I wanted to turn the tables a bit this week and instead of doing an interview on one of the SFC Team members or a fellow writer, I thought I should be the one to be questioned. So to get things started, I’ll answer a few questions I normally ask my guest interviews and then I’ll open it up for you to post questions in the comments section to me. I’ll check in all week to answer them as best I can.
So to start things off, how many children do I have and what are their ages? I have three wonderful children. My oldest is my son, age 15, will be driving sooner than I would like. LOL. My youngest, a baby girl, is almost 16 months and keeps me on my toes. My middle is also a girl, age 6, and is our little monkey/drama queen. Nice combination if you ask me. J
As a mom, what do I do to help balance my writing life with my family life? I tend to ask this question a lot not just, because I’m a writing mom, but also because this is the most asked question I get as an editor/author. You know during the school months it is pretty easy to balance my day. My two older children are in school so I only have to worry about my baby girl; however, she still takes naps so that is when I do most of my writing/editing. Then at night after about 7pm, I start back up again.
Summer is a bit harder and this one has been the hardest now that I have three kids demanding my time. I find I get maybe one or two hours in the early morning while the kids are still waking up and eating breakfast to answer emails and do some SFC stuff. Then I have to snatch the moments I can during the day. I may get a few minutes here and an hour or so there. Most of my writing/editing is in the late hours of night.
Finding balance is an ever-changing struggle when you have young kids in the house. My suggestion, make a list of your goals, be realistic and don’t stress if you don’t met each one you listed in the time frame you want. Your family is important and writing time will come once the kids get older. Many authors I know didn’t see the success they have now until after their children where grown. Some were lucky (mostly the men) to see it a bit sooner. The point is…do what you can and don’t over work yourself.
How long have I been writing? I would love to say I was born writing. I did write poems in my spare time or when I didn’t want to listen to my teachers in my high school years. I’ve gone back and looked at them after I took some writing courses to see how bad they were…I was surprised, they’re not half bad.
However, I didn’t really start writing until I decided to stay home to raise my kids. This was back in 2005. I only choose to write as a hobby and as you can see…it has become more than that for me. I’ve had over 30 short stories, articles and crafts published and a picture book. I have 3 manuscripts under consideration currently so fingers crossed I get another book contract.
Is my family supportive of my writing? LOL, the main reason I started this blog was to share my family stories of being a writing mama. Lately, I’ve been a bit busy and haven’t been very good about posting on this very subject. Something I plan to change with a weekly post.
To answer the question, yes and no, there are times my kids and husband are very supportive. My hubby and oldest son with help with the girls so I can make deadlines or get contracts signed and sent out. But there are times, when I’ve been working around the clock for weeks, that they start to get a little impatient and demanding of my time. It’s hard if I have things that need to get done, but I stop myself and remember my family comes first. The hardest thing is when my family calls what I do a hobby still. I think sometimes they forget how important what I do is and that I’ve worked hard to become a published author, Chief Editor and founder of SFC Publishing.
Have I had any training to become a writer? Yes, absolutely! I took the basic writing course at the Institute of Children’s Literature. I have also taking workshops at conferences and online workshops as well. I also learn a lot from the members of my critique group and the members from the writing originations I belong to.
Now I teach what I’ve learned to others starting their careers as writers at conferences, workshops and for my local state college.
What type of books do I mostly write? I tend to write picture books and YA novels (fantasy and mystery/adventure). I would like to branch into YA romance and memories down the road. I have also played around with a book idea for adults that would be more historical fiction.
Do my children inspire any of books, characters, or plots? My whole family inspires my storylines. I don’t think I have written many stories where the main plot didn’t come from a real family story. I’m lucky to have a family (both my dad and mom’s extended family) who has passed stories down through the generations. I have a grandma who is really into family history. Oh, the stories she can tell you about my great-great uncle or grandfather. But even my mom, dad, stepfather, stepmom, sisters, brother, husband and kids have enough stories to help inspire me…not to mention my own life.
Is there anything else I would like to share with you about being a “Writing Mama”? Always, that is the main reason for this blog. LOL. No really, I want to say keep writing, asking questions of those you admire and don’t give up when times get hard. Take a break if you need to restart your muse and writing juices, but never give up. I’ve put my personal writing on hold many times. I have even put my company (SFC Publishing) on hold to rest and refocus. There is nothing wrong in saying I need a break, but never give up if this is truly what you want to do. Writing is tough, but the rewards (beyond money) is seeing something you created enjoyed by others.
Now it’s your turn to fire some questions my way.
Stories for Children Publishing will be touring award-winning author VS Grenier and her book, “Babysitting SugarPaw” a picture book about friendship and telling the truth all month long in June 2011.
You can find out more about VS Grenier’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/BabysittingSugarPaw.aspx. There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with VS Grenier and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions.
In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork. The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth chatted about Grenier’s picture book, writing, the publishing industry and experiences with virtual tours.The show aired live June 6, 2011. You can listen on demand at the World of Ink Network site at http://www.blogtalkradion.com/worldofinknetwork.
To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit Stories for Children Publishing at: http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com