Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Interview with Author, K.D. McCrite

I first met K.D. McCrite when she offered to critique the manuscripts of five lucky Ozarks Writers League members. I submitted the first chapter of Broken Dolls, and met with her one-on-one for a detailed critique. I remember being impressed, not only with the comprehensive and thoughtful review she gave me, but also that she volunteered her time to help new writers to become the best they can be.

In the year and a half since then, I've seen many instances where she has offered her advice and support to writers, all while being prolific at both writing and marketing.

After enough wondering "How does she do it?" I decided to interview her to see if I could discover her secret. I hope you discover it too!

Q. With all of the time authors must spend promoting themselves and their books via social media, how do you balance your promotion time with your writing time? Do you have a structured schedule? What forms of promotion do you find most useful?

These are tough questions. I don't have a balance right now, but I'm trying to figure one out.The first few weeks after a book comes out can be hectic, with invitations to speak, to sign books, to attend parties.

In spite of all the hype and chatter I hear, I'm still not completely convinced social media actually is the great "be-all" marketing tool we're told it is. Does Twitter really help you sell more books? Do people actually follow the multitude of hash tags and links, looking for good books? Does blogging entice readers to want to read your books, or is it vice versa? Would time spent promoting yourself be better served at your desk, writing the best story you possibly can?

Maybe I'm just old school, but I continue to believe word of mouth is superior to all marketing tools. It creates best sellers.  If you like my book, for goodness sake, tell someone about it! And in that case, Twitter and Facebook, et al is an invaluable resource. 

Q. K.D., in your book, In Front of God and Everybody, you created a series of funny, “relatable” characters. But my favorite, of course, is April Grace, your teenage main character. Who was the inspiration for April Grace? How is she different and how is she the same from that person?

Much of April Grace is based on my younger daughter, Joy, who as a child had a big heart, but often spoke before she thought. And my older daughter, Holly, could come up with some of the funniest observations about people and events.

April Grace is also a little bit based on my own inner sassy self and what I've thought, felt and seen through the years.  I would hope all three of us can keep our feet out of our mouths better than April Grace does!

Click here to read an excerpt.

Q. Can you describe what your writing path has been? For instance, did you start with short stories? Contests?

As a young girl, I wrote stories. Lots of stories. But, as an adult, when I started writing with serious, professional intent, I jumped right in with writing novels, because I wanted to write books not stories. That's a hard way to go, and it's the slow way to see your work in print. When I finally began doing articles and short stories and seeing them published, it helped to build my confidence. Plus, when I wrote queries or pitched ideas to book editors, I had some credits behind me. 

Q. What three things have you learned in your writing career that you wish you would have known from the start?

1) I wish I'd known my early works were not golden and that I needed a LOT of practice and learning.

2) I wish I'd known it's better to start small and work my way forward. I'd have written and submitted more articles and short stories sooner to get my feet wet, rather than starting out by novel writing.

3) I wish I'd known you can't write your true voice if you're worried about offending someone.

Q. Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha, says his greatest “writer-sin” is debilitating perfection. What would you say is your greatest “writer-sin” and what do you do for redemption?

Seeing a story in absolutely everything, no matter where I am or who I'm with can be a great transgression.  (It was murderously tough in school to pay attention when my head was spinning stories.)

Today, I had lunch with a lovely friend, and was completely distracted by an unrelated event going on outside in the parking lot. I immediately began to build a story around what I saw. It was rather hard to pull myself back into the real world and listen to my friend's comment.

I drive my long-suffering husband crazy with my excess imagination. To redeem myself, I apologize, apologize, apologize. Those who know and love me, understand and forgive.

Q. What's next?

Cliques, Hicks and Ugly Sticks, the sequel to In Front of God and Everybody, will be out December 6. However, it can be pre-ordered on Amazon now! (Click here to pre-order.)

