As part of the fanfare for our newest winner coming, I thought I’d sit down with our prior winner and get you up to speed on how the Word Weaver Writing Contest – and the subsequent publishing of her novel – has changed her life.
(See part 1 HERE)
Dan: Okay, back to your interview.
You’re a busy person. You have a full-time job. When do you make time to write?
Heather Kindt: I try to write at night and on the weekends. I’ve taken two day off this year just for writing. My current health-kick has kept me from getting sick, so I feel like I can justify two days off for personal.
I like to write in my office. My husband gave it to me for Christmas last year. I love it and have if decorated with several Wizard of Oz themed things and a Route 66 sign.
Ha! That sounds awesome. We’re gonna need pictures of that
When I wrote the Weaver and Ruby Slips I had just finished my masters degree and I had a year when I was substitute teaching. I got a lot of writing done that year.
But that was a long time ago. What about now?
Like I said before, I watch a lot less TV. Have to watch Survivor, but I dedicate more of my evening time to writing. Of course there are interruptions. Like last night my son kept wanting to show me his Rubick’s Cube solves.
I’m also having to take more time for social media outlets, but I’m sure you know nothing about that.
There’s a learning curve to that, though. Social media takes a lot of time in the beginning when you’re learning it, and then much less time later on. Plus, you build “muscles“ so the type of things that take you an hour in social media at the beginning, you get better at them so they take much less time later.
My daughter has a slime business and has almost 400 followers on Instagram. I thought when I release the Weaver, I’d get her to advertise.
When would your first book of the trilogy be ready to be released and when will the entire trilogy be completed and ready? Just ballpark. Nobody’s gonna hold you to these.
Well, the first book needs editing. I hope to have the other two done by June.
What was the hardest thing about putting together Ruby Slips and Poker Chips?
The hardest part of putting together Ruby Slips was trying to figure out how to publish. A friend of mine was self-publishing, but I didn’t know how to start. That’s why winning the contest helped the story move off of my computer.
What is the hardest thing about writing for you so far?
The hardest part about writing is writer’s block. I read Stephen King’s “On Writing” and one thing that helps him is taking long walks. I started doing this in the middle of the day and I would think about my story hoping that the clean mountain air would give me some ideas.
Did taking the walks help?
Yes. It helped a lot. Usually when I got back to the house I was able to write again because I thought of an idea to keep my idea going on my walk.
What would you say is something most people who want to write a book don’t know? Something that you found to be different from what you expected?
One thing that people who want to publish a book don’t know is how much you have to hustle. I’m not social media savvy. I’ve had Facebook for a long time, but I hadn’t used Twitter or a blog. Honestly, setting up a blog was the hardest part for me.
“I think this was different than what I expected.
I thought a book would just sell itself.”
– Heather Kindt
If you dare: what are your hopes for this first book?
I want thousands, no ten thousand, no a hundred thousand people to read Ruby Slips and Poker Chips. I love the story and Dottie Gale. They both make me smile. If you enjoy reading it, please share it with others.
What “writing superstitions” do you have/do?
Here’s one I got asked on a radio interview and I wasn’t quite sure how to handle it:
What’s one thing that people would never guess in a million years about you, something that you’ve never told anyone before?
During college I operated a roller coaster called the Yankee Cannonball at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire. I got the job because one of my supervisors had a crush on me and he told the higher supervisor that I should get the job because I have good eye-hand coordination being a softball pitcher.
That’s the thing people won’t guess.
How did you get into writing?
I never really had the desire to write a book or thought it was something I would do. Two things happened that caused a perfect storm. I majored in Elementary Education and Sociology. In 2007, I went back to school to get my master’s degree. I had to write a research paper every week. Sometimes it got tiring because I was working full time and both of my kids were small, so I wouldn’t put in as much effort and thought I would just accept a B. The thing was, I would still get an A. I got lots of great feedback from my professors.
The other thing that happened was
I read the Twilight series.
I know a lot of people think they are terrible, but I really enjoyed them and Stephanie Meyers inspired me to tell my own story.
– Heather Kindt
That’s when I started writing the Weaver.