The Shy Sensitive Type: That’s Me!

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We took this picture while out for a walk with Disappearing in Plain Sight on the Pitt Meadows Dike. I am the shy and sensitive type when it comes to promotion, but I did manage to sell a book to a wonderful lady who sat next to me at Bingo the other night. I couldn’t have done it without my daughter egging me on! Thanks, Kristen.

The following questions were drawn from a recent interview Glynis Sym did with me for her blog – Author of Historical Romance with a Twist. As I enjoy grandma time and holiday it up, I’m happy to have a few things on the back burner to share with you.

What is your genre? Why did you choose it?

I listed my book as contemporary, literary fiction with a good dose of romance thrown in. I didn’t choose this genre prior to writing. I wrote a book, and then I had to decide where it might fit. I actually hate these designations because they seem to pigeon-hole a book before a reader even gets to take a look.

Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?

Not in the creative stage. But when Disappearing in Plain Sight was in the final editing process, I was able to spend time writing the sequel.

Do you work with a writing/critique group?

No, I’ve never had the opportunity, and I’m not sure I would join such a group even if I did. At the end of the day, writing and reading are subjective experiences. We all know what we like or don’t like. I’m not sure what else I would be qualified to comment on? I wonder if a writer is better served by choosing a couple of trusted beta readers and paying attention to the suggestions they would offer.

Can you remember your first reading book?

The first real book I remember reading was a Trixie Beldon hardcover I got for Christmas one year. That was the year I also received a highly abridged hardcover copy of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. The poem, The Raven has stayed with me my whole life. Suddenly there came a tapping, tapping, tapping, tapping at my chamber door. Heady stuff.

Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?

In my reading life – so many authors, I wouldn’t want to select only three. For my writing life, I have been influenced by reading countless award winning novels. These taught me just how high the writing bar could be raised. Stephen King’s book, “On Writing” continues to influence me. I was also influenced in a positive way by Norah Roberts. Her books are not in a genre I would normally have read, but circumstances found me in a situation where many of her books were readily available, and I needed a good distraction. Reading her novels gave me the confidence to think that I could also write stories that people would like to read. We aren’t all going to be Michael Ondaatje or Margaret Atwood. But there is room for all sorts of stories written by all types of authors for all kinds of readers.

What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?

No matter how confident you are that your work is as perfect as it can get – it isn’t. Creating the first and even the second draft is a sacred process for a writer. We hole up and hold all our cards close to our chest. After that we need to throw open the doors. Get a few trusted beta readers to give feedback. Pay attention to what they have to say about where the story drags, if characters have remained consistent, if plots and storylines have been sufficiently tied-up. Get a good editor. You owe it to yourself and your readers to produce the best finished product possible. I would also advise any writer to take the time to sit and read their complete manuscript out loud to another person. You will be amazed the number of things you’ll discover when you read your work aloud.

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Well, the birthday month here on Disappearing in Plain Sight blog is winding down, folks. This could be the last chance post to get your likes, comments, pingbacks and new follows into the draw for great prizes.

2 comments on “The Shy Sensitive Type: That’s Me!

  1. codecalla says:

    I love Trixie Belden! I grew up loving those books. One comment on writers’ groups…what we crave most are readers… Readers can show us what works and doesn’t or even comment on what they like and don’t. I’m still working on my next novel after publishing, and I have yet to seriously market the first book. It’s a very long process. I find myself just talking to people about it.

    • I agree on the issue of needing readers to provide feedback. I’m in the process of gathering a very close group of beta readers who I know will provide honest but kind feedback. That’s what I need as a writer. I love the times readers tell me who their favourite character was, who they didn’t like, what spots dragged for them and the places that made them want to cry. Those are golden moments for a writer.

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