Today, I’m pleased to present an interview with author Kathie Giorgio. I hope you enjoy hearing her talk about her process!
1. When did you start writing?
I started as soon as I could. My earliest memory of writing is tracing the pictures out of my picture storybooks and then rewriting the story the way I felt it should go. I wrote my first complete short story when I was ten years old (I remember my teacher looked at me after I read the story to the class and she said, “Kathie…you’re a writer!” And I thought, oh, that’s what this is about.). I published for the first time at fifteen. And from there, I’ve just kept on going.
2. Are you a pantser or a planner?
I’m definitely a pantser, if by that, you mean writing by the seat of your pants! I am a firm believer in the creative process. I think fiction writers never give up that sense of pretending that we had as children. We could sit on the floor with our dolls and our toys, and one minute, our doll was an astronaut, and in the next, our doll was a cowboy. Our minds would just follow storyline after storyline until one hit that stayed with us. That’s what writing fiction is like for me. I follow the character, and I rarely ever know where a story is going until it gets there.
3. Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
I’m an afternoon writer. I’m at my desk by one, and I tend to stay there, at work, until four or five, when I have to switch gears and get ready to teach writing classes in the evening. If I’m writing a longer piece, like a novel, I assign a song to it. For example, I chose “Clocks” by Coldplay when I was working on “The Home For Wayward Clocks”. Every day for the three years I worked on that book, I played that song before sitting down to work. This helps me get more quickly into the world I’m creating, allowing me to leave behind the distraction of my own world of all the things I need to get done. Whatever I’m working on, a short story or a novel, I write the first draft straight through, without looking back. I will go over what I wrote the day before, and I launch from there, but I don’t go back any further than that. That’s for the subsequent drafts. I also read all of my work out loud, to make sure the language is smooth, lyrical, that it has a cadence to it.
4. Which authors have influenced your work?
My favorite authors are Ellen Gilchrist and John Irving. Ray Bradbury has also strongly influenced me, not so much in my own writing, but in my dedication to the writing life. I wrote to him when I was seventeen, and he wrote me back, encouraging me to keep going, keep going, keep going. And I have.
5. What are you plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
On September 1, my third book, “Learning To Tell (A Life)Time”, will be released by the Main Street Rag Publishing Company. It is the sequel to “The Home For Wayward Clocks”.
6. Any tips for new writers?
Find the time. We all have busy lives. I teach and run my writing studio 85 hours a week – but I still set aside my afternoons for writing. There is time. Write on your lunch hour. Write on the weekend. Write for an hour before work or an hour before bed. My husband takes a bus to and from work – he writes on the bus. We tend to think that to write, we have to have huge chunks of time. But we don’t. Write for an hour here, a half hour there, and it will all add up.
7. Any tips for old writers?
Realize that we are never “done.” We are always learning more, always honing our craft. You don’t ever reach the top of the writing hill – we always have more to do, and we always have ways to get even better. Read. Read everything that’s out there. Learn from others. Everyone is a teacher. We are all students.
KATHIE GIORGIO’S first novel, “The Home For Wayward Clocks,” was released in 2011 by the Main Street Rag Publishing Company, and has received the Outstanding Achievement recognition by the Wisconsin Library Association Literary Awards Committee and has been nominated for the Paterson Fiction Award. Her short story collection, “Enlarged Hearts,” was just released in April 2012 by the Main Street Rag Publishing Company as well. The sequel to “The Home For Wayward Clocks,” is titled “Learning to Tell (A Life)Time” and will be released on September 1, 2013. New stories will be appearing soon in the literary magazines Magnolia: A Journal of Women’s Socially Engaged Literature, Edge (Tahoe Writers Group), and Meat For Tea and Edge (Tahoe Writers Group), as well as two poetry anthologies, “Journey to Crone,” by Chuffed Buff Books, and “Wine, Cheese & Chocolate, A Literary Feast” by the Manzanita Writers’ Press. A poem appears in the 2013 Wisconsin Writers Calendar. Her stories and poetry have also been in anthologies by Papier Mache Press, Main Street Rag Publishing Company, EBibliotekos, Pill Hill Press, Fearless Books and Susurrus Press. Her stories have been published in over 60 literary magazines. She’s been nominated twice for the Million Writer Award and twice for the Best of the Net anthology, with the latest being for her short story, “Getting Lucky,” for the 2012 Best of the Net. She is the director and founder of AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop, a creative writing studio. She also teaches for Writers’ Digest and serves on their advisory board.
AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop: www.allwriters.org (my studio)
Author website: www.kathiegiorgio.org
Publisher’s website: www.mainstreetrag.com