Today, in addition to a GIVEWAY of an awesome Swag Pack, I have an interview with the author. As you know, I blog about writing and motivation, so I decided to ask Karen a little bit about her experience as a wordie.
Hi Karen, than you so much for being here! I love reading about how other authors do their thing. What is your writing process? Do you have a preferred time of day, location, Playlist, snack? Or any other tricks to get you in the zone?
Morning. As early as I can get started since being trained in this behavior by my kids, and the fact that my husband works every night, day duties fell on me. I got used to it. During summer months, I had to work extra hard to wake up before them, to get anything accomplished. They’re older now, so it’s not such an issue. I’ve been fortunate, the last three years, to have a family run, jazz club to write in. The earlier I arrive the more work I can get in before the customers arrive.
A family run jazz club? Wow! That's a unique setting, but full of creativity.
Authors must get used to moving past rejection to be successful. What tips do you have for new and aspiring authors?
Never stop writing. But it’s SO important to take breaks! I become very focused when writing—hours pass; I skip meals, I don’t pee. This can’t be good. I get in the zone and don’t want to stop. But stop you must! Get up, go outside, breathe the air, smell a flower, and then go back. That’s advice for me to remember and for others. I had over one hundred agent rejections on a book that my writing friends thought was great. Rejections make you feel that you’re no good and in isolation it may feel this way. You need to build writing groups. I’ve been with my writing group, The Kidliterati, since 2012. I might have taken me years longer to get published, if it weren’t for their support and experience. Seek out other writers in your genre.
What a great name! I know I wouldn't have reached half my writing goals without my writing group, The Novelists. And of course, now, they're just BFFs. They taught me a TON about craft-related resources and even helped me find the call for my very first story acceptance with Leap. There is so much info out there on writing; we're really lucky that way. But, for new authors, it can be hard to figure out what's useful and to figure out what they need right now. Can you share any of your essential writing resources? Books, blog, must-follow-hashtags.
K. M. Weiland. She gives so much awesome writing tips for FREE! https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/
Also, my editor, Judith Graves at Leap/Shine books has a YouTube channel and gives excellent writing tips. https://youtu.be/ssx33RRJoH8
If you write for kids and teens you must join SCBWI. They’re a huge resource for me.
Hashtags: #amwriting #amreading That pretty much sums up my hashtag experience. I often make up my own that no one will ever see.
1. Writing it Right by Sandy Asher (Revising books for teens and kids)
2. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
3. How to Write a Novel: 47 Rules for Writing a Stupendously Awesome Novel That You Will Love Forever by Nathan Bransford
5. Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade readers by Mary Kole.
6. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne
7. Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing for Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein
8. Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers On Page One & Never Lets Them Go by Les Edgerton
9. Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury.
10. Screenplay: The Foundations Of Screenwriting by Syd Field. (recommended by KM Wieland). I’m reading this one now.
This is great, Karen. Thanks so much! I have numbers 7 and 8 on my shelf too. And I totally agree about the wisdom of the awesome Judith Graves. I'll have to check out K.M. Weiland's site. Thanks for the tip!
Thank you so much for sharing with all the writers, readers, and aspiring authors out there, Karen, and the BEST of luck with "The Unmoving Sky!"
And for readers, don't forget to enter the giveaway for Karen's swag pack.
About the Author:
K.L. Hallam, an air force brat as a young child, who moved around to more schools than she can list, gathering the stories that would connect to her heart. She writes MG, YA, and short fiction, or anything she hasn’t tried, a member of SCBWI, a singer and songwriter, illustrator and mother of two teenagers. She lives in New York City and spends her mornings writing in a Jazz club.
Follow K.L. Hallam on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and her website.