Tuesday, December 15, 2009
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Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
"Every character should want something, even if it's only a glass of water. Identify that glass of water for each character, and then let that desire color everything the character does and says."
Friday, September 04, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
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Monday, July 27, 2009
The methods, even the ideas of successful writers contradict each other in a most heartening way, and the only element I find common to all successful writers is persistence --
an overwhelming determination to succeed."
~ Sophy Burnham
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Kathy, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview.
You are such a gifted writer, and I really appreciate you sharing your insights and information about your work with us.
So tell me, have you always loved to write?
I have been making up stories and writing them down as long as I can remember. When I was a kid I would divide loose-leaf paper in half, write on the bottom, color a picture on top, and weave yarn through the holes. Once I got in high school I began filling notebooks.
What was it that made you realize that this was more than just a hobby, and it was time to get serious about writing as a possible career?
My kids were getting old enough to drive themselves to work and games and I found myself with more free time. Someone gave me their old, used computer and I started typing some of my better stories into the computer. I realized they weren't as good as I wanted so I started buying books on how to write. The kids went off to college and I had even more time. There was no epiphany; just a slow evolution.
How do you go about developing characters and story ideas? Which comes to you first?
My characters come to me first. They lurk in the periphery of my mind until I pay attention to them. Most of the time it's the hero, sometimes the heroine. Sometimes they just stand there, sometimes they are doing something. I notice what they are wearing and what they look like as I see them in that moment. Once in a while they have a name. Most times I have to hunt for one. When I find the right name, I just know it. Then I start asking them the who, what, where and when questions. Among the questions will be something about that character's internal and external goals. I'll start pondering his/her answer until another character pops into my head who can both give him/her what they want and also be the force to keep him/her from getting what they want. After I have the characters, bits of dialogue and scenes will pop into my head while I'm driving or walking the dogs. I write them down and when I get enough of them I start putting them into some kind of order. Eventually, I end up with a story.
I've got to know, what was your first publishing experience like?
I had written a couple of short stories as a sort of personal exercise in Point of View. Once they were finished I didn't want to leave them in my file drawer, so I began searching romance magazines, looking for a home for my stories. But my short stories were Civil War romances and it was hard to find a market. Then about three years ago I found a little blurb in the Pennwriters newsletter, about an electronic romance publisher, The Wild Rose Press, who was open to submissions in everything from short stories to novel, even American historicals. I didn't even have a computer at the time and between the library and my daughter's lap top I submitted one of the stories, Redemption of a Cavalier. The editor liked it and after edits it was released in e-format in February 2007.
I know you're working on a new novel at the moment. Could you tell us a little bit about it?
Currently I'm polishing and fixing scenes for a historical, western romance novel about a troubled Deputy Marshal in Indian Territory and the fiesty outlaw he's sworn to bring to justice.
It sure sounds exciting! Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Perserverance. Don't quit. Writing is hard. Handling rejection is hard. Rewriting and constantly honing the manuscript is hard. Sometimes you have to force yourself to sit down and write. And it can be a very lonely with nothing but the computer for company. But if you want it, you have to keep pluging away until something else comes along that you want more.
One last question. Where can we find your books?
My short stories, Redemption of a Cavalier and Someone to Share the Sunsets are only available in e-format through my publisher, http://www.thewildrosepress.com/ My holiday novellas, A Christmas Smile and An Ordinary Angel (coming Dec. 9th) are available in e-format only from http://wwwthewildrosepress.com/ http://www.fictionwise.com/ & http://allromanceebooks.com/ My historical western novel, Between the Lines is available in both electronic and print formats. It can be purchased through any of the above websites as well as http://amazon.com/ or ordered from your favorite bookseller.
Well, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing some of your expertise with us!
For more information on Kathy and her books, visit her website at: http://kathyottenauthor.com/about.html.
Thanks again, Kathy!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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Monday, May 25, 2009
I read about it in our local newspaper last Sunday, and thought it was too crazy to pass up! So I dragged my brother down with me, and we went to check it out. About 30 people showed up, all eager and willing to participate. Mr. Vitanyi had written out an entire novel idea about a young girl who meets an elderly man at a nursing home and he tells her something that changes her life forever. He took the plot and divided it into 78 sections, or scenes, which we could choose from and then go home and write. All sections had to be turned in by Friday at 5:00 PM sharp -- just 5 days later! The other two weeks would be needed for editing and continuity.
I, myself, ended up with 5 sections, and wrote like a mad woman all week long. In the end, my final word count for the week was 4,490 words -- and that's NOT including the thousands of others who lost their lives on the editing room floor! Not bad. Not bad at all. Especially considering I hadn't put that many words down in the last year, most likely. It was a TON of work, but a total rush and I enjoyed every second of it.
Now the ball is in Mr. Vitanyi's court. But in two more weeks we will all meet back for a ceremony at which the finished novel will be unveiled. All the local libraries have been invited and will receive a donated copy, and the media will also be there for a recap from their story last week. It should be exciting!
If the book turns out to be interesting, Mr. Vitanyi said he just might assign an ISBN# to it and make it available on Amazon.com and other retailers. All of us get to share in any profits.
And best of all, in two more weeks there's going to be a book out there with MY name on it! I've dreamed of this my whole life, and now it's finally coming true! I can hardly believe it.