Tell me about yourself. How long have you been writing?
I have been composing stories in my head ever since I was young and read a story I wanted to go another way. LOL I remember writing them down even as a kid all the way through college. My goal at the time was to become an English teacher and write in my off time. Life however changes things. I got married, had kids, and I became a stay-at-home mom who didn’t write again for over a decade. In 2007, with my kids older, in school all day, I knew I had to start writing again. I missed it so much. So, it was at that time I started writing my first stories which got sent out for possible publication.
How do you find ideas for your books?
I think they find me somehow. Usually, I am reading, researching I guess you could call it. I read a lot of non-fiction books, mostly pagan or Wiccan in nature. Somewhere along the line something triggers my imagination, and a paranormal story is born. Although there are the odd instances where I am reading a fiction book or watching a movie when a story just comes to me out of nowhere. Last week for example, I saw a blog post on Yule, and from the explanation of one of the customs a holiday story popped into my head. Not sure I will have time to write that one now, but I’ve filed it away for later.
Tell me about your experience with Etsy. Have you paired your books and crafts in other venues?
I just love Etsy. The creativity that shows up in beauty there astounds me. So, when my first print release, Mystic Stones came out, I wanted to do a giveaway. I came up with the idea of putting gemstones on wire to create book thongs. Since the giveaway was so well-received, I decided to pair my print releases with book-related and book-inspired items to sell on Etsy. I have sold my books and matching book thongs, as well as matching mug cozies and book cozies, on Ebay and at a local event we have for crafters. I love to knit, so combining it with my books is a lot of fun.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
My simple advice is to write the story that is in their heart, to stay true to their original vision. Do not let that voice in your head that questions how the story will be received change anything. Writing your story, your way, I think shows in the finished product. I got this advice myself early on from a call for submissions page, and I have taken it to heart, tried hard to apply it in my own writing. What’s next for you? Right now, I’m looking forward to the release of my first full-length novel, Torn Asunder, in January 2011. I have a blog tour as well as public venues in the works. Also, I am working on another novel write now that is my first mainstream work.
How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?
It is all in the scheduling. The time my boys are in school is my writing time, and I rarely let anything interfere with that time unless something comes up with my kids. After school, I become mom and wife, doing what my family needs. Of course, as I said, there are extenuating circumstances that do change that like a chat scheduled at night or a school function I need to attend during the day, but my family is very supportive of my dreams, and it all balances out in the end.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? You can find out more about me and my stories at http://www.kikihowell.com/ My Etsy Store is at http://www.etsy.com/shop/KikiHowell You can friend or follow me in Facebook and Twitter at the following links: http://www.facebook.com/kikihowell, http://twitter.com/KikiHowell