Meet my editor...
K. C. Sprayberry at Solstice Publishing edited my new novel. She is a successful author as well as an accomplished editor, and she graciously consented to an interview, so readers here could get to better know her and her work.
HM: Tell us about your new novel?
KCS: Blaze A Team Omega Thriller brings us a group of early twenties men and women with incredible talents. They can manipulate the elements of wind, water, air, and fire with their minds. Each of the six teams of four members works with fire fighters, smoke jumpers, and hot shots to tackle the massive brush fires in California.
HM: When did you first realize you are a writer?
KCS: I kept writing stories in my school notebooks instead of taking notes. For many years, I had a stack of those notebooks but they vanished after I joined the Air Force. Not one to be deterred by the loss, I began a new set of notebooks and then computer files with those stories.
HM: Are thrillers your favorite genre?
KCS: I enjoy thrillers and pretty much every genre, but the story must be well written, grabbing my interest immediately and keeping me engaged throughout the book. Specifically, I enjoy psychological thrillers. Having a well-crafted book that takes you into the story and keeps you engaged throughout it while also having you panting for more is the kind of tale I’ll get.
HM: You are also an editor. How does that influence your writing, or does it?
KCS: Well… I do tend to go back and read things over, adding necessary things or editing as I go. I do miss some things, but I have a wonderful dedicated editor and she pushes me beyond my boundaries to make the stories even better.
HM: Do you have any future projects in the works?
KCS: Yes, I always have new stories in the pipe. Currently, Wildcat Crew 4 The Case of Where is Marnie Wildwood? is the next book I’ll write, followed by Campbell Versus Smith Storm Rider III, Terrified Soul Barren Holiday 4, and Canoples Investigations Tracks Cyberjackers. That should get me through March. LOL! I have a very long list of titles, especially for my series, to accomplish.
HM: Are your novels driven mainly by plot or characters?
KCS: I like to think my books are a blend of plot and characters. Characters tend to take over during the writing process but a strong plot is necessary to make the book interesting enough to hold the reader’s attention.
HM: How does place figure into your writing process?
KCS: It’s actually very important. Place, or a location, is sometimes the biggest problem I have setting up a story. In Blaze A Team Omega Thriller, I started and threw out so many openings—this was from when the idea first came to me in 2002 until just this year. Nothing worked, until I noticed the increase in wildfires, especially the big ones, in California. This is the state where I was born and raised, so witnessing the devastation hurt, even from afar. Many of my friends still out there kept saying they wished there was some kind of a hero that would stop the fires and one day, the current Blaze was born.
HM: If you couldn’t be a writer, what work would you pursue?
KCS: In the Air Force, I was a statistical analyst. There, I didn’t need a degree and was pretty good at the job, but going back to college for that degree now isn’t feasible. To be honest, I’m close to retirement age. At this point, I might go back to cross-point and embroidery, making tons of things for my friends and family.
HM: Who is your favorite author?
KCS: There are so many but my top three favorites are Anne McCaffery, Isaac Asimov (I actually saw him in the Phoenix area when they were filming that TV series, Probe. It was more like he walked from a trailer to where they were shooting as I was driving past. Definite fan girl moment!). The last of my ultimate fav authors is Robert Heinlein.
HM: What advice do you have for beginning writers?
KCS: Don’t give up. Write every day. Find a great writer’s group or critique group. Learn the ins and outs of this profession and believe one thing—this isn’t a career for the faint of heart. You have to be ready to slog daily for a few sales, but the thrill you get when a book releases, when someone gives you a review where they are fan personing, just can’t be beat!
Tomorrow, Kathi tells us more about her novel, Blaze A Team Omega Thriller. See you there...