1. What are you working on at the moment?
A sequel to the sequel for Novices. For some reason, I can’t write Chronicles #2 without writing #3 first. In my Rough Passages superpowers world, I’m poking at a fifth novelette while firming up an outline for a novel to follow. And a third novel in the Restoration Adventures series. It has a title (Safe Landing) I know it stars Kaylie and Justin and Serena, and I know it deals with the two big loose ends from Controlled Descent & Flight Plan, namely Nicole Avon & Pete Hamil. Beyond that…we’ll see. That’s 2017 at the earliest, but I never stop thinking.
2. How did you get into writing in the first place?
Through table-top gaming. I played for years, and after I started a group, I learned that I loved wearing the ringmaster’s hat. I got to create tons of characters instead of one, and I had a blast shaping plots naturally from the players’ actions. From there it was a short leap to making up plots for my own characters and exploring the craft side of writing.
3. Do you have a routine or any quirks for when you sit down to write? Tell us what a day of writing looks like for you.
My foundation routine is that I sit down to write something, somewhere for at least two hours every day. If I can chisel a decent block of time out of my variable work schedule—at least a couple of hours—I settle at the desk (or on the couch, or the floor) brew tea, put on headphones, and open the word processor. Sometimes I never drink the tea, and I forget to start music, but the ritual itself settles my brain.
4. You publish great work pretty regularly. Is there a goal that you stick to, or is it just as and when?
I always have multiple projects going. I can lead the muse to the table, but I can’t make her sit down. The bigger the buffet, the more likely she’ll see something she likes. The main goal I have is to “count” all writing. If the day job exhausts me, I might only create promotional materials, but I put in my two hours. That way, when inspiration strikes and I can sit for twelve straight, I revel in it. Concentrating on productivity is the one sure way to destroy mine. So I don’t.
5. What was your favourite of all of your projects to work on?
So far, Flight Plan. I got to introduce my survivors from Controlled Descent to new characters and drop them into even crazier adventures. I liked the challenge of developing conflicts on a bigger stage while still keeping the story itself intimate and personal.
6. Do you have a favourite character that you’ve written?
Justin. Absolutely Justin. He’s smart and socially impatient, and that’s enough to endear him to me. He’s also short, dark and scruffy, and I have a weakness for scruffy guys with dreamy eyes. (one look at Spouseman proves this.)
I started writing Controlled Descent with no idea what would happen once I stripped him of every advantage in the world. The more the story developed, the more he delighted me. He’s a rather good person at heart. I sometimes feel guilty about everything I put him through.
7. Do you have any literary heroes, any other authors you aspire to be like?
Lois McMaster Bujold and Patricia C. Wrede. I’d love to be the next JK Rowling, of course, but I don’t look at Harry Potter and see anything I want to emulate. In contrast, I can see the storytelling elements and stylistic touches I’ve unconsciously absorbed from Bujold & Wrede every time I re-read their books. Except they do it all so much better.
8. What are your plans for the future?
Keep writing, work on promoting my stories better, get myself back out in the world a bit more. I got blindsided by some crippling panic/anxiety the last few years, but I’ve recently figured out the root cause and am developing better coping techniques.
9. Do you have any advice for all the newbie writers out there?
Neil Gaiman’s advice: write. That’s it. It’s simple, and simple things are never easy, but if you want to be a writer, then write and write and never stop. That’s the only One True Method I see being broad enough to cover the infinite diversity of human creativity. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something.
Want to know more about K.M Herkes? Here is a little something from the author herself:
I write and publish stories that dance in the open spaces between genres. I like to play in the literary traffic, dodging between science and culture, fantasy and reality, devotion and divided loyalties. Damaged souls, triumphs of the spirit, and dialogue loaded with sarcasm are the house specialties. My plot lines linger in the quiet times between big explosions of action and drama. I know I’m striking my storytelling target when reviews start with, “This isn’t my usual read, but I took a chance,” and end with “I loved it and told all my friends to try it too.”
Professional development has included classroom teaching, animal training, aquaculture, horticulture, retail operations, and customer service. Personal development is ongoing. Cats are involved. I live in the Midwest, where I work in a library, which is exactly as exciting as it sounds. When the weather is fine, I can be found in my garden instead of the office, and at least once a year I disappear into the woods for a week to disconnect from the modern world.
Follow my author page on Amazon to receive the latest new on new releases, and visit my author page at storysculpting.blogspot.com to load up on extras like story-inspired art, extended excerpts, and free fiction. You’ll also get my random musings on life, the universe and writing. If you’re inclined to social media, you can find my assorted blatherings on Twitter under @dawnrigger and on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dawnriggersden