Welcome to the second in my series of interviews with fellow (full-time) writers.
Today, I’m interviewing Kim Pritekel. Kim started writing at the age of nine, wrote her first novel at twelve, and was published for the first time at twenty-four. She is now published with Sapphire Books.
I haven’t read all of her novels yet, but I loved Connection (which you might know as The Collector, which was the title of the online version), Lessons, and Twilight (again, no, not that Twilight—I like Kim’s much better).
So here’s what Kim had to say about her life as a writer.
How long have you been writing full-time?
I began writing full time summer of 2007.
What was the process of moving into full-time writing for you?
Interesting story. I began working in the film industry as a screenwriter in 2006, and was invited to the film set in Florida in early 2007 with leave approval from my then-job. They eventually changed their minds and I was fired in July of the same year. Initially I freaked out, but then decided, you know what? I hated that job anyway, and it’s time for me to take my leap of faith and do what I was born to do. Never looked back.
Do you write every day? Do you give yourself weekends or days off or vacation time away from writing?
The only time I take any time off from writing is after I’ve finished a major project, and I need time for my brain to solidify from mush. But overall, yes, I write every single day, rain or shine.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I get up, get caught up on any email or social media activity then open up whatever project I’m working on and go to work. A workday for me can be as short as four hours to as long as fourteen hours. Depends on what I’m working on and what else is going on in my life.
Do you have a daily word-count goal or a set number of hours you spend writing?
I’m not a goal setter, as I know to surrender to my characters, talent and project. But, on average I hit from about 5,000 words to 15,000 every day.
Where do you write?
Sitting on my couch.
How did family and friends react to you giving up your day job to become a full-time writer?
My family was never particularly supportive of my writing at any time in my life, so they thought I’d lost my mind! They’re much better about it now but probably still think I’m crazy.
How much time do you spend promoting your books, including blogging, social media, etc.?
I don’t blog, but I have nearly 3,000 Facebook “friends”, which I work at increasing so as to get the word out. My publisher is also very good about promoting their authors’ work.
What’s the best thing about being a full-time writer?
Being a full-time writer. Lol Though true, I love being my own boss, I love keeping myself motivated, which isn’t always easy, trust me. I love knowing that sink or swim, it’s all on my shoulders.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a full-time writer?
Well, the main thing for my career at this time is, writing lesbian fiction is a niche genre, which means you’re not going to get near the sales of the mainstream writers, so you have to work twice as hard and write twice as much. However, this year, two of my releases, After Shadow and Connection are not only both up for awards, but also broke into the mainstream sales market. Extremely exciting!
Is there anything you wish you would have known before becoming a full-time writer?
No. I’m the type that has to figure things out on my own. If someone would have sat me down and said, okay, you better know this, this and this before you do this. I still would have done it. Though there have been some extremely hard times financially, I’ve kept my bills very, very low and have no debt so I could make it work. I’ve never regretted it.
What advice would you give a fellow author who wants to write full time?
Make sure to take a hard look at your finances. If you have children, you may want to think twice, as this is a rough business. However, believe in yourself and fight for what you want. It IS possible, but it takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest novel?
My latest novel, Connection was released in August of this year. It’s my favorite novel I’ve ever written and it follows a drifter named Remmy, who has intense psychic abilities that thus far have pretty much destroyed her life. However, she ends up in this little town where women are disappearing. She, for some reason, has a very special connection with one of the women missing, Julie Wilson, a beloved teacher in the town. Through that connection, she is able to do the impossible. You gotta read it to find out what.
What books can we look forward to from you in the future?
My next release, which should be either end of this year or early 2014, is the long-awaited, Wild. Next year, Zero Ward, Outcome and some brand new material.
Thank you, Kim, for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions. I think I need to interview you again to find out how you manage to write up to 15,000 words per day. Wow!
Please check back next week for an interview with Barbara Winkes, who once worked as a psychologist in Germany, just like I do. You could also subscribe to my website to make sure you don’t miss any of these interesting interviews.
Have a nice Sunday.