About Laura Kitchell:
Laura Kitchell lives in Virginia. She became a member of the Quality Novelists Coalition in 2013 and is a member of Romance Writers of America and Chesapeake Romance Writers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her website at www.laurakitchell.com, and follow her at email@example.com.
What inspires you to write?
Life inspires me to write. My passion started from my love of reading. I wanted to write what I enjoy reading, and now writing is a part of who I am as a person. My day feels incomplete if I haven’t engaged in some kind of writing activity. The ideas are never-ending, and so I imagine I’ll keep writing until either my eyes go or my mind.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m neither a pantser (flying blind through a story) nor a plotter (outlines and summaries driving my writing). I like to call myself a plotser. I plot by way of determining my characters’ goals and motivation then decide which conflict will cause turning points in the book and how the story will resolve. I pants, however, within story itself. I know which direction I’m driving my characters in terms of conflict markers, but I have no idea how each scene will play out until I’m writing it. Descriptions, dialogue, and action flow naturally and freely without a roadmap.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my characters, but they talk to each other – sometimes to distraction. I may be driving, or cooking dinner, or trying to fall asleep, and my characters are engaged in scene. It can be frustrating because as any writer knows, if you don’t get it in writing when it happens, you lose those words and ideas. As a result, I always carry pen and notepad with me wherever I go.
What advice would you give other writers?
My advice to other writers is to write. Every day. Even if it’s only a paragraph or a page, those words add up. Writing every day creates good writing habit and keeps the mind limber. I also advise writers to never grow complacent. Strive to improve with every book you write. An author should be in a constant state of evolution, ever seeking to achieve a better style, more dynamic story, and stronger voice with each successive manuscript.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I began writing in 2004 with a mind to publishing, the ideal at that time was to get an agent and try for a big publishing house; so that’s what I did. My agent vetted my first three historical romance novels to all the big players in the publishing world to no success. Of course, I wasn’t anywhere near the writer then that I am now. My agent grew ill and had to close his doors, so I found myself without a home. I turned to small press and began publishing with great success and proliferation beginning in 2007. I spent seven years building a fan base and am now releasing self-published works. I DO NOT recommend self-publishing to new authors simply because there is too much to learn about proper editing, marketing, contracts, and branding that a publisher can teach. Self-publishing can be a disaster for a new author who doesn’t know enough to prevent the release of a less than ready book. It only takes one badly-presented book to win a reputation with readers and reviewers as a lazy or sloppy writer. Few will give an author a second chance.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Book publishing at this stage of the game is a moving target. The major publishing houses can get your books into bookstores, but with so few brick and mortar stores still standing, are these publishers worth the tears and effort? Also, we’ve left behind the days when your publisher would handle your advertising and arrange your signings and interviews. The bulk of marketing and promotion are left to the author. We also must consider that though many readers enjoy the tactile pleasure of a book held in the hand while reading (I’m such a reader, I must confess), ebooks are quickly overtaking paperbacks in market share. They’re cheaper, more readily accessible, and can be stored en masse on handheld devices. Traditional publishers have caught the digital wave, but small press has been doing it all along and remain the experts in formatting, promotion, and distribution of ebooks.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: I write rock band romance, contemporary romance, and historical romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print