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Thursday, May 19, 2011

TOPIC: Kylie Griffin FAQ's

After months of interviewing my friends in RWAustralia, RWNew Zealand and RWAmerica, I thought it was only fair to turn the tables on myself.

Where do you live?
Outback Australia
New South Wales, in an outback rural community (Australia). 

What sort of books do you write?
Broadly speaking - paranormal romance. Breaking it down, I love writing fantasy romance and science fiction romance, with paranormal elements. 

What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer?
When I'm teaching full-time I write early in the morning. I get up anywhere between 4-5am and get a few hours in before I head off to work. I'm fresher and much more creative then, than when I get home from being on the go with a classroom full of little kids. If it's school holidays, I like to stay up late and write then. Less interruptions, quieter and I can sleep in the next morning if I've had a late one.
Hugh - sigh...

Are there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?
I like to get a cuppa and brekky first thing in the morning, and while I'm doing that I clear out my emails or post promo's of my upcoming blog posts.
Desktop inspiration!

I also change my desktop picture daily - usually I select a natural scene that encapsulates a setting from my WIP or one of my many hunky guys who resembles my hero.

Once I've done that then I light a scented candle, put up my DO NOT DISTURB sign on the front door and go for it. Sometimes I put on easy listening music, down low so I can't get distracted by the lyrics, but mostly I write in silence. 

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?
I'm evolving. I started off as a pure panster when I first began writing and found I had a LOT of half written manuscripts sitting in boxes. As I learned more and improved I would have called myself a panster in the fog - you know, you can see the tops of the hills and your destination in the distance (aka some scenes and finale) but still muddle our way through to get there.
Now, thanks to entering a couple of competitions where I had to submit a synopsis with the work (and I haven't actually finished the ms) I'm seeing a need to plan. I won't say full on plot because I don't think I'll ever convert to pure plotting and structure. So, I'm a panstering scener with a final destination and the journey there remains a mystery.

As for editing, I do it as I go. Usually I writer a few chapters at a time then go back and add in detail and layering. Once I finish the whole manuscript I'll send it out to some beta readers for comment then with their comments I'll check for holes and errors and give it that final once over.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time? Are you a goal setter with your writing?
When I first start a book I set myself word goals to get into the routine of producing work. Once I meet those goals I begin lifting the targets. I'm competitive with myself once I get into that routine. I like to see if I can beat the target and if so, by how much. And once I'm immersed in the whole process those word totals tend to become redundant. I just write until the end.

I do like to write every day, no necessarily on my WIP but something writing related. Keeps the brain ticking over and the creative eye in. 

What writing tools do you favour?
Long hand, computer…I'm definitely a lap top girl. I'm a fast typist. The only time I'll go long hand is if I'm in town shopping and inspiration strikes. Then I'll write on any scrap of paper and put what I've done in my pocket for later.

I do have a notebook beside me in the lounge room and on the bedside table for jotting down ideas. They tend to come to me when my mind is switched off and in neutral watching television or just as I'm drifting off to sleep.

During an editing phase I like a hard copy of my ms sitting in front of me rather than a screen. There's something more tangible about being able to mark it with highlighters (using the Margie Lawson EDITS system) or with red pen line edits. For repetitive words/phrases I use Wordle, a natty tool that counts the number of times you've used each word in your ms. (I discovered this one via Mel Scott - thanks, Mel!)

Lastly, when I'm writing a series I use an A4 spiral bound notebook with sticky-note labels on the edges of pages and turn it into a "Series Bible" - characters & descriptions, terminology, culture, history, places & names, facts, animals & plants, possible ms title lists etc. I also stick in any maps I've created, a synopsis and back cover blurb for easy reference. Anything that pertains to the series that I might need to refer to when I create the next book. It saves me having to flip back through the first one looking for a hair colour or some other hard to find thing. 

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between? Are you prepared to show evidence of your claim with a desk photo?
My cave...
 My writing space can be all that, but my OC side (obsessive compulsive) likes it to be mostly organised. And yes, here's my desk - I waited nearly 15years to find the "right" one - a recycled timber with imitation leather top. Sigh.

You can see my "Series Bible" for the Light Blade series (the one Berkley just recently bought) on the right hand side, it's bright pink. It goes with me where ever I take my laptop.

You can also see the ever present coffee cup, a small rock that has the word CREATE carved into it near my lamp and on the wall are inspirational sayings as well as a tiny picture of my great Grandma Griffin above the left hand corner of my laptop (I use her surname as my author surname to keep it in the family, it just happens to match my genre as well), and a photo of my agent and editor (I like to see them when I'm corresponding via emails or talking to them over the phone). 

What books are due to be released?
VENGEANCE BORN: A Novel of the Light Blade (Book1) is out in the USA in Feb.2012 with Berkley.
Book 2 & 3 in this series haven't had definite dates set yet. 

Who is your agent? Who is your editor?
I'm represented by the incredible Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency. At Berkley Publishing the wonderful Leis Pederson is my editor. 

Are you a member of any writing organisations or groups?
Yes, and I can't tell you how much I enjoy being with such supportive and encouraging people within these organisations.
Romance Writers of Australia
Romance Writers of New Zealand
Romance Writers of America®
Science Fiction Romance Brigade
Romance Writers of Australia (paranormal e-loop)
2010 RWA Golden Heart® "Unsinkables" e-loop 

Where can I find out more information about you?
I have a website, this blog and a Facebook page. 

Can readers email you?
Absolutely, I love getting emails from readers.

You can contact me on - kyliegriffin71 (at) optusnet (dot) com (dot) au - and you can expect a response within a day or a couple of weeks depending on what deadlines are coming up.

