Mike Metzing/www.picturedevents.com/o: 812-284-9557/c: 502-296-4556
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m a story teller more than a writer, but I have kept diaries, written stories and poems, and made up songs my entire life. What I never thought I would be is a published writer.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Months. I start with a story I have told and then transfer it to written form.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Long hours. I need quiet to write effectively. No television. No music. Just me, a pen, and paper. Although I can write with “people” background, i.e. restaurants.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write the way I speak. This actually works out very well for me because when I read my stories to the children, it’s a very natural flow.
How do your books get published?
I self-publish via Create Space.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
The stories are all made up as I go. Often, something happens while telling the story that is then incorporated into the story. They are made up as I go. An example: Greymalkin began one day when my granddaughter was grumpy, a rare occurrence, and I asked, “Would you like Nana to tell you a story?” She said, “Yes.” Greymalkin was born that day and continues to this day. A couple of years later a little sister entered the picture. One day the little one announced she wanted to be Greymalkin. , her older sister stopped and said, “You are not Greymalkin! I am Greymalkin!” (Approximately 4 years between grumpy episodes!) As of that day, a new kitten entered the stories and is being incorporated. This kitten’s name is “Ginger-Kitty” and will be in the third book, Greymalkin, the Queen’s Cat, and the Heroic Rescue, which is due out late 2015.
When I need technical information, I go to the library or the internet and research for information. The process is very similar to writing a paper for a class in high school or college.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
60+ for the first book.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Spending time with my husband, children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends is at the top of my list. I also dabble with painting and drawing. Listen to music. Spend too much time on Facebook.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family and friends are very supportive of my writing. They are my cheerleaders.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How difficult it is to edit a book and then quit.
I have a tendency to edit again and again and again. Learning to quit editing is a skill on which I am still working. When you are editing, read backwards. For some reason, this really does work.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Two books have been published and a third one should be available before Christmas 2015. They are Greymalkin, the Queen’s Cat, and the Baby Dragon, Greymalkin, the Queen’s Cat, and the Birthday Surprise, and the third one will be Greymalkin, the Queen’s Cat, and …… ! I do not have a favorite. Each is a continuation of each other, so it is more like chapters in a book instead of separate books.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Keep a diary. It does not have to be all inclusive. It does not even have to be in complete sentences. Make lists. Jot down your thoughts on a subject. See something funny? Jot it down. Something that makes your blood boil? Write it down. The event and how it made you feel. Your reaction to it.Record your feelings about an event. Let your imagination run amuck. Write a letter to your mother, your best friend, or your spouse. The more you write, the more you will be able to express your feelings and thoughts in writing.
When you are finished with a story, or a chapter, put it down for a day or two, then pick it up and read it out loud. Make changes as needed. Share with a trusted friend. Have at least two, three is better, friends read and edit it also. They will see things you missed.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
“Your illustrations are beautiful!” … “I wish I had stories like this when I was teaching.” ... “My granddaughter loves for me to read this to her.” … These are the things I hear from my readers.
Do you like to create books for adults?
Do you like to create books for adults?
I write for children because I have always told stories to children. I don’t tell stories to adults, so I don’t write for adults.
What do you think makes a good story?
A story plot with a twist, that makes you think, one with inferences to keep the reader interested, and one that makes you feel good about life.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
An artist. A reporter. A teacher. A movie star. A singer. Those were all dreams as a child. I was a very typical kid.