WHO ARE THE KINDLE ALL-STARS?
A series of 20+ short interviews with the team behind the Kindle All-Stars short story anthology ‘Resistance Front’ posted daily in the run up to its publication.
Please be sure to check any relevant images and links for each individual at the end of their interview.
Today I am chatting with ‘Number One’ herself!
FS: How did you come to hear about the Kindle All-Stars project?
LL: Bernard Schaffer and I followed each other on twitter. I saw his first tweet when he came up with the project and contacted him for details right away, I think within about an hour.
FS: What’s your contribution called?
LL: “Fear of the Dark”
FS: And without giving too much away, what’s it about?
LL: It’s about a woman who steps off the bus on her way home from work and finds herself in the middle of a power outage in not the best part of a Boston suburb.
FS: What was the main inspiration behind it?
LL: It basically happened to me. The major elements of the story are based in fact and then stirred up with a whole lot of creative license. I remember walking home from the bus stop that night thinking, “I have to absorb every detail because I need to write this down.”
FS: Did you write it specifically for the Kindle All-Stars, or was it written prior?
LL: I wrote the story several years ago, but I dusted it off, revised it, and posted it to my blog earlier this year. When I heard about the Kindle All-Stars Project, I pulled it from my blog, revised it again, and submitted it.
FS: Obviously the primary goal behind this anthology is to make some money for disadvantaged and abused children. But secondary to that, it is to promote fresh, new writing talent – the punk rock of literature – and show that Indie writers are out there, dedicated and working hard to produce Class-A work.
If people take notice of what you’ve written for this anthology, what do you hope the outcome is of that attention?
LL: My role in the KAS is a bit different than most as I’m a contributor but also Bernard’s right hand. I’ve been very involved in publicity and taking care of a lot of little details so Bernard can focus on the big picture: getting the whole anthology put together and ready for Amazon. His plate is more than full; my goal is to make sure he doesn’t lose his mind completely in the process.
I’ve been working so hard to keep everyone working together and organized that I haven’t let myself look ahead. I’d love to continue writing fiction as it’s a passion of mine. I’ve discussed the possibility of collaborating on a novel with one of the other authors, and editing for/with a couple of others. But right now I’m living in the moment and taking each day/task as it comes.
FS: How do you write? Are you a plotter? Do you fly by the seat of your pants? When do you write, and where? I write at night, at the dining table, when the kids are in bed and the place is finally peaceful and quiet. And I work everything out on paper before I sit down to write. What have you found works best for you?
LL: I’m a plotter who flies by the seat of her pants, if that makes any sense. Once I have a few pages sketched out and I have some sort of idea of what I want to say, I plot the rest and fill in the blanks. My first draft is almost always written out longhand, but it depends on the project and the time I have to devote to it. I write much more than fiction, so every type of writing I do requires a bit of a different process for me.
I always travel with a notebook and pencil. My Franklin planner may as well be attached to my body via an umbilical cord. I write whenever, wherever inspiration strikes.
FS: How did you find the editing process with Bernard? I found it to be like a smack in the mouth and a pat on the head at the same time, saying “I like this” at one point, to a specific sentence, and then “You need to stay in Active Voice!” the next. I learned a lot, and I think I have a much stronger piece of writing now than I did when I submitted it. What was your personal experience?
LL: It’s so funny you should ask me that because I think I’m the only one of the group who will tell you that the editing process was a piece of cake. Bernard has a great eye for seeing exactly what needs to be fixed with a piece and great instincts to help an author do that. But I had an instructor in college who was much, much tougher. I learned more from Wayne Rhodes in one semester than a lifetime of English/writing classes taught me.
That said, I learned from Bernard as well. I still am. He was able to pinpoint every tiny detail in my manuscript with which I had struggled and he helped me work out those problems. If I were to hand you the manuscript as I submitted it and the finished product, you would see that the only thing the two shared are a common storyline. They’re worlds apart. Bernard has helped me become a better, more demanding writer as well as a more understanding (and more demanding) editor.
FS: Is there anyone in particular who’s contributed to the anthology that you’re excited to be included alongside?
LL: First, let me say that I’ve had contact with almost every contributor in one way or another at this point. I’ve also had the pleasure of reading about half of their stories. I’m thrilled to be counted among them. This group is amazingly talented and they all have bright futures ahead of them.
Dare I tell you who I’m most excited to be here with? Okay, my favorite living author, Jon F. Merz, is part of this anthology and I have to admit that receiving his contribution was my fangirl moment. It made me that much more demanding of my own work, and I’m already my own worst critic.
FS: We know that there will be a KAS 2 at some point. Plans are already afoot. Is there a dream name you’d like to see involved in it the next time around? Me personally, getting published in a book that includes a story by Alan Dean Foster is one of those “Wouldn’t it be great if one day…” things that I can now tick off of the list.
LL: Yes, but I can’t say because it would give away the theme of next year’s project. I can tell you that author would not be able to contribute from the grave.
FS: So when you’re not helping to fight evil, what do you get up to in real life?
LL: I design and write crochet patterns. I blog. And I don’t talk about my personal life online all that much, so that’s all you’re going to get.
FS: Are you working on anything now? Anything you’d like everyone to know about?
LL: I’m working on a book of crochet patterns that I hope to have available before the end of the year. I’m writing a cookbook which will take much longer. And I’m developing a few storylines which may develop into larger pieces. I’m also in the middle of editing a novella for one of the KAS authors which may or may not be the beginning of a longer professional relationship.
FS: And to your readers – both potential and existing – is there anything you would like to say? They might be reading this months after Resistance Front has landed, wanting to know more about you. What would you like to say to them?
LL: I really hope the folks who’ve enjoyed my crochet patterns find, and enjoy, my fiction as well. It will encourage me to keep it up.
FS: Thats it! Time’s up! Hopefully we’ll the chance for a much more in-depth chat at some point in the near future when KAS is out on sale!
LL: Thank you Tony!