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Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm Hanging Up My Shoes...Again! Day 5

This is the last day of my 'partial' unplug week, and I have one more word to talk about from my friend Kristen Torres-Toro. Today's word is: Travel. Since I don't do much actual traveling, I get my fix from literature. I love reading about other times and places. And what better place to travel than to the Holy Lands during the Middle Ages? I'm thinking Russell Crowe in Gladiator. (For my male followers, you can think of whatever actress played his love interest.) Who wouldn't want to go there? That's where we are going today. Author K.M. Weiland has so graciously agreed to interview here about her newly released Behold the Dawn. Please welcome her with lots of comments. If you comment, your name will be entered into a drawing to receive a copy of the book. So here it is: 1. What inspired Behold the Dawn? I happened to pick up a children’s picture book about William Marshall, the “greatest knight who ever lived.” He was a second-born son who had to make his fortune by competing in the tourneys—the huge mock battles which were the predecessors of the slightly more civilized jousting tournaments. Despite being repeatedly banned by the popes, tourneys remained wildly popular until high mortality rates forced the sport to evolve into the more familiar (and much safer) jousting tournaments. After a long career as one of the most renowned tourneyers of the age, Marshall finally hung up his spurs and headed for the Holy Land to seek absolution. I’ve always been drawn to the Middle Ages, and I was instantly intrigued by these gladiatorial battles and their juxtaposition with the Crusades. From there, my imagination just took off! 2. Who is your favorite character? Oh, Marcus Annan, my main character, definitely! He dominated every page and absolutely took charge of the story. He was one of those special larger-than-life characters who are definitive to a writing career. His strength, his courage, and his haunted past… he was a blast to write. In fact, he’s easily one my favorites out of all the characters I’ve ever written. And that’s saying something, because this story, in particular, gave birth to quite a cast, including Annan’s smart aleck servant Peregrine Marek, the fugitive countess Lady Mairead, a conflicted Templar named Warin, and a triad of very scary bad guys! 3. What does your typical writing day look like? Fast and furious! I get up at the absolute earliest I’m physically capable of dragging myself out of bed (which is *ahem* 7 o’clock), have my morning devotions for about an hour, work out for half an hour, eat breakfast and hit the shower, check email, then head to work (which happens to be just as far away as my own desk chair) and put in my time for the church ministry I work for part time. Around two, I check emails once more, then dive into whatever “extra” project I may be facing, whether it be blog posts, editing, critiquing, or cleaning the house. My official writing time starts every afternoon at four o’clock. I spend about thirty minutes warming up—scribbling in my writing journal and proofreading what I wrote the previous day—then I pick a soundtrack and dive into the magical world of fiction until six o’clock. 4. What’s the best review you’ve ever gotten on your writing? They’re all good—even the bad ones, since they let me know what I need to improve. But anytime someone tells me I made them laugh or cry out loud, I know I nailed it. Dreaming about my characters and not breathing during tense scenes are also special reactions. But I think the ones I tend to remember most are the ones that come on bad days, when I happen to be doubting myself and my worth as a writer. I got one of those earlier this year, when someone told me they’d added my book A Man Called Outlaw as one of only three books on their “must-read list.” That one meant a lot. 5. What’s next? I have several projects in the works. I have a completed fantasy, Dreamers Come (about a man who discovers that his dreams are really memories of another world) waiting for another round of edits. I also just started outlining my next project, a historical novel called The Deepest Breath about the passion, betrayal, and vengeance that dog two men and the woman they both love through the trenches of World War I, corruption in colonial Kenya, and the criminal underbelly of London. And I’m also working on a fun co-writing project that asks, “What if Robin Hood met Sleeping Beauty?” You can also view the trailer for Behold the Dawn here. Have a great weekend!

63 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

I love Katie's work. Great interview.
Can't wait to see what she makes of Robin Hood and Sleeping Beauty. Now THERE's a novel begging to be written :)

MattDel said...

I second Tabitha's vote of interest in reading the Robin Hood/Sleeping Beauty mash-up.

And now I have to check out Katie's work, seeing as she's playing in the Middle Ages (my second-favorite sandbox).

Fa said...

This novel sounds interesting... going to put it on the TBR list :) I also love the schedule outline... that sounds like a great way to accomplish everything you need to. Fascinating that she only works on her official creative writing for an hour and a half each day, but still manages to accomplish (what appears to be) so much. Just a bit every day really makes a difference! I know I've been encouraged by this interview. Thank you for having it!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Wow! I love reading about the Middle Ages, so this book sounds amazing! I'll definitely be on the look out for it! Thanks for the interview--and thanks for the awesome pr all week, Susan! :0)

Deb@RGRamblings said...

Behold the Dawn is definitely on my TBR list. I'd love to know how long it took K.M. to write the book, from beginning to final polish.. Good luck K.M. Weiland!

staceyjwarner said...

What a lovely interview. It was great to hear about her day, that she writes for two hours and not eight...I know sometimes I feel if I'm not writing more than that I'm not writing. It was refreshing to hear. I'm intrigued by the Dream Novel. Her logline had me hooked.

