Guest Author: Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

My guest today is Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie, an author who has tackled everything from short stories to YA Thrillers. Please join me in hearing more about Kristy’s work!

If you are interested in participating in the program, you can submit here.

Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

IMAG0343 (1)1. Tell us your name, and a link to where we can find you (blog, Facebook, etc).

Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie – Keep Calm & Write On blog:

2. How many books have you written? This can include both published and unpublished works. Describe each of them in 1-2 sentences apiece (if published, feel free to include the links as well). 

I’ve written two novels so far: Jaded, a YA thriller, is visiting my editor, and Why Go to the Circus is a quasi-memoir. The latter is banished to the bottom of my closet –it’s craptastic!

3. Tell me a little bit about your current WIP.

I’m working on a short story collection that I’ll probably title Breath and Death.

4. What does writing preparation look like for you? Do you do full outlines and character profiles, or do you just start with a general idea and write?

With Jaded, I created an outline and character profiles. For short stories, I simply brainstorm an idea and then write.

5. Editing is a challenge for many writers. Give us some of your tips for editing efficiently and well.

In regards to editing, I utilize my writing, teaching, and librarian friends. Jaded was professionally edited. I agreed with approximately 80% of her suggestions. I’ve made those changes and now she’s taking another look.

6. Research is another challenge writers face, but is an important part of the writing process. What are some of your research tips?

I use the internet for most of my research (which can be a huge time suck because I’m easily distracted). I have a binder with all of my notes for Jaded.

7. If you have been published (self or traditionally), what type of marketing did you find worked the best for you? What was the least helpful?

I’ve published five short stories and one poem in literary magazines. I recently started a writing/reading blog which is fun, I have a Facebook page, and I attend writing conferences.

8. What genre do you write in? What are some of the challenges to writing this particular genre well?

My short stories have a dark fantasy vibe (fantasy with elements of horror) and my novels are YA thriller slash dystopian. An agent that I pitched Jaded to suggested that I drop the “dystopian” because dystopian has been overdone. I think thriller fits just as well.

9. What advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?

My advice: don’t query an agent until you’re 100% sure your novel is complete. Edit, edit, edit!

10. What are your writing, editing, marketing, and research goals for 2013?

Self publish my short story collection, obtain a literary agent or self publish Jaded, continue with my writing/reading blog, continue to follow blogs…

11. Pretend I am from a publishing house and you are looking for me to take on one of your books. Pitch it to me.

Outside the confines of the Nirvana, Virginia commune, a typical seventeen-year-old is taking the SAT test, driving, and agonizing over finding a date for the prom. But for commune members, turning seventeen is anything but typical. Jade is a few months shy of this monumental birthday which involves a risky eye color procedure that will determine her career, spouse, and future burial plot. Jade was content to follow the expected life path until her Grandmother Ruby dies and leaves behind a diary. The diary entries expose dark secrets including adultery, teenage pregnancy, and murder. There are no easy choices for Jade, whether confrontation or escape, and the risks include banishment to the slave cabins and even blindness.


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