Tuesday, July 28, 2015

World of Writing, interview

-- World of Writing -- 

* Today we have the pleasure of presenting: Wendy Van Hatten - a published author and international travel writer and blogger. She holds the position of Editor in Chief for Prime Time Living Magazine, as well as being the wine, food, and travel writer for WE Magazine. She is on the board of the Bay Area Travel Writer Organization, a professional travel writer and photographer organization. For more information about Wendy and her books visit: www.wendyvanhatten.com.

Q: Do you belong to a writers’ group? 

A: Yes, I belong to a writers’ group. It is a small but productive group of writers, who offer feedback and critiques.

Q: How long have you belonged to this group? (how you found them, why you joined & the process of becoming a member).

A: Originally, I attended a large group of writers of various genres, who meet weekly. My schedule doesn’t allow for weekly meetings and I felt I was not contributing to the group. Out of this group three of us decided to form a more concentrated group. We meet monthly, take turns with our writing projects or manuscripts, and dig deep into everyone’s writings.

Q: Where do you meet? How often? What do you do there?

A: Each month we focus on one writer. Our manuscript or parts of it are emailed at least one week ahead of the meeting time. This allows time for the others to review, take notes, ask questions, or answer questions the writer has put forth. We may need assistance or confirmation of a plot, or we may need help with our characters, or we may need a big picture view from an uninvolved party.

Q: Where do you see yourself with your writing in five years?

A: Even though writing has always been a part of my life, writing is my second career. My travel writing is one piece and my mystery writing is another piece. The outlets and formats are different, but I incorporate my travels into my mysteries. I see myself continuing with both types as long as possible.

Q: What advice would you give for aspiring authors?

A: It sounds like an overwritten cliché, but you need to write. Really. And, you need to read. If you really like reading historical romances, but you want to write sci-fi…perhaps you should start reading sci-fi.

When you have figured out what you are writing, take some time to do several things. Make a working outline; one that probably will change as you write. Try to get as many general ideas as possible about your manuscript written down. The same applies if you are writing an article as well. Do you have a message you want your reader to hear, are you encouraging your reader to take action, or are you telling a story?

Then, make a list of characters. Give them names, personalities, and descriptions. Make your reader see them. Don’t just tell your reader the main character is tall and thin. Show the reader he has to duck when he enters a doorway. This is a start. It can all change and grow as you write.

I also suggest having a team you work with as you write. These could include a writers’ group, perhaps another writer to bounce ideas off of, a proofreader, a marketing individual or group, and a very important piece…at least one editor. More team members may be necessary depending on your type of writing

Q: Tell us a bit about your passions in life.

A: I have several passions. Travel, writing, cooking, wine, gardening, my husband, my kitty…and combinations of all of these. These surface daily, whether I am writing, traveling, cooking, gardening, or learning about new wines and drinking favorites. My husband and my kitty often make appearances in my mysteries…only they don’t know it.

Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet:


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