ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but eventually settled in
Bloomington, Indiana, home of . She now considers herself a Hoosier. Wyle's childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age 10, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age nine. Indiana University
Wyle is an appellate attorney, photographer, political junkie, and mother of two daughters. Her voice is the product of almost five decades of reading both literary and genre fiction. It is no doubt also influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of law practice. Her personal history has led her to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.
How did you start your writing career?
At the age of ten, I decided to write a novel as a present for my fifth grade teacher, whom I adored. While I was at it, I aimed to be the youngest published novelist ever. I was quite miffed to learn about a nine-year-old upstart from
who had got there first. Nonetheless, I finished the novel: 200 handwritten pages, in pencil. My mother, with a selflessness that my children could only wish I had inherited, typed the whole manuscript, and I gave it to my teacher. She was impressed at the effort, at least, and read part of it to the class -- a mortifying experience for me, as I could hear all sorts of flaws that had escaped me before. England
Tell us about your current release.
Twin-Bred is science fiction. The teaser: Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb?
Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?...
I expect it will be the novel I wrote between Twin-Bred and its sequel (for which I just completed the rough draft). The novel is tentatively titled Reflections, and I should be editing it by the time this interview appears. I have two teasers for Reflections:
--Death is what you make it.
--Will you need courage in Heaven?
In Reflections, the members of a family reunite in the afterlife, confront unfinished business, and resolve the mystery that tore the family apart. I have constructed an afterlife with features particularly suited to this purpose.
What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
My husband and daughters are very supportive. My husband and older daughter read both my first rough draft and a substantially expanded later draft. The only fly in the ointment, from my daughters' point of view, is that I insist on publishing an ebook as well as a paperback. In a generational reverse, they are both ardently devoted to the printed word and highly dubious about electronic alternatives.
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I'm pretty much a pantser. I do write down ideas, and short descriptions of likely scenes, ahead of time. For me, plotting things out too far in advance takes the fun out of the process. I do my best creative work while actually writing, or while doing something completely unrelated, like falling asleep or taking a shower.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A novelist. It took me several decades, but the delay actually worked out well -- I learned to write in quantity in the interim (as an appellate attorney), and self-publishing is a far more practical option now than it was for most of my life.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
--Read, read, read. Read fiction, biography, history -- whatever interests you. Read authors whose voice appeals to you.
--Don't let anyone tell you whether you're meant to be, or whether you are, a writer. Even well-meaning folks may be poor critics, and not everyone who makes pronouncements on your potential will be well-meaning.
--Keep pen and paper, or some other means of taking notes, with you at all times. Don't assume you'll remember your great idea 5 minutes from now -- write it down immediately!
--Become compulsive about multiple backups of your idea notes, works in progress, rough drafts, subsequent drafts, etc. Use the cloud, e.g., Dropbox or Evernote. Email attachments to yourself. Put files on a separate hard drive and on flash drives.
--Keep your inner editor gagged and stuffed in a closet when you're working on rough drafts. Don't be afraid to leave blanks or bracketed notes as you go. (My latest rough draft has one that reads "[insert appropriate South American country here].") National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) is a great way to accomplish this. There'll be time enough later for lots and lots of rewriting.
--This is a great time to self-publish. There's a wealth of info and support out there for indie authors. Conversely, this is a risky time to sign a contract with an agent or publisher. Because of the uncertain and fast-changing conditions in the publishing industry, many agents and publishers are inserting "rights grabs" and other clauses in their contracts that could cripple an author's career. If you do sign with an agent or publisher, pay a good IP attorney to go through the contract with a microscope. Don't let the allure of "being published" lead you to grab at an offer of representation or publication without vetting it thoroughly.
What would we find under your bed?
A large collection of dust puppies. Dust puppies are like dust bunnies, except that they are composed primarily of dog hair.
The first person to suggest a particular song for the Twin-Bred playlist – a song I think belongs there – will be mentioned, with their song choice, in an appendix to a future edition of Twin-Bred. Updates will be posted on Facebook. Email your suggestions to Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANKS FOR LOOKING!