It’s time to meet blogger #7! I strongly suggest you give Kat @ The Patchwork Diaries a follow, she’s an amazing blogger, advocate and activist.
Let’s start with an introduction. Tel l me about yourself.
Well let’s see.. I’ve been blogging since 2009. It really started as a way to organize my thoughts online vs the paper journals of my youth. As I wrote about my daily life slowly I began to gain an audience; then I realized the power of my voice and began to delve into my opinion on politics and current events. It wasn’t until 2013 after receiving my PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) diagnosis that I began to focus on mental health, domestic abuse, and sexual assault awareness which is my primary focus right now. I still sprinkle in some posts about my marriage, raising three kids, and significant life events here and there although not as frequently as I used to. I also participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and dabble in poetry so every once and a while some fiction will make an appearance. I like to say my blog is a “mixed bag of nuts” lol.
How long have you been participating in NaNoWriMo?
This year will be my seventh attempt for NaNoWriMo! I’ve won four out of the six years I’ve competed in. Two of those four stories have just now made it to the editing phase. I’d like to publish them together next year.
That’s awesome! You mentioned that you write fiction, is it contemporary? YA? How would you classify it?
It’s somewhere between mystery, thriller and general fiction. I haven’t really found my fiction niche yet. I’m what they call a “pantser”. I get an idea and run with it by the seat of my pants. Each fictional story I’ve written is completely different from the next. The two on their way to publication are a science fiction fantasy piece, and a thriller.
Are you a reader as well? If so, do your writing genres match what you like to read?
I love to read, unfortunately with three kids under seven I don’t have much time to enjoy it right now. I wouldn’t say that my writing is influenced by the material I read. I don’t really have a favorite genre. I’ll read anything that catches my eye after scouring the shelves at a book store. I do have several authors that are my go to favorites. Dean Koontz when I’m feeling the need for a thriller, mystery or good scare and Janet Evanovich for something light and fun with a touch of romance. I also love reading independently published books, and up and coming authors.
I’ve never heard of Dean Kootz but I’ve seen Janet Evanovich everywhere. Do you have any favorites of their work?
Life Expectancy is my favorite by Dean Koontz. I also love the Odd Thomas and Moonlight Bay series. It’s hard to pick a favorite of Janet’s. I fell in love with the Stephanie Plumb series, but I’ve also read a few single books and short stories she’s written and I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of them! If I absolutely had to choose just one Plumb book as my favorite, I would have to say Fearless Fourteen. I randomly purchased it at a drug store during a road trip. It was my introduction to the series and I still re-read it every once and a while. When I have time to read that is!
Thanks! I love a good book rec! Jumping back to your writing really quickly, where does the inspiration for your stories come from?
Being a “pantser” my inspiration comes from a variety of different things. A lot of it stems from instrumental music that stirs up some kind of emotion. I also tend to lean toward writing strong female characters which I glean from my own personal experiences as well as those of a few close friends. Sometimes people I meet in passing will provide inspiration or depth to a character. Sometimes a piece of artwork will lead to the inspiration behind a setting, and still sometimes my own subconscious and wild dreams will provide a plot line I never would have thought of while awake.
Do you work on multiple stories at a time or just one?
I generally sit with one story until completion. I have a backlog of NaNoWriMo stories right now, so I’m tackling two at once. I’m not sure it will work out, but I figured I’d give it a try!
Have you ever started a story and not been able to finish?
Two of my earliest works fizzled out before I could really wrap them up. One I wrote in a flurry trying to cope with my overwhelming emotions immediately after 9/11. The more time passed after the attacks the more difficult it was to finish the story. It was an excellent coping mechanism, but not a very good story I eventually realized as I continued to work on it here and there. The second, was a fairy tale I began as a middle school English project. That one got away from me in terms of the different worlds and characters. When even I couldn’t keep up with who went where in their crusade I abandoned it. I did revisit it a few months ago after finding it in a storage locker. It was an excellent piece for middle school. Not so much for publication. Everything else I’ve managed to complete at least the first draft before moving on to something else.
Do you have any advice for authors and/or bloggers that are just starting out or struggling?
That’s kind of a tough one… I think really the best advice I can offer is to know when its time to walk away from a project. Blogging, writing, any form of art really is about self expression. It’s for you before it’s for your audience. If a project just isn’t taking off it’s better to set it aside than to work yourself to the point of frustration and exhaustion. In the blogging world especially, audiences come and go and it has little to do with the content you’re putting out there. Its not worth it to sell yourself short for likes and shares.
That is some damn good advice! Is there anything else that you would like to say? About your blog, yourself, anything?
Thanks. Uh… not that I can think of. Lol. I think this is the most thorough interview I’ve ever done in regards to my writing. Excellent job! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
If you want to connect with Kat, follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!
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