to Newport Beach, where we would go to Balboa Island on the pier and go paddleboarding. Afterward, we would take the Ferry across and drive down PCH to Laguna Beach. We would then go to the Irvine Spectrum, where we would shop and then get an early dinner at Dave and Buster’s. Before leaving we would ride the Ferris Wheel.

Day 3: We would drive up to Big Bear for the day. We would first do something adventurous; either zip-lining or we would check out the Baldwin Lake Stables and go horseback riding. Afterward, we would take a stroll around the town. They have so many cute little shops, restaurants, and cafés. We would go to lunch at 572 Social kitchen & lounge.

Day 4: We would go to the Getty Villa along PCH. Afterward, we would grab lattes at Urth Caffé. Then we would go to the Santa Monica Pier, get a funnel cake by the theme park, and walk along the boardwalk. We would then cross the street and walk through the shops along 3rd Street Promenade. We would eat at The Cheesecake Factory.

Day 5: We would make a getaway trip by driving up north to Santa Barbara where we would stay the night. We would explore Knapp’s Castle and then walk around State Street. We would get lunch at the Shoreline Café.

Day 6: While on our trip to Santa Barbara, we will drive up to Solvang. Where we would walk through the town, maybe go wine tasting or take a tour by trolley. A must-have is trying their delicious danishes at one of the local cafés.

Day 7: We would plan a beach day. Pack a picnic lunch and then head to Malibu where we would grab frozen yogurt at Malibu Yogurt. We would lay out at Broad Beach soaking up the sun. Afterward, we would take PCH and drive north along the coast past Sycamore Beach and follow it all the way to Potrero Road. Then we would have dinner at the Landing Restaurant overlooking the lake.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shout-out to my family. They have always been my biggest supporters, my cheerleaders. Family has always been the most important thing in my life, and I value their opinions. Writing is something I have always been passionate about, even when I was younger, I would write songs and play them for my family. Anytime I wrote something, I’d immediately share it with them. My love for reading has really been inspired by my mom. She loves to read and I really think I got that drive to want to read every book imaginable, from her. I even dedicated a page in my novel solely to her. She taught me to dream and that real life can be just as magical as the lives we read about in novels. There are so many people in my life who have encouraged me to always follow my dreams, to work hard, and that stepping outside of my comfort zone is a good thing.

Website: Blog: https://socalcharmblog.com/ & Author site: https://thelittleblondbookworm.wordpress.com/

Instagram: @Socal_Charm

Other: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Vie-En-Rose-Kristen-Schulte/dp/B087L3JPMK/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=la+vie+en+rose+kristen&qid=1597601486&sprefix=la+vie+en+rose+kriste&sr=8-1 Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/la-vie-en-rose-kristen-schulte/1137306272?ean=9781663522122

Image Credits
Val Neminov, Morgan DiLallo

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.