Wednesday, December 28, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Julianne Kelsch

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

I’ve been an avid reader my entire life, and have always loved the opportunity to dive into new worlds and discover new ideas. I’ve always wanted to write, but decided I was incapable when I attempted some fanfiction at the age of eleven. It did not go well, and I stopped writing altogether. That finally changed after I had my second baby and realized I needed something else in my life, something that I could be passionate about. I picked up the pen (or the keyboard) and never looked back.

Ultimately, I started writing because I’d achieved my goal of becoming a mother and realized there was more that I wanted. I loved my kids but I felt empty and needed something for me. Writing allows me to explore ideas and concepts that I may not be able to explore otherwise; it allows me to connect and interact with people on a level different than most experience. That’s why I started and why I keep going. 



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

I do not have a set schedule for my writing and I wish I did. I usually write when my older kids are at school or at night after they’re all in bed. My perfect world has me sitting at my computer at 9:00 each morning, writing for a solid three hours. This never happens, and that’s okay. However, I’ve heard some authors say to guard your writing time, and they’re right. I would get a lot more done if I did.

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

I have my computer set up in my bedroom and I write there as often as I can. Sometimes I write on my iPad. I save everything to Google Drive so I can access it from both devices.
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     What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is writing! When I sit down to the computer and the words just flow it feels like magic. I love seeing the characters and worlds take shape beneath my fingers. I love visualizing and experiencing the entire thing open up in my mind’s eye before it’s committed to paper. I love to sit back, close my eyes, and put myself in my characters shoes, to feel the world through their emotions and thoughts. It’s incredible.

My least favorite part about writing is editing. I do not like it. I don’t like tearing my books apart. I get stuck when I have to make major changes to novels and usually end up convinced that I can’t write at all. I’ve gotten smart though. I have a small team I work with. We go back and forth on each other’s work and support one another in finding all the holes and filling them in. It’s very helpful. I highly recommend it.

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


Where Shadows Dwell was a story that just evolved over the years. It started out one way and became entirely new by the time I completed it. I can’t really say how I came up with that one other than it just came bits and pieces at a time. Ultimately I wrote the book in five months, but then I spent years rewriting it. I probably wrote that one book five to ten times, and it became a new book each time. 

My other books have come differently. I’ve had storylines come in dreams. They show up when I’m showering or driving. I’ve been inspired by work I did in high school, and have created entire worlds out of small stories that went nowhere 15 years ago. Inspiration strikes when it strikes. I always write it down when I get a new idea because I never know if I’ll use it later (and I always want to use it later).

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

The marketing has been an interesting world to dive into. I’ve dabbled in social media, done some blog tours, word of mouth, book blasts, etc. I’m honestly finding the best way of marketing is just truly connecting with people, networking, creating relationships, and genuinely sharing who you are as a person and why you do what you do.

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

I am currently working on the first book in a fantasy trilogy. The book is titled The Dark of Letum, and it dives into the power of the mind, and what you create by the choices you make.

A few years ago I went through severe postpartum depression, and I felt like I couldn’t escape the darkness surrounding me; my world literally felt black.  But I learned and discovered so much inside that darkness. The Dark of Letum was born from those experiences. It’s a story of hope and personal power. It shows that no matter how dark or painful life gets there is always another way, another choice, another option. It explores the themes of dark vs. light, heaven vs. hell, good vs. evil. It was written to parallel a lot of different aspects of this life. Currently it’s in the editing phase, and I hope to see it released next year.

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

I have a couple of projects on the back burner. The first is a sequel of sorts to Where Shadows Dwell. Sequel is the wrong word because it doesn’t involve the same characters, but it is the story of different characters inside the same family.

I also have a romantic drama type story of a girl who can heal the world using her song. But the gift is conditional; every time she uses it to heal, she lets go of part of her own life. Ultimately she knows she will be sacrificing herself for others, and much of the book explores what it looks like to grapple with a choice like that. I already love this story, and it’s only half finished.

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

I would tell them that talent is created. Just like a musician spends hours a day practicing to perfect his craft, so must a writer. Most of us aren’t born with perfect writing skills. We simply have a passion for something that draws us forward and won’t let us quit.

Allow yourself to make mistakes. Mess things up. Write terrible words and let it be okay because eventually magic will follow. I promise you there will be times when you are convinced you’re the worst writer ever and all of your work should be burned, but there will also be times when you look back at your work and you’re amazed at what you wrote, at the words that you immortalized on paper.  Talent is built over time, so just keep writing. Never stop.

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     Here’s a question I would like answered: I see many authors that publish six or seven books in a year, and I can’t figure out how they’re doing it. Do they have editors going over every book? Are they writing a book a month and skipping editing? I would love to put out five books a year, and I can’t help wondering if I would be sacrificing quality to make that happen. I would love your input on this one.

I    I went to a writing conference this past summer where an author spoke about doing just that. And then I found out she had no children, wrote shorter than the average book, wrote all day, and had an editor that would jump right in and edit whenever she needed it. She didn't work a day job either. She was able to stay home and write 24/7. So, I think you need to look at the entire picture.
     
     For me, I have a house to run, grandchildren to tend, a home business to run, and so forth. I put out roughly two books a year, and that works for me. As much as I love to write, I also enjoy doing other things.

     I suppose other folks may just be a bit more organized than I am, need less editing perhaps, or have ideas flowing non-stop inside their brain, but I am more inclined to think that their particular life situation has more to do with what they can put out per year than anything else.

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