Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
I was born on March 26 in Latin America hence my first language is Spanish. I have lived in many cities around the globe with my parents and younger brother, Carlos. I moved to the state of Texas, United States when I was 14 years of age and grew up to love the English language when I took my first grammar class in high school. But, it was not until I decided to obtain a Bachelor’s in Marketing at the University of Texas Pan American that I started to write.
I was required to take a composition class in which my teacher spoke about literature and grammar with such an admiration, it was hard to not be drawn into the literature world. Since I moved to United States, I started reading many fantasy novels, but my teacher’s passion on the world of words got me inspired to pursue a writing career. Since then, I have written three children’s books and I am in the process of finishing a middle grade fantasy novel.
I am also an active person – always finding new things to learn and do. In my free time, I love to swim, watch a good movie, do any outdoor activities, hang out with family and friends, and enjoy reading a good fantasy novel.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
I am a night owl, I can sit all day staring at a blank piece of paper and not a single word is written. But, as soon as the night comes it's as if a switch turns on, my head is clear and I can write with ease. I do not set a specific time for writing; I just do it when my head is ready to put words into a piece of paper. For this reason, I always have a pen and a pad near me because you never know when an idea might brighten my day.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
I write on anything and everywhere. I could be by the swimming pool, a coffee shop at a friend’s, in a car; anywhere. I do personally prefer a laptop to write my stories. But, if I am not around one, I do a tentative draft on a piece of paper or notepad and write the idea along with some notes. This helps me remember and break down the idea into a story as soon as I get home or get a hold to a laptop.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part of writing is that I can leave behind all the responsibilities and real life challenges and transport myself into a limitless world in which anything is possible.
My least favorite part about writing it is writer’s block. I dislike it when I know what I want to write about, but somehow I can’t seem to write anything.
How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
My first book, A Zoo in the Castle, came to be because since I was in my teens, children havee followed me. It didn’t matter where I was, a child will always try to hug me or be around me. I found it interesting and amazing. The love they shared, inspired me to write for them.
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It took me a couple of years to finish it because I was uneducated towards the literacy world. My first draft is a completely different story to what the final published book turned out to be.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
I do schools appearances to discuss writing and being an author. I also use social media (instagram, twitter, and facebook) and my website to keep people up to date. I have attended a couple of writing conferences and try to do book signings to keep the word out. I am a member of a community group that specifically focuses on children’s books and targets parents. From time to time I do a contest and giveaways. I wish I had time to do more.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
I am working in a standalone middle grade fantasy novel, tentatively titled, “Galapagos Kingdom and the Green Medallion”. The final draft will be finished soon, and from them on begins the process to find the right publisher.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I do have a project on the back burner. I am experimenting with new genres and have a half done horror short story. It is nowhere near done, but will see what the future holds.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
I would say the following. If we are writing it's because we have talent, if we don’t think we have talent, we have the passion for writing which then turns into a talent. So, no writing is bad. All writing is well received within the reader’s eyes. We just need to find the right niche to share the stories we passionately write about. We are not born knowing everything, we learn through experiences and many failures. It is very important to not get discouraged by critics, on the contrary, we need to learn and polish our stories from what we think about and what we are suggested from others to do.
A Question for Kathryn:
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I don't have writer's block, at least not in the regular sense. When I get stuck on something I go to something else - that's usually why I have two projects going on at the same time. I also have a terrific binder full of pictures cut from magazines. I can close my eyes and randomly point to a picture. Whatever picture I have randomly chosen I write about. This opens up my mind and ususally returns me to the project that was stumping me.
Thank you for the question.
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