Everyone’s journey to publication is different and unique. In Behind The Scenes, I interview writers who tell us how they started and got to where they are today. With the knowledge that comes from experience, they share their words of wisdom with us. If you’re a writer, I’d love to hear about your journey! Please contact me here if you’re interested in being interviewed. New interviews featured every second and last Monday of the month.
Lynda R. Young is with me today to talk about her journey. She mixes her love of storytelling with game-development. She is a contributor in The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond, which is available as a free download, thanks to the wonderful people at IWSG.
1. Tell us a bit about your writing journey. How did you get started, and how did you get to where you are now?
Despite being a slow reader, I couldn’t get enough. The authors made writing look easy. I didn’t realize how much work goes into making the writing look effortless. So with no clue whatsoever, I embarked on my writing journey with a head full of dreams and a heart full of possibility.
It took me nine years to finish my first epic of 219k words. Back then, finding information on the industry was next to impossible unless you knew someone on the inside. I knew no one. Consequently, I remained clueless and eventually gave up trying to get published. It took ten years before writing drew me back. The internet opened up new possibilities. Armed with new knowledge and an online support group of writers, I charged forth. I even wrote books that were almost publishable. While I’ve found success getting short stories published and even a novelette, I’m still working on getting a novel published.
2. Anything you would’ve done differently if you could do it all over again?
If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have given up so easily. Yes, it’s a difficult industry to break into, but it’s not impossible and we have so many more choices today. Also, when you stop writing for an extended time, you lose some of your writing skills and confidence. It takes a long while to get them back.
3. What advice would you give to new and aspiring writers?
My advice to writers is if you are serious about getting published, then go ahead and eat a slice of reality pie: Writing is the easiest part of it all and that’s still not easy. Once you’ve digested that morsel, enjoy what you do, learn everything you can about the craft, the market, and the industry as a whole. Read a lot and don’t give up. Keep writing.
4. Is there any book you’ve written that is particularly special to you? Which one and why?
The first book I ever wrote is particularly special to me. It remains a hot mess, I might’ve been clueless, I may have made a gazillion mistakes about character arcs, word count, and general storytelling, but I completed it the best I could at the time. I didn’t let fear hold me back.
5. Who would you say is your favorite character(s) from your books, and why? What is it about this character that makes him/her tick?
My favorite characters are the ones who are nothing like me because they are a challenge to write and fun to get into their head.
6. Tell us about your latest project. What are you working on at the moment, and what can we expect from it?
My latest project is one that’s taken me in an unexpected direction, a different avenue of storytelling. I’m currently working on a game based on a world I created for one of my books. It has presented a whole set of new challenges, but I’m loving it.
7. Are you self-pubbed or traditionally published? What made you go for this model? What advice/tips can you share with writers working towards the same goal?
I’ve experienced both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Each project demands its own route for various reasons. For example, I’ve chosen to self-publish a daily devotional this year because the traditional market isn’t in demand for this kind of book. My advice is to remain flexible to the many options available to us. Don’t choose self-publishing because you think it will be easier. It’s not. However, both paths are equally rewarding. And don’t forget to keep writing.
Author Bio: Lynda R Young writes speculative short stories and is currently writing novels for young adults. In her spare time she also dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her sweetheart of a husband who is her rock. You can find her here: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads