Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kathy Carmichael's In the House

Welcome Kathy to Writing With Vicki. I'm delighted to have you here and to find out the answers to some major burning questions.

Everyone, I hope you enjoy the interview and if there's something I missed or you have your own burning question, then leave it in the comments section. :)

Kathy: Thank you so much for inviting me, Vicki. I always have fun chatting with readers and other writers!

Vicki: You're welcome. I'm glad you're here, too, because I have some questions for you.

Kathy: Fire away!

Vicki: We've all heard you're an award winning author, but I've done a little research and found out some interesting tidbits about you.

Kathy: Uch oh.

Vicki: There's nothing like going to the source to find out the facts. Is it true that you're part Leprechaun?

Kathy: As I informed that pesky reporter who said she was with The National Enquirer, that's just a nasty rumor. (Kathy mumbles: Wish everyone would stay away from my pot of gold.)

Vicki: I see. This is apparently a rather a sore subject with you. Perhaps you'll be more willing to answer questions about one of your hobbies.

Kathy: (who just broke out in a sweat) Which hobby are you referring to?

Vicki: I see that you're an avid ghost hunter.

Kathy: Oh, that subject. Yes. Definitely. All of my hobbies have generally been book or writing related and I wanted to find something that interested me outside the literary world. Since I became an avid fan of the TV show GHOST HUNTERS, it was natural that my attention would veer in that direction. I'm a member of several ghost hunting organizations and have done some investigations on my own. I find it lots of fun.

Vicki: Regarding your writing, I see that you've won several writing awards and that you also do a lot of writing seminars. You even make your seminar notes available on your website.

Kathy: I'm happy to share what I've learned with other writers. When I began writing, it was pre-Internet and I had difficulty, outside of books on writing, finding out information about the craft and business of writing. It was very lonely. Of course, with the advent of the Internet, all of that has changed. There's so much information out there now!

But when I started writing, all of the books I read suggested finding a critique group. I went around to all of the bookstores and libraries in my area and asked if anyone knew of any critique groups. The answer was always the same: No. You can imagine my excitement when I found a course on writing in my community college's catalog of courses -- and it specifically mentioned critiquing as part of the class. Historical Romance author, Libby Sydes, conducted the class and I learned a tremendous amount from her. She invited me to join her critique group outside the class and the rest, as they say, is history.

So I make my writing seminars available to others in the hope they won't find this such a long and lonely journey.

Vicki: Can you tell us a little about your newest release, HOT FLASH?

Kathy: I'm really excited this book is now in print. I had so much fun writing it and I hope that comes through in the story.

When I started the book, my husband was between jobs and my oldest son was going through the process of applying for college. The concept of how we'd pay for it gave me hives. I was also experiencing the symptoms of early-onset menopause and, let me tell you, at that time my life wasn't pretty. If it weren't for my friends allowing me to vent, I'm certain there would be a full-wing at the local mental hospital with my name on it. Writing this book also helped!

Lots of the scenes in the book are based on things that actually happened to me. I'm happy to say, though, that although my two sons don't tell me everything, they do speak to me sometimes and never, ever, in French slang.

HOT FLASH is the story of a woman who is worried about how she will send her son to college. Her father had promised to pay for it, but now he's in prison for a white-collar crime. Her ex-husband spent his savings on a surgical procedure, so he's no help. And the college professor she was dating, who would have been able to handle her son's tuition through his employment, just dumped her for a woman half her age. She's at wit's end. Even worse, she has little in savings and lives hand to mouth on her income as a sous chef for a Las Vegas Casino Hotel -- and there's no chance for advancement. She realizes she needs a husband and pronto, to help with living expenses and to send her son to college. But she doesn't want to marry just any man. She wants to be happily married and in love. So she sends out surveys to happily married women to find out what the recipe is for marital happiness. And the book details her struggle with reentering the dating scene in her search for love.

I had so much joy writing Jill's story.

Vicki: It sounds like it. I can't wait to read it!

Kathy: If anyone would like to find out more about the book or my writing articles, they can visit my website. Sometime soon, there will be a marriage survey up on my site, featuring questions from Jill's marriage survey and I'd love for visitors to take it. Then perhaps we'll learn whether Jill's conclusion was correct or if there's some other secret to marital bliss! Once you take the survey, you'll be able to see the responses. I think it's going to be fun.

