-- Quote of the Day --
"The faster I write the better my output. If I'm going slow I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them."
~ Raymond Chandler
-- Writer Interview #9 --
*Interview with “Swimming With Wings” Author, Lee Libro, on the Importance of Writing Groups
Lee Libro is a fiction writer who has just released her first novel, Swimming With Wings, this past March. The title is a metaphor for soul searchers, who can’t quite find themselves within the confines of the social mores of their time. Lee manages a blog called Literary Magic that helps readers and authors connect, aid in book club selections and sharpen writing skills. According to Lee, “words have magic. It's up to us to conjure and cast spells with them”. Find Lee at: www.literary-magic.com
Q: Do you belong to a writers’ group?
A: Yes, I belong to a critique group with the Sarasota Fiction Writer's Group and I'm a founding member of the Association of Independent Authors: www.independent-authors.org
Q: How long have you belonged to this group? (how you found them, why you joined & the process of becoming a member).
A: I've been meeting with the Sarasota Fiction Writer's Group events since the fall of '09 after discovering them at the Sarasota Farmer's Market we have every Saturday in downtown Sarasota. I was finalizing my novel and after talking with them, I realized they had several different outlets for writers, a critiquing group, which is my main activity with them, but they also host talks given by visiting authors and regular monthly meetings. The Association of Independent Authors I discovered by way of Stephen Windwalker, the author of the Kindle Nation Newsletter available on the Kindle. The AIA is an organization of really dynamic people who support the innovations currently affecting the publishing industry and which empower the self-publishing author.
Q: Where do you meet? How often? What do you do there?
A: The AIA is online. We offer each other critiques, tips, and updates on ourselves and our books' promotional efforts. The administrators of many of the forum topics also provide news feeds and links to help us all stay abreast of the industry. My critique group with the Sarasota Fiction Writers meets twice a month at a local bookstore where we each bring in a piece of writing to read aloud and critique. Reading one's work aloud to others helps you gain a whole different sense of your writing and the critiques offered by fellow writers and the leader, a retired editor of one of the major publishers, (whose name I'd mention, but I didn't get his permission so I better not.)
Q. Where do you see yourself with your writing in five years?
A: I see myself having more free time to write as I'm entering the empty nest years. I have five children with only two high school students living at home. I’d like to spend more time consistently on writing. I’ve had to write in what I call my overtime hours, often into the early morning hours, just so I can fit this passion into my life. It will be nice to write when the sun is still out. I look forward to completing my current novel and continuing on with several other story ideas I have in the works.
Q: What advice would you give for aspiring authors?
A: The best advice I ever got I still live by today and that is that the only thing standing between you and completing your book are the words you haven’t written, so WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. Once I realized that publishing is secondary to the process and passion of writing, the pressure was gone. Writing has to be a function apart from publishing. Ironically when I stopped caring about being published I was able to unleash my best writing and also increase my amount of writing activity. My other advice though is to always seek to improve your writing. Know your rules of grammar first of all. I can’t tell you how many people call themselves writers and don’t even realize they’ve written a comma splice. Also if you are writing fiction strive to understand how your idea can be shaped with plot, character development, dialogue and all the other elements of well-formed fiction. I recommend my two favorite books on writing: Donald Maass’ “The Fire in Fiction” and Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird."
Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows and free resources and more at: www.brummet.ca