I am very excited today to be interviewing authors Kathryn Jane and Annelisa Christensen, who are involved in a little nugget called One Line Wednesday, the inspiration for my getting out of bed midweek. Seriously, you can ask my husband, I love One Line Wednesday. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the geniuses behind it!
First off, let me just say I love how the internet makes this a small world. Kathryn resides in Vancouver, Canada and Annelisa is from the UK (Ticehurst, Sussex). I’m from the Midwest, and you all are reading this from all parts of the world. Kinda cool, isn’t it? Some of you could be reading this poolside, and some of you, like me, are doing everything possible to avoid going out in that thing called “mixed precipitation,” something weathermen say to make conditions sound far more fun than they really are.
Before we hop into our discussion of One Line Wednesday, let’s find out a little more about these fine ladies. We’ll start with Kathryn. So you write a little romance, a little suspense...how did you get into this field?
K: I’ve been a Romantic Suspense reader for years, and when my fingers hit the keys, that’s what comes out. I’ve tried to write straight suspense or mystery, but heck even James Bond has a love interest so it’s only natural, right?
True! How long have you been writing and what are you working on next?
K: Writing started many many moons ago but it’s only been about eleven years since I sat down with the intention of writing a book. And this afternoon, when I typed the end for about the tenth time, I was just as thrilled as I was ten years ago.
All She Wanted, book six in the Intrepid Women Series, will be up for pre-order shortly, for an April 2016 release. This one is Angie’s story. She’s been a fun and feisty recurring character in the previous books, but now the single mom and high-tech helicopter pilot must confront both life-threatening and emotional challenges before she and Matthias can have a shot at their happily ever after.
Sounds awesome! And now it's Annelisa's turn. On top of being an author, you are also an editor and literary agent. You sound like a very busy woman! How do you balance all of the demands of a personal life and that of your professional one?
A: Personal life? What personal life?
Ha ha! No really, my personal life comes first, even above writing, the day job (Laboratory Technician in the local secondary school – physics being my specialty) or the more ‘minor’ roles of editor or literary agent. My children, though grown, are my priority, and if they need me, I’m there. Meeting up with friends, unfortunately, has to be squashed in between all the other stuff.
I try to wake up early, and spend an hour or so dealing with anything that needs doing and, hopefully, a bit of writing/editing…depending what demands attention most loudly. Then, in the evening, I’ll do another hour or two. The trick is, as is so often emphasized, to keep on doing it…a little bit every day. (You can imagine, I don’t have either time, or inclination, for such things as housework! :))
Oh, my! Are we soul sisters! What is the most difficult part of being an agent? An editor? A writer? What is the best part?
A: Of being a Writer:
I imagine that just about anyone reading this will know what the difficulties are, and it’s not necessarily the writing! For me, the writing is the fun bit, the bit that substantiates I am a writer. It’s the bit that humanizes me, puts me in touch with my childhood dreams, and extends them into the future and my dying days. It’s the growing of that seed of an idea, an idea that’s mine and nobody else in the World knows about, into a full-blown, hopefully exciting and thought-provoking story to be read by others. And they will ‘get’ the picture you’re trying to paint. If you’ve done it right, they will be privy to, and share in, your dream. That’s kinda cool. The hard bit is the uncertainty…did you achieve what you set out to do? Will anyone ‘get’ your dream? Oh, and time, of course.
Of being an editor/agent:
These play a relatively small part of my life these days, while I’ve been writing The Popish Midwife, but I still keep my hand in. The two roles often go together. First of all, if you find a book you like a lot, and think you could love, your first job is to bring it up to a standard others expect. The hardest bit of editing is sending an author their manuscript riddled with your comments, changes (that you’ve desperately tried to keep in their style) and suggestions…hoping with all your heart it doesn’t put them off writing for life, considering that you liked their writing enough in the first place to work on it! I always tell them, though, that they have three choices: accept or reject each change, or use my highlighting to re-create it in their own way.
Two worst things about being an agent – telling writers that their work simply isn’t good enough (that’s a killer, when you know how much time they’ve put into it ); and having a manuscript you love be rejected by publishers for the most silly of reasons, which you know are likely excuses pulled out of the air because they don’t believe it to be an absolute best-seller. I believe they pass over so many excellent books often because they worrying about that bottom line – money. Of course, we all want a book to be successful, but there must be many books in history that probably weren’t widely read when were first released, but are now seen to be ‘classic’.
Well, it was very nice to get this brief glimpse into your lives. Thank you for sharing that with us.
A: Oops! Was I supposed to be brief? :-D Lol
Yet another indication that we may be sisters as I tend to struggle with that whole brief thing, too. Don't worry.You did great! Now…One Line Wednesday is a Twitter event hosted by the RWA (Romance Writers of America) Kiss of Death Chapter. First, is this a local chapter, or an internet chapter? How did you both get involved with it?
A: RWA is Jane’s area of expertise (I don’t have anything to do with it) so I’ll leave that for her to answer.
But I can tell about how I became involved with my favorite Wednesday game :). I think I came across #1linewed not long after I came on Twitter – when Jane had already been running it about a year – and immediately got hooked into the creativity and energy…many a line being like a micro-story in itself, or a tantalizing glimpse of the whole. Some lines make you laugh, others evoke such sadness or horror. To me, that’s amazing.
To start with, I read every single line posted during the day. Yes, every single one, even if I had to lay awake until 4am to do it! (There were a lot less in those days, before it started trending!)
