Monday, July 18, 2011

Author on Author Interview Between Kim Wright (Love in Mid Air) and Dawn Tripp (Game of Secrets)

I am so excited to share an interview between two great authors today, Kim Wright, who wrote Love in Mid Air and Dawn Tripp, author of Game of Secrets.

Kim: When I’d just sold my first novel you said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. You said “There are going to be a lot of surprises as you publish. And one of them is that not everyone is going to be happy for you.”

Dawn: I did say that. Not as a warning, but as something to remember. I think people are very aware that there are challenges implicit in writing and selling a book, but not as many realize the challenges of having a book ‘out.’ Those challenges can be mind-bending, yet are oddly divorced from the act and process of writing.

Kim: There’s no way to understand that though until you’ve been through it.

Dawn: No. There isn’t. And sometimes you can’t explain to friends who are still in the writing because they say: “You sold your book. Don’t you know how lucky you are?” And you do know. Of course. On one level, it’s thoroughly true—this is what you wanted and what you still want: your work, the world of your story, out there—you want it read, you want it seen—but at the same time, publishing comes with its own twists and turns. Publishing and writing are two separate things. That distinction is important.

Kim: I had a strong circle of writing friends, but when Love in Mid Air came out I quickly saw that I needed to be able to talk to people who could identify with what I was going through right at that minute. I met a whole group of women online through blogs and on Facebook and we became sort of a sorority of the recently published. Everyone was telling me I needed these people because writers have to self-promote and network… and God knows, that’s true. But I also needed them to help me deal with the idea I was now a public person – to help me handle those waves of feedback and criticism that can knock you right off balance.

Dawn: Every book you write will get good reviews and mixed reviews. And every writer has to figure out how to position herself in relationship to that. Are you the kind of writer who can let everything roll off your back? Are you the kind who can read a mixed review and learn from it? Or are you better off not reading any of them—the mixed or the praise?

Kim: My sorority sisters helped me to see that feedback as just part of the process. One time I spoke to the Book Club From Hell. They were so harsh and so personal with their criticism I was absolutely shellshocked. I drove home sobbing and immediately wrote about the experience on Facebook. Within an hour I had responses from over twenty writers, either saying that similar things had happened to them and how they handled it or helping me think of witty comebacks to those awful women – you know, all those great things you can think of to say when a situation is over. The memory of that book club stings to this day, but it helped to know I wasn’t alone.
Dawn: There are definitely writers who recognize that we’re all in this together.
Kim: And that was another surprise for me. Some of the people I thought would be there for me weren’t, just as you’d warned me was possible. But a new circle of friends stepped into that void.

Dawn: I am not as social as you are. But what I do find about the close writer friends I have is that they remind me, again and again, why I do what I do, why I love it, why it matters. I think it’s easy to lose yourself in the months just before and just after a book comes out. Anyone can tell you: “Publishing is a roller coaster, so buckle your seatbelt, and hang on,” but it takes a certain kind of friend to remind you why you wanted to get on this ride in the first place. At the end of the day, all you really need to do is wake up the next morning, go back to your desk, and write your next book.

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