1. Tell us a little about your publication credits. If you have none, tell us about the genres you prefer to write, and your current projects.
Most of my publishing credits are for area newspapers. I have written a humor column, op-ed pieces and feature articles in the last three years.
Presently, I have “Guardian,” a middle grade urban fantasy set to be released by 4RV Publishing, in May/June, 2009.
Works in progress include a couple of chapter books, a nonfiction magazine article, and two middle grade fantasies.
2. How long have you been writing for children?
About three years.
3. How much time do you spend each week writing and/or revising? And how much time on other writing-related tasks such as promotion, researching markets and so on?
The time I spend each week on writing varies. I average about 10 hours writing on my current book, but am also involved in researching same, so sometimes I don’t get that much done on my new book. And, at this time, with the launch of my first book nearing, I am spending more time with promotional and marketing projects. Frankly, it is taking more of my time than I like, but I don’t see any way around it if I want my book to be a success.
Currently, marketing and promo stuff is about, oh, twenty hours a week or so (that includes weekends). There’s a lot to the marketing and promo, and a lot of things I’m doing now are things that I won’t have to redo when another book of mine is released.
4. How much time do you spend reading children’s books? And what are you reading right now?
I’m embarrassed to say I don’t do a lot of children’s book reading. Right now, I’m reading “Inkspell” by Cornelia Funke. I do buy a lot of books for my grandson, and those comprise most of what I’m reading children’s-book-wise presently.
5. What advice would you give other would-be children’s writers, or share with other professional children’s writers?
Write what you love. My stories are fantasy, which is the genre I am most familiar with reading-wise, although I do read a lot of books from different genres. I didn’t plan on being a children’s writer, it is just kinda what came out when I started writing. If you don’t write what you love, it will be apparent in your writing. That sparkle and enthusiasm will be missing.
6. What is your favorite online resource for children’s writers? Why?
That’s a hard one because there are so many good ones. Harold Underdown’s, “The Purple Crayon” is good. Margot Fink has a great site, and of course The Institute of Children’s Literature. Where I go depends on what I’m looking for. Whenever I come across a good site, I promptly bookmark it and label it, so I know where to look the next time I’m looking for something. We can’t leave the Yahoo groups out, either, because there are so many good ones, and you can find the answers to just about any question you have from other authors on those sites.
7. Do you have a website or blog? What else do you do to promote your published works and/or your writing skills?
I do not have a website, but I do have a blog (http://katiehines.blogspot.com) and am not sure I want to do a website. I do have a domain name I’ve paid for, just in case. Right now, I am working on joining social networking sites. I have plans to attend regional book festivals to promote my book and the books offered by my publisher, www.4RVPublishinglllc.com.
Local newspapers are good for promoting your writing via news releases, along with school visits and book signings. A solid internet presence is a must, because it is very difficult to market your books outside of your local area.
Thanks for dropping by, Katie.
If you would like to be interviewed here, drop me a line.