If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comments section of this post and I'll do my best to answer them.

22 comments:

  1. Kylie, what a fascinating interview. I'm so glad you turned the spotlight on yourself. You've been so generous letting all sorts of other riffraf (snort!) have a spot here. I love your pantser in the fog image - I'm going to steal it because you know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Keep on writing. Can't wait for the books to hit the shelves!

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  2. Hi Kylie,

    It is great reading about you. One day very soon I will ask you questions over at my blog. Hope you will agree to it!

    And you do have a wealth of information in here.

    Congrats on the release of your book!

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  3. Great interview Kylie - can't wait for the book to come out. I love your desk!
    Cheers,
    Bec

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  4. Lovely insights into you and your writing process, Kylie! You site and blogs are fabulous resources for writers no matter where they are on the journey :-)

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  5. Hi Kylie! How funny - I have a stone with 'create' carved into it too! Also have another with 'believe', which is very important for a writer :-) Wish I had your desk...

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  6. I thought it only fair to grill myself, Anna & Nas. Helps me develop empathy for the other riff-raff...umm, I mean special guests, who visit. LOL

    Oh, imitation from Anna Campbell - I like, it's a huge compliment!

    Nas, I'd love to visit you - you have a great blog (loved this week's topic on Creating Emotional Tension in your work - http://nas-dean.blogspot.com/2011/05/create-emotional-tension-in-your.html)

    Hey, Bec, looking forward to my series hitting the shelves too! Getting more real by the week. February isn't that far away.

    Helene! So many people have been generous with their time and given me pointers (ie. Anna, yourself) that I'm hoping to do the same thing. I'm always happy to help others out with resources & information.

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  7. Hey, Paula! We must have visited the same place to get those rocks - LOL. Simple words but so very meaningful, eh? I'll have to find the BELIEVE one to go with CREATE.

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  8. Hi Kylie,

    Thanks for the mention. Author Jessica Hart is a writing craft teacher so she gives some very good advice, doesn't she?

    As you're not on twitter, I've tweeted your link to my group of friends!

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  9. Hi Kylie,

    great insight into you as a writer =)

    I don't have a rock but I do have a BELIEVE sticker (given to me by my co-writer of Believe - though as much for inspiration as the book itself)

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  10. Great to learn more about you, Kylie. The rocks made me smile. At a conference in America an editor at one of the published author sessions had a pile of beautiful polished small rocks in a basket with a word painted on it and we all had to take one. I still have mine on my dressing table but now think it should be facing me under this monitor as I type. I sure need WISDOM in this crazy, awesome but delightful career.

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  11. Tweet away, Nas! :-D

    Hey, Mel & Mary - funny what we collect as inspirational reminders to keep us motivated.

    I love quotes and was in Quote heaven the year Margie Lawson came to the RWNZ/RWOz conferences. She had a basket full of them and handed them out.

    Some of them are on my office wall, staring me down as I type, encouraging me onwards when I sit back and lift my head for a break.

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  12. Nice to learn more about you, Kylie. I like your idea of a hunky guy pic and suitable music, I usually write listening to the news!

    Maggi Andersen

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  13. "Crap!" That was a word wordle picked up in my ms recently. LOL Gotta love that Wordle! Thanks for the tip. My next question is how many times can you have the same word in an ms????. Loved your interview. One day I'm going to take a loooooong drive and find you. Loved that otback pic - and Hugh. By golly! How young is he in the shot!

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  14. Hey Kylie, I loved your interview! And I also love your panster in the fog image - what a great description! Can't wait until VENGEANCE BORN hits the shelves :-)

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  15. Maggie, whatever works for me I tend to use it all the time - and as I'm a visual learner the visual cues are great prompts/inspiration! :-)

    Jenn, you can use a word as many times as you like in an ms! But I bet your editor or copy editor will have something to say about it - LOL! Wordle is great!

    The outback picture is actually of the "mountain" where I live. The village is at the base of it. I can see out across the plains where I took the picture from. The area reminds me of the countryside around Warwick and Yangan in Queensland, very similar geography and farming communities in both places. Feel free to drive out - you have a bed at my place any time!

    And yes, Hugh-baby, I have quite a few versions of my Aussie hero/inspiration (and quite a nice one of him as The Drover from the movie AUSTRALIA). Sigh...

    Hi, Christina! Another pantster in the fog admirer! Glad to hear I'm not the only one hanging out to see VB hit the shelves! LOL Thanks for dropping by.

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  16. Fantastic interview Kylie. I'm quite inspired!

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  17. Michelle de RooyMay 19, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Riff-raff, Anna? Well, as one of the last riff-raff to be on here...LMAO!! Love the self-interview, Ms. K. Ahhh, pantsing... I know it well!

    I wonder how fast you'd chase me if that bible went walkies??? *vbg* :D

    Can't wait for my copy of VB, ma'am! And have learned a heck of a lot from your posts, links, and you!

    Cheers,
    Michelle

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  18. My young apprentice! If that pink bible ever goes missing I'll know where to look to find it!

    And congrats on your success this year - keep going, never give up! :-)

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  19. So fabulous to hear more about the prolific and contest famous Kylie. I admire you being able to combine a writing career with a full-time teaching role as I know first hand how involving both jobs are :)

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  20. Hi Rachael - not a lot of sleep happens when I'm teaching and writing. I love holidays for two reasons - time to write (after I program for school, of course) and time to sleep in and make up for all the early morning rises to "squeeze in" more time for writing. LOL

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  21. Great to read more about you, Kylie. Thanks for sharing, Miss Pantsering scener. :))

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