Oh boy! Lots of goodies for you writers to enjoy today. Grab a comfy chair, a beverage and a plate of southern finger foods, and join us in my cyber living room. [The contest announcement's down yonder at the bottom. LOL]
First, please meet Louisiana author Toni McGee Causey whose Bobbie Faye books are getting rave reviews. I finally made it to Barnes & Noble for one of her signings, and have good reading material awaiting me.
A sprinkling of writing nuggets for your enjoyment~~
Don't know what Genre Wars is? Hit the link and find out!
Self-Editing tips at Harvey Stanbrough's blog today. Good stuff as always.
Poetry -- There's an app for that! Get in the Poem Flow and get poetry literally at your fingertips.
Analyze this! Did you know you can get free couch time for your characters? Check out Jeannie Campbell's The Character Therapist blog. Highly fascinating!
A nice blog post on the use of personification in prose by Nannette Croce.
I asked to be a whistle stop on Kathryn Magendie's blog book tour, so help me welcome Kat into the Gumbo Writer station! Her new book SECRET GRACES is poised for release, and it's every bit as fabulous as TENDER GRACES. (Yeah, ain't I lucky? I got to read the manuscript.) You'll love the trailer!
Thanks to Kat for doing an author interview for us to relish AND for doing a reading from SECRET GRACES:
1.) For the sequel to TENDER GRACES, how'd you come up with the title SECRET GRACES, and will there be a third GRACES book for a trilogy? The publishers came up with Tender Graces for the first book, so we knew the next book or books in the Virginia Kate sagas would have either Tender or Graces. Since I ain’t Tender (no I am not, quit saying I am! Stop it!) I wanted to use Graces, which turned out lovely since now people call the books “The Graces.” Secrets was a good choice; secrets are such a part of our lives, and especially when it comes to relationships between men and women, and within families. And there are some of my own secrets embedded in the novel(s).
There is a planned third book in The Graces (or Virginia Kate Sagas)—VK still needs to tell the story of Adin, her adopted daughter. I’m considering more VK or Graces books, but I don’t know yet. It’s funny, because I only meant to write that short story until you, Angie, prodded me, and then I only meant to write one VK book—who knew?
2.) Might we hear you reading from SG? Sure! Now, um, I ain’t purdy, and I have a gravely voice, and I’m kind of a dweeb, and, no one knows I’m wearing my jammie bottoms while doing the reading (haw!), and, well, I could go on, but I probably shouldn’t *laugh* I read a couple of excerpts and put it in a YouTube vid. Hope you enjoy.
3.) Do the characters from TG/SG "speak" to you even when you're not writing or editing? Virginia Kate has been very quiet and only speaking when I open up the manuscript(s), unlike some characters from other works who can poke me and prod me. I think about them a lot, though, who they are, and what they’re doing, and where they will go. Some characters do seem to whisper into my ear, but then again, we all know that can’t really happen, now can it? *grin*
Although, I actually “saw” my Sweetie character (another novel waiting in the wings) while walking in the cove—she wavered there, and I still wonder if she was a ghost here in these mountains, a girl who had something to say, a story to tell—I’ve never had an experience like that before or since. She’s the only character I’ve ever seen “whole,” as my characters are never “wholes” but pieces, or as if seen from afar or though a mist. I saw Sweetie’s dress, hair, feet, all of her, except her face is harder to see, but still, more clear than any other, and she spoke to me: “I got something to say and you got to listen.” It was magical.
4.) If you could let readers know one thing, what would it be? That I love them. That every time I finish writing for the day, I think about who will read those words and how will it affect them and if they will love what I have written. That if it were not for readers, I’d be whispering right into a big black hole in the sky. My words are nothing without them.
5.) What is the best & worst thing about being a published author? The best thing is knowing your words and the characters you love so much are being read by people—strangers even, people you never will meet. It makes me smile to think somewhere, someone may have my book open and reading it.
The worst thing is worrying I’ll disappoint someone: my readers, my publishers, myself.
6.) If someone didn't read TG, will they still be able to understand SG? Yes, I sure hope so! I mean for The Graces/VK Sagas to each stand on their own. So, you can read TG or SG and stop there. Of course, reading SG may prompt one to read TG, and vice versa, but I want readers to be satisfied at the end, heave a sigh, and say, “Oh, lovely…” then it’d be nice if they’d say, “I can’t wait to read the next book.”
7.) I love the way you put little hidden messages and symbols into your books. Can you expose one for us? Well, I hope people will read along and suddenly think, “Oh! Did she do that on purpose?” or “Oh, I wonder if this means . . .” and maybe I did and maybe it does. But, a really simple one is there are some titles of books hidden here and there—maybe a book I just read, maybe one from my shelf, or maybe one I saw in the bookstore and want to pick up. There aren’t many titles, but they are there.
There are many symbols though—like earth wind fire and to a lesser degree, water, or the dark horse, the moon, the locket, trees and nature, storms, and others.
8.) Are you tired of people asking you if your books are autobiographical? No, I’m really not. It’s flattering, actually. If I created a world that was so real and so True that people think it was my life, then that’s pretty cool. I did use that big event in my life, of my bio mom giving up her children, but Virginia Kate and the rest are made up people.
My mother says people ask her, “I didn’t know about so and so!” and she has to remind them this is fiction, this was not our family and life. I don’t think they believe her, because they’ll then usually ask, “Is that Uncle Arville real? If so, I want to kick his butt!” *laughing* She has to explain again, “No, he’s not real; this is fiction . . .”
9.) How has your experience as Co-Publishing Editor of Rose & Thorn Journal impacted you as a writer, or has it? I think it impacted me more as an editor, which in turn affected my writing—I learned how to be a better editor and that in return helped me to edit my own work with a “finer eye.”
10.) Tell us something funny or strange that happened to you after TG came out. I dreamed about Miss Darla or maybe it was Grandma Faith—and she had some message for me, but I couldn’t figure it out. It was so real and affected me in such a strong way. All the next day I couldn’t shake the thought I was supposed to learn something, or find out something, or something was going to happen. Then I wondered if it, the happening or the thoughts, belonged in the book or in real life, and for a moment, the two worlds were confused and I felt most surreal and strange. I have a book I put on the backburner that is both fiction and nonfiction, real and not real—where I am actually a character in the book, and how the lines of reality and fiction are sometimes blurred, how a writer can feel more connected to his/her characters and fiction world than to the real world, and what damage that can do to the people in their real lives—I can’t wait to get started on that book again.
Also, I was surprised at how many people emailed me to say they dreamed about certain characters in Tender Graces, or the women who had a crush on the enigmatic and troubled Micah.
Thank you Angie! This was fun!
The fun was definitely mine. Thank you for going above and beyond on this Writerly Wednesday. Everything you ever wanted to know about Kat is at her blog!
Now, the contest! Come up with the coolest way you can think of for Kat to promote her new book SECRET GRACES, and leave the idea in a comment. Think way off the beaten promotion path (aren't ya glad I didn't say "out of the box?") and see what you come up with.
And if your email address isn't connected to your blogging ID, please include your addy at the bottom of your comment so I can reach you if you're the winner.
What's the prize, you ask? You, lucky winner, will receive a hot-off-the-press personalized signed copy of SECRET GRACES sent directly to your mailbox! Wheeee!