“Modogamous,” released in December 2013. It’s a Romantic Comedy of the Chick Lit variety. I’m also working on a spin-off novella, due out this spring, and I hope to complete a sequel by the end of the year.
Kate Adams has a steady job, a home she loves in the big city, and good friends who always keep her laughing. Everything is going great—until the night she crosses the line with her best friend Mitch, and the boundaries between friendship and love begin to blur. Things get even more complicated when hunky JP enters the scene. Add to the mix a spunky little pug, and things start to get crazy! “I was hooked from the moment I began reading!” ~ “Fast paced, well written, and laugh out loud funny!”
Signed paperback: http://karenemartin.com/blog/books/
So, tell us a little bit about yourself…
Born and raised in the Midwest, where I currently reside again after 10 years of globetrotting. I was an English teacher/teacher-trainer for many years in places like Morocco, Jordan, Washington, D.C., Romania, San Francisco, Dominica, and Mauritania. Now, I work full-time as a freelance writer, mostly for educational companies (writing textbooks, lesson plans, etc.). I enjoy my work, as it allows me to use my education and experience in a productive way. Not to mention, I get to do it from home in my pajamas!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t think there was an “aha” moment. I’ve always been a writer, even when I was doing some other job or going to school. I’ve written stories and kept journals since high school. That’s probably when I first realized that I could spin a decent story. Career wise, I finally decided to make the leap into freelance writing after a few years as an editor at a publishing house. I realized I could make a living writing, rather than just tweaking and revising what other people had written. Now I’m hoping to be able to spend more time writing books and less time taking on freelance projects. It would be a dream come true to be able to support myself solely by my books someday.
Can you relate to your characters?
Absolutely. In fact, the hardest part for me is writing characters I can’t relate to—creeps, for example. I really have to step back and put myself into the character’s mindset, remembering that he/she would not react in the same way that I would if I were faced with the same situation. For me, it’s easier to write about characters who think like I do, but every character needs to be his or her own person, so I try to stay away from regurgitating my own thoughts and attitudes too much through the characters.
What’s the hardest part for you while writing?
Probably plotting. I’m a bit of a pantser (someone who flies by the seat of their pants while writing), rather than a plotter. This presented a challenge in writing “Modogamous,” and I had to do a lot of cutting and rewriting to get rid of scenes or plot twists that just didn’t fit into the story line. I’m working on changing this habit a bit with the writing of my second book, a novella due out this spring. I outlined most of the plot before getting started, still leaving wiggle room for the characters to surprise me. So far, it’s been working out well.
What’s the biggest compliment you could receive as an author?
“I can’t wait to buy your next book!”
Do you have any quirks that help you write? Music, snacks? What kind?
I write in absolute silence. If I need to have music or sound in order to drown out the neighbors’ leaf blowers or barking dogs, it has to be instrumental, foreign, or the sounds of nature (I like listening to rainstorms, for example). I can’t listen to anything with words, or my mind automatically zeroes in on the lyrics, and it affects (or prevents) my flow of writing.
What was your favorite book as a child?
C.S. Lewis’ “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” Even though I loved all of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia series, this one was my favorite. The idea of going on a voyage of discovery really captured my imagination; it appealed to my growing wanderlust and my desire to explore and learn. The steadfast character of Reepicheep embodied that spirit of adventure for me and was an inspiring role model of someone who never gave up chasing his dreams, no matter how far-fetched they seemed.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t wait! If you want to write, start now. Even if you only write 100 words a day, that’s 36,500 words in a year—enough for two novellas, or about half of a full-length novel. Some authors get their toes wet with a blog or on Wattpad, both good ways to get your writing out there and get some feedback/start growing a fan base.
Which brings me to my second piece of advice: don’t wait until your book is finished to start building your platform. That means social networking of some sort, in whatever form you choose. After all, once you’ve finished your book, you’ve got to have someone to tell about it. It’s true that some authors don’t do much social networking, but the scuttlebutt around the water cooler is that those authors don’t sell many books, either. A good place to start is by joining Facebook groups catering to books, indie authors, and/or your genre. You will find many supportive writers out there who are willing to help you learn the ropes, who will offer critiques, and so on. Good luck!
Thank you SO much for taking the time out for an interview with I'll Be Reading! Absolutely ADORED your advice for aspiring authors!!