Thursday, October 6, 2016

Writing Talk with author Gail Kittleson

I am so pleased to have Gail Kittleson here today to share some 'writing talk' with us. Gail and I have been online friends for quite some time now, and I've come to have a great appreciation for her. Not only her writing—I really enjoy her books—but also her editing skills, which have come doubly in handy since we are co-writing a fun, cozy mystery. I think I can safely say we're both having a blast with this story.

Gail, welcome to Whispers in Purple! Let's talk writing!

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The Gift of Writing
by Gail Kittleson

            I've always thought of writing as a gift. And lately, even more so, because I've had some eye problems that preclude spending much time w/my laptop. I've never thought of the need to promote my writing as a gift, but am realizing perhaps it is.

               Meeting new people has always been the frosting on my cake. What better way to meet them than making cold calls to slews of libraries and speaking with directors? So many of them seem eager to accommodate a writer and familiarize themselves and their clients with our work. How this be less than a gift? 

               Discovering an eye condition that limits my computer time has led me here. But maybe it's where I should have gone long before this. The writing addict in me says nothing counts like putting in long hours composing and editing, but my recent positive experience with setting up my first "book tour" has me rethinking this. 

               Some  library directors, near retirement, still see aid to set up book talks or pass my information along to their successors. Others that sound younger and energetic, make time to chat with an older writer who calls out of the blue. People person that I am, after wallowing in self-pity for a while, now I wake up excited to launch into my ever-increasing list of libraries. 

              Today, an honest director in a small Iowa town said, "Oh, I'd love to host you, and your World War II series sound fascinating, but I've had poor luck getting our community to attend library functions. However, why don't you contact one of our Main Street stores - they've done well enticing participants for other book talks. 

               So I did, and I'm "on," as they say. In fact, my appointments for book talks have risen to eight, possibly nine for this first venture into touring. Planning my route out, I feel somewhat like a traveling salesman must have decades ago. But I still remember how the Fuller Brush Man found an avid customer in our farmhouse. Mom was always glad to see him drive in so she could buy some new vegetable brushes or spices. 

               Maybe I'll report in on my success after the tour. Does that tell you I'm expecting to do well? Of course, doing well is subject to interpretation, but I never fail to be encouraged when I find two or three new readers. I'll be glad to get home, certainly, but hoping that those who heard me speak and bought my book will become fans. I may say, "I don't know why I kept putting this off … it was great fun!"

               So if you think of me the week of November seventh, please send up a prayer for alertness while I'm driving and the gift of joy in this endeavor. Really, it's ALL about writing!
Gail Kittleson

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Gail Kittleson lives in Northern Iowa with her husband, where they enjoy family and friends. In winter, Arizona's Ponderosa pine forests provide another setting for her historical women's fiction stories. 

Gail's a late bloomer, devoting herself to writing after instructing college writing classes and cheering others on. She now teaches a creative writing class and facilitates women's workshops/retreats on spiritual growth, creativity, and memoir/fiction writing. 

She and Peggy Phifer also are SLOWLY co-writing a cozy mystery.

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