Describe your decision to become a writer. Nine months after I got married, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I needed a way to blow off steam, so I started reading again (after earning an English degree, I’d stopped reading for a while). Growing up, the only Christian fiction I had access to was Jeanette Oke and other prairie romances, which wasn’t my favorite genre. I loved the humor and characters of the secular novels I read, but wanted books with less sex and swearing (but not set on the prairie). About a year later, I decided to see if I could write my own novel. I finished it in six weeks.
What inspired your latest story? My latest story was inspired by a dream! I don’t remember much about the dream, but I remember a fight between a man and woman and the tension between them. I don’t actually have that scene in my novel, but it inspired the whole thing.
What is your writing process like? I love characters, so I start by creating detailed descriptions of my main characters. I figure out what they look like, where they live, what they studied in school, where they work, and how all of that came about. I also came up with personal and professional goals, motivations, and conflicts for them. Once I know who my main characters are, I ask a question: what would happen if guy and girl found themselves in this situation? I sketch a rough outline of what I think will happen, then start writing and see where the characters end up.
What are some of your favorite novels? Why? I used to have some favorite authors, but have noticed a disturbing trend – after about a dozen books, the stories either get repetitive or don’t seem to be as captivating as earlier books. Because of that, I’ve started to look for and read authors’ first books. I’ve also made it a habit to read as many books as possible by authors whose books I’ve never read before. I’m finding a lot of good stories that way. (That being said, I’m a big fan of Karen Witemeyer and Tamera Leigh.)
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received for writing? I’ve heard it said a dozen different ways, but the point is this – you have to write! You can’t publish a book that isn’t written. Figure out what works for you, but get to your computer and write.
Owner of Write Now Editing and Copywriting Services, Karin Beery specializes in fiction and professional business copy. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the American Christian Writers Association. A Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network member, she is the Substantive Editing for Fiction instructor for the PEN Institute. Karin is represented by literary agent Steve Hutson at Word Wise Media. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or at her website, www.karinbeery.com.