Exclusive Interview: Kristoffer Polaha Talks About New Novel

Photo: Kristoffer Polaha Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Brendan Meadows

Actor, writer, and director Kristoffer Polaha may be spinning a lot of plates right now, but he seems to be savoring this prolific period of his career.

Besides starring in the upcoming Hallmark Countdown To Christmas movie, We Wish You A Married Christmas, with Riverdale alum, Marisol Nichols, he has a lot of exciting new projects coming up, including a book release.

On Tuesday, the novel he co-wrote with Anna Gomez was released. This is entitled Where The Sun Rises, the second book in the From Kona With Love seriesMoreover, the writing duo are embarking on a short book tour. This includes two virtual book tour dates on Monday, October 24, and Tuesday, October 25, for anyone unable to attend the Los Angeles or Chicago area signings.

In our exclusive interview, Kristoffer graciously answered a cornucopia of questions about Where The Sun Rises, how they co-wrote this novel, a possible third novel, and his writing habit. We need to point out that this is not a Hollywood vanity project where a ghostwriter did all the leg work. This is a full collaboration.

In addition, the Jurassic World Dominion star also answered questions about the next step for his novels, as well as whether we will see another Barstow, his complex characters, and yes, Sleuthers, even a question about Mystery 101.

Are you ready for another fun interview Kristoffer Polaha?

Photo: Kristoffer Polaha Credit: ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Albert Camicioli
Photo: Kristoffer Polaha Credit: ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Albert Camicioli

What Is Where The Sun Rises About?

You have a second book, Where The Sun Rises, that will be released on Tuesday, October 11. Tell us about Maele and Adam’s story. 

Our second book, Where the Sun Rises is a book about two broken people, Maele, our heroine, broke her neck surfing and our hero, Adam, broke his soul a long time ago and both have lost their way. Their love for each other, which is not an expected match, might possibly help them heal and allow them to find their way home.

Kristoffer Polaha Talks About Novel’s Theme, Similarities To Own Life

Can you personally relate to the novel’s theme of ‘big dreams’? 

Absolutely, I was a kid from Reno, Nevada who left home at the age of 14 to follow his big dreams. I’ve been chasing big dreams my whole life. The funny thing about big dreams, if you make them big enough chasing them can last a lifetime. 

Why Does This Novel Take Place In Kauai?

This novel takes place in Kauai. Is there a reason for using this particular island as a backdrop?

Each book in the From Kona With Love series takes place on a different island. Moments Like This takes places on Oahu and it’s where the ‘Kona Universe’ was born, and Sun Rise takes place on Kauai as we loved the wildness of the Garden Island, it’s secret beaches, and the wild, rugged shore line. There is so much of Kauai that is untamed, just like the protagonists of our book. 

How Kristoffer & Anna Shared Writing Duties

About a year ago, I heard an interview with Hallmarkies where you explained that during your 14-day quarantine before a movie (Dickens of a Holiday!?) shoot, you wrote an entire book. How does this work with a writing partner? Do you write a first draft, email it and work from there?  

To clarify that comment, I wrote enough words to fill a book, about 80,000. Anna Gomez also wrote 80,000 words and together we had a very long book. We had to cut and trimmed it to make the book readers will enjoy.

I wrote Adam’s story and Anna wrote Maele, but we had to make sure their worlds stayed consistent, so we created a game called Chapter Tennis. The rules are simple, Anna wrote a part, but it was dependent on something I wrote, then I would answer her work with a chapter of my own. We never wandered too far off from each others’ creativity and humbly followed each others’ lead in turn. 

How Kristoffer & Anna Will Finally Meet In Person!

I understand you and Anna Gomez have never met in person until this upcoming book tour. Are you going to celebrate this in-person meeting?

We are going to film our first encounter at our book signing at Bel Canto Books on Oct. 11th and then celebrate the next day on KTLA, it’s a first time in-person meeting that feels newsworthy. At least to Anna and me. 

Have Kristoffer & Anna Written Third Book?

I believe you still have three, maybe four more books in this series. Do you have book number three ready? 

We don’t have book three ready yet, we are about 19,000 words into it and it will hit book shelves in 2024. Hopefully February of 2024, if I get my way. Regardless of when it’s available, people are going to love Book Three and who its’ protagonists are and the love story their lives tell. It’s a very different book than One and Two. 

Kristopher Polaha’s Writing Habit

When you write, do you need full silence or do you listen to music? And if so, what do you listen to? 

I need silence. I wake up early and write before the rest of my family rises and as soon as I hear someone else awake, I’m done writing for the day. Hence why I was able to be so prolific during quarantine, nothing but silence for fifteen days on someone else’s dime!! What a luxury! Productions were mandated to put actors up for 15 days during the pandemic, so it was a once in a lifetime writing opportunity. 

Will Kristoffer Polaha & Anna Gomez Novels Be Made Into Movies?

What about turning these books into movies? Will you have a third person write the script? Also, do you think we could see a movie in the next couple of years?

That’s a wonderful question, Georgia! Anna and I recently started working with a screenplay writer and filmmaker named Erin Brown Thomas and she is adapting Moments Like This into a screenplay for my production company, Podunk Productions, to adapt into a film. She’s an amazing writer who knows structure and is great with dialogue and she has been a dream to collaborate with.

