You’re invited to a dinner party, are you:
- The center of attention
- Off in a corner talking to one or two people
- Standing by the door waiting for a chance to leave
- At home reading or writing your latest work
- Why did you pick the response that you chose?
I love a dinner party, so I would be talking to hopefully two or more people. I enjoy socializing, spending time with friends and making new friends. And yes, I’d be holding a cocktail. I am not introverted, though I have a healthy fear of public speaking. But a party? I’m in!
What is the first book that made you cry?
Charlotte’s Web, by E.B.White, is the first book I remember as a child that really affected me. When Charlotte died, leaving Wilbur alone to carry her babies back to the farm, I was a goner. That book cemented my love of reading.
Do you view fellow authors as competitors, allies or are there some combination of the two? Why?
Authors have been only supportive and helpful to me from the beginning. I feel like I am part of a special club – no matter the success of the writers I meet. I showed up for a local author convention held at a library, clueless. Immediately, I was taken in and given pointers on how to set up my table. One author, who has since become a good friend and critique partner, even lent me her book holders so I could prop my books up and sell them! I sat next to a USA bestselling author who was generous with her time, answering questions and giving advice. I feel no competition at all. And now I can help others with less experience than me. There is enough space for everyone.
What writing advice have you found to be the most useful?
My favorite book on the craft, and one I keep nearby, is On Writing, by Stephen King. This line stays with me: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
He offers so much more advice, but I find this to be most useful.
Describe your writing space.
I have an office in my house where I write. It’s very calm: navy blue walls over white wainscoting, a simple wooden writing desk, very little furniture. So far, the walls are bare except for one canvas print hanging next to my desk. On it is painted the first line of my first book. It was a Christmas gift from a friend. I love to look at it and remember how I felt publishing my first book.
What tools do you use to write?
The first draft is always done with pen and paper. I can write anywhere: on my couch, in the yard, on the beach, if I have headphones on with music. Then I end up in my office for the rest of the process (more writing and editing) and no music. I like the act of transcribing from the notebook to Word, which allows me to read the story again and make changes as I copy it. I don’t take advantage of software tools for writers, like Autocrit and Scrivener. I rely on my developmental editors and proofreaders.
How effective do you think social media is for authors? How should it be used?
Social media is important if used the right way. Right now, it’s a great way to connect with readers. I love when someone reaches out to say she loved a book or I made her laugh and cry. I receive a lot of Facebook messages and the occasional email. I’m on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads as well. There are so many places to be, it can get overwhelming. I am not pushy and there is a lot of noise.
I found my favorite author, Kristan Higgins, through social media. I somehow discovered her a few years ago and I started to follow her. Through her blogs and posts, she shares anecdotes of her life, her family and her writing and I absolutely love it. So, I started reading her books and they are as warm, funny and touching as she is. To me, she uses her powers of social media for good.
Do you write in only a single genre? If so, what genre? If not, what genres?
I write Women’s Fiction. I want readers to connect to the journey a character has gone through and be able to say, I’ve gone through that too or I can relate to her in some way. I’ve been to dozens of book clubs over the past four years and this is the response I get. It’s all I want.
If you could interview a famous author, who would it be and what three questions would you ask him/her?
If given the opportunity, I would probably interview an author who lived fifty or so years ago, someone who wasn’t readily available on social media or social forums. Betty Smith, who wrote A Tree Grows In Brooklyn or Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird, are two people I’d love to have met.
I’d have so many questions, but would start with:
- How did you come to write your novel?
- Can you describe a typical day in your life?
- What is your favorite dessert?
What books are you current reading?
Right now, I’m reading I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb. I just finished Educated by Tara Westover, a memoir which was awesome and inspiring. Before that I read Bear Town by Fredrik Backman, who wooed me with his debut, A Man Called Ove.
Kimberly Wenzler was born and raised on Long Island, New York, where she currently resides with her husband and their two sons. She blogs at www.kimberlywenzler.wordpress.com using humor to share her personal views on life, writing, and reading. Her third novel, The Fabric Of Us, was published in October, 2018.
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