“Write the stories of your heart, not the stories
you think the market will accept”
says K.M. Weiland in this exclusive interview to MOI WRITES
1. Tell us about yourself and the books you have published so far?
I am a very stereotypical writer chick, hibernating in my make-believe worlds, most of which are either historical or fantasy. I have published 4 novels “A Man Called Outlaw” (Western), “Behold the Dawn” (Medieval), “Dreamlander” (Fantasy) and Storming” (Diesel punk). I have also written the writing how-to books “Outlining Your Novel”, “Structuring Your Novel”, and “Creating Character Arcs”, among others.
2. Who has been the biggest influence on your journey in becoming an author?
I am infatuated with Patrick O’Brian. His Aubrey/Maturin series contains some of the most brilliant writing I have ever experienced. It is flawless—and that is a word I pass around about as often as Ebenezer Scrooge sends his mom Mother’s Day cards. I do not know that O’Brian has necessarily influenced my style or genre choice anymore than the other authors I have read. Everything you read influences you in some way, and your resulting style is just cumulative effect of a lifetime of growth.
3. What are the key factors that make a good writer become great?
There is definitely an “it” factor that top-level writers possess. In some ways, it is unquantifiable. However, I think it comes down to two things. One is a vibrant authorial voice that is interesting, entertaining, and enjoyable. The other is a fundamental understanding of life. The best writers are those who see things beyond what everyone else’s perception and then use story as the lens through which to share those glimpses with the world.
4. How important is reading in developing writing skills?
Vital. I love reading authors who are masters of characterization, adept with subtext, and players with their prose. Authors who can put all the puzzle pieces of a story together seamlessly always have something to teach me.
5. What message will you give to aspiring authors?
Write for the love of it; first and foremost. As Anne Lamott says, “Being published isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But writing is.” Write the stories of your heart, not the stories you think the market will accept.
PROFILE OF K.M WEILAND
K.M Weiland is the IPPY, NIEA, and Lyra Award-winning and internationally published author of the acclaimed writing guides. When she is not making things up, she is busy mentoring other authors on her award-winning blog helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com. She makes her home in western Nebraska. View more of her profile and her books at Amazon.
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- All photos provided by the interviewee