My Name Is and I Write...

I've already posted this month about goals, so I thought I'd talk about something different. Part of knowing your goals as a writer is also "knowing" who you are as a writer. Recently I was asked by two online sites to have my interview done, to share with readers about myself as a writer and my work. It took some time thinking about and answering the many questions. But it was interesting and I had a chance to think about things that I haven't before. I'm going to share some of those questions (from both places) and hope sometime you might sit down and analyze yourself, get to know you the writer better.

Who is Starla Kaye (insert your name here) really? Are you married, have a significant other, kids? Pets? What are your hobbies and interests? What things other than writing are important to you?

If I were going to interview you in person where would we meet...describe a room of your house...or the view from your deck...or a favorite little cafe. The idea is to give the reader a sense of who you are and what you are like as a person.

When do you write? What kind of atmosphere? Do you write in the same place all the time? Do you need quiet or do you like music, noise, activity around you? Are you a night owl or a morning person? Again the idea is to give the reader a sense of who you are and what you are like as a person.

Do you take forever to write a book or do you write quickly? How many books do you write in an average year? How many have you written in your career?

What was your inspiration to begin writing?

How long have you written romance? Have you ever written or considered writing other genres? What drew you to the romance genre?

What sets your work apart from the work of other romance authors? What can a reader who picks up one of your books expect to find?

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you plan your stories before you write, or do you let your characters lead you through the story as you are writing it? Have any of your characters ever surprised you because you thought they would do one thing and they ended up doing something else? Think about an example from your work.

Can you relate any funny, heartwarming, touching stories about meeting readers or friends or family reading your work?

Can you tell me a bit about where you get the ideas for your stories, what elements attract you to a story?

Is there one of your books that stands out as your favorite? What do you think makes it stand out for you?

In your writing projects, do you have a favorite hero? Why him? What made him special to you and, hopefully, special to a reader?

In your writing projects, do you have a favorite heroine? Why her? What made her special to you and, hopefully, special to a reader?

Some authors seem to be everywhere--in groups--on MySpace--on Twitter--on various forums--just chatting and occasionally (or more frequently) promoting their books. Do you consider yourself one of the authors that is out there--highly social--or are you quieter--more reserved?

Along with that, are you on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace? Do you have a blog or a website?

We have talked about pieces and parts of some of these questions here on this blog. But take sometime to think about or rethink about the questions and have fun learning about you the writer. Plus, you'll be pretty set for an interview of your own at some point, adding in, of course, information about specific books you've written.

Just so you know, I'm one of those who attempts to be an author who is "out there," socially connected. But I'm really stumbling along with all of that because it is very time-consuming to keep up with everything.
Helpful Blog:
Main Promotional Blog:
Twitter: (Starla Writes)
Facebook: Starla Kay Criser
LinkedIn: Starla Criser


Becky A said...

And good morning to you too, Miss Starla! Great post and great questions but it's too early in the morning for my brain to think that hard. This is one I'll have to print out and work on when all four cylinders are firing.
I can answer a couple of your questions though. I am definitely married (33 years), three kids and eight grandkids, two of which are running around tearing up my house even as we speak. I'm not sure how that relates to being a writer other than all those personalities give me lots of information on creating multifaceted characters. Unless I accidentally write one a little too close to home and then I'm dead meat!
Even though it hurts, thanks for all the tough questions. Getting to know yourself is a lot harder than it sounds.
Have a blessed day, Becky

Starla Kaye said...

Yes, everything about your life relates to you being a writer. I believe it helps mold you into what you see as humorous, murderous, etc. Life and your experiences help you understand pure happiness through the eyes of children, despair from the heart of a loved one whose mate has died, romance you witness in youthful crushes, the first blush of the newly married, the depth of love in the elderly still holding hands and exchanging a "special" look. All of these experiences and witnessing events help a writer understand human emotions.

Good morning to you, too!

Joan Vincent said...

Lots of questions to contemplate. A post to definitely print out and revisit over the coming year. The "Who are we really?" question alone boggles the mind. When I first read it I thought of all the "people" I am. That may sound odd but think about it. We're women, lovers, moms, friends, employees, bosses, vacationers, writers--the list goes on and on. For each of these I am slightly different. I mold myself to what others want. Only as a writer do I feel complete freedom. As a writer I can express what I wish with few constraints.
Waht a lot to think about Starla. Thanks for the thought blog.

Penny Rader said...

Those are some terrific questions, Starla!

I don't know who I am. Like Joan, I mold myself to be pretty much whoever (whomever?) I need to be depending on who (whom?) I'm with. I'm such a people pleaser -- that whole being yelled at or frowned at or disliked thing keeps me from being completely myself with just about everyone. I'm obviously never the grammer queen. I can't get my who/whom straight and am ending sentences with prepositions. :D

I shall print off your questions and see if I can come up with some better answers.

Starla Kaye said...

Yes, ladies, each of us many different people all rolled up into one body, one very confused head.

Pat Davids said...

Wonderful post, Starla.

As someone who has been interviewed several times I know the value of formulating answers to the tough questions ahead of time.

Be it at a party, at work, on a bus or on the phone with a reporter, people are curious about writers. They have preconceived notions about the business. Oh, especially if you say you write romance. Or as the nurse at the doctor’s office so indelicately put it, Housewife Porn.

Always be prepared to answer questions about yourself and writing with humor, with sound facts and figures, and with the understanding that you won’t change very many minds about our genre.

Having a firm grasp of why you write and who you are both as an author and as a person can make the difference between an uncomfortable situation and a chance to shine.

And, I was so flabbergasted by the nurse’s comment I could only stare at her in open-mouthed shock. No shining for me yesterday.

Starla Kaye said...

"Housewife porn"...she's a pretty ignorant reader, in my biased opinion.

Everything you said is right. Being somewhat prepared with answers about your writing and who you are as a writer, makes those spur of the moment interviews or discussions easier.

Penny Rader said...

The cra--uh, stuff that people think it's okay to say out loud never ceases to amaze me. They must not have that filter that says, "Hey, idiot, say that and you'll be showing your ignorance." Sorry you were treated that way, Pat.

My verification word is exurram. Hmm. An "excuse to ram" mouthy, rude people?

Rox Delaney said...

As far as dumb comments go, several years before I sold my first book, I was at the car dealership getting my car serviced. The little waiting room had a TV up in the corner, but I was busy working on a manuscript. Another woman came into the room, sat down, and I remember thinking she looked familiar. A Harlequin ad came on the TV. (Anyone remember them?)

The woman got up, looked at the TV, then said, "Smutty trash, all of it."

I sat there, manuscript on my lap, and stared at her. What I wanted to say was, "That's exactly what I'm writing right now. Would you like to read some of it?"

I said nothing. Now I wish I'd said something. Anything. And I never did remember where I'd seen her before or how I might have known her. That's probably a good thing. :)

Pat Davids said...

I once told a young man who came into the NICU that I was a writer. He said his wife had always wanted to do that. I suggested she come to a WARA meeting if she liked to read or write romance.

He looked down his nose at me and said, "I would never let her read one of those books."

He would never LET HER READ one of those books.

I refrained from clobbering him with an oxygen tank and didn't speak to him the rest of the day. What a pompus pig.