I had the privilege and honor to interview fellow Scene13 writer Lena Goldfinch. Here are the results:
1) How old were you when you discovered your passion for writing?
Wow, I was always an avid reader from a very early age and may have written stories then, but I don’t really remember I wrote a lot of poetry in high school & I kept journals through my young adult years, but I didn’t start seriously writing fiction until my early thirties, when my children were in school, and I decided I wanted to write a novel.
2) How long after you completed your first novel did you begin working on publishing?
That first novel will likely never be published! It did land me an agent, and it was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, but we weren’t able to place it with a publisher. It took many years of perseverance–over a decade and many books later!– to get to my first book contract.
3) What would you say was the hardest part of your experience as an author so far?
Dealing with disappointments. You have to have an unshakable drive and an ability to pick yourself up and keep going. When you love it (and you’re stubborn), you keep going.
4) What are your other passions outside of writing?
Spending time with family & friends. I also love to travel. I went to Italy years ago & Switzerland, and perhaps, in part, that sparked my interest in ancient Italy, which was my inspiration for the world of AIRE.
5) What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the writing world?
Write a lot. Finish things. Read a lot. Revise a lot. Write more. Repeat. 🙂
Write what you love. Write the stories you want to read. Study the craft. You *can* learn the things that don’t come naturally for you, but you have to practice. You have to be willing to listen to criticism, in fact you have to seek it out! Learn from it and put the effort into changing the way you write. There are writers out there who are naturals and sell their first book. That’s one path. If that’s not your path, don’t worry about it. If it’s something you love and you feel driven to do it, then do it. It’s not a competition.
But most of all take the time to love it, to luxuriate in every small success and celebrate it. Did you finish a chapter, awesome! Did you finish your first completed draft of a novel–celebrate. It’s not all about seeing your book on the shelf. If that’s your sole measure of success, you just may miss out on a lot of joy.
Also, be willing to share what you know. Writing is a community-taught apprenticeship in many ways. Pay it forward.
Thank you Lena for sharing your wisdom of the writing world with us! You can check out Lena’s books on Amazon and Goodreads.