I soon realized that, though writers and authors were helpful, supportive and friendly (they rock!) many new writers floundered a bit, not knowing what the game was about. And Jane couldn’t reach all of them, especially once there started being so many, so I started letting folk know where to find the guidelines, when Jane was busy with other things. Now, so many writers and authors play, Jane and I can’t possibly reach them all. We can only dip in and out and hope, between us, we’ll eventually greet everyone and explain how the game goes. Luckily, many of the other authors are also ready and willing to answer a newcomer’s questions.
K: KOD is an online chapter of RWA with around 500 members. I signed up as a volunteer to help the VP Communications, and my project was to help members become comfortable using twitter.
So Kiss of Death comes up with a theme each Wednesday and writers can post, within the 140 character limit of Twitter, a passage from their work in progress (no links are to be included). You all are very creative with your themes and I will admit to peeking at the theme well in advance of Wednesday, just to see what you have in store for us. The theme may be first sentences, or action, or dark, or old…they are so fun! So as a writer you pore through your manuscript for these themes and it is interesting to find out what you come up with. It helps you look at each sentence in isolation, which is a valuable tool, and helps to rekindle that fire for your work in progress that may have fizzled out while you have been pulled away from it, out promoting your newest release. You also get to meet new authors, hear some great lines…I could gush all day. Tell us, how did you come up with this idea and what do you, personally, like best about it?
A: This is Jane’s baby, but like many, I quickly fell in love with it and adopted it. I love the camaraderie between the writers, both novice and experienced. I love the diversity of interpretation of a simple word, and the variety of lines for such divergent audiences as children and Young Adult to some pretty x-rated excerpts (although, on the whole, the authors do tend to keep it clean). Offerings of poetry sparkle between lines from any and many genres…none are excluded. Interpretations are as varied as the authors and writers playing…what’s not to love! It’s addictive.
It’s not just the variety, there’s the other side of it too. From the writer’s side, I find that choosing lines makes you think about your writing very carefully, and teaches you to eliminate the unnecessary – an exercise in brevity and being concise :). It also highlights some of your most overused words or ideas…and when you play you start to read around a word and end up editing a whole scene. You read objectively, knowing you’ll be sharing with other players, so it concentrates your attention with that in mind. And you take that with you into new writing too.
Lastly, the support that’s given by other writers is awesome! Writers around the World welcome other writers. They show their love with retweets, faves and comments, all appreciation freely given and gratefully received. Working in isolation much of the time, the weekly connections between players have become bonds of friendship. And that’s something you just can’t beat.
K: I came up with the idea of #1lineWed as a way for us learn about using Twitter, while staying in writer-mode. (Most of us are comfortable with the words we write in fiction, but when it comes to shouting at the rooftops that we’re authors with books to sell, we’d rather crawl under a rock… unless there’s a slithery type creature under there.)
Amen! Is there anything that makes One Line Wednesday difficult? I imagine coming up with themes is hard, but you do an awesome job! It may be a bit irritating for you when people don’t follow the simple guidelines you provide. Personally, it drives me crazy when someone just slaps up what they consider to be their best quote without paying any mind to that week’s theme! The rule-follower in me growls a little when I read these lines.
A: I suppose the things that irritate me are not necessarily what irritates others. I don’t mind if folk don’t always follow the theme, though I tend to only RT them if they do. I don’t mind if someone screenshots a slightly longer line occasionally (but whole paragraphs and longer chunks kinda break from the intention of the game, and doing this too often will make me simply skip over). And first ‘offence’ of posting a buy link is always forgiven, since the player doesn’t yet know the rules, but repeat buy-links are not pleasant for other writers to have to put up with. The point is to have sale-free fun. But my biggest bugbear isn’t to do with any of that. It’s simply the lack of time to read all the wonderful lines!
K: Yes! me too :) so I had to back away from policing #1lineWed. That’s when Annalisa happened along and saved the day. She is amazing at interacting with the players and letting them know about the themes and guidelines in a wonderful friendly way that never offends anyone. Without her help, I probably would have folded my tent and skulked away long before now!
I love choosing themes (I keep lists) and creating the posters. And I’m always impressed by the creativity of the players.
This has been so much fun! Thank you for taking time out of your busy days to share with us. I look forward to seeing you next Wednesday. And the Wednesday after that. And the Wednesday after that…
So, if you are an author wanting to play along with us, search for Kiss of Death on Twitter and find out what the theme of the week is. Find a line, but make sure you leave space for the hashtag, #1lineWed. It’s usually trending. Through the genius of Twitter, all of our One Lines are gathered under this hash tag so you can search it out and read what others have to say. Be sure to retweet and like the ones that resonate with you. And remember, no buy links. I’m telling you, you’ll become an addict!
Author Bios ~
Kathryn Jane ~
Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series. Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, I Love Lucy, Criminal Minds, and the Mentalist… Kickass women and the men who dare to love them.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Author_Kat_JaneAmazon.com Author Page:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Author_Kat_JaneAmazon.com Author Page:
Most recent release: LIES
Annelisa Christensen ~
Facebook: Script Alchemy
Debut novel to be published June 2016 in the UK by The Conrad Press.
The Popish Midwife is a historical biographical fiction based on the true story of courageous and philanthropic Seventeenth Century Catholic midwife, Elizabeth Cellier, during the English Popish Plot against King Charles II.
Thank you for spending time with us and may all your One Line Wednesdays be pleasant ones!