Author Interview – KC Sprayberry
Debra: Hi, KC so glad you could join me today!
KC: I’m glad to be here, I know you have been really busy since I follow your blog and you are posting daily. How do you find time to write too?
Debra: <laughs> This is fun stuff for me, I have to find time to read as it is an enjoyable and relaxing past time and writing a review afterwards just doesn’t take that long in the big picture. It will take longer to do our interview today than it did to write the last review and get it posted! Thanks though, I know as an Author and mother to a teenager yourself, you are very busy too so I appreciate you taking some time for this. Let’s get started then, shall we?
KC: Ok, but I’m a little nervous, so take it easy on me! <laughs>
Debra: Oh, relax, this will be fun, just us girls chatting! So, when you first started writing, how did you write (typewriter, iPad, laptop, pen, pencil)?
KC: My diary at first. Oh, the things I wrote in there, until my brothers discovered it and teased me unmercifully. Then it was pen on paper and well hidden. The first “published” story I wrote was done on a typewriter, and it won honorable mention with the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge way back in 1980. The newspaper for the base where I was stationed at the time published it the week I accepted the award.
Debra: How cool is that?! Must have been a nice motivation for you to keep going! Well, what are you working on now, you know, what projects or ideas do you have lined up next?
KC: I’m a multiple project person – I have to have many, many projects on my platter at one time or I just can’t think.
Debra: <interrupts KC> I love how you said platter instead of plate, you stay busy constantly don’t you?
KC: Yes, well, that’s me! Currently, I’m going through the critique process for a YA contemporary novel “Where U @”. It’s about a teen (obviously) who isn’t from the right side of town, but is working hard to get out of her circumstances. She has a guy who she loves, and a daddy who doesn’t think rules are for him. Then there’s “Surviving Sixth Grade”, a middle grade novel about bullying. I’m also plotting two adult romantic suspense novels and two serialized western stories.
Debra: Wow, that’s pretty awesome to have that much going on at one time in your head and trying to work it all out as separate projects. Whenever I hear the word platter from now on I will think of you, KC! A lighter question since I now need a vacation after hearing all that you are keeping up with everyday – Would you expect yourself to be most creative as a writer shut off on a desert island or immersing yourself in a busy social life?
KC: I’d love to be on a deserted island, with my husband of course. It would have to be somewhere not tropical, as I absolutely love a quick winter, where I have at least one good snow a year. So many people don’t realize North Georgia gets snow, we’ve actually had some pretty good storms. After having lived in areas that experience a lot of snow on a regular basis, I still laugh after almost twenty years at how Southerners act when a storm is coming. One snowflake is sighted, and all bread and milk disappears from the store shelves, schools are cancelled, and everyone pretty much huddles around a heater. But I wouldn’t trade this area for anything in the world. It’s diverse and gives a whole lot of story fodder.
Debra: So true! I live just north of you in Western NC and its the same there. I hate when my normal grocery shopping day falls on a day they announce it might snow! So, tell me, if your book, Softly Say Goodbye, was made into a movie and you were asked for input into the soundtrack, are there any songs that would work especially well for any particular scenes?
KC: This is perhaps the easiest question. Here We Are by Breaking Benjamin for the theme song. Why? I had a group of characters waiting for a story. They were taking up room in my head. Then I saw this wonderful Facebook post – take a breath and softly say goodbye – and I asked the friend if I could use it for a book title. She said sure, and then I did the research. Less than a month later, the story flowed out. In fact, I played that song over and over while I was writing Softly Say Goodbye.
Debra: I don’t think I’ve heard that one, could you sing a few lines for us?
KC: Oh yea, Deb, I’ll do that right now, NOT! I write, I don’t sing! <gives Deb the evil eye with a smile>
Debra: You’re not nervous anymore either are you? <laughs>
KC: <laughs> No, you got me, this really is fun!
Debra: Alright, here’s another one for you – Are any of your characters based heavily on people you know or have met from real life?
KC: Yes! Every single character is made up wholly or partially from people I’ve met throughout my life. My children all know to watch themselves around me, in case they end up in one of my stories.
Debra: Nice! Can I send my teenager to you for the summer? You could do a nice book for High School kids on the importance of teenagers getting jobs instead of playing XBox all summer?
KC: We’ll talk Deb, depends on how much he eats and if by work you also mean chores at my house! Does he know how to do windows?
