I am SO excited to formally start sharing all the writing advice, tips and whatever riffraff information I’ve picked up over the years. My plan is to post at least once a week, to share what I’m working on, where I am in my projects, and share some resources I’ve been leaning on in the past week.
My first, let me introduce myself!
So, to begin, my first real piece of fiction was fan fiction. At the time my sister was very into Hot Topic, Ann Rice and Vampire: The Masquerade. Me? I liked X-Files and the Matrix, but go figure. I was the right age for the wave of boybands to hit me, and while trying to keep up with my cool high school sister, I wrote a very bad vampire story involving Brian Littrell from the Backstreet Boys.
I’m not going to lie – fan fiction continues to be a theme for my life. When I was in eighth grade, I had a choice between going to the public school for my neighborhood with the same kids who bullied me every day, or applying to a magnet high school for art. When it came time to need a portfolio of work to audition, you bet your butt there was some BSB self-insert fanfic in there that would delight the most earnest of teenagers. I got in, and spent the next four years learning how to write. It was the first time I realized not only did I have the talent and skills, I could use writing as a way to get out of a sticky situation.
Something similar happened in college. I tried four different majors — biology, business/economics, fashion merchandizing and history — before realizing I had farted around too long and just needed to get out of college and on with my life. What was the easiest thing to complete in 18 months? Yep, you guessed it: an English Literature degree (with a minor in history) that I knew I could finish while working a part-time job, going to Disney, and yes, writing fanfic on the side.
I hadn’t given up on fashion merchandizing, and even did an internship at the local Anthropologie working under a great art director to crochet and craft my way through some holiday displays. But, when I got passed over for a promotion at Old Navy (a thing that can feel devastating at 24), I knew I had to figure something else out. Hello, writing.
In 2011, I attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute and moved to New York to become a book editor. After years of working at Barnes & Noble, I wanted so badly to go into publishing, to snatch up new books from great authors, to help shape their careers and their words. Yet I didn’t want to write for myself. Nope, not for me. However, things happened, and I ended up working in graphic design for magazines, about as far away from book publishing as one could get.
Now, years after running away from writing, I finally made the decision to run towards it.
I started 2018 (which I’d dubbed The Year of Kate-teen) with one simple goal: write one thing I am proud of by the end of the year. It could have been a short story, a screenplay, a collection of poems. Anything, I just had to complete it and feel good about the work I’d done on it. In the end, it was a book. And yes, I am very proud of it.
So here I am, taking another step towards writing. What was supposed to be a short introduction has turned into a long journey, but that’s kind of the way of things, isn’t it?
I hope you come back. I’ll be working on revising a #campnano book using what I learned from my amazing Pitch Wars mentor, and I hope you follow along as I stumble my way through re-writes and whatever else comes my way.
And maybe there’ll be a little fanfic. As long as you love me.