She's living my dream...I hope to meet her there someday.

much love

Regina Milton said...

This book sounds absolutely amazing and so do some of those other upcoming projects.

Must meet this Marcus Annan.
Thanks for sharing this interview.

Kristi Faith said...

Great interview! I admit that I am not very familiar with K.M. Weiland, but now I can't wait to look for her work. Sounds intriguing! Thanks so much!

Erica said...

Great interview! It's interesting to peek into a author's daily routine too.

There's so much drama in the middle ages, so I'm sure the story is exciting and interesting!

I would totally read a book about Robin Hood/Sleeping Beauty!

Great post Susan- This was a fun week :)

Stephanie L. McGee said...

Great interview! I'd totally read the Robin Hood/Sleeping Beauty book.

Beth said...

Great interview, and this book will definitely be going in my "to read" pile! The Deepest Breath sounds pretty amazing too - thanks for introducing us to Ms. Weiland!

Natalie said...

Oh, that sounds fun. I LOVE books about the middle ages. I must put Behold the Dawn on my ever-growing reading list :)

L. T. Host said...

Sounds like a great read. Great interview, Susan and K.M.!

Tamika: said...

Sounds like another great to add to my TBR list. I have always loved movies like Troy, 300, ancient warrior time. It could only be that much greater to read a novel based on such.

I love the comment K.M gave that every critique is a good one. Even the bad adds depth and life to the story.

Great post, I learned a lot.
Happy writing to you both!

Name: Holly Bowne said...

This book definitely has me intrigued. I'm just finishing up a contemporary book, so it might be fun to head back into the middle ages for my next read!

I also really appreciated hearing how much time a published writer is able to dedicate to her beloved fiction writing. Just like commenter staceyjwarner mentioned, it's encouraging to hear it's closer to two hours as opposed to eight!

K.M. Weiland said...

@Susan: Thanks so much for having me! You know, Gladiator was a big inspiration for this story, if only in tone and scope. Made me grin that you thought of it!

@Tabitha: Robin Hood's been a blast so far!

@MattDel: And your fave sandbox?

@Fa: The key to creative production is quality more than quantity, I think. So long as you're consistent, that's what matters. Some novelists have written their books as little as one paragraph a day!

@Kristen: Thanks for reading!

@Deb: Just over five years! o.O

@Stacey: Little is much, sometimes. There's just too much to do in life to write *all* the time, much as I'd like to. So I schedule just a few hours - and make them a priority.

@Regina: Yeah, I'm pretty fond of Marcus Annan myself. ;)

@Kristi: Thanks for stopping by!

@Erica: There's an "epicness" about the Middle Ages that I find entirely fascinating.

@Stephanie: Methinks I better finish this Robin Hood story! Sounds like a lot of folks are interested in it!

@Beth: I'm soooo excited about The Deepest Breath. I think it has the potential to be the best thing I've ever done. *fingers crossed*

@Natalie: Thanks so much!

@L.T.: Thanks for commenting!

@Tamika: I'm a sucker for historical epics, myself. So this story was doubly fun to write! Crits are never easy to take, but you know you've heard it before: Writers have to develop a thick skin!

MG Higgins said...

Sounds like a great read! It's so fascinating learning about different ways writers approach their writing and structure the day. Thanks for sharing about your book and yourself.

K.M. Weiland said...

You're very welcome. Thank *you* so much for stopping by to read it!

Angie Muresan said...

I love reading historical fiction, but writing it seems so daunting with all the research that goes into it. It's amazing that Ms. Weiland can get through so much in just two hours of writing a day.

Julie Dao said...

Another book to add to my ever-growing list! Historical novels are my absolute favorite. I'm with Susan on that being the way I most frequently "travel." :)

K.M. Weiland said...

@Angie: Well, it admittedly helps that I adore the research part!

@Julie: Make that, me three! I'm not big into travel in real life. Snuggling up with a book is so much easier than fighting through the aiprort of an early morning!

MattDel said...

K.M. --

The 19th Century is my favorite sandbox (check out FreeThePrinces.com for my pieces on the 19th C. and Steampunk). The Middle Ages is a very, very close second though.

MattDel said...

The link works, btw. It's just my typing of the linked text that's misspelled.

K.M. Weiland said...

Nice! 19th Century is one my (many) favorites as well. And gotta love steampunk!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Sounds like a great book. I love stories that sweep me up in the period. Enter me to win :)

K.M. Weiland said...

Can't promise the win. But thanks for entering! :)

~Ellie Kings~ said...

Sounds like K.M. has a good work schedule. Maybe I'll take up her example and stick to one myself; Lately, I'm all over the place! :) Love the book cover and the MC sounds interesting... this is a must read.
Thanks for the interview Susan!
Enjoy your weekend ladies!

Patti said...

That's quite the schedule I wish I could be that organized. Great interview it's nice to see how other authors do it.

K.M. Weiland said...

