It’s time to meet, Kim Long, my other middle grade author! Kim took a chance when she queried me. I apparently missed her during Pitch Madness, but she thought we would be a good fit anyways. And she was right! Since day one, Kim fit right in with #TeamNat and it’s hard to believe it has only been a few short months. To many years ahead!
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
I write on my laptop in my basement—but it’s really not as dreary as it sounds! I have a finished basement, a comfy couch, and, most importantly, quiet. I know other writers talk about writing while listening to music, munching in cafés, or experiencing nature, but I can’t. I need no TV, no music, and nothing but the sound of the clicking of keys on my keyboard. As for how often, it depends, but when I’m in the active stage of writing or revising, it will be four to five nights a week. I’ll edit, plot, and outline over lunch breaks.
Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g. burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)
I am definitely in the writing longhand to figure out plots. I have composition books for each manuscript, and I’ll jot character notes and plot elements. I’ll even write a very sparse draft of the next chapter longhand and use it as a guide when I get back to my laptop.
What do you love about writing [insert your genre(s) here]?
I love writing middle grade because the kids are at the age where they’re curious and open to the weird and outrageous without being too cynical. Plus, there’s all sorts of crazy stuff you can do with the characters and plots!
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
Riding my bike and hanging out with my family. I’m also a big board game player—Eurogames preferred. Stefan Feld is my favorite game designer. I love all his games, probably Castles of Burgundy the best, though his new one, The Order of Delphi, is great. I play on boiteajeux.net and Yucata.de as KimCordia if you want to challenge me! J
Do you belong to any writing organizations?
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
I’m on Twitter @theSol23 and kimlongwriteshere.blogspot.com. I’ve also been a Pitch Wars MG mentor for the last three years and can be found on PitchWars.org.
What’s the last book you read?
I just finished The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
Hmm. Some place warm, but a baseball team is a must—maybe San Diego.
What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. – Stephen King
Plotter or pantster?
I’d call myself a Plotter or Plantster. There are definitely times I’m drafting and let characters meander, but then my brain kicks in and scrambles to bring things Back to Order!
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em?
I used to hate them. Now, I actually draft them as I’m working on a manuscript, as it helps me focus on the plot.
Do you get inspiration from any TV shows or movies? If so, which ones?
Not direct inspiration, but I love Seinfeld because of how, at the end of each episode, each main character’s storyline would merge with the other three storylines in an unexpected way. I like the idea of dropping hints/clues throughout the manuscript that become important later on.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
Working with Natascha! I love her editorial experience and her enthusiasm for my work. I know she will help me make my manuscript the best it can be before it’s subbed to editors.
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
Find great beta readers and critique partners, research the agents and agencies, and keep going. Write something new, learn, and get better. Don’t give up!