Terminally Cheerful: an interview with Kathy Holzapfel

Terminally Cheerful: an interview with Kathy Holzapfel

Crossroads: Why do you write? Kathy: Compulsion. I am published, but midlist. Wanting to write in different genre for larger audience. C: How’d you get started and where do you think you are in relation to your goal? K: I started writing seriously (translation: actively seeking publication) in my early twenties. I’d grown weary of mysteries and a friend gave me a romance novel to read. I knew immediately that I wanted to write a combination of those two genres. I’m largely self-taught (translation: I single-handedly invented half of those rookie mistakes all new writers are warned to avoid) so my journey felt long and arduous. (translation: it took twenty years of trying/quitting/whining/trying again before my first novel was published in 2001.) My initial goal was simply to sell a book. That goal morphed to selling another and another. But somewhere around book seven, my drive switched back to growing as a writer, which means moving beyond my familiar genre of romantic suspense. I’m still in the midst of that new goal, so it’s hard to judge where I am…but most days it feels pretty awesome. C: You really seem supportive of other writers and organizations, and we’re just curious where that comes from. K: Part of it’s just my nature. I’ve been told I’m one of those terminally cheerful people who others want to strangle when they’re down in the dumps and enjoying a good wallow. I want to haul you out of the mud and feed you cookies and give you pep talks and ask if you’ve tried this or that, while simultaneously checking my bag of tricks and remedies for something that...
TIPS FOR THE WRITING JOURNEY – Part Two

TIPS FOR THE WRITING JOURNEY – Part Two

“I never waited for my Irish Cream coffee to be the right temperature, with a storm happening outside and my fireplace crackling … I wrote every day, at home, in the office, whether I felt like it or not, I just did it.” ― Stephen J. Cannell My goal is to produce good work, on a consistent and joyful basis. That’s right. I want to be happy. Yes, writers write – alone, but that doesn’t mean I have to be grumpy and undisciplined. I am equal parts cheerleader and drill sergeant. Here are a few more observations from my journey: ACT LIKE A PRO Show up daily. No whining. No one is forcing you to do this. Produce and ship according to your plan. Give yourself bonus points for exceeding your goals. Rejection comes with the territory. Not every editor and reader will like your work. Read some of the scathing reviews posted on Amazon for bestselling authors like Stephen King and J. K. Rowling. Snark happens to everyone. Take nothing personally. LEAVE A TRAIL OF GENIUS (Hat tip: Marriott Hotel notepads) Imagine your thoughts, words, and actions ripple out to leave a psychic trail or energetic wake. Does your trail look inviting or repulsive? What sort of wakes left by others – inspiring or discouraging – has entangled you? REFILL THE CREATIVE WELL Recognize your creative needs. What inspires your imagination? Find places or activities which uplift and expand. Museums. Parks. Coffee shops. Libraries. Places of worship. Be open to new experiences. Hang gliding might meet the criteria, but so might reading outside your usual genre. Too much...