4 hours ago
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Interview with author Shannon Vannatter on the Craft of Writing- Part 2
6: What are the most common mistakes beginning writers make?
They don’t spend enough time honing the craft and submit to editors and agents too soon.
7: What are two things you wished you had known before you started writing?
1. How hard it would be to get published. But if I had known, I may have never tried. 2. How stressful it is once you actually have deadlines. I’d hear published authors talk about it and think, I’d kill for a deadline. Now, I know what they meant, but it’s very worth it.
8: Why did you choose this profession?
I had a story in my head for years, but didn’t realize what it was. Finally, once I realized it was a book, I didn’t have a computer and wasn’t a good enough typist to take on such a task. My father-in-law gave me his old computer about the same time it became increasingly difficult to find clean romances at the library. So, I set out to write a clean romance. But the more I wrote, the more God kept popping up in my characters’ lives. I didn’t know there was such a thing as inspirational fiction until I finished the book and asked the librarian how to get published. I checked out a Market Guide and learned there were Christian publishing houses. I’d shopped at Christian book stores for years, but always went straight to the music. And back then, late 1999, I think most of the books in Christian stores were nonfiction. Once I realized there were Christian houses, a whole new world opened up for me.
9: What advice/ encouragement do you have for the writers reading this today?
It’s hard, but don’t give up on your dream. Persistence and patience are half the battle. If you keep honing and learning, eventually a publisher will notice.
10: Any other helpful advice?
Join ACFW, a critique group, and attend their conferences. The conferences aren’t cheap, but so worth the money. I learned everything that gave me the edge to write publishable fiction through ACFW.
Thank you, Shannon, for taking the time to answer these questions. Writing is a tough profession and I know help of any kind is always appreciated!
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