Monday, September 12, 2011

Partner on the Path--Candy Fite

For all of you lovely old and new followers, welcome! Mondays are for highlighting writers who are on the path to publication. This week we have writer (and fellow Campaigner) Candy Fite. Here's what she has to say about her writing journey. Please feel free to leave a comment and show her some writerly love and support. And come back here Wednesday to learn about an exciting and fun contest with great prizes, including agent query critiques!
What resources have you found most helpful on your writing path?
Being a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has been my number one resource. I receive information, helpful tips, and links on a weekly basis from my local chapter. Even though my main focus in writing centers around children's picture books, Middle Grade and YA, Stephen King's book, On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft, was one of the most profound writing books I've ever read. I'm also a huge fan of Writer's Digest magazine. (And, I love my hugemongo Thesaurus.)

What’s the most encouraging thing you’ve experienced along the way?
The day I met Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels. There were hundreds and hundreds of fans there to see her read and sign books. She was so humble, and took the extra time to greet each and every fan with a smile, signed all of their books, and chatted while doing so. I asked her what advice she would give a struggling writer, and she said, "Keep on writing, and don't give up." Therefore, I haven't.

Favorite children’s books? Authors?
Ribsy by Beverly Cleary is my ultimate favorite. I still have my first copy I got in 1978. I loved all of the Cleary books. And, in no particular order: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, and as an early teen, I began reading (sneaking) Dean Koontz and Stephen King books.

What keeps you going when you feel like giving up?
I WANT to write books. There's nothing else on this planet I want more. I don't want to have to come back (to earth), again, because I refused to listen to my dreams.

If you could choose to live any place on the planet, where would it be?
Ireland. My father's kinfolk were Irish. Besides, I would be able kiss the Blarney stone daily. They say you'll have the "gift to gab" or "tell a great story," if you kiss the stone. Besides, it's a magical place, and I think fairies really do exist there.

Describe your fantasy writing space?
A wobbly table, in a crowded airport, Grande Cafe Misto to my right, a thesaurus to my left, and a flood of people to watch.

What obstacles have you overcome in order to keep writing?
At first, it was the doubters in my life. "You want to do what?" "Quit your day job and become a writer?" "She must be going through a mid-life crisis." I had to learn to tune out these wicked comments.
Also, a low self-esteem is a writer's worst enemy. Making the time to write is also a huge obstacle.

What one word describes your writing process?

What do you appreciate the most about being part of the children’s writers' community?
Sharing experiences and information with other writers.

Best writing advice you’ve been given?
Keep on writing, and don't give up.

What do you like to keep in mind while drafting a story?
Who is my main protagonist? What does he or she want? And, what obstacle(s) are in the way? Keeping my focus on my character seems to carry the story, shoving it in the direction(s) it needs to go, in order to come to a satisfying end.

How will you celebrate the publication of your first book?
After I inhale the sweet scent of the pages of my published book, I will take a well-deserved vacation (to Ireland!).



  1. Thanks for this. Candy's early reading experiences sound exactly like mine - right up to moving from Judy Blume to Stephen King and Dean Koontz. (He still had the 'R' then!)

  2. Thanks for the super interview, Angelina! This is so what I needed to wake up to today! ;) I signed up to follow your blog, again! I did this over a month ago, I guess I did something wrong. My pic is there now! I bet last month, I was using my clfite90 email...hmmm.

    Anyways, thanks again, friend!

  3. Thanks Sarah and Candy. I think all three of us had the same reading journey ^_^

  4. It seems that many of us have benefited from SCBWI. We owe that wonderful organization a lot.

  5. clee--I totally agree! I know I wouldn't be where I am on the path without SCBWI.

  6. Great job Angelina! Love the answer to what is your writing process, Candy! : )

  7. I'm impressed you can write in a crowded airport!! Great interview.

  8. JRo-I found that fascinating, too. But I long to spend some time sitting and observing people.

  9. Clee, if it weren't for SCBWI, I know I wouldn't be where I am today.
    Thanks, Hannah for stopping by! JRo, a crowded airport is totally better for me than a quiet coffee shop. Call me crazy. :)

  10. Good interview, Angelina. I share Candy's love of Stephen King's book, On Writing. I've read a lot of those kind of books, and King's was the least pretentious and most helpful one ever. Candy, I wish you well with your writing adventure!

  11. Great interview! :)

    Beverly Cleary is a great author. Charlotte's Web is the first actual book I read that wasn't a chapter book/primer. :P

    I can see writing in a crowded airport; there'd be a constant flow of human inspiration!

  12. I wish my chapter of SCBWI was a bit more active. How funny that she snuck Stephen King reads early because I did as well.

    Awesome interview!

  13. Golden Eagle--I agree!

    Alleged--Thank you.

  14. It's great to learn about you, Candy. I hope you are able to visit Ireland real soon.

  15. Miranda--thanks for stopping by. Good to see you ^_^

  16. I've been meaning to read Stephen King's On Writing.

    Candy has a great attitude. You have to keep going and ignore the naysayers.

  17. I have been pondering whether to join SBCWI. The closest chapter is an hour and a half away or maybe two. This is the first time I've heard someone credit them with their success. Thanks.

    I devoured everything King in his early years. There is a line in IT that I can honestly say was the only time reading a book I was afraid to read the next line. I knew then that was how I wanted to write.

  18. Medeia==Enjoy On Writing, a peek into a fascinating writer mind.

    Balin--SCBWI is great, especially if you have an active chapter. Thanks for the follow.

  19. Good interview, Best Wishes to Candy!

    Following such an important life's dream is a must. If I didn't, I'd be dead.

  20. Nellewrites--thanks for stopping by. Glad you're following the life dream!

  21. Wonderful. Now I have a few more writing resources to add to my "must have" list. =)

  22. Wow, thanks for commenting on our interview. Isn't Angelina, spectacular & super great! She's totally supportive, too! She threw me a (cyber) life-line rope last on Friday night. Had I not caught it, I might still be in a funk today!

    Catherine, Golden Eagle, Alleged, Miranda, Medeia, Balin, Nellewrites, & Crystal, thank you for your comments & well wishes!

    Airports are a must to try, I dare y'all!
    Stephen King...what more is there to say? His book, On Writing, a must.
    Balin-SCBWI, yes!!!

    Thanks y'all!

  23. I'm all too familiar with those darn doubters! Whats up with them anyways? Good for you not listening to them Candy!
    Angelina, thanks for introducing us. I love your questions:)

  24. Wonderful interview! I've enjoyed Steven King's novels for years and it doesn't look like I'm going to ever get bored with his amazing talent.

    Angelina, Please visit my blog to accept The Versatile Blog Award! Congratulations!

  25. Candy,
    I was a big Beverly Cleary fan coming up also. Ramona was the best. Great interview.

  26. Deana, Angela, and Dera, thanks for reading the interview! Angelina, congrats on the award!!


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