A short interview wherein my guest, one of my favorite authors, answers three questions about the writing life.
Do you create elaborate outlines for your books? If so, can you explain the process (briefly)? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants? If so, do you have any tricks you use to keep yourself from crashing?
I usually create very loose outlines of my books, and then get into trouble about halfway through the writing! It’s hair-pulling. But I’ve also found that when I get myself into trouble, it forces a certain level of creativity when it comes to getting myself out.
I also do something called “fast drafting,” where I write really fast and then put at least an equal amount of time into editing as I did into the first draft. So I’ve built “fixing plotholes” into my writing process.
One of the few exceptions to my loose drafting habit was when I wrote The Mysteries of Tarot. I wanted the murder mystery to mirror the explorations of the Tarot cards, so I used a five-act structure—one act per Tarot suit.
In what genres have you written, and which one of them gives you the most satisfaction?
I tend to stick with different sub-genres in the mystery genre. I’ve done cozy mystery, steampunk mystery, witch romance/mystery, and with The Mysteries of Tarot, now experimental mystery fiction. And I have to say, I enjoyed the more experimental stuff so much, I’m currently working on a 5-book series of experimental witch mystery/suspense.
What one piece of advice can you offer to a writer who has yet to tackle the publishing world?
Do not discount indie publishing. Trad pub can get you into bookstores, and let’s face it, a trad publishing deal is a sort of seal of approval on your writing abilities. But only in rare cases will a traditional publisher throw any real marketing effort behind your book. Aside from the editing and cover, you’ll still be doing most of the heavy lifting. So why not go indie and keep more of the profits? (I’ve done both trad and indie and now can’t imagine going back to trad).
But if you do decide to start out indie, hire a professional editor and cover designer. The expense is worth it, especially for your first book. You’ll likely learn a lot from the experience, and it will improve the quality of your work.
& a Cover
The Mysteries of Tarot: A Work of the Imagination
How to Read the Cards for Transformation
When Tarot reader Hyperion Night sent his manuscript, The Mysteries of Tarot, to a friend to edit, it was a simple guide to reading Tarot. Hyperion couldn’t anticipate that his editor’s notes would evolve into a murder mystery, or that his friend would go missing. Shockingly, the annotated manuscript eventually made its way back to Hyperion, who forwarded it to the authorities.
Now this astonishing Tarot guide is available as a book. The Tarot guidebook features:
- Tarot basics―How to manage different interpretations of cards in a spread, how to read court cards, and a clear and simple method for dealing with reversals.
- Detailed card breakdowns― Keywords, flash non-fiction narratives, and a deep dive into the symbols of each of the 78 cards of the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana.
- Questions to apply to the cards for transforming your life―Insightful questions for each card to help you dig deeper into your Tarot reading practice.
Bonus feature: the guidebook also includes his editor’s comments on the more esoteric and philosophical interpretations of the Tarot, as well as his notes on the baffling mystery that engulfed him.
Gain deep insight from the cards, transform yourself, and solve The Mysteries of Tarot with this work of experimental fiction that’s part Tarot guidebook, part murder mystery. Buy it now!
About the Author
Kirsten Weiss writes laugh-out-loud, page-turning mysteries, and now a Tarot guidebook that’s a work of experimental fiction. Her heroes and heroines aren’t perfect, but they’re smart, they struggle, and they succeed. She writes in a house high on a hill in the Colorado woods and occasionally ventures out for wine and chocolate. Or for a visit to the local pie shop.
Kirsten is best known for her Wits’ End, Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, and Tea & Tarot cozy mystery books. So if you like funny, action-packed mysteries with complicated heroines, just turn the page…
You can find Kirsten at KirstenWeiss.com
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