Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Debut Author, Tawdra Kandle Interview and Chance to Win a Kindle!

I don't usually blog on Wednesdays anymore, but one of my great friends, Tawdra Kandle, is starting her book tour today and I am super excited for her. You should really check out her book, Fearless and the tour because she is giving away a free Kindle, plus if you sign up for her newsletter you get a free e-book of her second book in the series, Breathless! Whaa...? Yup, I said it:) Check out the details HERE
Now, on to the interview...

DB: Tell us a little about yourself and your book? 

TK: I’m a wife and  a homeschooling mom.  Two of my kids are graduated, and two are still homeschooling. I’ve also been a mother-in-law since this past June! And of course, I’m a writer.  I’ve been creating characters and stories in one form or another since I can remember.  Those tales saw me through some tough times.  My first short story was published in the magazine “A Child’s Life” when I was twelve years old.  After I was married and had children, I veered away from fiction for several years to concentrate on non-fic work, mostly columns and articles on parenting and homeschooling. I also wrote some homeschool curriculum.  I began seriously writing fiction again in 2008, and that year I finished my first YA novel, FEARLESS, which grew into the King series.
FEARLESS tells the story of Tasmyn, a seventeen-year old girl who has spent her life hiding her ability to hear minds. When she moves to the town of King, Tas is faced with first love, a rumor of blood sacrifices and a chem. teacher who seems to be more than she appears. The King series follows Tasmyn’s journey from a shy and cautious girl to a young woman confident in and comfortable with her powers.

DB: Wow, published at 12! You are destined for great writerly things:) And having read Tawdra's work, Fearless is one you don't want to miss!
You recently went the indie publishing route and I think your story is one that many writers might resonate with. Could you share your journey and how you got to where you are now?

TK: Like most if not all writers, I began this journey fully confident that I would go the traditional publishing route.  Once FEARLESS was completed, I began querying agents.  In retrospect, I started that process too soon, burning contacts before the book was really ready to be seen. Querying can be  demoralizing, but I didn’t really lose heart.  I was encouraged by agents telling me that they loved my writing but that my story wasn’t quite what they were looking for at the moment. 
I attended a writers’ conference in New York in the fall of 2010, and it was there that I realized that the world of publishing was in the midst of a revolution. Agents and editors weren’t saying as much in their seminars, but privately, they were much more vocal. I also recognized that finding an agent was going to be much harder than I had anticipated, as our small group received directly contradicting advice from each new set of agents we met in the roundtables!

I began chatting online with some of my favorite well-known authors, asking their advice on the whole process.  Several told me that if they were new writers today, they would definitely go the route of indie publishing, because it provides more creative and financial control. It took a little time for me to accept that going this way was not giving up; instead, it’s just taking a different road to the same destination. It does require more work in the realm of promotion and publicity, but even those authors who are traditionally published are often on their own when it comes to that part of the business.  The days of book tours and readings for every new author are over!
DB: I love hearing your story, and I think this is a great route. I commend you for it and can't wait to see your success:)

Time management seems to a big theme in a lot of blog posts I read lately. Can you tell us how you time manage writing with promotion, being a mother, wife, and all the many other duties you have?
TK: This is a huge topic of interest for me; I even have a page on my website called “How Writers Stay Sane” and post weekly about different strategies. I am blessed to have daughters who are very tolerant of my writing.  They frequently pick up the slack in the housekeeping and cooking department.  I try to keep running lists of what needs to be done when, different lists for each part of my life.  I have a wonderful friend, fellow writer and advisor who prods me to keep up the promotion end when I slack off.  And I don’t sleep nearly as much as I would like! It’s amazing the things you can accomplish after midnight.  Now having said that, I miss the amount of time I used to be able to give just pure writing—not editing, not promotion or anything else associated with books—just pure, wonderful writing time.  I have books that need to be finished, and I might have to run away for a week to make that happen.  But shhhh. . don’t tell my family that!

DB: Your secret is safe with me:)
What is the next step for Tawdra Kandle?

TK: Other than running away?    Once I’ve launched that, I am going to concentrate on editing RESTLESS and the final book in the series, which I think will be called TIMELESS (but that is a working title).   Then I have to finish the first book in my adult series, which is as yet untitled.  It’s much lighter than the King series, and I am having a lot of fun with it.  I think it has series potential, but we shall see.  After that. . .Nell wants her own book, and I have the work up of a sort of prequel to the King series, about Gravis King, the man who founded the town, and Sarah, the witch he rescued from being burned at the stake in Romania.  So many characters, so little time!
DB:Well, it doesn't sound like you are giving yourself any time to run away!  

Now let's have a little fun....
Favorite food?

TK: Aside from anything chocolate, I love beets with goat cheese and spiced pecans.  I know. . but it’s good for me and I love the juxtaposition of flavors!!
Favorite book?

TK: You might as well ask me about my favorite child. Gone With the Wind was the first real book I remember reading, when I was about 7 or 8.  I love Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow. Just about anything Anne Rice writes. . .and Stephen King. . .Diana Gabaldon. . .oh, I could just go on and on!
DB: Favorite author, and if you were trapped in an elevator with him/her, what would ask?

TK: My favorite author right now is probably Diana Gabaldon, just because I love her style and her unapologetic defiance of book length maximums! If we were trapped in an elevator, I would ask her how she keeps all her story strands straight. . .and how she integrates them so well.
DB: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

TK: England. 
DB: Where do you see yourself in five years?

TK: Still writing, hopefully with more finesse and style, and also I hope with more understanding of the promotion and publicity process.  I would like to have a loyal readership who enjoy my books.  That,  a happy and healthy family, and I’ll be satisfied.
DB: Sounds like a perfect plan! Tawdra, thanks so much for visiting today!

And for all you potential Tawdra fans, go get her book HERE. It's awesome!


Joanne said...

Thanks for sharing today, Tawdra and Deana. You make some interesting comments about Publishing and the revolution within it. From everything I've read recently, there's just about no publicity from traditional publishers these days. Unless you're a huge name, the marketing efforts lie with the authors, so I applaud your choice to publish on your own and steer your own journey.

Best wishes with your book :)

Kelley Lynn said...

Great interview!! Thanks so much!

Angela Cothran said...

That book sounds so cool :) And can I just say I love the blue stripe in Tawdra's hair. Why can't I pull that off?

Emily R. King said...

Nice to meet you, Tawdra. Published at 12? You're amazing!
Thanks for the interview, ladies!

Leslie S. Rose said...

It's always cool to get glimpse of how a writer fits into "real life." Those authors that made the call on going "indie" had pretty accurate premonitions.