Today’s OAAA is Kristina McBride, author of One Moment and Tension of Opposites. She doesn’t really have a green thumb, but that’s ok because she’s much better at writing anyway! Her newest book was supposed to be released from Egmont USA, but due to its closing is now an orphaned title. Let’s hope it finds a new home! Please welcome the fabulous Kristina McBride!
1. What does your writing process look like from conception to the final product?
Inspiration – The kind that strikes as a won’t-let-me-go idea.
Brainstorming – Lots and lots of journaling. Always some research. And then some more journaling.
Outlining – I outline on notecards – one card per chapter – so I can always have the book with me when a new idea strikes. This serves as a solid guide, but I consider the outline an optional roadmap with many possible detours and alternate routes because I change things quite a bit once I start drafting.
Drafting – I always write my chapters consecutively, straight through the book from beginning to end.
Revising – I usually complete at least one major round of cuts and additions and rewrites.
Submitting – Once my agent and I feel the manuscript is ready, it goes out on submission to editors. This is a fingers-crossed-I-hope-they-love-it waiting period.
2. Why did you decide to start writing?
I don’t ever remember deciding, it’s just something I’ve always needed to do. Kinda like breathing. As a child, I lived across the street from a library and cannot remember a time when writing a book and seeing my name on the cover wasn’t a top life-goal of mine.
3. Is it your only job or do you have a day job? What?
I was a high school English teacher for 8 years, but left that to stay home when I had my first child. My only other day job is the mom thing, which I love and adore just as much as writing.
4. What advice would you give new and aspiring writers?
Read. Like, a lot. Read within the genre you write, and outside of that genre. Books on craft can be especially helpful if you want to hone skills but don’t have the time or money to attend workshops. And, all the while that you’re reading those books, learning from the things that inspire you, write, write, write your heart out. I’m talking about a regular writing schedule – devote some time each day to writing. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, it’ll add up over time and you’ll be surprised with what you can accomplish.
5. Is there something you wish you had known when you started?
That I would ultimately make my dream to become published a reality. I spent too much time in a space of fear and doubt when I could have had more fun each step of the way.
6. Have you learned anything about yourself through writing? What?
I’m more resilient than I ever gave myself credit for. Authors face a lot of rejection and it can be very tricky to navigate, but I’m still in the game, which means I’ve honed my coping skills (chocolate helps a lot). I’ve also learned that I’m way stubborn – I don’t let the word ‘No’ stand in my way of taking the next step.
7. Are you into music while you write or do you need complete silence? Do you have to be alone or can you write in public?
I prefer silence to music. When I’m listening to music, it can affect the tone of a scene, not to mention that the words kind of butt into my thoughts and try to sneak into the dialogue or narration. Same goes for a private vs public work space. I work best with no distractions so I can really sink into a scene and give it my full attention.
8. Do you have any new projects you can talk about?
My next novel, A Million Times Goodnight, was set for a July 2015 release. Unfortunately, my publisher, Egmont USA, closed at the end of January, and they will not be releasing this title. It was a sad event for each of the Egmont USA authors set for a release date after May of 2015, but I’m hopeful that we will all find new homes for our books.
Thanks so much to Kristina for stopping by. She has donated copies of both of her books to the giveaway so be sure to stop by that page to enter.