About Karen J Mossman:
Star Struck is my first full length novel, although I have published three short story collections. My parents fostered small children when I was growing up and I spent a lot of time telling them stories. Usually I made them up as I went along. As I became a teenager writing stories in my bedroom was a means of escape from the bedlam downstairs.
I wrote for many years, but it wasn’t until I was made redundant from my job that I decided to write full time. I’ve lots more books in the pipeline and one of them is set in the 70s. I like writing from those eras, it’s much more fun, and of course, I remember them well!
Besides writing and reading, I love to cross stitch and I juggle my time between the three of them.
What inspires you to write?
Writing has always been there and it’s something inside me that I have to do, like eating really. Inspiration happens all the time, something I see while out and about, something I hear, a line from the news, literally anything. I mull it around in my mind for a while to get the feel of it and see if is viable, would it work and most importantly, do I like it.
Tell us about your writing process.
Once I have an idea in my mind that I like, I sleep on it. This means I spend many a night going over it in my head. Playing it out like a film, I suppose, scene by scene. If II like the scene I will come back to it night after night.
Eventually I write it down on the laptop in outline form. She says, she goes to, he does, all very matter of factly. If I can reach the end of a story, I will begin breaking it down on an Excel spreadsheet. I start with the chapters, I’ll write Chapter 1 and put a summary in the next column. Then start filling in the columns next to it. What is word count? What is the hook? Then, if I am writing a thriller, what are the clues? Whatever the story needs, really.
I continue that as I write each chapter. Once I have come to the end of the story. I will re-read it and make more notes. Then it will go away for a couple of months. Then comes the edit – is there a better word instead of using several? Can I makes it crisper? Have I told the reader something where I should have shown them?
I’ll get someone else to read it and then look for an editor, if I am self publishing, or send it to a publisher if not. It really is a long processes, but I keep doing it, because I love it.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I often let them lead me, sometimes they can’t and I have to take a few days out to think about it. Once I have shown them the way again, they usually trot ahead telling the story themselves. It’s kind of cool when it happens like that.
What advice would you give other writers?
The important thing I’ve learnt is to Write – Write – Write. It is so easy to think about writing that novel, to think about the completed book, or imagine seeing it on the shelves and before you know it months have gone by and you haven’t written a thing.
Secondly, don’t use 10 words when 5 will do, and thirdly, don’t tell the reader, show them. For example, he walked into the old house. As the writer know what I mean by old, but does the reader? It’s far better to explain what the character is seeing which will make them think it is old.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve always enjoying sharing, and once this story was down on paper, so to speak, I realised how much I loved the character of Joanna and I had become fond of her friends, too. I want other people to see what I see, I want them to experience her ups and downs and I want them to root for her, too.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think their is much more choice now than ever before. Paperback or kindle for a reader and for the author, Self Publish or Publisher. And contrary to the many conversations about which is best, I think there is room for both.
As a reader, I love my kindle. I love having a library of books in my hand and to read easily where ever I am. But then once in a while I like the feel and the smell of a real book, especially with a full colour, and tantalising front cover.
Self publishing means you have control. You choose the cover, you release the book when you are ready, you decide where and how and to whom it is sold too. Everything is your choice.
Going with a publisher means they take all the work from you. They write the killer description, choose the best possible cover and very importantly, they do all the promotion and get it into the shops.
So, overall the future is very good for books.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romance, Suspense and thriller – with a touch of romance.
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.