This bestselling author insists that in real life, she’s different from the reclusive, dark soul you might have pictured after reading her books. But just how different?
by Kristina Rienzi
If you read my bio, you’ll get a pretty good sense of who I am, even if you don’t know me and you’ve never read my books. However, there’s more to an author than her writing life summed up in one paragraph. I’m here to let you in on the details I left out.
If you’ve read my thrillers, but never met me in real life, you’d likely believe that I’m an introvert. You’d also probably believe that something dark lurks inside of me. Then you’d meet me in person and your head might just spin around.
We’d talk, and you’d see that I’m bubbly, outgoing, positive, and intently engaged in our conversation. I’d look like any other extrovert you’d ever seen. As we chatted, you’d hear me talk about dreaming big, never giving up, and likely glean some inspirational message or positive affirmation from our conversation.
Darkness? Not so much.
Two different people, yes. Nevertheless, we’re one and the same. I assure you, the motivational-speaker-personality you meet in real life is the real me. So is the introverted, dark girl. We go hand in hand. Not surprising for a Gemini. When you add writing to the mix, it makes for interesting stories.
Confusing? Sure. That’s because introversion isn’t what it seems on the surface. It’s not about being quiet vs. loud. Social vs. antisocial. Friendly vs. shy. It’s about where introverts get their energy from, and the answer is ourselves. Extroverts, on the other hand, get their energy from other people.
If you’ve read my thrillers, you’d probably believe that something dark lurks inside of me. Then you’d meet me in person and your head might just spin around.
It’s probably why most writers are introverts at heart, even if they feel extroverted in social situations. However, introverts feed off being alone. We’re energized when the door is closed, and only our thoughts and our story (plus some coffee!) remain in the room. It feeds our souls so much that after we write as many words as our fingers can speedily type, we still have the wherewithal to rally with friends. That is, until we inevitably collapse from social interaction.
Because as introverts, we lose our energy around people. We give every ounce of what we have to others until we’re depleted entirely. Therefore, after a conference or a book signing, you’ll find me in my usual restorative place: on the couch—binging Netflix, wine in hand, zombified.
As for my darkness obsession, it’s real. Sadly, no matter how hard I try to be a kind person and bring those around me up, darkness lives in our world. Instead of confronting it head on and trying to change the unchangeable, I write dark stories where, as the author, I’m in control. Through my stories, I can face my fears and grow. Powerful stuff.
Truth be told, darkness has always intrigued me. It inspired my advanced psychology degree, and then my coaching certification. I wanted to learn why people did the things they did, and what motivated them to change, or not.
As introverts, we lose our energy around people. So after a conference or book signing, you’ll find me on the couch—binging Netflix, wine in hand, zombified.
I hope my dark stories inspire others to face their fears and embrace the unknown so they can live their best life—happier, stronger, and more in tune with who they are and what they want. When my characters overcome obstacles, I want my readers to feel empowered to do the same.
Because, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.”
I’m grateful for all the readers who trust me to pull them through the darkness and into the light. They’re why this introvert writes at all. If you haven’t read my books, I hope my words intrigued you to come over to the introverted, dark side!
Kristina Rienzi is a Jersey Shore–based new adult thriller author, certified professional coach, and the former president of Sisters in Crime-Central Jersey. An INFJ who dreams beyond big, Kristina encourages others (and herself) to embrace the unknown through her stories. When she’s not writing or drinking wine, Kristina is spoiling her baby girl (and two fur babies), dissecting true crime stories, singing (and dancing) to Yacht Rock Radio or rooting for the WVU Mountaineers. She believes in all things paranormal, a closet full of designer bags, weekly manicures, the Law of Attraction, aliens, angels, and the value of a graduate degree in psychology.
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