We all like to get “up close and personal” with our favorite writers and authors by finding out more about them and why they do what they do. This blog is a part of a virtual blog tour that is giving us the opportunity to do just that with people we know, and introducing us to people we might want to know.
I was invited to participate in this tour by Sarah Beth Jones, a dynamic, fun, creative business coach and blogger that I met at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference in 2013 and then reconnected with again at the same conference in 2014. Sarah Beth and I delight in the fact that we are extremely different, yet delightfully compatible. We learn differently, approach the world from divergent perspectives, yet when our minds and approaches of life are put together on a project, a many dimensional, informative product emerges.
Sarah Beth has a casual, laid-back approach to life that truly comes out in her writing. Check out what she had to say in her contribution to this tour here.
As I mentioned, my part of this blog tour is to give readers a chance to get “up close and personal” with me, discovering things about who I am as a writer and author. And, the vehicle to deliver this sneak peek is a list of standard questions. So, here we go.
1. What Am I working on?
As with many new writers who have not yet “made it” to the degree that they can devote their entire life to writing, I have a day job that keeps me extremely busy. Along with that, my debut novel Family Inheritance releases on October 1st so I’m learning how to go from being a writer, where all we think about is creating stuff, to being an author where we also have to put energies into promoting the stuff we create. So a huge part of my time is now being taken up with that.
But, writers are always working on something, and I am working on my second novel. I had written the basics of the novel in 1995 and had then shoved it into a file cabinet for some future time. Well, that future time is here. I’m not yet ready to reveal the title or a synopsis of the book, but hope to have something to my publisher by the end of the year. I feel a bit of pressure to get it done because of the wonderful comments some reviewers of my debut novel have made about “looking forward to reading more from this author.” Great words to hear, but if I don’t apply the discipline that writers need, I’ll be a “one novel” author. So, a little pressure can be a good thing when it comes to writers.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’ve been told that I write emotions well, pulling readers into what my characters are feeling. My books are often described as “requiring a tissue box before opening.” I blame that on the stories I choose to tell and my characters, who get a hold of me and then just “take off,” pulling me into their experiences. I often teasingly ask the question – “Am I a fiction writer or am I a schizophrenic?” Luckily, the voices only appear when I’m lost in the middle of creating a fiction story or novel. Whew!
3. Why do I write what I do?
I’m all about relationships, life experiences, and overcoming the obstacles that we all have thrown in our paths by this curious journey called life. The ideas for my fiction come from the stories of people I know, people I read about, or general trends or problems in our world. I like to read stories about strong, determined, unbeatable people that, while they may be battered by life or the experiences that are either thrown in their direction or brought about by their own choices, still beat the odds and figure out a solution, figure out a away to overcome or move forward. And those are the kinds of stories I like to write.
4. How does my writing process work?
Ideas for stories come to me at various times and in various places. I write them down and keep a file of ideas that have been jotted in a notebook, on a napkin, on a grocery store receipt. Then, when I’ve finished a project, I dig into the file and the idea that grabs me at that time is the one I go with. I begin with an outline and an idea of who my main characters are, but after that, my first time through a story is what I call a “creative dump.” I just let the story flow and let the characters take over filling in the blanks. Once the first draft is done, that’s when I get busy with making sure the story has an arc, the characters are fully developed, and I’m “showing” readers, not “telling” them. Part 2 usually takes the most time. After that, I go back in and edit and hone to the best of my ability. Then it’s time for a professional editor to help me, guide me, show me where the flaws of my story are and what I know about the characters and story but am not relating to my readers. Creating a finished book takes a village, and I’m lucky to have a wonderful village of talented people who help me and teach me a lot along the way.
Writing isn’t really a choice for me. It’s a part of who I am. The choice is in when I’ll do it and what I’ll do with it once I’m done.
Thanks for reading to this point and being interested in who I am and why I do what I do. Now, I want to introduce you to three amazing authors who will be following me with their own stories. Check out their websites and follow their blogs so you’ll be sure not to miss what they have to say.
A lifelong Coloradoan, along with his wife and two children, John Daly graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in business administration and computer information systems. With a thirst for creative expression that went beyond the logic and absolutes of computer programming, John developed an interest in writing. His first novel, “From a Dead Sleep,” was released last year, and he’s currently working on the second book in the series. He writes political, cultural, and media analysis columns for BernardGoldberg.com and weekly parenting columns for GreeleyTribune.com. Check out his author website
Tamika Christy is the author of Anytime Soon, a coming of age, new adult novel that was published last year and this year won a Finalist Award in the African American Fiction category of the Indie Next Generation Awards.
A Bay area native, Tamika began writing at an early age, prompted by the gift of a journal one Christmas. With pen in hand, she continued writing throughout college where she realized her talent for creating intriguing plots and multidimensional characters. Tamika continued to nurture her love for writing while attending law school, where she gave birth to her first novel, Anytime Soon. Tamika describes her writing as urban prose — funny, warm, soulful with blunt dialogue and familiar realism. Learn more about Tamika on her author website.
Ameera Unveiled, the first novel by author Kathleen Varn, received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Beach Book Festival in the general fiction category this summer.
Kathleen Varn’s love affair with words manifested when she turned four and taught herself to read. As she grew older, books and reading were an escape from responsibility. Eventually, Kathleen dove into journaling, which helped her find solace when life through lemons. Throughout her journey to pursue personal growth as she raised her children and juggled a career. She explored the idea of freedom through allegorical short stories. Kathleen is now very happily married to her soulmate. She resides in Charleston, South Carolina, where she worked for an adoption attorney for twenty-three years. With her two children settled in adulthood, she is exploring a beautiful world, from scuba diving in Fiji or photographing in Alaska’s frozen tundra. Check out her author website.