SP: Welcome Gabriela! Before we get into all things DIY MFA, your book, podcast and vision, we would love to hear a bit about you and your writing life! What’s the backstory? What launched you into this writing-DIY journey?
DIY MFA began as an experiment. I was graduating from a traditional MFA program and I loved the program so much I did not want to graduate. So, I was sitting in a rickety old wooden pew of a West Village church for the graduation ceremony and I half expected the skies to part and beams of light to shine down through the stained glass windows and for the literary gods to whisper from on high, “You are now a writer.”
SP: Hi Tara! We’re so excited to have you here on the Spinning Pen! Can you tell us a little about you and your writing journey? How did you get your start? TG: You know that kid who brings a book everywhere? That was me. (My guess is that everyone reading this interview was the same way!) In high school, I wrote as much as I could: on napkins, scraps of paper, pocket notebooks.
SP: Hi CJ! So glad to chat with you today! When did you start writing and what are your favorite genres?
CJ: Thank you so much for having me! I started on my writing journey about eight years ago. I wanted a story I could hand to the teen and young adult girls I was talking to, who needed a reprieve from the pain they were facing in their lives, but also a way to learn deeper truths.
Are you a published (or soon to be published) author wondering what the magic is behind runaway book success?
Unfortunately, the more I learn about wild book success, the more I learn no one knows the exact formula. Just like viral videos, there’s always a bit of luck involved. Like seriously, how have so many cat videos been soooo popular when we all know dogs are better?? Tell me I’m not wrong…
HOWEVER, there are things within your power to give your books the best shot they can at becoming the next best seller.
It’s the question posed to every growing child. However, once you enter college, the question morphs into two questions: “What are you majoring in?” and “What do you want to do with that?”
I majored in English, and I can’t even begin to count the number of times I was told the degree was useless and a waste of time and money. But what I dreaded even more than hearing the word “useless” again, was the inevitable follow-up question.
“Oh, so you want to teach English?”
No, I would say in the kindest manner possible, I wanted to be a writer and editor.
Hello, writers, and welcome to my guest blog for The Spinning Pen! Haylie Hanson here! I’m incredibly excited to be here, teaching you the secrets of sequel writing. Light Hunter, the sequel to World Diver, book one in The Luminaut Trilogy, is about to release on April 21, 2022 with Uncommon Universes Press, and I was honored The Spinning Pen approached me with this wonderful opportunity to share all the advice and writerly wisdom I gleaned during the process.
SP: Hi Kristin! We’re so excited to have you here on the Spinning Pen! Tell us all a little bit about you and your writing journey.
KD: Hi I’m Kristin Dwyer! I write kissing books. I love all things romance and big feels. I’m addicted to travel, coffee, compulsively buying books I never read, and I also sometimes enjoy kpop and kdrama, but like… normal, reasonable amounts. I’ve been writing like a job for about ten years, and only in 2020 got an agent and editor. I could wallpaper Buckingham Palace in my unsold manuscripts and rejections. But long after my friends had made their dreams come true, mine finalllllly did. And dear reader, it was worth it.
SP: Ok now for the part we’ve been waiting for…tell us about your first book deal for Some Mistakes Were Made! How did you land this sweet deal and a chance to write a second book too?**FYI to our readers, this book’s steam level is upper young adult and has cursing.**
Why I Really Do What I Do (and Why It Matters to You)
Let’s try a little experiment. What comes to mind when I say, “It’s time to edit your story”?
For many writers, the notion of editing conjures an unwelcome memory of brutal critique or derision—a time you offered your story to a peer or mentor only to be shot down.
Maybe for you, it was a stern English teacher in grade school who filled your papers with inky red hieroglyphics. Or perhaps that college critique group who ripped your idea to shreds and laughed about it—right in front of you. Maybe you’re visualizing the relative who scorned your dream of becoming a writer and told you to find “real” aspirations instead.
Or perhaps—if you’re lucky—you don’t have any specific negative memories of critique; there’s just a general tightening in your midsection at the thought of sending your story child off to a total stranger who probably collects red pens and blogs about comma abuse.
Whatever the source of your apprehension, I get it. Writing stories—even fictional ones—is a deeply personal endeavor, and there’s something terrifying about revealing your creation to another human being, especially when that human’s job (and possibly joy in life) seems to be identifying all of your flaws and weaknesses.
Pen Friends ~ Please welcome YA Author Candice Yamnitz talking about her debut novel, UNBETHROTHED, publishing journey, writing dreams, and so much more! It’s always a joy to interview new authors, and I’m excited to have Candice here with us today.
SP: UNBETROTHED will come out in February 2022 by Illuminate YA. Please add on Goodreads while waiting! Here’s the blurb:
Around Agatha Sea, princesses are poised, magically gifted, and betrothed.
So, when seventeen-year-old Princess Beatriz still fails to secure a betrothal, her parents hold a ball. Forming an alliance could mean the difference between peace and war, but Beatriz doesn’t want just any suitor. She’s in love with her best friend, Prince Lux. Marrying Prince Lux will always be a silly dream as long as she has no magical gift.
Princess Beatriz will do whatever it takes to obtain a touch of magic, including making a deadly oath to go on a quest to Valle de Los Fantasmas. A valley where no one comes out alive.
If she can manage to succeed, Princess Beatriz could have everything she desires and secure peace for her kingdom. If she fails, she’ll lose not only her greatest dream but also her kingdom, and maybe even her own life.
What do you want? No, really…what do you want? If you’re like me, sometimes that’s not the easiest question to answer. I have lots of wants vying for my attention. They barge into the forefront of my mind as soon as I wake up, each of them screaming, “me first, me first!” Like a classroom full of unruly kindergartners, I try to get them to sit down and be quiet. Then, with each of their hands raised in the air, I call on them one at a time. That’s on a good day. On bad days, I get overrun and just want to hide in my bed until they all go away. Each of us struggle with life’s legion demands and desires.I think this is why I like hurricanes.