Welcome to my blog, SCRIBBLING TO (IN)SANITY! First time here? I'm a romance writer who wants to believe most problems can be solved over coffee, a mixed drink or by anything covered in chocolate. I'm a believer in second chances and that it's always the right time to fall in love. As the saying goes, you're a guest in my house only once...then you're family. So I invite you to join the fun! I love comments but it's okay to lurk too - just know I'm glad you've found me and I hope you visit me again soon!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
A Holiday Interview with Moira Keith
Moira, I'm so excited to have you as my guest here on my Scribbling Through Time blog...Thanks for being here.
What genre(s) do you write in and why?
The million dollar question. I write contemporary western romances because there is just something about a cowboy that makes me giddy like a school girl. Urban Fantasies and Paranormal romances are a huge draw for me as well, but that is because there is no limit to my imagination. The world is what I make of it and I find creating those rules and constraints that your characters must live within very challenging and fun.
Tell us about your current release.
Frost is a novella written as an intro into the world of Holly Monroe, an elf who walked out on the one man who was able to sneak underneath her defenses—Jack Frost. She’s a detective with the North Pole Police Department and her partner happens to be Jack’s brother-in-law. It’s made putting Jack in her past difficult. Then Jack goes missing and Chief Clause assigns the case to Holly. She must bring Jack or risk the holiday being ruined. This is one fun novella...I'm reading it now!
What inspired your latest book?
My parents always made the holidays seem like they were filled with magic and wonder. I wanted to capture a piece of that in my story, but I wanted it to be a little unique and off the beaten path. Holly practically screamed at me from the get go and Jack Frost just seemed to take on a life of his own as I started writing him. I can’t wait for their story to continue.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Ideas are funny things. Anything can spark a story idea. Usually I find that my mind starts to wander and the next thing you know I’m playing a mental “What If” game. What if an elven wonder has issues with entrusting her heart to someone? What if that someone were Jack Frost? What if she was an orphan who was used to being disappointed and heartbroken? Then it just kind of develops from there.
What is your favorite social media hangout?
My favorite social media hangout is Facebook. The interaction there is a little easier for me. Share the things I love, give a little update, stay in touch with friends…it’s very easy for me. Twitter moves so fast, it’s hard for me to keep up at times. Lots going on in both places, but Facebook just feels more manageable to me.
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Treat the process as though you were being published by a traditional publisher. Expect a little expense and a lot of hard work. Invest in a nice cover, spend time on edits, work your formatting. Understand that it will take time to get your lovely little gem out and in front of the masses. Marketing (my own Achilles heel) is time consuming and you have to be wise about where you are spending your time. The success or failure of your book rests on your shoulders. It’s not an easy road, but it can be a very rewarding one.
What was the hardest thing you’ve found in the process of self-publishing? What was the easiest part of self-publishing?
The hardest thing has to be the marketing piece. You don’t have a big publisher helping get your book out there. You are the publicist, the publisher, the author. It is hard to wear so many hats at times. The easiest part is the creative control. From the story to the cover art, the decisions are all yours. If something is off in your formatting or if something happened to be missed in the editing process, you can make updates. Having that kind of control is really nice.
Do you have critique partners? Beta Readers?
Of course! They are a necessity for me. Like breathing…or finding the perfect pair of shoes. Having them as part of my routine helps me become a better writer. I’ve got an amazing support group in my critique partners and they are very much a family to me! My beta readers are too and some of them have been with me since my first story and come along for the journey.
What are you reading now?
After putting books aside for a bit to get some work done, I devoured three books recently: Muffins & Mistletoe by my lovely host, Debora Dennis, Foul Play by Janet Evanovich, and A Little Bit Cupid by Jennifer Shirk. I just started reading The Keepers by Heather Graham.
Do you write under a pen name? Why or why not? How did you choose it?
I do write under a pen name. Early on, I was advised that it was easier to try and keep your personal life separate from your writing life if you had a pen name. I’m not sure if I find that true or not, since I’m the same person. Choosing the name was actually really simple for me and just seemed to click. Moira is the Irish/Scottish version of my real name. Keith is a family name from Scotland. The pen name was a way for me to honor part of my ancestry.
Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Just keep moving forward. Write as much as you can, every chance you get. Each story comes with its hurdles and provides you with an opportunity to learn. Most importantly, don’t give up and enjoy the process.
What is your favorite quote and why?
“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right, you believe less so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” ~ Marilyn Monroe.
It’s on a picture of her that my mother gave me and it hangs near my desk. It’s just very poignant and inspiring to me.