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From One Writer to Another: Interview With Author K M Weiland
Due to the nature of my work in the world of book marketing and promotion, I always enjoy connecting with other authors. Recently, I discovered a great writer site called Wordplay by blogger Kathryn Weiland. I took the time to look around because she has some great stuff on her site, Wordplay by Writers and Writers. In my reading, I noticed that Catherine was also a writer. So I asked her to take a moment to do a quick author interview to share some of her writing tips and her journey as an author on social media.
Here is my author interview with Kathryn (aka KM Weiland):
1. When did you start writing?
I think I was eleven or twelve. I’ve always made up stories, but I didn’t start writing them until my siblings and I decided to start a family newspaper. They lose interest quickly, but I’m hooked! Eventually, I went on to edit and publish Horse Tails, a small newsletter for youth, which I continued throughout high school. I wrote hundreds of short stories during that time.The progression to fiction was a natural extension
2. How long did it take you to write your book?
Each book is typically a nearly six-year journey from initial outline sketches to publication. On average, I spend a year outlining and researching, a year writing the first draft, a year editing and accepting critiques from my wonderful critique partner – and then I throw it in the back of the closet while I move on to the next story. For whatever reason, I never seem to be able to see a story clearly until I set it aside long enough to write another. Then, I went back to the first story, clearly saw its problems and started rewriting it. I don’t like a rushed writing process. A story takes time to grow and mature – and so does the writer.
3. Some writers have a preferred writing schedule. you?
really. Actually, I’m a schedule freak. I set aside two hours a day for writing, usually between four and six in the afternoon. I start with a thirty-minute “warm up,” which frees my mind from the hustle and bustle of the day and into a creative place. I start with a quick prayer asking God to bless and guide me in my work, and then make an entry in my writing journal, jotting down my thoughts on the current scene and planning what needs to be written that day. I read a short essay on craft, reviewed research and character notes, and read what I had written the day before. Then I choose a soundtrack to listen to and start writing.
4. What advice would you give a novice writer to help them?
Write every day. If you don’t make your writing a priority, no one else will either. It’s hard not to feel guilty about spending time writing when you could be spending time doing something more “productive” (like vacuuming the house). But don’t allow yourself to use guilt as an excuse. If your writing is important to you, don’t let anything get in the way. Set aside a certain amount of time each day (20 minutes or 5 hours) and make sure you are at your desk during that time, no matter what.
5. Were the writing books you recommended helpful to you?
My recent favorite is John Truby’s excellent The Anatomy of Story. He does an excellent job of explaining the components that make a story work without reducing the process to a point-to-point puzzle. I also really like Beginnings, Middles & Ends by Nancy Kress and Write Away by Elizabeth George. I have a full list of my favorite writing books on my website.
6. Please share with us more about your new book, Behold the Dawn.
Behold the Dawn is a medieval epic set at the end of the 12th century during the Third Crusade. It tells the story of Marcus Annan, a famous contender in a brutal tournament – a gigantic mock battle that remains popular despite being banned by more than one pope. Haunted by secrets from his past, Annan meets a mysterious monk who asks Annan to help him avenge a mistake he made 16 years ago. Against his will, Annan is drawn into the conflict as he travels to a crusade in the Holy Land, where he rescues the widow of an old friend and attempts to transport her to the safety of Constantinople. But he soon discovers that the past he’s been avoiding has finally caught up, and he has no choice but to face it if he wants to live.
7. Why did you choose to write this book?
I happened to pick up a children’s picture book about William Marshall, “the greatest knight who ever lived.” He is the second son and must make his fortune by participating in competitions. Despite repeated bans by the Pope, tourneys remained popular until high death rates forced the sport to evolve into the more familiar (and safer) jousting competition. After a long career as one of the most famous contestants of the time, Marshall finally hung up his spurs and traveled to the Holy Land to seek a pardon. I’ve always been drawn to the Middle Ages, and I was immediately drawn to these gladiator fights and their juxtaposition with the Crusades. From there, my imagination just took off!
8. Who is your book for?
Adults who enjoy historical adventures and think any story looks better with a sword!
9. Are you incorporating blogging into the marketing of your writing and/or books?
I started blogging because of all the pundits talking about the need for an online presence. Obviously, writing is my passion, so I set out to share what I’ve learned and am (still) learning on my writing journey. Helping other authors improve their craft has been one of the greatest blessings in my life.
10. How long have you been blogging?
A little over three years.
11. What topics does your blog cover?
Wordplay focuses on the basics of writing technique and perfecting the tools available to writers, with digressions about the nature and importance of writing life and the art in general.
12. Why do you blog?
Connecting with readers, writers – because I enjoy it.
13. Please share one (or more) blogging tips that you must share with others?
In my opinion, consistency is the key. Come up with a topic you’re passionate about and post regularly, at least once a week. Interact extensively with the blogging community and go out of your way to be kind to others. Also, I highly recommend researching the awesome sites ProBlogger and Copyblogger for tips on taking your blog to the next level.
14. Do you use social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) for your writing and/or books?
Just in the sense that social networking sites allow me to connect with readers. I’m active on Twitter and Facebook, and I encourage readers to follow and become friends with me on both sites.
15. When it comes to social media, as a writer, do you prefer one platform over the other? (Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn) Why?
Twitter is my absolute favorite. I love how casual it is, how easy it is to use, and the wide range of people you can talk to.
16. What are the social media tips you have to share with other authors and writers?
Focus on others, not yourself. If all your social interaction is me, me, me (I have a new blog post, I have a new book, etc.), friends and followers will eventually grow bored and look for other places to interact. Follow people, ask questions, make friends. How many meaningful relationships I have been blessed to develop thanks to social media.
17. Going into 2011, what are your plans?
I am a few chapters away from finishing the first draft of my ongoing history work, take a deep breath. After I finish my initial edits and send them to my beta readers, I plan to start writing my first non-fiction book in earnest.Also, I’ll keep editing my fantasies dreamer Prepare for 2012 publication date.
18. How can others contact you Kathryn?
You can email me directly using the contact page on my website http://www.wordplay.com and be sure to connect with me on social media (Facebook and Twitter).
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