Thursday, 10 January 2013

Interview with Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

Today we're chatting with author Kathryn Elizabeth Jones about her novel, SCRAMBLED.

Welcome to We Do Write, Kathryn. Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been writing?

I've been writing for over 30 years. I began writing before my first daughter was born and published for the first time some 8 years later. That's with writing every day and studying writing from books borrowed at the library.

Tell us about SCRAMBLED. What’s the story about?

Scrambled is about a woman named Susan Cramer who leaves her husband hoping for a better life. What she finds is a dead man in an old hotel where she's been hired as a housekeeper. It doesn't help that everyone thinks that she's the killer or that she's really not the detective type.

How did the idea of the story come to you? 

I was in a writing class a few years ago when the story idea came to me. Scrambled began as a short story, but after I'd written the first 10 pages I knew that what I really had was a novel. I brought in my experience as a housekeeper (I ran a cleaning business for a few years) and my dreams of one day writing a mystery, having been a Nancy Drew fan in my younger years, and Scrambled was born.

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

I self-edit a few times in the beginning, and then send off my work to authors and avid-reader types. When the critiques return I make changes and then re-read the entire novel to make sure everything is as I want it.

Are you a planner or a pantser? 

I fly by the seat of my pants mostly. I do a little outlining in the beginning stages of the book, but often don't know the ending of the book until I'm there or almost there. I find that it's good to have a plan but that it shouldn't be engraved in stone. Often, the characters speak to me and I know if the scene is right or not. I make changes based on what the characters think, more than what I think they should be doing and when. A case in point: When I was writing, "Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones," I had it in my mind that Virginia would finally find a man whom she'd marry. I had him picked out. But things in books, as in life, don't always turn out the way you plan them.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

That would have to be setting, though I must be getting better at it. I had a reader tell me recently that she liked the back story to Susan in Scrambled, and much of that back story had setting in it.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

A computer, a marker, paper and a calendar. Sometimes when I'm writing on my computer an idea comes to me for a new book, a new marketing idea, something I need to check on in chapter 2 (maybe I'm feeling like the scene isn't quite right or something); the calendar helps me to schedule those things like author signings, online marketing, and other writing endeavors. I like the hands-on approach to keeping a calendar and so only have a paper version.

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

Flight. I could travel anywhere and write about anything without having to purchase an airline ticket.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

Where are dead bodies stored if they die on board a cruise ship? (Book two in the Susan Sleuth Mystery series).

Ooh, spooky. Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: assumption, symbolic, and boost.

Assumption will never bring one to understand the symbolic meaning of the scriptures and boost a person's confidence.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 


Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs. 

There have been many, many people in my life who have assisted me through my years of writing, but foremost: My husband, Doug, my three daughters, Aimee, Tiffanie and Bethany, and two of my sisters, Jenn and Tricia. I have also gleaned experience from being a part of The League of Utah Writers and other writing groups.

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

Paperback of Scrambled
Kindle of Scrambled

You can get an autographed copy of Scrambled at my website:

I also have 4 other books available for purchase including: A River of Stones (YA Christian Fiction), Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones (Christian Fiction), Conquering Your Goliaths: Guidebook (Christian Nonfiction) and Marketing Your Book on a Budget (Business Nonfiction, in Kindle format only).

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