Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m so happy to have fellow Christian romance author Karin Beery as my guest. Karin is giving away a paperback of her latest release, so make sure you read on to see how you can enter to win!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m married to a tall, hairy redneck truck driver who loves God and is just about the most patient person I’ve ever met. We live in a small town with our dogs (Cooper and Daisy) and cats (Bucket and Midgie). I love everything fiction – books, TV shows, movies. I also love football and hockey (though I don’t get to watch a lot of hockey). I’m the middle of three daughters, and all of us married men with names that start with M. My faith isn’t just important to me, it’s the guiding light in my life.
I wrote my first novel in 2007, and have been writing ever since. I’ve also become a fiction editor and teacher.
Tell us about your current release. Summer Plans and Other Disasters is actually the third version of the second book that I wrote. I wrote the first draft in 2008 and continued tweaking it as I learned more and more about fiction. I loved the characters and setting though (it takes place at a lighthouse!), so I didn’t want to give it up. It’s not a traditional romance novel. It really is a contemporary, Christian story with a strong romantic subplot that addresses something I think every Christian deals with – am I really hearing from God?
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? A
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher (or agent)? My goal is always to write the best story possible. It won’t appeal to everyone, and that’s fine – there are good books out there that I won’t read because I don’t like the genre or subject matter. I can’t control how other people respond to my novels; all I can do is make sure I’m writing to the best of my ability. As long as I do that, I have nothing to worry about when I submit my manuscript. They’ll either like it or they won’t. (They’ll still want to edit it, but I will know that I’ve done my best.)
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block? Just keep writing. I don’t really have time to putz around trying to stir creativity or anything like that. Some days it’s just hard to write, but I have to do it anyway.
In my last manuscript, I outlined a chapter but I really didn’t know how to make it work (or if it even would), so I wanted to put it off. I forced myself to write through it though, knowing that I could always edit it out later. Turns out it wasn’t that bad, and that scene ended up in the final draft.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I’ve always loved fiction – TV shows, movies, books. I started writing stories in elementary school as part of the local Young Authors & Illustrators competition. I wrote my first novel in high school (literally – I wrote it during several classes). But I didn’t write my first “real” novel until 2007. My husband was battling cancer, and I read a lot while he was in the hospital. After quickly reading through all of my favorites, I decided to see if I could write a novel. I did it in six weeks, and I’ve been studying/writing fiction ever since. (FYI – my hubby is cancer free now!)
Do you have
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Be teachable! I’m not just a writer, I’m also a book editor. It never ceases to amaze me how many people argue about the suggestions! Of those people who fought hard and refused to listen to my suggestions, not one of them has found a traditional publisher. Conversely, I had the pleasure of working with an author who’d signed a book contract with the understanding that her book needed an edit. We did four rounds together – her book has a 5-star rating on Amazon.
It’s not easy to have someone point out all of your mistakes and errors, but a good editor will help you polish your story, not change it. A good writer will work with an editor and learn from the process.
What is your preferred method of writing? (computer, pen & paper, etc.) I compose on my computer. I prefer that because I can type without looking at the monitor, and I often need to have a distraction (movie or football game) on in the background to help me silence my inner editor. That’s the only way I can write my first draft.
When I edit, however, I want paper and a pen. I print off the whole manuscript, put it in a three-ring binder, then get to work. I’ll do that for the first couple of edits. By the third or fourth round, most of the major issues are worked out, so I’ll edit on my computer.
Find Karin’s latest release on Amazon:
Karin is giving away a paperback of Summer Plans and Other Disasters! Enter here:a Rafflecopter giveaway