Also, I'm excited about two new books that will be coming out under the name Sidney Archer. (That's a combo of my grandfather's first name and my grandmother's last name.) These are both dark, serious novels for adults, nothing like the funny, light reads of Confessions of April GraceThe first book, Redemption, will be out in December of 2012, and Whited Sepulchres will be out February 2013. (To read more about these books, click here.)

See what I mean? K.D. is downright prolific! After interviewing her, I see there is no magic solution to it -- though I expect her "writer-sin" of seeing a story in everything is actually a gift. But, there's no doubt that her greatest gift is her ability to just SIT DOWN AND WRITE!

Thank you for your insights, K.D., and best wishes for continued writing success!

K.D. has a great book trailer for In Front of God and Everybody. Have a look:

You TOO can be Facebook friends with April Grace:

And you can "like" the real K.D. McCrite, too! Here's her Author Page on Facebook:

If you don't find K.D. sitting on her porch writing in front of a fan, you can find her in these places:

Leave a comment by Wednesday, November 16 to be entered in a drawing for an autographed copy of
In Front of God and Everybody!


  1. Great interview Jan. Thanks! I've often wondered how K.D. was capable of all she does AND smile about it. Now, I know there's no secret to it. She simply does it. I'm even more envious of her now!

    K.D. thank you for being so approachable and willing to help new authors. It's truly appreciated.

  2. Sounds like a fun read! Thanks for sharing, - and I also agree that all this social networking just might be over rated.

  3. I often wonder if social media is the "be-all" too. Having taken the plunge in that arena, I've discovered how quickly it consumes one, and I often wonder if my time would be better spent writing more novels. But then, it does seem to be the new "word-of-mouth". I realize now that the biggest struggle is striking that balance between the two. I love the line "wish I'd known you can't write your true voice if y ou're worried about offending someone," too. Ain't it the truth. Looking forward to the upcoming "dark" works :)

  4. K.D. has been an invaluable friend and resource to me too. I can only hope to be a good a leader one day :)

    Your third thing on the list of what you wished you'd known is one I still am trying to improve upon. It's hard to write without thinking about whether what I'm saying will offend someone!

    Great interview, Jan.

  5. Fantastic interview! I agree it's so hard to balance social media and still write. Also, loved what you said about shorter works and building credentials. That's my exact plan with short stories, poems and my new picture book.

    Love that you help authors. I'd love to meet with you in 2012 and get your take on my novel's first pages.

    Great trailer, too! Who did that?

    Finally, it IS hard to write without thinking of who we're going to offend. In my case, it's my stepdaughters, so it's tough. My husband is a long-suffering soul, too, who gets worn out with my creativity. He's very, very left brained! Lol

    Thanks for a great interview, Jan.

  6. I also wonder if social media promotion is a bunch of hype at times. Then, I think about all the people who know about--even anticipate--Broken Dolls, who might not know anything about it if it weren't for social media. So, I think a book's and author's success is a combination of both promotion via social media and other means and most importantly, a good read.

    Thanks for commenting, clairecroxton, Iris Jones-Simantel, mgmillerbooks, madisonwoods and Beth!

    And Google, if you're watching, I sure wish you'd add a "reply" button to comments on Blogger. :)

  7. LOL, figured I ought to chime in on the social networking issue - in favor! Of course, I'm biased because I love it so much. But since I've been blogging and tweeting my productivity has increased rather than decreased. I think I just thrive on interaction, but I've also made very good networking contacts along the way.

    And yes, a reply button would be really nice!

  8. Very interesting interview! Thanks for sharing. Sometimes, when sucessful authors share secrets- the secrets are very helpful! Sometimes, it's just the author that is the secret treasure.

  9. K.D. I thoroughly enjoyed Jan's interview and your presentation to the Ozarks Romance Authors group. Thank you for your insights and for the approachable demeanor you exhibit.

    I wish you continued success with your writing. I'm looking forward to reading more of your work.

  10. Congratulations to @mgmiller for winning the drawing for an autographed copy of K.D. McCrite's book, In Front of God and Everybody!