Would you like to win a print copy of her time-travel novel SEASONS IN THE MIST, a 2010 Grace Award winner? One randomly chosen commenter will win a copy generously donated by Deborah.
Here's what you have to do:
1. Become a Follower of Everyone's Story, if you aren't already
(okay, you really don't have to but it would be appreciated!)
2. Leave your e-mail address in your comment so you can be contacted.
First, a few fun questions for Deb:
Your signature line is "Timeless Romance, Transcendent Faith"--which I love! Very gripping. Can you elaborate why you chose this to describe your stories?
A tag line that encompasses all I do was quite a challenge. I've written contemporary romance, time-travel romance to the Middle Ages, and now straight historical. I looked for a summary of all that, and brainstormed my critique partner until she and I came up with this. I hope readers will say it's a perfect fit.
Would you say your novels fall within or just outside of "the box" of what is traditionally published in Christian fiction? If the latter, did that alter your approach to pitching your work to distinct agents/editors?
Oh, out of the box. Definitely. I'm a member of the Edgy Christian Fiction Writers' group and that's a good fit also. Being out of the box means that I can't always expect to sell a book just because I've learned how to tell a story a little better than I once did. I've warned my agent I'll never write a totally sweet book -- there's always some dark mixed in with the light. She seems to be okay with that... Pitching my books is usually rather a challenge, but as the market seems to be opening up a bit, I hope it will become a tad bit easier to sell the unusual project.
Would you like to confess: SOP or Detailed Outliner?
SOP and proud of it. There's no "one way" to write other than that the end product glorify God. Everything else is a matter of work-style and each writer should do as s/he finds works best. But my critique partner practically faints if I tell her I've pre-plotted anything!
Of Art and Marketing by Deborah Kinnard
Many writers, aspiring and experienced alike, worry first about marketing a manuscript. How? Where will it go? When? In what form? Until you’ve finished the book, worrying about marketability is a mistake. Why is it? Because job one, the first cause, the sine qua non, is story.
A writer should fret about story first and foremost. Ideally, a story will pop into the mind that utterly fires your imagination, and you’ll learn the craft until you can tell it well. If a story’s never caught you up in it, you have a treat waiting for you. It’s fun to write when this happens. Warning: it can be all-consuming when this happens. In my house, it particularly eats into housekeeping and cleaning time. Hope your family likes frozen pizza for supper.
At this point, ideally you’re just worried about telling your story. Some writers inelegantly refer to this as “barfing the book.”
Folks who write this way get the whole story told as succinctly as possible. Some sketch it out on paper, not even starting to write until they know beginning, middle and end.
Once you have your story, and know how you’re going to tell it, only then are you ready for Part Two. At this point, it’s time to worry about whether you’ll outline versus doing seat-of-the pants writing, plot storyboards, the Snowflake method, stylistic no-nos, taboo words, passive versus active writing.
What is seat-of-the-pants writing? It starts like this: some writers start writing when they get a scenario in their minds. “What if?” they ask, and begin to pound the keyboard. This isn’t bad, it’s good, because you get started, which is always a good thing. And no, I won’t entertain argument about whether a writer “should” outline or go seat-of-the-pants. All of this is work-style, not story. Remember the sitcom? Trying to write from a scenario is like knowing Lorelai and Rory Gilmore live in a small town that doesn’t understand them. That’s set-up, not story. What happens to them is story.
Okay, let’s say you’ve done your storytelling job, either through outlining and writing carefully to the outline, or going seat-of-the-pants and discovering what happens along the way. You’ve written THE END, which many would-be authors never do. You’re finished—right? Congratulations!
No. Now it’s time for Part Three. You edit, revise, buff and polish until it shines. Your voice is now down on paper, telling YOUR story as only YOU can.
Now, and only now, comes Part Four. Now you get to fret about where the story will fit. This is your time to do research on your chosen market.
Let’s say you’ve written a romance. You look in the Writers’ Market books to find out what houses might be a good fit for your word length. If you think a house is publishing the type of book you’ve written, you’ll want to buy a few titles to see what this house thinks is good, sellable fiction.
If you have any questions for Deb, or would just like to say hello, drop her a line or two. She'd love to hear from you.
In college, she gained two degrees in health care and spent time observing hippies, basketball stars, el-ed majors and other strange species.
While raising two active girls and cherishing a husband, she’s enjoyed a career that has encompassed Spanish translation, volunteer work at a crisis line, years in assorted ERs that don’t resemble the one on TV, and a day job at a big Chicago teaching hospital.
She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, serving as Midwest Zone Director, and confesses to being a loud singer at church. In 2002 and 2003, she sold her first and second novels, POWERLINE and OAKWOOD to Treble Heart Books. ANGEL WITH A RAY GUN, ANGEL WITH A BACK HOE and DAMAGES are available from Desert Breeze. SEASONS IN THE MIST was released by Sheaf House in April ’10 and ALOHA, MY LOVE, a novella, in December ’10 from Desert Breeze.
When Deb’s not at the computer writing, she keeps busy with the SCA, reading, beadwork, and needlework. She loves to travel and meet new people, some of whom turn up later in her stories. So if you meet a short woman with a light in her eye…