Interview by Kimberley Shead
I had the privilege of being interviewed by Kimberley Shead, an urban fantasy author who lives in South East London. We've been fortunate to have connected over our love of reading, writing, and learning about the writing industry; and are enjoying being on this journey together.
Below is a copy of the interview that Kimberley posted on her website.
Writer's Secrets (part 1)
Being a full-time writer is the desire of many who pen every day and send their words out into the world with one wish, to have an impact.
Our guest today is no exception. Yvonne Carder is a writer, with a full time day job, who I was fortunate to meet through our mutual online mentor Joanna Penn, check out The Creative Penn website for more on Joanna.
Yvonne kindly offered to share her writing journey with us as well as an insight into her life and a peek into her mind. This is the first part of a two part interview.
Q1. How would you describe your writing journey so far to readers?
Honestly my journey is a little convoluted. I started writing poetry in high school to help me figure out and deal with my feelings and thoughts. It started after one of my best friends, Chris, committed suicide. I had just turned 15 when my Mom and I got a frantic phone call from his sister; my best friend at the time. She was calling us because her parents weren’t answering their work phone and she didn’t know what else to do.
I’ll never forget that phone call or the drive across town. That was the first death I experienced and I sunk into a deep depression and went deep into myself. Art was a way for me to work out the swirl of emotions followed by the mind numbing void I was floundering through. I joined both the art and poetry clubs at school and found that I was able to express myself through painting and written words when I didn’t want to talk to anyone.
I was fortunate that the teacher who oversaw the poetry club encouraged us to submit our work to local anthologies and the county fair. I got my first publication during my junior year of high school. I wrote poetry for several years; but once I finally got to a place where my psyche was healed enough I stopped writing as much. At the time I was in college and working on an Art Major. I realized that art probably wasn’t going to pay the bills, so I switched to a more ‘traditional’ job.
I became a licensed veterinary technician (or nurse) and have done that now for over 14 years. But my need for creative expression has never left me. If I’m not creating visual art, then I’m singing or writing. I have to create something otherwise I get a little stir crazy!
I started writing my current novel Luminata about 10 years ago. I wrote about 30 or so pages over about 2 or 3 years and then it went into a file stored on my computer somewhere. In August 2016, I obtained my specialty credentials (Veterinary Technician Specialty in Small Animal Internal Medicine) which was an intense 2 year process. Once I was done, I felt a vacuum and was searching to figure out what I wanted to do next. I signed up for completing my Bachelor’s degree, but as luck would have it, my transcripts were delayed so I couldn’t start for about 4 months. Lightning struck and I said that I was going to finally finish writing my novel.
I set myself daily and weekly goals of about 5,000-6,000 words a week. These were very lofty, but I told myself that even if I didn’t reach them I would be in a better place than I was before starting. I was excited when I finished the first manuscript, on myself imposed 10 week deadline, and I had ~89,000 words.
I’m on a little bit of a break in my novel writing since I started back at school and have day job commitments that are requiring a lot of my time and creativity at the moment. But even when I’m not working on editing my manuscript I’m learning about the publishing industry. I’m reading books, articles, listening to podcasts, and absorbing everything that I can.
Q2. What has influenced your choice of genre?
San Francisco Writers Conference 2017
I was fortunate to be able to volunteer for California Writers Club at the San Francisco Writers Conference on February 18. I met some great people while manning the booth while representing local authors.
I went to one of the classes, and the keynote speaker at lunch. The class that I attended was 'Good Books Aren't Written, They're Rewritten: How to Be Your Own Editor' with Stuart Horwitz, Susie Meserve, and Monica Weslowska as speakers. I know that editing is the step of writing I am in and I'm learning as much as I can so that I can prepare the best story for all my readers. I felt like a sponge in the back of the room listening to all they had to say about the process.
Little Gems of Wisdom:
Stuart Horwitz: Take action steps and develop your revision style.
Susie Meserve: Read your manuscript OUT LOUD to hear it with new ears.
Monica Wesolowska: Sometimes you learn about your story by writing something else.
I also picked up Stuart Horwitz's book 'Blueprint Your Bestseller'. I like Stuart's sense of humor, I can hear him talking while I'm reading the book.
Building Up My Author's Platform
I've been working hard to get the infrastructure set up so that I can provide you with the best content that I can. Who knew there was so much to learn about websites, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Patreon, Google Analytics, Gravatars and so much more?! Just when I think I've got a handle on what I need to be doing, I realize that my email capture is amateur and pretty sub-par. So I went back to the drawing board.... It should now be functioning. Be sure to sign up to receive my monthly newsletters and subscriber only content. And please let me know if you have trouble with it!
Some of it is pretty amazing once it's in place; and I hope that you find it more enjoyable than I found it setting up. I'm looking forward to when all of the behind the scenes stuff is up and running and I can work on the pretty stuff again.
Speaking of Pretty Stuff
Be on the look out for my daily updates on Facebook and Twitter. I've set up themes for each day of the week.
Speaking of which: here's Princess Pumpkin Doodle as a #FairieCat yesterday on #CatSaturday. How can you not love those eyes peering into your soul? (I may be a little biased, since she is one of my four-legged-furry kids.)
Don't miss any other adorable photos of the Doodlebug or she'll find you and ask for you to pet her!
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