Kev’s Author Interviews Presents:
A Short Bio
As a girl, Kay dreamed of being swept off her feet by her one true love. At the age of 24, it finally happened…and he’s never let her forget it. A mild-mannered secretary by day and a determined word-wrangler by night, she battles the twin evils of distraction and procrastination in order to write fantastical tales of wuv…twue wuv…with a few bad haiku thrown in for good measure.
She is currently hard at work on the first book in a fantasy trilogy. Kay resides in the midst of an Iowa corn field with her devoted husband and his mighty red pen; four crazy, cute kids; and an assortment of adorably small, furry animals.
Kev: What is your latest book about?
In addition to intimate portraits of family life, A Song for All Seasons paints vivid pictures of the Iowa landscape in all its glory. From frost-covered window panes and snowy vistas to rolling green fields and bright blue skies, each poem is a peek into a fading world of untamed beauty.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
I’ve always dabbled in poetry, and Iowa is just a beautiful place. We’ve got hills and woods and plains and cornfields and bustling cities and small towns, and I just love it here. I guess you could say my poems are like love letters to the places and people who have shaped who I am.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
Occasionally I try to make things rhyme. I’m not very good at rhyming. Thank God for rhyming dictionaries, or I’d have been toast! Other than that, just trying to get my thoughts to fit into a verse format can sometimes be difficult. I write mostly haiku, and I’ve written enough of them now that I’ve begun to think in a 5-7-5 syllable structure, but occasionally I’ll want to use a word that just won’t fit, and trying to make it fit is incredibly frustrating.
Also, balancing my writing time with my day job and family commitments is an incredible challenge. I’m blessed to have a very supportive family.
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
Once again, I lie
Awake, thinking of you and
What might have been, what
We might have had together,
If only we’d met
In another place,
Another time. A thousand
Swirl round my mind,
Chased by a thousand questions,
Chiefly this: Did you
Ever wonder what
Might have been? Did you ever
Think of me and ask,
“What if? Could it be?”
I guess there are some things I’ll
Never ever know.
The reflection in
My rearview mirror shows a
Sky on fire, and
Heavy bluish clouds
Struggling to extinguish
The smoldering flames.
An old brick schoolhouse
Sits in a field, long forgotten
And slowly decaying.
Where are the children
Who once filled its halls with their
Laughter, their chatter?
Do they, too, lie in
A field, forgotten, slowly
Decaying, food for worms?
Us. What has been will someday
Be again, only
Then it will be we
Who lie forgotten, slowly
Decaying and lonely.
Then it will be we
Who are pushing up daisies,
Food for nightcrawlers.
Kev: When you write, do write off-the-cuff or do you use some kind of formula?
I’m generally a pantser, particularly with my poetry. While I usually stick to one format, (haiku) I often have no idea what I’m going to write about when I sit down to write a poem.
When it comes to my novels, I generally have some sort of a synopsis (or at least part of one), but I never know how the story is going to end until I get to the end.
Kev: How do you deal with writers-block?
Usually I read a book. Or watch a movie. Or play with my kids. Or procrastinate online. Or work on something else. Sometimes when the ideas won’t flow for one project, they will for another.
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
I almost always write on my lunch breaks at work or while my younger boys are napping in the afternoons, but I also like writing at night when I can manage to stay awake. I used to stay up all night long writing with my friends when I was in school, but that seems like a lifetime ago.
Kev: What is your process for editing your work?
I start at the beginning and work my way through, keeping an eye out for typos, and checking to see if anything can be tightened. Writing haiku is great practice for saying what I want to say in only a few words.
Kev: How do you come up with your book covers?
For my first book, Tuesday Daydreams, I knew I wanted the cover to have an image of clouds. I could spend hours daydreaming as I watch the clouds drift across the sky, so that was important to me. Finding a suitable image to use was more of a challenge.
For A Song for All Seasons, I happened to stumble upon a perfect image before I had really settled on a title. I ended up changing the title to fit the image I wanted to use for the cover, but I’m quite happy with it – I actually like the title I ended up with better than the first, though the first was perhaps a bit more unique.
Kev: Do you think the book cover is important?
Absolutely. Despite the conventional wisdom that one should never judge a book by its cover, people do it constantly (and sadly, not just with books). I think books should have covers that are so beautiful they practically scream to be picked up, and I hope I’ve achieved that with my own book covers.
Kev: Which publishing platform do you prefer and why?
I don’t really have a preference, though I do think the pre-order process on Smashwords was less of a headache than it was on Amazon.
Kev: Do you face any daunting obstacles during the publishing process?
Formatting the interior files can be a pain and a half, but my biggest obstacle is finding the peace and quiet I need to concentrate on what I’m doing. With four kids, though, peace and quiet is hard to come by. 🙂
Kev: What methods do you use to promote your work?
I haven’t done much in the way of promotion. I’ve done some guest posts on a variety of blogs, as well as mentioning my books on my blog, and every now and then I throw out a tweet or a Facebook post about my books, but nothing overt. I can talk about other people’s books all day long, but I find it hard to promote my work.
Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Work hard, read widely, make friends, and have fun! There’s a lot of waiting in the writing game, so you might as well be having fun while you’re waiting. 🙂
Kev: Which social media platforms do you use the most?
You can find me in the all the usual places:
At my blog, where I share random pictures and silly poems; on Facebook, where I share things about cats and books; on Twitter, where I shares whatever pops into my head; on Pinterest, where I share delicious recipes and images from my fantasy world; on Instagram, where I share pictures of pretty sunsets; and on Tumblr, where I share all of the above.
Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me! I really appreciate it, and I’m sure all the other authors you’ve hosted do as well.
As I’ve not yet mentioned it, you can find A Song for All Seasons at Smashwords, Amazon, Amazon UK, Createspace, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.
You can also find my debut poetry collection, Tuesday Daydreams, at Smashwords, Amazon, Amazon UK, Createspace, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.
KAY KAUFFMAN, EVERYONE!