This week’s blog interview is with the lovely Kara Jorgensen as she talks about her writing experiences. Submit your own interview here.
Author Name: Kara Jorgensen
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorkarajorgensen/
Twitter Handle: @AuthorKaraJ
Title of Novel: The Earl of Brass: Book One of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices
Q1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING? AND WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING YOU CAN REMEMBER WRITING?
My journey as a writer began as many other writers: I started with fan fiction. The first time I can remember a sustained writing effort where I cared about plot and characters was a Sherlock Holmes fan fiction I scrawled into a marble notebook when I was ten. Every morning while my aunt got ready for work, I would slide the latest addition under the bathroom door for her to read. Where better to read crappy pre-teen fan fiction than on the toilet? When I discovered the books years later while cleaning my room, I found they were more like an overdramatic version of Downton Abbey than anything to do with Sherlock Holmes.
Q2. DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE A WRITER?
When I first graduated high school and began college, I thought I would be a doctor. I’ve always been very interested in medicine and how the human body works, and because I did so well in my anatomy classes, I thought becoming a doctor was the next logical step. It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in college that I realized studying literature was a viable option. One of my professors nurtured my talent for writing creatively and analytically, and she soon convinced me that I should double major in English and biology. It was amazing how much better it felt to have writing and reading in my life full-time. I did really well in my classes, so I decided to go on to graduate school to pursue an MFA in creative writing. It was during my first year as an MFA that I published my first novel, The Earl of Brass.
Q3. HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU WERE WRITING THIS BOOK?
It was daunting at first. It was the first book I finished completely, and it served as my final project for my bachelor’s degree, which made it extra important to me. Luckily, I was writing about things I love, which makes it a hundred times easier. Because the story centers around Eilian Sorrell losing his arm in a dirigible crash and Hadley Fenice creating a prosthetic arm for him, I was able to use my medical and anatomical knowledge. One thing that surprised me while writing it was discovering how much I enjoyed doing research for the story. The more I learned, the more ideas for the story seemed to fall into place, and soon, a whole series bloomed from it. Before it was published, I submitted it for a contest on Amazon, and when it was kicked out in the third round, I realized that it still needed editing. I think The Earl of Brass was a massive learning experience because I finally realized how much work writing truly required if I intended to publish it.
Q4. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO WRITE?
The Earl of Brass probably took me about eighteen months to write. The reason it took so long was because I was taking six classes at the time and writing on the side. My second book, The Winter Garden, took about a year to write and edit, and my most recent book, The Earl and the Artificer, took about nine months from conception to publication. Gradually my books are taking less time to write, but I’m pretty sure my fourth book, Dead Magic, will take probably close to nine months to produce.
Q5. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE WHERE YOU GO TO WRITE?
Not really. At this point, I’m home during the day and work in the evenings, so I write during the day on the sofa with my dogs curled up around me. A lot of times I write late at night right before bed because I find that when I’m getting tired, I’m less censored with my writing. Then, I go back and edit it the next day when I’m more awake. It’s a drowsy variation on write drunk, edit sober.
Q6. WHEN YOU BEGIN WRITING, DID YOU EVER THINK YOU’D GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
Not at all. I always hoped that one day I would publish my work, but I always thought I would forty or fifty and it would be after years of pursuing it. I never thought I’d have people who actually care about my work and who love my characters. The fact that people actually buy my work still surprises me. If you asked me ten years ago where I’d be today, I’d probably say a doctor or science teacher, but I’m so happy I went a different route. I love my life, and I love that writing is a part of my daily life. Soon, I’ll be teaching freshman college students writing and publishing my fourth book, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us Kara. It’s been great getting to know more about you.
You can buy Kara’s books here.