Please tell us a little about yourself: Hi, Karin! Thanks for having me on your blog. I’ve been writing for many years, but never thought of myself as a writer in the official sense of the word. Ten years ago, my late husband urged me to pursue publication. An editor asked me to do a devotional, and I was off and running.
A couple of years later, we were visiting Gettysburg. Standing in the old square, surrounded by history, I “heard” the voices of the forefathers. They were like fading echoes. I tried to write a non-fiction piece, but couldn’t get it right. Eight months later, we were discussing my experience, and my husband declared, “That’s it! That’s your book, and you’ll write it in 4 months and call it Ghosts of the Past.”
In exactly 4 months, I had a 55,000-word first draft. Soon after, I discovered my fiction skills needed mega work. My husband was diagnosed with leukemia in 2006, which resulted in a writing hiatus. When he died, I picked up the threads and continued working on the story because I had a strong vision for it, as well as a desire to finish in memory of my husband. The name eventually changed to, “The Moses Conspiracy.”
I did not select the genre. It selected me. The storyline seemed most appropriate set in the future. Since it’s a “what-if” type of plot, it’s been labeled Christian Speculative Fiction, Futuristic, and Fantasy.
What is your writing day like? Unlike many writers, I don’t write every day. My job and family responsibilities prevent that type of schedule. I write 3-4 days per week for about 2-3 hours.
How do you organize your writing? (outlines/note cards/post-its) You can pick me up off the floor now. 🙂 I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer. While I know the beginning and end of a story, the middle is a giant question mark. Recently, I skipped a writing day because I’d written my characters into a tight spot and didn’t know how to get them out of it. I prayed, went to sleep that night, and woke up with the rest of the book in my head. That’s a fairly normal scenario for me.
What’s the most surprising thing a character has “told you?” When I started the second book of the trilogy, I thought the main characters from, “The Moses Conspiracy,” would be the focus. However, another character elbowed his way to the forefront and said, “This one is about me.”
Do you have a list of characters that you’re saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters? I don’t keep a list of possible characters. When I observe an interesting or quirky trait, it gets filed away in my brain. It might or might not be used in the future.
What does your work space/office look like? I have one L-shaped desk and one regular desk with a floor-to-ceiling bookcase. There are also several file cabinets and a credenza. Yeah, I need lots of space to create. Of course, I have a desktop computer and printer to make it all functional.
Don’t expect any pictures though because it’s uber messy. It’s just the way I work. If my desk is clean, there isn’t any work happening.
What is your go-to snack when writing? If I’m not recovering from a migraine, I reach for chocolate. Otherwise, cookies will satisfy me. I know – not very healthy, but I DO work out at the gym 3 times per week.
If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why? Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is one of the best novels I’ve ever read. I love it because it gives such a beautiful illustration of God’s love and grace.
If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why? I have a bunch of craft books, but I read them in bits and pieces. As a hands-on learner, reading without actually doing something gets me a little crazy. For that reason, I enjoyed Jill Elizabeth Nelson’s book, “Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View.” Each chapter has exercises and gives excellent nuggets.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? If I could say one thing to fellow writers, it would be: Don’t be in a rush to present your work to agents and editors. I brought The Moses Conspiracy to a writer’s conference in first draft form. I didn’t know it was first draft form at the time, but people kindly pointed out serious craft issues. I wish I’d honed my skills and applied those lessons before presenting my manuscript to the professionals. It would have saved me a lot of embarrassment.
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog! Have a blessed day!