Kenna McKinnon is the author of SpaceHive, a middle grade sci-fi/fantasy novel; BIGFOOT BOY: Lost on Earth, published by Mockingbird Lane Press, a traditional small press. A children’s chapter book, Benjamin & Rumblechum, will be published by Mockingbird Lane Press in late 2014. The Insanity Machine, a self-published memoir with co-author Austin Mardon, PhD, CM; and DISCOVERY – A Collection of Poetry, were released by Authors for a Cause and CreateSpace in 2012. Her books are available in eBook and paperback worldwide on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc., and in selected bookstores and public libraries.
Her interests / hobbies include fitness and health, volunteer, reading, writing, and walking. She lives in a high-rise bachelor suite in the trendy neighborhood of Oliver in the City of Edmonton. Her most memorable years were spent at the University of Alberta, where she graduated with Distinction with a degree in Anthropology (1975). She has lived successfully with schizophrenia for many years and is a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and the Canadian Authors Association. She has three wonderful children and three grandsons.
What inspires you to write?
I have no idea what inspires me to write, it could be anything or anyone. I write for the love of it. Music can inspire me to write, memories, words on a page I’ve read or am reading, a bit of conversation overheard, or an old or new love. Inspiration comes from the gods. It’s on the wind. We’re not in control. I may write badly at times, I may think I’m soaring when it’s sour, but I write because I have to. I think all authors do.
Tell us about your writing process.
I began by writing from the seat of my pants, letting the story unfold, with an idea of how it would end and simply filling in the middle. But now I write with an outline and prefer the structure that demands I have some control of my time and words. Especially, in nonfiction such as “The Insanity Machine” an outline is necessary. An outline just makes the writing process easier, and sometimes the outline gets away on one, so that the story is almost written.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters are very autobiographical so I know them quite well. I don’t really interact with them while I’m writing, I write from a more omniscient point of view usually, or if I write in first, second, or third person I still know how they will react and control the character to a great extent. Otherwise the story might get away on me.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write because you love it, for no other reason. And do take advice and listen to criticism, but in the end, follow your own star.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Another author introduced me to my first publisher. Unfortunately, the book didn’t sell well and was taken out of print. I’m planning to self-publish it. I have both traditionally published and self-published books. An author has more control with self-published books and doesn’t have to share royalties with anyone else. I would like to publish with one of the big Six publishing companies some day, I would love to have a reputable and hardworking agent, but for now, I’m mostly self-publishing. I would advise new authors to see if their work is good enough for a publisher to accept it, and more especially a small press, as one has to start somewhere. But don’t feel unworthy if you self-publish, either, some great authors have done that and some great books have been Indie books at first, perhaps later picked up by a traditional press. The work is not done when you write. Most of the work is in marketing after the book is published as an eBook or printed. That was a surprise to me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the success of many Indie publishers and authors is going to force the old school publishers to rethink their ways and how they treat their authors. I think there is going to be cooperation between the two fields finally, and they will very well not be competitors. I think the Indie publishing is a good thing, but not entirely, because there’s a lot of unedited crap out there. It’s important to get a good editor, pay her/him well, and proof your book with a number of beta readers before self-publishing. But that’s just me. I think editors are going to become more important, and freelance authors like myself, freelance editors like Morgen Bailey, are going to become more important.
What do you use?
Dictated and got transcribed, Co-writer, Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
YA, middle grade, mystery, paranormal/horror, science fiction, fantasy, children’s chapter books, nonfiction, poetry
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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