I'm so sorry to tell you this, Vicki, but I'll be back to your blog a lot this week. If people would like to ask questions, about my book or about writing, I'll be happy to answer to the best of my ability! And thanks again, for inviting me, Vicki!

Okay guys, you know the deal. Leave your comments and/or questions. Kathy will be stopping by again to answer them. Yay!! And for an extra surprise, click here and leave a comment on my group blog, come back and leave a comment here as well, and one person will win a copy today! The on Friday a winner will be chosen from this blog. How cool is that. Two chances to win. :)

WW's and PD's,


Anne-Marie said...

Kathy, I know I speak for a lot of pre-published writers, I love the resources you make available to us. Thank you, thank you.

Oooh, and part leprechaun with a pot of gold...lol And a ghost hunter, too. I always found ghost chasing to be interesting. Whenever I'm in Charleston and Savannah, I always take the ghost tours.

Your book hot flash sounds awesome and I can't wait to read it.

Lynette said...

Kathy, I love the excerpt from your book. What a great 'voice' you have.
Have you ever done the ghost walk in Ybor City?
I wish you the very best of luck. Lynette

Sharron said...

Kathy, I've always loved the idea of ghost hunting, but I'm afraid I'll find a "bad" one. Do you take a special course to do this? Do they tell you how to deal with a nasty entity?
I know I've said this already, but your book sounds amazing.


Kathy Carmichael said...

Anne Marie and Lynette: Thanks!

Lynette: I've never done the ghost tour in Ybor, but have done an investigation at the Cuban
Club there.

Kathy Carmichael said...

Sharron: Many organizations offer classes and workshops. I have never taken a class on what to do if you encounter a "bad" one! But then, I haven't ever encountered one and hopefully never will.

Vicki said...

Hi Guys, sorry I'm late again, still messing with the car issue. Hopefully all will be fixed this afternoon.

Hey Kathy! I'm so glad to have you here today. So I'll take that as a yes on the Lep, right??? ;)

When you begin your story do you plot it out or do you write and plot as you go along?

Kathy Carmichael said...

Hey, Vicki! I hope your car issue is resolved satisfactorily soon!

Generally, I write a chapter or three and once I get to know my characters, then I write a short synopsis based on character arc. I rarely do more plotting than that, but sometimes I plot 3 chapters and then write them, then plot 3 more and so on.

It depends on the story, mainly! -- KC

Cynthia Sherrick said...

Fun to have you on Vicki's blog, Kathy! :)The book sounds fabulous, I can't wait to read it.

The ghost hunting sounds scary though. I'm not a big fan of ghosts or any other creepy things that go bump in the night. :]

donnas said...

Great interview. And this book sounds so good. I love the Ghost Hunters show, their website is awesome too.

Bray said...

I love those special the Ghost Hunters do. Since you are a new to me author I may be asking something you have already done or answered before. Are you going to write a book with a ghost hunting heroine or hero?

Kathy Carmichael said...

Hi Bray! That's a great question.

Right now I'm not planning to write one about ghost hunters -- but you never know. Something might strike me in the future and then all bets are off! -- KC

Anonymous said...

Kathy -
You are such a hoot, great interview!! Congrats on the book it looks great. And ya know you can just spout away any of your knowledge at any time.
Like why do you find it easy to write a synopsis?
Laurie K
aka: anonymous since google seems to have eaten my login

traveler said...

What a great interview1 I think that your book will be a winner. It is so special and unique.

Gwyn Ramsey said...

Yeah, I liked the leprechaun and the pot of gold comment. Sure does fit Kathy. The interview was nicely down, Vicki. Thanks.

Gwyn Ramsey

Kathy Carmichael said...

Thanks all!

Laurie: I like writing synopses because instead of worrying about the external plot, for me it's all about the internal conflict. Once I know the beginning of the book, then I know how it's going to end -- what changes the heroine and/or hero have to undergo during the course of the story. And once I know how they'll change, it gives me an idea of what steps they'll have to take in order to make that change.

It's all fun :) -- KC

Karen Lingefelt said...

Kathy, I'll bet you could write a hilarious ghost hunting book.

I'm really looking forward to getting HOT FLASH.

(My own, not so much.)

Vicki, I'm still fretting with you on the car troubles. That sort of thing ALWAYS ruins my day.

Vicki said...

Karen, I should be getting my car back today. Yay!