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!).