Karla, where are you from and how old are you?
I grew up in Seattle, home of the Space Needle and about three banana slugs per square foot. I’m at that magical age of 54: too old for hot flashes and too young for the senior menu.
When did you begin writing and can you remember how it felt inside back then?
I started writing a year and a half ago so I could sit around in my underwear and make big money. At least I got the underwear part right. There weren’t any angels singing, it just felt comfortable from the start.
Now that’s most certainly a unique attitude…
Was there any certain date or time you remember when you began to either think of yourself as or call yourself a “writer”?
While writing the final draft of my humor book the kids got me a desk plaque that said Karla Telega, Writer. Since they spent good money at the office supply store, I figured it must be true.
What are your hopes, or dreams, or goals for your writing?
Aside from fame and fortune, I’d like to make people laugh. As a humor writer, I’d love to have my books gracing the back of every toilet in America—honestly. Currently, I’m working on a comic murder mystery with main characters in their 50s. I’d like to make it a series.
Have you had any “formal” training in the art of writing?
Does reading the dictionary count?
Sure it counts :-)
What do you feel has taught you the most about “how to write”?
I became the designated family resumé writer. It taught me to be clear and concise, and had the added benefit of giving me a good start on writing fiction.
Who are your favorite writers and why are they favorites?
I love Erma Bombeck and Janet Evanovich. Their writing could brighten up any day. I don’t do much science fiction, but I’m hooked on C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series. Add in some Elizabeth Peters, Mary Janice Davidson, and Carl Hiaasen … I don’t stop to analyze why I like them—that feels too much like an English assignment.
Where and/or how do you get your ideas for your writing?
Lots of psych meds play into it, but mostly it’s a slightly embroidered version of my own experiences and quirks. That gives me a lot of material to work with.
What’s your normal revision or editing routine?
I have a short attention span, so I start with just the bare bones of the story. Then I have to stop and think, “if I weren’t me, would I have a clue as to what I’m saying?” I flesh it out from there. I finish by reading it aloud to the dog, and he gives me the paws-up if he’s still conscious.
Are you published?
I think of self-publishing for new authors as walking a tightrope blindfolded and without a safety net. It can be done, but I’m afraid of heights. I have two agents who are very interested in my first book, but aren’t willing to commit to it until I have a larger following. I think I can find an agent quicker with my current work in progress, which is more mainstream.
Currently, I’m blogging three times a week, which is a great way to get my writing out there. I’m polishing my second book, and social networking (taking hostages) on Twitter and Facebook.
Tell us about your blog: its purpose, how you go about deciding what to post, and what you want to do with it in the future?
Blogging has been an incredible opportunity to improve my writing skills. If people like my posts enough to come back, I consider myself a success. The overriding theme in my writing is my love/hate relationship with aging. Ultimately, I want to help people laugh at the problems that aging brings, and discover options for self-fulfillment that they might not have considered before. Growing older may limit our activities, but it doesn’t have to limit our outlook.
Karla, thanks, so much, for visiting and sharing your absolutely unique insights with us :-)
Folks, here are Karla’s contact particulars:
Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/i35qr3
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Tags: author author interview carl hiaasen erma bombeck humor interview janet evanovich writing