We are also working with Michael Goldstein and his Basset Hound Productions to bring the script to camera and our ‘big dream’ is to make this a movie for the big screen! Fans of the books will see these stories come to life at a theater close to home with giant screens, giant sound, and with the enjoyment that comes with seeing a story play with strangers close by; a community experience shared with other people in the dark. 

Kristoffer Polaha Talks About A Work Of Art

You are a bit of a Renaissance man. You have a lot different interests and talents. That includes music, writing, acting, and perhaps even directing in the future. Do you have some artistic interests that you have yet to pursue? 

I’ve already tried my hand at directing. I directed a short film called A Work Of Art and it’s currently having a wonderful life in the festival circuit. It brought us to Cannes in May and will next be screened at the Orlando Film Festival in Orlando, Florida. Oct 27th – Nov 3rd.

How Does Kristoffer Polaha Find Life Balance With His Many Projects?

How do you juggle your time in order to work on all of your interests and still spend time with your family? 

Timing is everything. And of course there’s the old adage; how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So, for me it’s one chapter at a time, one day at a time, one conversation at a time, one meal at a time, one prayer at a time. 

Before you know it, you’ve built a life for yourself. 

What Is Hallmark’s We Wish You A Married Christmas About?

Your next Hallmark Christmas movie is We Wish You A Married Christmas. This will launch the Countdown To Christmas premiere weekend! What can you tell us about your character and/or the movie? 

Marisol Nichols and I had a great time filming this movie. We knew it was going to be tricky to film a love story with the main characters falling out of love and we knew humor would be key, we just didn’t know we’d be given such a long leash to make it as funny as it is.

There is a ton of humor and a ton of heart, and alpacas! I think the combination is going to be winning and that fact that Hallmark trusted our movie to launch their Countdown to Christmas season is a huge sign of favor from them and faith that We Wish You A Married Christmas will set the tone for the Countdown To Christmas season to come on the Hallmark Channel.

Please be sure to tell your family and friends to watch it live! 


Playing A Man With A Deep Secret In Upcoming Role

You are cast in the upcoming YA series Harlan Coben’s Shelter as Brad. Deadline reported that Brad is ‘Well-traveled, smart, and charismatic, Brad is an ideal father to father Mickey—but he’s concealing a secret life to protect his son.’

This is not your first role as someone with a deep secret. Do you seek these roles? Or do they serendipitously come to you? You are so good at these roles-you SHOCKED me in Barstow!! 

Thank you. There are one trick ponies and there are actors with versatility. I have worked my tail off, ever since I was fourteen years old, to be an actor who is versatile. I’m just happy to see the work is paying off and hopefully this is just the beginning. 

Will There Be Another Barstow Movie?

Speaking of Buried In Barstow. Fans want to know if there will be another one-or hopefully two in 2023? And why do you think fans were so crazy about this movie?

Barstow was an awesome movie, Angie Harmon is an awesome actress and she played an unbelievably likable bad-ass that a lot of people connected with. Every mother knows what it feels like to become a Mama Bear or a Mama Lion and want to protect their family. Don’t mess with Mama!

And Howie Duetch did a masterful job directing it for a global audience. It was lightning in a bottle and this is not the last folks will see of Hazel King or the people in her world. 

I need to add, I have written thousands of articles in my life, but I never experienced the sort of passionate responses to Barstow as I have anything to else-with the exception of Mystery 101.

Photo: Jill Wagner, Kristoffer Polaha Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Kailey Schwerman
Photo: Jill Wagner, Kristoffer Polaha Credit: ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Kailey Schwerman

Does Kristoffer Polaha Have Mystery 101 News?

Sleuthers will hurt me if I don’t ask about Mystery 101.

No comment, other than I will say, next steps are becoming much clearer and some amazing news is on the horizon. 

Could Kristoffer Polaha Star In New Hallmark Mystery Series?

Speaking of mysteries, when you were in Cannes (congratulations btw!), talking to Bran from Deck The Hallmark about mystery roles, and eating your burger and pommes frites, you had mentioned ‘what If I did something else?’

Bran didn’t pursue this line of question, but I will. Could you possibly be developing a new mystery series? Could this be possible? 

Haha, you really dig, Georgia! This went from a delightful ‘profile feature,’ then suddenly became hard hitting investigative journalism.

I plead the Fifth. 

Final Summary Of What Is Going On With Kris Now

Is there anything else you want your legions of fans to know about now? 

Nope it’s all out there, the book on Oct. 11th, The Countdown to Christmas movie on Oct. 22nd, and if people want to give, I’m hosting the Lucky Few Fall Festival in my hometown of Reno, Nevada on Oct. 21st and everyone is welcome to join us or donate at DSNNN.org

The Down’s Syndrom Network of Northern Nevada is an amazing nonprofit that I’m working with to help families in Northern Nevada who have a child with Down’s Syndrom integrate into school and society seamlessly. They offer a community and support and the expertise to juggle the bureaucracy and systems that are otherwise overwhelming for these families to figure out on their own. 

And of course the Polaha Chautauqua is in its third season on IGTV, live every Sunday at 4 pst. You can find it at @polahaha on Instagram.  

Don’t forget to pick up or order Krisoffer Polaha and Anna Gomez’s second book in the From Kona With Love series, Where The Sun Rises. This novel is available at all bookstores.


Georgia Makitalo

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