1) Tell us a bit about your journey into writing?
Debut author, publisher and the woman who had to leave her agent to follow her dream – Kate Grace.
Part 1 of this interview can be found on YAtopia.
Sharon: So does ABoG have plans for more books coming out anytime soon?
Kate: Yes. There are actually a few additional elements to Burden of the Soul (book one) that will be released through the fall, including the paperback edition and bonus chapters that give the perspective of other characters within the book. We are also hard at work on the second book in the Burden series, set to release in late 2012. Our end goal is to be a fully operational boutique publisher, but on principle we’re working out the kinks of the process on my books first. Once we feel ready to take on other authors and fully support them and their work we’ll open for submissions.
Sharon: What will be the submission process of ABoG?
Kate: It’s difficult to say given that we’re still in the early stages of defining ABoG, though I can say we will stay within the realm of children’s and teen literature for now with the goal of expanding into literature aimed at female readerships. I’m actually really excited for this, having been an editor myself and being connected to such a wide variety of talented editors and artists. I love the idea of creating teams around a work, tailored to the work itself. When we get there, we’ll select manuscripts based on our interest in them and the way they grab us. Then we’ll go out and find the perfect team to work with the author to create the best possible literary experience for readers. The structure we’re experimenting with right now gives everyone on the team a stake in the project, encouraging active participation in every phase of a work. The test run for Burden of the Soul has worked extremely well, and we’re going to test drive it again before we apply it to others’ works. But we’re hoping to have it fully polished and ready for outside submissions in 2012.
Sharon: What other stories/novels are you working on at the moment?
Kate: Right now I’m working on the bonus chapters of Burden of the Soul, which is so much fun. It adds so much to the writing experience to play around in other characters’ perspectives. I really believe it adds dimensions and discoveries to the story as a writer, whether they’re made public or not. Beyond that we’re hard at work on the next book in the Burden series. There are, however, other characters unrelated to Burden living in my imagination right now with their own stories to tell, and occasionally they demand attention. As far as I can tell at this point they’re not geared at the YA genre, so when the time comes I’ll figure them out, but for now they serve as a great stretch.
Sharon: What are some tricks & tips you use to over come writers block?
Kate: It sounds so simple and so difficult at the same time, but the best way I have found to combat writers block is to keep writing. A block is rarely created by the part of ourselves that wants to write – it’s created by that part of ourselves that wants to edit or critique as we go. Don’t let that inner voice judge your work in progress! Keep going and write for the sake of silencing that inner voice. Tell it to shut up by writing more. If you need a break from what you’re working on, write something else or find another creative outlet to keep that playful sensibility about expression. Show yourself some compassion and grace, and allow yourself to be a beginner. If when sitting down to write the first sentence you’re worried about getting an agent, getting a publisher, having good sales, being able to pay off student loans… Oh my world, you’ll never get to the end of that sentence! This is playtime, everything else comes after. Push it out of your mind and just allow that creative part of your self to run around a play for a bit without the manufactured risk of failing. There is no failing in writing if you get the words down. If you just write, you’ve succeeded already!