7 Questions With Author Kiera-Lynn Hart (Part 2)
Kiera Lynn Hart is the author of Salem Shadows. When she’s not writing, she’s known for running marathons and she even climbed Mount Fuji twice.
Although new to the self-publishing industry, she is not new to writing and her novel promises to take us for a magical ride filled with witchcraft, unexpected twists and a heroine who’s got plenty up her sleeve.
Salem Shadows blurb:
Nina Truman is a teenage girl living in Salem, Massachusetts in 1697. Although she and her family possess magic, there is no way to escape the gossip that has already lined up six supposed witches to hang. Before she knows it, her mother is arrested as the seventh. With the help of an unexpected new friend, she must venture into the unknown to save her family and her beloved town, both from the influence of witchcraft, and from itself.
For the ones of you who are new to my blog, I’m Esther, writer, content creator for authors and massive nerd. If you’re at the beginning of your writing journey, check out From Writing To Publishing Your Novel for the best tips & tricks. For more goodies, articles and giveaways, please consider subscribing to my Newsletter and if you’re a member of the writing industry, shoot me an email, I’d love to interview you and promote your work to the right crowd.
Esther Rabbit: How do you deal with negative feedback or negative reviews?
I was once present for an interview with an award-winning author who said she had met a renowned author I knew of at a conference once before.
He told her that, despite being a hit author for decades (including winning gold and silver Newbery awards), he still lost sleep over whatever his next book was, and that if ninety-eight critics liked the book, the negativity from the remaining two cut like a knife.
I learned from that to change my perspective when things aren’t going my way; it’s not over ‘til it’s over.
Esther Rabbit: Is there anything you learned from reader reviews?
I learned that research pays off. I had to do extensive research for the first book I self-published, which was based on a historical phenomenon, and my very first reviewer commented on it in her five-star review of it.
I didn’t just browse the Internet, either; I had to read nonfiction books that ran upwards of seven hundred pages. Then I had to figure out how to incorporate my ideas with the facts and vice-versa. It had never felt so good to be commended.
Esther Rabbit: Just how much research is there behind a novel? Tell us how it looks behind the scenes.
I look for what a certain group of people did for fun, how they dressed, what they ate, and, most importantly, what their laws and crimes were.
Whether the world you’re writing about is fictional or real, the key to all story is conflict, and you cannot know how your maverick characters are going to break the rules until you know what the rules are.
Esther Rabbit: What are the 5 immediate tasks you hope to accomplish in the near future?
- Finish proofreading my latest two-part book series.
- Obtain covers for the aforementioned books.
- Upgrade my website to the business plan.
- Update my writing advice blog entries.
- Find out how Print on Demand works.
Esther Rabbit: We all know this industry is full of surprises. Can you share an unexpected experience?
When I sent out queries for my first draft of my first novel, the first dozen replies were straight-up rejections. However, lucky number thirteen asked me for my first partial.
I thought, this is it! Unfortunately, she ultimately said no. But, she told me a couple of very reassuring things: that it was a “fantastic” idea for a book, and that I had a tendency to tell when I could have been showing.
From this encounter, I learned never to submit a first draft, regardless if it is polished for grammatical errors. I am about to finish draft nine, and the word count has increased so much resulting from the extra plot, characters, and details that I had to divide it into two books!
Esther Rabbit:. What’s the best advice/feedback on writing you’ve ever received?
I would have to credit that to master screenwriter John Truby, who said that, all good stories follow the rules, some just do so more discreetly than others. I told a friend this, and he disagreed, saying that the hit movie Pulp Fiction broke all the rules.
But, I took Truby’s idea into consideration and realized that my friend was wrong; that movie still had tons of suspense, characters we could never forget and who had amazing chemistry between them, and was thoroughly unpredictable. I think that novel writing is no different from screenwriting in that respect.
Esther Rabbit: What are the steps you usually take from writing your first draft to publishing?
I try to sum up my novel’s plot in a single sentence, then brainstorm every last thing I can think of that can go wrong for its protagonist. The way my brain works is by starting with big boxes and then breaking them down into smaller ones, like with a flowchart.
I put the scenes in order, I look for plot holes, and between the first draft and the last, I add as many details I can without making the prose crowded.
Find Kiera-Lynn Hart here:
Facebook: Kiera-Lynn Hart
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