When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I remember this notion first crossing my mind when I was about five. I had a life plan forming already. I guess I was an unusual kid. The moment it really held on was a summer night a few years later. I was rocking a tutu, laying in the grass dreaming, as I watched the stars twinkle. The endless sky made me realize, we are so miniscule and the Universe is infinite. I wished to carve my rock inside that understanding.
What steps did you take toward making that dream a reality?
I began with poems and making up silly stories in my head. I have journals that I wrote thoughts or anecdotes and closed it to begin another. I have not published any of that material, some was lost in one of my many moves. I decided last year that it was time to get to the next step. I read everything I can get my hands on, with an emphasis on the classics and college reading lists.
I woke up and simply began. I paid off bills and tried to spend less. My husband didn’t totally understand it, but he was excited for my new quest. I couldn’t have accomplished nearly as much in one year without his total support.
I was recently given a scholarship and a chance ( virtually out of nowhere! ) to attend grad school. That is pretty cool. It is scary as hell being 47 with teenagers and a family, starting this new path. I am a full-time student and still writing two books at a time. I honestly admit that the laundry is left more often than it used to be.
What genre(s) do you write in? What is it that you love about them?
CAROLINA SPIRIT is (Literary Fiction) and ESCAPE INTO THE BLUE (Suspense). My latest KLEINE MERULA, is a (Corporate Thriller). I like to use elements of mysticism in everything I write.
Suspense appears to be my forte, but it is really the story that pushes me. I don’t limit myself by genre. If a story chases me in my dreams, I will write it. I enjoy Suspense the most because it is a flirtation of sorts, a fan dance of words. Who doesn’t enjoy a skilful flirtation?
You are an Indie author having published a few novels with more to come. What made you decide that self-publishing was the best path for you?
I like the freedom to express myself without anyone else telling me what to do. I am 100% in control. It is awesome and terrifying. I haven’t decided if Indie is the finite rule.
I have begun pitching my latest book, KLEINE MERULA to agents. I love being Indie and also like to challenge myself. My new plan is to be a hybrid and self-publish some and have a brilliant agent for my more commercial work.
There is a ton of negativity towards Indie writers from the traditional publishing world. Some is deserved, some is not. I look at it the same way I look at wine. I used to think that it was a closed, elite world and I couldn’t join. Not so folks, I drink wine and write and have yet to own a private jet or pay a mortgage in the Hampton’s.
(Hahaha. I knew I liked you.)
Changing this opinion in itself is a challenge. The world of publishing is ripe for change and I hope to be part of that in a big way. I have come to the conclusion that not all writers who make it big, do so because of their writing skills. There is a lot more to writing than just the story. You have to be a chameleon and sometimes you have to modify to get your work the attention it deserves.
I say hold steady and do what is right for your project. People in writing world will constantly give you free advice, mine is: “Listen to your inner voice.” You know better than anyone what your heart desires. Writing is hard work, and you should learn all you can before you decide. It is not life and death, but it is important.
Would you like to tell us a little about your newest work in progress?
The project holding my attention right now is named, THE BOATHOUSE. It is suspense with paranormal elements. I am enjoying fleshing it out. It has more dialogue than I usually go for, but the secrets …whew! The playas’ be playin.’
The setting is coastal Maine or Downeast, as the locals call it. A spirited young lady named Charlotte grows up with money and prestige, but the only real love she receives is from her paternal grandmother. When her grandmother is discovered dead next to the boathouse, things begin to unravel. Her family hides a dark secret that is passed from one generation to the next. The question is- when Charlotte discovers the truth, will she uphold tradition or finally set things right? Stay tuned…
Ohhhhh. What inspires your ideas? How do you come up with them?
THE BOATHOUSE, actually came from a vacation in Maine. There is a real boathouse made of stone that was a cove away from where I stayed. Something about that place haunted me. I was obsessed. I get that way a lot. It can be a flower or a scent, a building or a person. The world is full of ideas for writing. Some are not enough for a story, but you can take notes and use those to expand a character. I have little clippings and voice recordings all over the place. Hanging out somewhere busy will give inspiration if you need some. Humans are entertaining.
Do you outline or write by the seat of your pants?
