Welcome to a new series on chocolateandpaper.com! I decided it was time to pay it forward but I didn’t know how. I don’t have any free books to give away (I wish I was published). Nor do I have the level of editing skills someone would covet.
So “The Five Question Interview” was born! It’s intent: to pay it forward to the lovely writing community. We can either be cutthroat and just plain mean, or we can support one another. I choose the latter (not that I ever did the former!). In this first post, let’s learn a little bit about KM Weiland.
K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the award-winning and internationally-published author of Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and speculative fiction and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.
And Now The Interview
Your books on novel outlining and character building is a best seller series. When did you begin seeing a need to share what you’ve successfully applied to your own writing?
I started my blog mostly just as a way to share the journey – more as a conversation than a teaching tool, per se. Over the years it grew into its own thing, and as I learned more and more in my own journey as a writer, I became more and more passionate about sharing it with others. Particularly after my first writing book, Outlining Your Novel, came out, I felt I had something to say that would help other writers overcome some of the same challenges and puzzles I was facing in my own writing.
A two-part question: You are very interactive with folks online, both through Twitter and your website. How do you manage your time between writing and all that social media? Do you think having social media helps one’s credibility or hinders it?
Second answer first: Whether or not social media helps one’s credibility or not depends, I think, on how it’s used. Certainly, people can totally flame themselves if they are irresponsible or unethical with their social presence. But, that aside, social media is an incomparable tool for reaching others in our modern age.
As for managing my time, I always say schedules are my secret weapon. My life is extremely busy. Even though I write full-time, my “day job” is my non-fiction writing about writing. It’s easy to let that side take over. So I have always been very strict with myself in maintaining my two hours of fiction writing every day. Schedules are the only way that happens for me.
What is your favorite underappreciated novel?
I don’t know that “underappreciated” is the right word, but I’m a big fan of Anton Myrer’s anti-war epic of Once an Eagle, which I hardly ever hear talked about. I also enjoy independent author Kim Vandel’s Under Fire series; I’m waiting impatiently for the third book.
What do you think of garden gnomes? I’d like to think they come alive at night and wreck havoc on unsuspecting neighboring yards.
Hah. They’re creepy. Your imaginings make them even creepier 🙂
What do you love the most about the writing process?
Is it the actual outlining or something else entirely?
The best part is the part before the writing even starts, when the story is just light and magic in my imagination. But, as far as the actual act of writing goes, outlining is definitely my favorite. There’s no pressure to be perfect in an outline, just wide open spaces to free-associate and stream-of-conscious my way through all the possibilities.