Kathleen Heady interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Apr 19, 2017 10:59:40 PM
Kathleen Heady interview with David Alan Binder
Bio from her website: Kathleen is the author of three novels featuring Nara Blake, a young woman from a Caribbean island who moves to England, leaving behind a fiancé and all her childhood memories. The latest novel, Hotel Saint Clare, goes back to Nara’s life on the island. Lydia’s Story and The Gate House are both contemporary suspense novels set in England. The Gate House tell the story of Nara’s adjustment to living in Britain, and the mysteries she finds in the old house where she lives. In Lydia’s Story, she finds the diaries that belonged to her grand-grandmother, who was a spy for the British during World War II.
She began writing as a child, but never took her writing seriously until she was living in Costa Rica in the 1990s, and joined a writing group with other teachers at the international school where she was employed.
1. How do you pronounce your name (only answer if appropriate)?
My last name, Heady, is pronounced like the word, as in a "heady experience."
2. Where are you currently living (at least the state or if outside US then Country)?
Durham, North Carolina
3. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
To write every day. A writer is someone who writes, so the daily practice of sitting down at the computer, or with a notebook, is crucial.
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
All three of my books have been published by small publishers.
The most recent is Sage Words Publications in Webster, NY. I have considered self-publishing, but even a small publisher will give you so much help with editing, cover art, etc., that I have never wanted to do it myself.
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I still seem to sell more eBooks than print books, although I prefer reading print books myself.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published? Whether you are trying to get an agent, or sending your book directly to a publisher, a good query letter is key. Look online for tips and sample letters, and ask someone knowledgeable to read over your query letter.
7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I'm still working on this one myself. After my first three books were published by small publishers, I am trying to find an agent for my latest. It is a much more time consuming process, which means it will take much longer until the book is released. Since publishers still require authors to do much of the promotion themselves, I'm not sure I will be better off. But I'm giving it a shot.
8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Write every day, even if it is only a few sentences. Find someone knowledgeable and honest to read your work, but you don't have to take all of their suggestions. Trust your instincts. Join a critique group or other writing groups, attend conferences and workshops. It's helpful and fun to talk with other writers.
9. How many books have you written?
I have written four books. Three published so far.
10. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?
Find a good critique group, or another writer to read your work. Cultivate enough humility to listen to what they have to say, but at the same time, trust your instincts. It's your writing.
11. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
I think this is something that just comes naturally. When I am "in the zone" writing, I am always surprised with what comes. Sometimes a character does something I didn't expect, or a new character appears that I didn't plan on. I do "sprint writing" with some friends online. We plan a time and write for thirty minutes straight. Good things come out of this concentrated time.
12. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
Writing with an authentic, and this doesn't always come easily. I feel more authentic when I write slowly, and am not in a rush to reach a word goal for the day.
13. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I do most of my promotion online through Facebook, Good Reads and my blog. I am a member of Sisters in Crime, an organization for mystery and crime writers. I find that word of mouth is one of the best tools. Don't be afraid to speak up and say you are a writer. Most people are fascinated to meet a "real" writer.
14. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I would write more, but it's never too late to start.
15. What saying or mantra do you live by?
It's never too late to start.