Monday, March 7, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Josi S. Kilpack

Another great interview! 

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I started writing my first book about 17 years ago, on bed rest with a pregnancy. I had an idea for what I thought would be a short story that would keep me from falling victim to the stress of being rather useless in my own life. That short story grew into a full length novel, which I thought was perfect until every publisher I submitted to rejected it. I realized that having a good story wasn’t quite the same as knowing how to write that story, so I learned how to do that and revised it, found a small publisher who would publish it if I paid part of the cost and a year later I was published. I thought I had arrived, only to learn that all publishers are not created equal and there’s actually more to this published-author thing than having a good story and writing it reasonably well. I decided to write another book, but do it better. By the time I finished that book I was hooked. I’ve been writing ever since. 



How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

Different seasons of my life have necessitated different schedules and I seem to have to reassess that schedule every few months. Right now I write about 30-40 hours a week, mostly during school hours during the day because my kids are in school.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I do most of my writing at an office for my husbands business due to having too many distractions at home. Right now it’s working. Come summer, who knows. J I brainstorm in one of half a dozen legal pads that float around my house and then do my writing on the computer. I do my first draft in Scrivener (a word processing program for writers) then download it into Word for revisions.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Favorite part—the creation process, creating characters that are deep and flawed and complex and realistic and putting them in situations where they grow and develop. Least favorite—when I know something’s not right but don’t know why. This is where my critique group, beta readers, friends, and editor come in. They can have objectivity I don’t have and help me figure out what my story is missing.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book? 

For Forever & Forever, my publishers suggested the idea of writing a romance about a real literary person in history. I did some research and came across the story of Henry Longfellow and his wife, Fanny. I wasn’t sure where to start or how to make it work, but after researching them and feeling as though I had come to know them, it came together and I absolutely loved the experience.

Coming in April!
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

Facebook, Twitter, Blog, website, fliers, business cards, presentations, teaching at conferences, school visits, emails, networking, book signings and—in April I’ll be doing a cooking demonstration. I spend probably 15% of my writing time on marketing.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

Forever & Forever comes out in April and I’m working on edits for my next Historical True Romance which is about Sir Walter Scott and his wife. It will come out in January 2017.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I’m getting started on a third Historical True Romance but can’t get into details until we have a contract J I am also developing a Regency Romance six book series and writing a novella for A timeless Romance Anthology for Christmas 2016. Lots of good things happening!

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

You don’t have enough talent. Talent counts for very little so instead of relying on that, learn the craft of writing. Practice. Go to writing conferences. Meet other writers. Read. Join a writing guild. Learn to read critically so that you learn what works in a novel and what doesn’t. 90% of writing is work, so put your focus there. Through that, you’ll find the 10% of talent that pushed you this direction in the first place.\

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Thanks, Josi!

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