I want to thank you first of all for your readiness to be part of this interview and permit me to publish it on my blog. I did choose you because I have heard of you before and would like for other people to know you and your writing better.
Would you explain what made you write in the first place?
I have always written in some way and have a lot of projects to my name: two family recipe cookbooks, two books about my childhood and the early years of my marriage, and a children’s story book for my grandchildren. My first published book, The Loyalist’s Wife, was published last June after six years of learning. I think I write as a form of expression but also to create and the fact that I will leave these writings behind is pleasing to me, too.
When did you feel the need to write?
I loved writing in English class throughout my schooling and I loved writing essays in university. After I retired from teaching English, my computer called me more and more as I began to blog and connect with the world in that new way. Writing gave me the opportunity to learn things about myself as I experienced that phenomenon writers mention. As I typed, the words seemed to take over and new ideas streamed out of my brain. They still do and it’s exhilarating!
What is it you like to write the most? Are we talking about articles, short stories, novels… Please tell us about your writing.
Right now I’m immersed in the second book of the Loyalist trilogy and loving the words, the characters and the whole concept of the beginning of a country through my characters’ eyes. Writing is hard but it gets easier for me if I just keep doing it regularly. Though I’ve come to writing novels late, they are the best writing I’ve ever done and my most favorite, although writing my writing blog is great fun, too.
We all hear about the chances in the publishing world. Old publishing companies are extending their offer from traditional publishing to self-publishing. How do you assess the market in the future?
I’m not sure I can do that. The road to publication is fraught with peril and can be personally defeating. I traveled the traditional road for five years as I brought my novel to the stage where it was ready, queried, learned, queried, learned some more, over and over, until I found clever editors, cover designer, interior designer, and printer. Since I wanted perfection I searched for great people and I found them. The proof of that is I’ll be using them on book two, The Loyalist’s Luck.
As far as the market in the future I feel people will always want stories though the delivery of those stories may change. Authors must keep abreast of the market and be willing to do the marketing. A lot of the courses and books I take and read now are about marketing and it’s great. Just this morning I was lying in bed very early listening to a twenty minute seminar on marketing. I got several new ideas to use.
Would you mind becoming really famous with your writing – like Stephenie Meyer with her Twilight Series or J.K. Rowling with Harry Potter?
I’d like my writing to be known but might not like the notoriety that comes with becoming a household word. I think there’s lots of room somewhere in between notoriety and obscurity.
Do you see any kind of “danger” within this kind of fame – for a writer particularly?
Fame has its flip side for anyone but especially for the young. In this second part of my life, I doubt my personality will change. Rather my desire to shape my own world, as ingrained and practiced as it is, would hopefully serve me well. That being said, once my first book was out I became busy on the speaking circuit and had to refocus on my writing after a while. Now, my two hours of creating every day comes before almost everything else. I need that discipline in the moment in order to achieve my bigger goals.
I personally think by today’s kind of electronic communication many children and young people forget how to write properly. How do you see this?
It’s certainly a danger as what we learn when we’re young, we tend to retain forever. Not so with what I learned yesterday. And certainly the focus on enabling every student to write well has diminished over the last few years. I treasure the fact that I, a lover of words, learned grammar and spelling from a very young age. That being said I, too, like my iPhone, my iPad, and my computer. That techie stuff just enables me to do so much.
Is there any advice you would like to give fellow authors?
Giving advice is tricky because what I’ve learned over my professional life as a teacher and writer is how different we all are as to our makeup. That means different methods work for different people. What keeps me going probably is not what keeps you going. I guess the best advice I’ve ever read for a writer is three little, somewhat cheeky words: ass in chair. Or to steal from Nike: Just do It!
Thank you so much for being part in this! We all really appreciate it!
Thanks so much, Raani, for having me on your blog today. I love any opportunity to think about writing!