Monday, 13 December 2010

Interview with Kathy Collier Mehl

Hello, Blogosprites! Can you believe there's only a few more weeks left in the year? Time sure does fly. Before the year ends, let's add some more memorable moments of 2010 by indulging in another interview. This time we're talking with aspiring novelist Kathy Collier.

Welcome, Kathy! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a mother of 7 and a grandmother of 17. Since an early age, about 7, I loved reading books. One year Santa brought me a complete set of classics like Black Velvet, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, etc. I couldn't have been happier. In ninth grade I was on the newspaper staff, and my one chance to write something, I caught the german measles and missed the opportunity. For years I have kept journals of my life, but raising my children took precedence. As soon as my last child was an adult, I headed for the computer and began writing my first novel with a lot of enthusiasm. I have read and studied hard about the business of writing and have been learning the proper methods of publishing. It is not easy, but I have enjoyed the journey.

Let's hear about your novel THE VEIL. What's the story about?

Ahh my story. Tommie Lanier seeks to know everything about everyone, especially if they pique her interest. This YA paranormal romance of 125,000 words is about a young teen graduating high school and traveling to Maui, where her eldest brother lives, to vacation with her friends and twin brother.

Teen years are confusing enough, but her twin William and she communicate mentally. Unlike Tommie, Will is funny, easygoing and in love with her best friend. He is not the least bit interested in sleuthing. Tommie, on the other hand, notices everything around her and is intrigued by the secrecy. She discovers Adam, her eldest brother, is involved in scientific research for immortality. Tommie seems to put herself in the right place at the wrong time repeatedly until she uncovers Adam’s secret formula. This discovery sends her spiraling into a world of chaos and secrecy. Her friends will see Hawaii as most people, but Tommie will see the other side of The Veil and discover myths about Hawaii are real. The sparks fly when she meets the first immortal, Douglas Brice, and the adventures begin.

Sounds really cool. How did the idea of the story come to you?

Believe it or not, I used to sell Morinda Noni Juice, and knew about its properties and healing abilities, including the fact it even repairs DNA damaged cells. This led me to the idea of writing a story about a genetic scientist seeking "The Fountain of Youth". Because I have worked with youth for the past 7 years, I chose to write for YA since this seems to be the area that is selling the most Paranormal Romance.

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I have an editor, and I belong to a Writer's Club where we help each other from time to time. We meet monthly. If anyone has an issue or problem, there is someone to answer the question. I also have an established author in this area that has been my mentor, and has read my manuscript.

Sounds like you've got your bases covered. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Writing is the fun part. I write 4 to 5 hours a day religiously. The one thing I have learned to do is to write the story first, then edit. My biggest challenge has been to edit constantly, but I have been training myself to get the story down first.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Take your time, don't be in a hurry with publishing. Rewrite until it sparkles, and have faith that you can do it. Be confident, and with all the information out there, you can learn the business. Never give up, no matter the rejections. Stephen King once said he had put a nail in the wall to hold all of his rejections. After awhile they all fell off and he put a bolt up. He said the bolt was full, and several years passed before he was successful in publishing, but he never gave up. Therefore, if you are serious and truly believe in yourself and your abilities, you will succeed. Don't get discouraged, we all get rejections.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

When writing, I absolutely have to have my laptop, my thesaurus, my Master Writer Program, and Internet for research. Lots of water to drink. I forget to eat and sleep when my thoughts flow.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Super Power, wow! To be immortal and never have to sleep or eat, so I can write incessantly.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: accountant, ferris wheel, and frogs.

The colossal ferris wheel slowly ebbed to a stop with a shrill creeking of metal, terrorizing the riders including Mr. Habbish, a simple-minded accountant whose face turned the shade of tree frogs due to his fear of heights.

Love the visual with that one! Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

Awesome. Thanks Dorothy for this wonderful interview and opportunity to announce my someday-to-be-published novel, The Veil. I would love to thank my editor, Liz Gerace, and all of her wonderful expertise and ideas. I couldn't have managed without her. Liz also was my moral support, my light in the dark. Most of all I want to shout out to my husband, who puts up with my typing all hours of the night while he sleeps. (Thank goodness he is hard of hearing.) hehehe. He has been such a wonderful support to me, and my children and grandchildren who have read and constructively helped. To my friends and strangers that I have allowed to read my manuscript. Thanks to everyone who has played a part in supporting me through my year of writes and rewrites. I love you all.

And finally, where can people find you online?, twitter as Kathy Collier Mehl, and facebook as Kathy Mehl.

Super. Thank you so much for chatting with us, Kathy. Your book sounds great and I wish you lots of success in getting it published. Please let us know when you've reached the next step of your publishing journey.


Paul Joseph said...

"The one thing I have learned to do is to write the story first, then edit. My biggest challenge has been to edit constantly, but I have been training myself to get the story down first."

This is so true! I continue to struggle with this very same challenge. For some reason, I just can't let things go. Writing the story first makes sense - I mean, how can you really edit until you know everything that happens? How can you pick out flaws before the entire plot has unfolded? Yet, I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who finds this a challenge. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to write the story first, and that not being able to do so is normal.

Gina said...

Wow...that is a pretty big extended family! Must make holidays extra interesting. ^_^ Interesting idea behind the book...always curious how these things come about. You never know where inspiration will come from next. Great job on the writing test. That is a very visual sentence indeed...agree with you there Dorothy! Best of luck in your writing endeavors and thanks for sharing a bit about yourself...