Debra: No and I’ll spare you, I’ve come to like you too much and he is a bottomless pit when it comes to food! Moving on then, here’s the next question – What do you think stimulates sales the most; positive reviews or advertising?
KC: I believe it’s a combination of both. Advertising may get people to look at your book, but if there are good reviews, they’ll be more willing to shell out money on it. I do promotion work daily on Softly Say Goodbye, using Twitter and Facebook, but I see the best upward movement in sales after a good review.
Debra: I agree with you on that, it’s definitely what motivates me to choose a book, the review itself. Curious with the way the book market is evolving, KC, what advice would you give to publishing houses with regard to how to go forward and adapt to the industry over the next few years?
KC: To give the e-books more notice. Start looking at younger readers for e-books. There are so many free apps now for cell phones, desktop computers, and iPad, young readers are interacting much faster than kids from even ten years ago. To ignore this important audience is to shortchange the authors from a potential large audience.
Debra: I think that logic goes for many age groups as well, I see more and more adults using iPads and such to do their reading. I recently started reading via Kindle instead of paperback myself which surprised me, I’m old-fashioned and don’t like change! What advice would you give to a new author who has just finished writing their first novel and is unsure as to what steps to take next?
KC: Put your manuscript away. Let it rest for a month or two before taking another look. Start a new project in the meantime, a short story or another novel. Or you can join an online critique group to refine the things you missed. The most important thing to remember with your first novel is wait to submit. You probably have a lot more work to do editing, even if you think it’s perfect.
Debra: Nice and I wish I had done that with my first novel. I am not happy with it and if I could do it all over I would have not let the excitement of a contract move me forward so quickly. Only two more questions KC! Has this been painful at all?
KC: <laughs> No, you were right, just like sitting here chatting! Hit me with your best shot, that was one of the two right?!
Debra: Oh, she has jokes ladies and gentleman! Let me keep going here before I have to surrender the rest of the interview to you KC! Ok, ok, seriously, do you have a favorite review or has anyone expressed a particularly nice compliment about your writing which stands out as your most memorable piece of praise?
KC: Yours and I’m not just saying that because of this interview. Your review is by far the best I’ve received yet.
Debra: <interrupts KC, again!> Wait now, I already promised to publish the interview, flattery has nothing left to gain you!
KC: <laughs> I know, right?! No, really, it was like you connected with Softly Say Goodbye as if you were standing over my shoulder while I wrote it. You saw and felt much the same things I did. This book is directly targeted at teens, but I always intended it for parents too. I’ve done informal research on the subject of how many generations of families have tales of their own underage drinking experiences, and I was amazed at how many people think it’s okay, as long as it doesn’t go too far. I’ve even recounted my own single experience with underage drinking, and how my father handled it. To this day, I still wish the police had caught me first. It would have been far less painful – as in he and my three brothers decided to paint the hallway between my bedroom and the bathroom with oil based 1970s paint, including turpentine and loud clattering at six in the morning, after I’d come home about midnight. I’ll never forget how I adored the porcelain goddess that day, several times, with a very memorable hangover.
Debra: Excellent! You just made my whole day, KC, thank you! <hugs KC>
KC: You’re welcome, say, the way you connected like that, don’t you have a teen drinking story?
Debra: Don’t we all but I’ll be asking the questions today, KC, no side tracking me and getting long-buried secrets out of me! So, last question and then you can get back to that buffet sized platter you are working on…Will you tell us something about you that we won’t find on the internet?
KC: Ok, but only a little tidbit though because I’m an intensely private person. That’s also why there isn’t much on the internet I don’t want out, except maybe Volksmarching. I absolutely love this sport when I was in the Air Force and stationed in Germany. It was a great way to get exercise, see the countryside, make friends with Germans, and be with family.
Debra: You mentioned that the other day when we talked so I looked it up, very cool, Volksmarching, and I bet that was a lot of fun. (no, readers, not telling, you have to google like she made me!) So, KC, thanks again for taking this time today, wonderful talking to you and getting to know you better!
KC: You too Debra, really enjoyed it and I’ll talk to you again soon, let’s stay in touch!
Debra: Sounds good, bye for now! Readers, here are some links to connect with KC Sprayberry, our featured guest today and you can find her great books in here as well. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!
Amazon (print and e-book): http://www.amazon.com/Softly-Say-Goodbye-ebook/dp/B009Y7PYLA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351629050&sr=1-1&keywords=softly+say+goodbye
Solstice Publishing (print and e-book): http://store.solsticepublishing.com/softly-say-goodbye/