Monday, July 18, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Karla M. Jay

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

I read The Boxcar Children when I was seven or eight and I thought, “Hey! I want to tell stories like that.” It wasn’t until college that I started writing.

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

I work full time so it ends up being weekends and holidays. I’m best in the mornings and I find I need a chunk of time free, like three hours, or I dupe myself into believing I won’t get anything done.

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

I write in a small room my husband built off our downstairs living room. It’s private and I can get lost in my characters in there. I write with a laptop and take a few notes on a tablet I keep in a file, like character’s names.

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

I love making up a story that has many different story lines, eventually when they all mesh together at the end. And I love it when readers can’t stop talking about my books. That’s really all you hope for as an author, isn’t it? My least favorite part is getting the next book going.  I procrastinate over the new story line, judging if it’s as good as the last one. Once I get going, it all works out, but I stall and then drag myself to that opening chapter.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book? 
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I had the book idea but let it set until I got the title, Speaking in Tungs. The first draft took a year, then with a rewrite, I was two years out before I started pitching it. Once my agent signed me, it was another year before she landed a publisher. My second book, Speak of the Devil, took nine months to write, three months for beta readers, editing and building a cover. So a year turnaround on the sequel.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing? 

I do a lot of marketing. I agree to be at any book club that I can make it to. I am active on FB and I do giveaways on Goodreads once a month. My agent gets me into bookstores if I tell her where I’m traveling that year.

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

Speak of the Devil just came out so I’m starting the third book in the series, Speaking out of Tern. (Tern as in the bird.)

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

I have 4 other books that are stand alone that need just a little bit of attention before they’d be ready.  One is finished, one is halfway done, two have beginnings. I completed a dark comedy screenplay last fall that I think would be a great movie. Limited time keeps me from these projects since I’m focused on the series I have going.

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

I got about 50 ‘no’s’ on Speaking in Tungs. It’s hard to keep thinking that it’s good when so many say “no thank you.” But it evolved as I got feedback and it absolutely needed to do become better. Learn from all of the feedback and write as much as you can. When I look back through manuscripts I wrote even ten years ago, I say, “I can see why this wasn’t published since I’d write it better now.”

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A Question for me:

How soon do you show your writing to someone else? Early in the manuscript or do you wait until the first draft is done?

I usually wait until 'my' final draft. Always after that, I find that there needs to be one or two more drafts before my book is ready.

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Thanks, Karla!

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