Just to get us started, how old are you?
It’s crazy how often I see that question come up in the keyword searches on my blog! I’m twenty-six. I think. I always forget and have to remember how old my sister is and then count up the years between us. Yep, twenty-six.
Regarding schooling…. where did you go to school and what for?
Oh, let’s see, I went to school for the usual reasons: i.e., my parents made me. No, seriously, I loved school and was sorry to see it end. I was homeschooled all the way through, which was a huge blessing, since I learn best when I can sit down with a book and basically teach myself. I opted out of college, since I knew I wanted to write and felt an MFA wasn’t the best way to get there.
When the sun comes up, I’m blissfully in bed. I joke that, next to writing, sleeping is my favorite hobby. I killed my alarm clock a few years ago and started letting myself wake up naturally. It’s made a huge difference in my energy level and general outlook during the day.
So I get up around 7:30, spend an hour in prayer and Bible study, then work out, eat breakfast, shower, dress, all that jazz. Around 9:30, I hit the Internet to answer emails and zoom through Twitter and Facebook. After taking my crazy black Lab for a walk, my morning is usually filled up with odds and ends. My afternoons are usually divided in half, with a quick social-site check in the middle. I’ll the spend the first couple hours working on whatever big project is at hand (right now, it’s the Outlining Your Novel workshop I’m putting together for Writer’s Digest University), then move on to writing or editing my current WIP. I’ll check email and Facebook once more after supper, then spend the evening kicking back, watching movies and reading.
When did you decide, this is what I really want to do….? I want to be a writer! Was there an ah-ha moment?
Actually, not really. I just sort of stumbled into it. When I was younger, I always figured I’d grow up to have a career that involved horses. Stories were just something I threw together to entertain myself. Then one afternoon I realized I’d much rather stay in and write instead of go and out ride. Still, I just sort of stumbled into the career aspect. I never expected it to pay the bills, so that’s been a nice surprise!
You are a mentor to other writers. How did you get to be so knowledgeable, so quickly, in the writing industry?
Two things: lots of study and lots of practice. I’ve been devouring books—novels and writing craft books alike—for years. But, even more importantly, I’ve written every single day (give or take a few) for the last twelve years. I harp on it so often, it’s almost become my mantra, but I really do believe in the power of making time to write every day.
Also, writing about writing on my blog Wordplay has allowed me to distill my own experiences. My own growth as a writer goes hand in hand with what I’m able to teach others.
Do you feel like there is a theme in your books that keeps showing up?
Redemption. That’s my scarlet thread. There also seems to be a fair amount of violence. And also snarky sidekicks. And there’s usually more than a trickle of romance.
Tell us about Dreamlander and why you’ve decided to go the self-publishing route.
I’ve independently published all my books. It started as a sort of a lark with A Man Called Outlaw (an admittedly uninformed lark that cost me a lot of money). I’ve just sort of fallen in love with the process from there. I’ve considered traditional publishing with every book, but I keep coming back to doing it myself. With the recent change in trends, of course, that’s all become very vogue. Despite indie publishing’s pitfalls, I do feel it offers some wonderful options and opportunities for authors. It’s treated me well this far, and, as I like to say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Dreamlander will be my first fantasy. It’s been a marvelous journey—sometimes hair-raising, sometimes frustrating, definitely educational, and extremely rewarding. The story runs on the idea that we’re actually living two parallel lives, one when we’re awake in this world and one in another world while we “dream.” My main character is my usual brand of messed-up hero who turns out to be the only person in his generation who can cross between the worlds. He accidentally resurrects a vengeful warlord, gets shot at several times by a lovely princess, is enslaved by an adorably ugly brownie-like creature, and, of course, ends up on his own road to redemption.
It’s scheduled for release in early December, and you can read the official synopsis here.
For fun……What are some of your favorite TV shows to watch?
I actually don’t watch too much TV, but I love oldies like The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show—and the old westerns like Big Valley and Wanted: Dead or Alive.
Last movie you went to the theater and saw?
That would be The Amazing Spider-Man, but I’m actually just about to head out the door to see Bourne Legacy.
Other than writing, what do you like to do for fun? Hobbies?
What? You mean, there’s life outside of writing?
Any pets? Make-believe friends? Celebrity crush?
Pets: My black Lab Bob (named after Bill Murray’s character in What About Bob?) and four cats: Spanky, Fluff Monster, Ocho, and Peyton.
Make-believe friends: Just the ones in my books!
Celebrity crush: Steve McQueen, Steve McQueen, Steve McQueen.
If I’m coming over for dessert, what would we be having?
No-Bake Chocolate Truffle Cake—better known around here as Woohoo Cake.
While we’re stuffing in our dessert, what board game would we playing?
Taboo. All comers welcome. No holds barred.
Any closing words of wisdom for other author-wannabees out there?
Laugh lots, live deeply, write every day, and always post warning signs when you’re running low on coffee and chocolate.
One winner will receive a book of choice from author, K.M. Weiland! Use the Rafflecopter below to be entered:
K.M. Weiland is the author of the historical western A Man Called Outlaw and the medieval epic Behold the Dawn. She enjoys mentoring other authors through her writing tips, her book Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success, and her instructional CD Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration.
Connect with her here:
Historical and Speculative Novelist | Helping Writers Become Authors