Welcome to April’s Featured Blog, something I’ll be posting here on Lit and Scribbles most of the month to introduce all of you to perhaps some new future friends and get to know a little more about your blogging community.
KS: I’m a mom of two boys, wife of one mountie, stay-at-home mom and unpublished writer, a terrible housekeeper and a chronic daydreamer. I enjoy wearing mismatched-but-coordinated socks, I find puns more amusing than I like to admit, and I’m addicted to buying notebooks and pens.
J: When did you first start blogging and what is your blog about?
KS: I’ve been blogging off and on since 2005, but Disregard the Prologue has only been around since October 2012. It’s a departure from my previous blogs, which focused on parenting; this one is my place to talk about writing, plus a mix of pretty well anything else I feel like talking about, joking about, exploring or showing off. Not a recommended blogging strategy, but I’m having a lot of fun with it.
J: Which of your posts was the most fun to write?
J: What type of stories do you write?
KS: Usually Fantasy, both novels and short stories. I do like to challenge myself to write different things, but Fantasy is my true love, and the genre I hope to be published in.
J: Protagonist excluded, which of your characters is your favorite?
KS: I suppose that means both protagonists excluded, so I won’t cheat. I’ll say Kai; he’s a mer guy who feels like a bit of an outsider among his own people, but he doesn’t let it get in the way of who he is: a great friend, a hero, and yeah, a regulation hottie. Gotta have at least one of those…
J: Who are your favorite authors?
KS: I’ve probably gone to bed with Stephen King more nights than I have with my husband, so I’d put him at the top of the list. I’m a huge fan of J.K. Rowling’s work with Harry Potter and would like to read her newest novel. Robertson Davies is great, too, though it’s been a while.
J: What are the last three books you read, and would you recommend them?
KS: Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass—highly recommended. Showed me exactly how my current work could go from good to holy-crap-this-kicks-ass. In my humble opinion. 😉 Valiant by Holly Black—somewhat recommended. I really enjoyed it, but disliked most of the characters—figure that one out. If you like angry, angsty, troubled teenage girls, definitely go for it (I liked Tithe better, reading the last book in the trilogy soon.) Bossypants by Tina Fey. Recommended. No, highly recommended. The woman is hilarious.
J: Do you listen to music while you write?
KS: I listen to music when I plan and when I write; I listen to white noise when I’m reading over my work. For actual music, it just has to be a mix of songs that don’t irritate me enough to make me stop and change the song. If the songs match the mood of my characters, even better!
J: Aside from writing, what are your favorite things to do?
KS: I enjoy customizing (repainting and re-hairing, sometimes sculpting on) My Little Pony toys, but I don’t have much time for it these days. I also enjoy taking our dog, Jack, for long walks on nice days. Oh, and napping. Looooove napping!
J: If you could be granted one superpower, which would it be?
KS: I’d love to be able to change into an eagle like one of the characters in Bound—flight fascinates me, but so far I’ve been too scared to try it, what with me lacking wings and all.
J: Where’s the farthest away from home you’ve traveled?
KS: I think I went to Iceland when I was too young to remember anything at all about it; since then, the farthest I’ve been is Calgary, Alberta… but only to the airport for a stopover. Yay! I’d love to see New Zealand some day, and England. And Italy. And… well, I’d like to travel.
J: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known about writing earlier?
KS: I wish I’d known that first drafts are allowed to suck. I don’t know how many years I spent working on the first few chapters of novels and editing them, and then throwing them out because they weren’t good enough. Once I let go of that, let the first draft be as terrible as it wanted to be (which actually wasn’t that bad) and fixed it when I actually had something to work with, I was amazed by how fantastic and rewarding writing can be.
J: What advice would you give to new writers getting started on their first story?
KS: Let your imagination go wild! Use an outline if it helps (and for me, a short one does), but let things go where they want to. Explore tangents, let your characters have conversations that won’t end up in the story but that allow you to get to know them better. If things get boring or stuck, throw them into a car crash or the lion’s cage at the zoo, and see what happens. If the ending’s not what you expected, give it a chance before you wrestle things back into place. And have fun! If you’re not excited about writing it, what are the odds someone else will be excited about reading it?
I love that you customize My Little Ponys. And you know I love your posts about shopping at the store with the bad English dolls! But I’m sorry you haven’t been able to travel as much yet. Come on, wealthy philanthropists. Do it for the drunken floozies! The drunken floozies for cryin’ out loud!
All right people! Questions for Kate? Have you read any of the books she mentioned? Do you want a customized My Little Pony? Do you agree with her advice? Have you gone to bed with any authors more than your spouse? Let Kate know below.