@Ellie: I don't know that it's so important *what* your schedule is, so long as you stick to it. I read somewhere that you can train your brain to be creative at certain hours by habitually showing up to write at the same time every day.

@Patti: You can be! Organization just takes practice.

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Great interview! I wish I had such an organized schedule. The book sounds terrific. :)

K.M. Weiland said...

Thanks for stopping by, Roni! :)

Karen said...

What a great interview! I'm definitely going to have to check this book out. I'll add it to my ever-growing Goodreads list.

K.M. Weiland said...

Thanks, Karen!

Girl in My Own World said...

This was a great post. My favorite part when the writing day was broken down. Thanks for this both of you! :o)

K.M. Weiland said...

That was a fun question to answer! I'm a bit of a schedule nut, so I enjoyed explaining it.

Stephanie Faris said...

Great interview! And I love her cover art. I agree with her take on reviews. We often learn more from the negative things said about us than the positive. It's just a matter of taking the information in and letting it soak there for a while.

K.M. Weiland said...

"Soak" is good way to think of it. Some reviews just have to soak longer than others!

WhisperingWriter said...

Fantastic interview!

K.M. Weiland said...

Thanks for reading!

Lori said...

What wonderful things happen on your blog! The Behold the Dawn cover looks really good. And the author sounds great too.

K.M. Weiland said...

Thanks for stopping by, Lori! I'm just happy that Susan let me be a part of the fun this week!

Rachel said...

Every blog stop gets me a little more excited about this book, Katie, and everything about it! I can't give you enough praise for all the wonderful work you have done. But then again, God does all the work. But He has done a LOT through you! To Him be all glory forever! Keep working for Him, Katie!

Dawn Simon said...

Your stories sound great--so interesting--and you're such a lovely person. I'll keep my eyes peeled for your books. :)

Thanks for sharing the interview with us, Susan. Have a nice weekend!

Jody Hedlund said...

Thanks for sharing this interview! I'm fascinated to hear about the writing schedule of other writers!

K.M. Weiland said...

@Rachel: Amen! Thanks for following the tour, Rachel.

@Dawn: Aw, you're way yonder too sweet. But thank you. :)

@Jody: Glad you enjoyed it!

Maggie Woychik said...

You garnered some great comments here, Katie. Seems I'm not the only one following your tour.

Richest blessings!
~Maggie

Tara said...

I was bitten by the travel bug as a youth. Unfortunately, the cash bug didn't bite, so I haven't seen as many places as I'd like.

K.M. Weiland said...

@Maggie: Thanks for keeping up with me! :)

@Tara: I hear ya on the cash bug thing. $10-$20 for a book is a much more reasonable vacation than $1,000 for a plane ticket!

Heather Sunseri said...

Sound like a fantastic book. Great interview, Susan.

Robin Hood meeting Sleeping Beauty sounds super interesting!

K.M. Weiland said...

Thanks for stopping by, Heather! We're definitely having fun with Robin and Sleeping Beauty!

neverxxforsaken said...

Looking forward to reading this book! K.M.'s blog is very helpful to read as well. :) And I will look forward to reading more about the Robin Hood/Sleeping Beauty idea. Fascinating to think about.

K.M. Weiland said...

Glad you're enjoying Wordplay!

Amy Tate said...

Hmmmm. Another one to add to my already leaning stack. Thanks for the interview, Susan!

Amy De Trempe said...

I enjoyed the interview. Behold the Dawn sounds like a book I would like to read.

K.M. Weiland said...

@Amy Tate: Gotta love those leaning tower of Pisa TBR piles!

@Amy De Trempe: Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy the book.

Terri Tiffany said...

I loved reading her thoughts. I was captured by the Dreamers book she's written too! that sound great! Thank you so much!

K.M. Weiland said...

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be rolling up my sleeves to get back to work on Dreamers in just a few weeks!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Wonderful interview! Our mornings sound similar - except I start work before noon since I like to take evenings off. And as for reviews - even the best books get not so hot or 'bad' reviews - it's just the nature of the literary beast! *smiling*

Happy Writing KM! :)

K.M. Weiland said...

I generally take the evenings off too. Movie time! :)

Kathy said...

Very interesting interview. I love Gladiator so I bet I'd enjoy this book.

I liked reading about her writing schedule, too. I always like to know what other writers do during their days.

K.M. Weiland said...

Gladiator's one of my all-time faves. Listened to its soundtrack a lot while writing Behold the Dawn.

Yaya' s Changing World said...

I enjoyed the interview and learned quite a bit. I especially liked the part about your official starting time for writing being 4:00 in the afternoon. Being a night-owl, that appealed to me. :-)

Wanted to mention that anyone can get a link on Yaya's Changing World. Today's post explains it all; "Share And Share Alike". Hope to see you there. Be sure to leave your blog address so I can link to you.
~ Yaya

http://yayashome.blogspot.com

K.M. Weiland said...

I tried for a while to get up and write at six in the morning. That *so* didn't work. My creative brain definitely isn't awake that early!