I am a seat of my pants writer, but I have a few ideas about expanding my writing. I may one day do an outline. I begin with words that spark me and go from there. You can’t force good writing. You have to light the match and hope it stokes the fire that will burn the darkness away.
Your website bibianakrall.com is very cool and elaborate. Are you a techie?
Ha ha! Thank you! Techie? Hardly. When I ring the cable company, I call the router a “thingy.” I had never built a website before last year and looked at a whole bunch to understand what I wanted to do with my own. I decided that mine would be a visual feast and hopefully draw people in to also read my work. I am super creative and use visuals to push emotion, mine included. On the days I had a difficult time writing creatively, I worked on my site. Left brain/Right brain is a good balance and helps to get back to the flow.
What does a typical writing day look like for you/what is your process?
Coffee, a call to my dad or my bestie, exercise and then solid writing time. I blast music and stay off the internet. I try to walk around when I am brainstorming and argue with the bushes a lot. My neighbours are used to it now. I try to do marketing and read in the afternoons. Sometimes my project carries me way past lunch and well, you can’t exactly tell your Muse to run along. You need each other.
All writers are readers, so what are some of your favourite books and why?
That is a tough one. Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Old Man and the Sea, Treasure Island…I could write a book about the books I love. To me a book is a secret world that comes inside and whispers a new understanding to you. I love books because they have saved me when I needed something to push me along. Each and every one has affected me somehow.
Catcher in the Rye, helped me understand my teenage rebellion. To Kill A Mockingbird, made me realize that it is imperative to stand up for what matters. The Old Man and the Sea, taught me respect for my elders and what they know. Treasure Island, offered me the rich life of adventure on the high seas and also the lesson that you must be tough to survive.
If one of your novels was made into a movie, which would you choose and what actors would you cast to play the three main roles?
I will say ESCAPE INTO THE BLUE, only because I hate cold weather and really want to hit a decent beach in the Caribbean.
( Sophia ) my protagonist would have to be a no-name, but drop dead gorgeous with green eyes and long blond hair. Open casting call… Think Blake Lively or early Nicole Kidman when she had long hair…
The other two are men and both Latino. ( Pedro ) is older and wealthy, maybe Esai Morales? And for the younger guy ( Armando ) with the abs- Cristian la Fuente. They would definitely keep my eyes glued to the film. LOL!
Sounds like it!
What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned on your writing journey so far? Any advice for aspiring writers?
The biggest lesson is write no matter what. Write like your life depends on it. Write when everyone around you says you can’t or shouldn’t. If you don’t like to read or confess that you don’t, the train just left the station. You must read and write to grow. I will not read a fellow writer’s work if they don’t read, because they are not ready. I have a long way to go and I admit it. That is part of this journey, the understanding that you have to keep at this.
You don’t become a runner when you buy the shoes. You become a runner when they are filthy and covered in mud. Invest in writing like you would anything that matters to you. You are the only person in the world who can pen your book. Don’t sell yourself short, focus on the art and your voice. Be open to where this takes you and trust it.
You will find yourself wavering. Am I good enough? What gives me the right to be here? Trust me, if you are writing- you will go through this. What does it mean? It means you are growing. Stick with it, because you are already focusing and moving towards your goals. Exploring how writing fits into your life is part of this process.
Stop making asinine excuses and get to it. I cannot begin to tell you how many people say, “ I want to write a book.” OK. Then you better get going! Chop-Chop! It might not be that great, or it might be the next big thing. It isn’t going to be anything until you finish it…
What advice do you have for a writer who is trying to decide what publication route to pursue?
My best advice is make friends with lot’s of writers, ask them all this question and consider their answers. Look up writer’s you admire and read their memoir to find out what they did. Everyone has a different journey. You must know the market to make a good decision. Know what is out there and where your project will fit in. How you publish a book is a personal, business, and demanding choice no matter what you decide.
Thank you so much Bibiana!
Thank you for having me as a guest. I can’t wait to see what you decide with your own projects. Keep writing and all the best to you Kelly!
Where can people find out more about you and your books?
You Tube Book Trailers: http://bit.ly/1QrzuGN
Online at: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bibiana-Krall/e/B00Y5UIMKG
Tower Books: http://bit.ly/1WesVvw
Barnes and Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/1TSCDVI