Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Writing Innovations Interview






This interview is posted on the Writing Innovations Website http://writinginnovations.blogspot.com

WI: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have been a story teller all my life. When I was in Junior High School, I started writing funny little novellas for my friends. After graduating from college, I went on to become a radio and television reporter and anchor. My job required me to write stories every day, although my style was restricted to news copy. In my free time, I wrote the manuscripts that I eventually turned into audio books called Jitters – A Quirky Little Audio Book and Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book.

WI: What inspired you to pen this particular novel/book?
I wanted to write something which reflected the quirky things unique to Utah. Both of my audio books address the subject of polygamy. My definition of satire is to exploit the absurd, so I use humor to explore sticky topics like marijuana, Gay Rights, bullying and discrimination.

WI: What road blocks did you come across while writing this story?
One of the other problems I have encountered is answering the question, “What happens next?” I have learned that writing an outline is very helpful. If I don't have to worry about plot lines, I can concentrate on making the content interesting and funny.

I've also noticed it is easy to get wrapped up in my regular work, so setting aside time to write has always been a challenge. I have to be disciplined when the nice weather beckons me to go for a ride on my bicycle or ATV.

WI: What do you do if a story just doesn't seem to flow the way you were hoping it would?
Sometimes I have to settle for just getting something down on paper. I can always go back and fix things that are awkward. I believe that stagnation kills, so it's better to write something that isn't up to par than it is to write nothing at all. Besides, I've always heard, “the write is in the re-write!”

WI: What has been the hardest thing about marketing this story?
My writing style is very unusual so the challenge has been to find people who are interested in my quirky brand of humor. Both Jitters – A Quirky Little Audio Book and Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book use a full cast of characters who speak in first person narratives, so my products are vastly different than mainstream audio books. When marketing my products, I have to find listeners who are open to audio books which color way outside the lines.

WI: What is one thing you wished you knew before, that you now know about marketing?
I have learned to do more research on the people I ask to review my work. In the past, I thought that blasting out a bunch of generic requests was all that was required. I have since discovered that my work doesn't meet the needs and tastes of every reviewer, so I try not to waste people's time by pitching them a genre that isn't of interest to them.

WI: What is one piece of advice that you received to help your writing that you still carry with you today?
Because I worked as a radio and TV reporter for so many years, the scripts for my audio books started sounding like news reports. My Mom is a former English teacher who suggested I try writing in first person so that I could stop “telling people” the story and start engaging them in it instead. This piece of advice led me to produce my products using first person narratives which is a huge departure from mainstream audio books. Although my style is very different, I'm happy I arrived at it nonetheless.

WI: Tell us what a day in your writing life is like, do you have any writing quirks?
Like many authors, I have numerous obligations which make it so that I have to carve out time to write. However, I don't think I could spend a whole day working on my manuscripts even if I wanted to. I tend to work in concentrated blocks of two to three hours at a time.

As for writing “quirks,” I'm a neat freak. Also, I like my office and recording studio to feel friendly and inviting. I decorate my work space to reflect the changing seasons. Because it is spring, my office is now filled with bright floral swags and colored glass pieces with butterflies and flowers.

WI: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
I am currently working on the next installment of the Quirky Audio Book Series. I'm also interested in writing some audio books for young adults. These stories will involve two cousins who solve mysteries together in a variety of locations including Navel, Utah.

WI: Are you currently working on any new projects?
I'm working on the script for a new audio book I'm calling Quirky Three until I'm ready to release the actual title. This audio book will feature characters from both Jitters – A Quirky Little Audio Book and Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book. This is part of the Quirky Audio Book Series, but each audio book is a “stand alone” project. My audio books are in chronological order and all take place in the fictitious town of Navel, Utah. However, listeners don't have to hear all the stories in order to understand whichever audio book in the series they are listening to.

WI: Do you have any upcoming events or special news you would like to share with our readers? (Any contests, giveaways, book signings, upcoming/new releases, or author appearances, please let us know.)
I have some upcoming radio interviews that people can listen to online. On April 22, I will be a guest on “January Jones Sharing Success Stories” http://www.blogtalkradio.com/januaryjones. On April 25th, listeners can hear a pre-recorded interview with “Book That Author” with Linda Leon http://www.blogtalkradio.com/book-that-author. Also on April 25th, I will be doing an interview on Eunice Nisbett's show, “Book Marketing in Five” http://www.blogtalkradio.com/savvybestsellers/2013/03/14/book-marketing-in-five.

WI: Where can readers find you?
Both of my websites feature funny YouTube videos, cast bios, sound samples, links to purchase the audio books at Amazon.com and Audible.com and information about Straight to Audio Productions, LLC.

WI: Where can your book be purchased?
Both of my audio books are available on Amazon.com and Audible.com. Links to these sites can be found on the Yikes! website http://www.yikesaudiobook.com and the Jitters website http://www.jittersaudiobook.com.

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