Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
After working in the information technology field for over thirty years, I am now a retired systems engineer. But, I work more today than I did when I was employed full-time in Corporate America …
Which brings me to how I became a writer. After leaving a wonderful career in Seattle, my husband and I purchased a farm in Florida. Yes, I know, that is quite the extreme going from a city-slicker to a farmer, but we absolutely love it. And this is where I get most of my ideas for writing.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
I normally write about the events on the farm in a journal type format every day. From these stories, both fiction and non-fiction pieces come from that. I write at every opportunity. It may be an hour here or an hour there during the day when the farm animals and other duties are completed. I also have a few hours every night that I dedicate to writing.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
I love the feel of pen on paper and would prefer to write this way. But, typing is so much faster. I have a laptop and a home office that I use for writing. When an idea pops into my head when I am away from the computer, I try to write it down before it is forgotten.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part of writing is developing the plot and the characters in the story. The part I really do not like is the editing and marketing.
How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
I started out writing personal non-fiction essays about the life on the farm and how it differed from normal life in suburbia. After five years on the farm, I decided to compile many of those personal essays into a mini-memoir, which was published earlier this year. The book is called - I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak: Leaving High Tech for Greener Pastures.
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What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
In the beginning, I did not promote my writing except to friends and family on Facebook. As time went on and I learned from other authors about the necessity of marketing, I started promoting on Twitter and other author's blogs.
Over the past year, I have submitted my titles to free and paid book marketing websites and have had great visibility with that. My book reached #1 on Amazon's Bestseller list for Rural Sociology just a few weeks after it was published in April 2015.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
I am currently working on the second installment of the I.T. Geek to Farm Girl Freak series. This book is in the editing stage and should be out in January.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I have way too many writing projects on the back burner. LOL. I have a draft of a fictional novel that I wrote back in 2014 that needs a lot of editing. I would love to finish that particular one this year. I want it to be perfect when it is released ... so I might not ever release it.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
Honestly, I was not sure that I had the talent when I started, but wrote and published anyway. At first, I wrote for myself without the intention of anyone else seeing it. When I did decide to share my writing with the world, I was amazed at the wonderful reception I received from complete strangers. I was absolutely humbled by it.
My advice to those just starting out is to write what you know, write what you are passionate about and write until you are satisfied with the end result. Then get a great book cover and a good editor before you publish.
I get this question all of the time from other authors, so, my question for you, Kathryn, is what keeps you interested in writing? How do you keep yourself motivated and not let other things distract you from writing?
Love this question. It is so easy to get distracted but I have found through the years as I make my writing a priority and treat it as a business - because it is - I stay motivated to continue. If I had a full-time job away from home I would never think to just - not show up - at work because "I didn't feel like it." Writing is the same way. You show up. You write.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/samolteni