Welcome to my weekly slot – Author Interviews.
These slots are where I find out about the writer behind the book and and gain some valuable insight on the writing process.
I have interviewed some fabulous authors and so far not one has put me off writing and publishing book! In fact whilst I have been doing these slots I have been writing more than ever.
Today I feel blessed because one of my favourite authors has agreed to sit in my chair. I read her book ‘Both Sides of Love’ last year and loved it. She has this wonderful writing style and her book took me on an emotional rollercoaster.
I also follow Kimberly on Facebook and I would love to go to one of her Book Club evenings as they look fab! I just know that we would have a giggle if I showed up.
So please give a warm welcome to Kimberly Wenzler!
Hey Kimberly, make yourself comfy on my chair! Please tell my readers about yourself and the book / books you have written.
Thank you Lucy, for allowing me to sit in your wonderfully comfy red interview chair! I’m a huge fan, so I am especially happy to be here.
I was born and raised on Long Island, New York, where I still live with my husband and two teenage boys.
I write women’s fiction and I’ve self-published two novels in the past three years. I am currently working on my third novel.
When did you write your first book?
In 2006, when my younger son stepped onto the school bus.
How long did it take to write your first book?
It took me one year of writing every day to complete the full manuscript. It took me another year to collect rejection letters. I wasn’t ready to look for an agent or publisher and it took me that long to figure it out. So, I put the manuscript away and wrote something else.
I ended up self-publishing my fourth manuscript, Both Sides of Love
What was your motivation to write your first book?
My motivation to write stemmed from a lifetime of reading and keeping journals. When I stopped working to stay home with my kids, I decided to write a novel. I had no idea if I could do it, but I figured I had nothing to lose.
Six years and three full manuscripts later, I started Both Sides of Love. I wanted to write a story that intertwined the various relationships that define women: the importance of female friendship, mother/daughter dynamic, self-acceptance and finally, true love.
What writing issues did you encounter along the way and how did you overcome them?
It was the typical ‘ignorance is bliss’ scenario. At the beginning, I wrote with unadulterated joy (which is how it should be) thinking I had written the next bestseller. When I started showing people my work, I received criticism and realized I had a lot to learn, a lot. It was tough feedback to get but ultimately it helped improve my writing.
I kept an open mind, accepted advice and suggestions. I joined a writer’s group, read books, blogs, articles, anything I could find on writing/publishing/editing/grammar, etc. Lots of reading. Lots of homework. Two books in my library that I can’t do without are Stephen King’s On Writing and Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style.
Eventually I hired an editor. It made a huge difference.
Did you go through any bad writing patches during writing your book – what kept you going?
Sure. It’s a tough process. I wrote, I got feedback, I rewrote, again and again until I was satisfied and ready to send it to my editor. And then I rewrote some more. What kept me going was my desire to see it to fruition and put out my best work.
Through all of this, chocolate helped. And wine.
Are you a plotter or do you just write / see what happens?
I don’t plot or use an outline. Each book started with a question. For Both Sides of Love, I wondered: What if two people deeply in love can’t be together? Then I took it a step further. What if they can’t be together because of a choice one of them makes?
For my second book, Letting Go, I thought, What if we can communicate with our children after we die?
From there, I started to write. I had an idea of the ending or goal, for both stories. The middle sections were murky and through much trial and error, worked themselves out, thankfully.
Plotting sounds like it makes more sense. I just can’t get myself to make an outline.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
There’s no better feeling than when a reader says to me that I made her cry (in a good way) or that she loved my book so much she had to write to tell me. It’s amazing, unexpected and reaffirming.
What is the worst thing about being a writer?
Worrying that no one will like the next book.
Have you ever considered quitting writing, and if so how have you worked through this?
Oh yes. I went through a period where I made a tearful declaration, weekly, to my husband that I quit. (Poor guy). I had no confidence in myself or my writing. But each time I did, I woke up the next day, sat myself down and kept going. I couldn’t walk away.
I haven’t made any declarations lately. I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing.
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
Every day starts with coffee while I catch up on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and emails. I write for an hour or two before I start my part-time job (I’m a telemarketer – pause for pitiful sighs). After work, I write some more before I have to suffer through dinner preparations (I still can’t convince my family that cereal can be eaten for dinner).
I will only write in the evenings if I didn’t get to it during the day.
Do you suffer from procrastination and if so how do you handle it?
Definitely. Aside from housework and parenting, social media is a distraction for me. I try to limit my time online to the mornings. It takes effort to shut it all down and focus. I do it, but never early enough.
Which is more important – plot or characters and why?
For me, it’s characters. No doubt. If I’m not connected to a character, the plot doesn’t matter.
What have been your 3 biggest learnings during your writing career?
Wow. I’ve learned so much. I’m still learning. Okay, here are three:
- You can do anything if you set your mind to it. Don’t give up.
- A professional editor is an absolute must if you want the best out of your work. It’s worth every penny if you find one that “gets” you.
- Marketing is a necessary, time-consuming, sometimes expensive evil.
How do you manage social media as a writer?
I’m on Facebook and Twitter and I have a website and a blog. I love to chat with readers via Facebook or emails/messages. I’ve written to authors throughout the years and it means so much when they respond. I will always work to do that.
Do you have any tips or advice for budding aspiring authors?
There is so much advice available for new writers, but what sticks with me is simple. Write a lot and read a lot.
Do you suffer from writer’s block and if so how do you overcome?
Sure. If I get stuck or write myself into a corner, I keep thinking about it until I come to some sort of resolution. Sometimes I’ll write a blog post just to keep writing or take a walk outside. It helps.
Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?
No. If I’m editing a manuscript, my mind may wander to another idea but I generally keep it in check until I’m ready to focus on it. I’m a one-project woman.
What do you wear to write?
Sweats. With or without chocolate-stains, depending on the kind of day I’m having.
If readers want to get in touch how do they contact you?
Thank you Kimberly! Fab interview. Some things that I have taken from this:
- I adore the ‘ignorance is bliss!’ stage with writing a book. I do hope mine never stops.
- I LOVE the unadulterated joy stage too! I feel like I am permanently in this state.
- I love how your writing process starts with a question.
- I have found my professional editor and I have very high hopes for her!
- I wish I could be a one-project woman – sigh!
Thanks Kimberly Wenzler – will let you know when I am in the Long Island area – sigh!
Have a great day all!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/79577679@N00/5448848999″>the chair in the attic</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>