Welcome, welcome, welcome. Its Author Interview Thursday and another wonderful opportunity to get to know an author whose shaking and baking somewhere on God’s green earth. Today’s special guest comes from the beautiful nation of New Zealand. She’s a first time author and her book – Fraud & Fabrication – was published a couple of days ago. She’s encountered some unique challenges on the road to getting her novel published and I’m so excited she gets to spill the beans on how she navigated those speed bumps. She’s also an avid reader and blogger and does all she can to support writers. She’s ready and I know I’m ready, so without further ado, please join me in welcoming KD Forsman.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the first time someone complemented you on something you had written.
I was born in the UK and immigrated to New Zealand with my family at the age of four. I have lived in the Waikato region which some may know as ‘middle earth’ from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For most of my life I have been a keen horsewoman, and enjoyed a range of equestrian activities, dressage, endurance, hunting and everything in between. I have a wonderful husband and between us we have four grown up ‘children’, so I guess we’re your typical empty nesters. These days our ‘babies’ are our two dogs; Max, a fox terrier, and; Jimmy Choo, a Chihuahua cross.
I’m a project manager by day and a freelance writer, blogger and ebook author by night. I have done a lot of voluntary work in the past for organisations including; Arts Waikato and Riding for Disabled, which involved writing content for their website and newsletters. Fraud & Fabrication is my first attempt into the unfamiliar territory of fiction writing… as for complements; I’m sure my readers will be quick to judge either way!
What can a reader expect when they pick up a book written by KD Forsman?
A book that is readable and one that they can relate to.
Fraud & Fabrication is centred a wealthy racing family and reveals that underneath the veneer of success, the Leighton’s have everyday issues, drama, personality clashes and family secrets. It is spiced with a bit of romance, but the book is not a classic romance novel in the true sense of the word; the genre would be more women’s contemporary drama. Whilst I hope the story is entertaining for my readers, the underlying theme is about uncovering the truth and making a life changing decision… rightly or wrongly.
My biggest challenge was writing the love scenes. It took me a month to get past one particular chapter, but in the end I threw caution to the wind and just went for it. Then I let a girlfriend read it (big mistake) and I ended up re-writing it completely. After wasting a lot of time and angst, on something that really didn’t matter; I finally came to the conclusion that you should never let close family or friends read your draft until it is completed. Big lesson for a newbie!
Can you tell us a little bit about Fraud & Fabrication’ and if you’ll consider doing a series?
Fraud & Fabrication is the first of the Leighton Park series, about the wealthy and eccentric Leighton family, their successful horse racing empire and their closely guarded family secrets.
I knew I had to get serious about my writing when I realised the characters in my head were not going to leave me in peace. They’re a bunch of crazies, but they’re my crazies. A couple of story ideas had been percolating in my imagination for a number of years. In the end I thought it would be interesting to mush them all together and see what I could cook up. The result is Fraud & Fabrication. Seeing this book through to fruition was amazing and even I was surprised at how the ending turned out.
How critical was having a copy editor/proof-reader in getting your book published?
Absolutely paramount. As mentioned, I let a couple of close friends/family read the first draft which did sway the final product. However this feedback was nothing compared to the ‘polish’ a professional editor was able to provide me with. Despite the fact that I’d read and re-read, spell checked and triple checked my manuscript before I sent it to my editor; she was still able to provide huge improvements to the overall readability of the story. She also picked up numerous errors and typos that I had overlooked. As writers we can be completely blind to our common mistakes – it’s just the way we are wired. I got huge value from an independent, professional editing service and would never ever skip this step. I want my readers to enjoy a quality product when they order and read my books.
What three things should writers avoid when writing dialogue?
- Being too formal – not writing how the character would speak
- Overuse of dialogue tags – he said, she said, John said etc.
- Underusing dialogue. Dialogue is a great way to set the pace of the story and get important information across quickly, keeping the reader interested and engaged with the story.
Gosh that was a hard question!
Film – I’d have to say Silence of the Lambs; “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
Book – One I read recently which was extremely memorable was Gone Girl; it had a great dialogue, fantastic plot which kept the reader guessing all the way to the end.
Gone Girl’s parody Go Away Girl was equally as good, extremely witty with some memorable laugh out loud moments – I’d definitely recommend both books, read the real one first!
Toy Story or Shrek?
Shrek without a doubt. I can so relate to the princess and the donkey.
You’ve been blogging since 2008. What have you found paramount in maintaining a successful blog.
- Writing on a topic I enjoy
- Regular posts – at least one post per week
- Being generous with my time for others. I offer a free book tweeting service for fellow authors and this has really helped build a readership for my blog. In an information rich society, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to be willing to truly engage with others and pay it forward.
What three things should a first time visitor to New Zealand do?
New Zealand is a unique location with something to suit every age and stage… I found it exceptionally hard to narrow down three things, but here goes;
- Trout fishing at Lake Taupo
- Surf lessons in Raglan (home of the legendary left hand break and black sand)
- Annual Marlborough Food & Wine Festival
I am hoping to finish the second book of the Leighton Park series which will centre more on one of the more colourful characters from book one, who else but the amazing Cheree! She has so many layers to her, I’m looking forward to unravelling that a bit further and seeing what we can find.
Where can readers and fans connect with you?
Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry?
Do what it takes to get the job done!
For me, that meant scoping out the entire outline of ‘Fraud & Fabrication’ before I wrote a single word. It made it so much easier and gave me a roadmap to let the story unfold. It also made a huge difference to my writing and helped me take my story from an idea concept to an actual plot to a first draft. This worked for me, but I realise that everyone is different. I made a conscious choice to get serious about my writing in May 2014 and worked with ‘book midwife’ Maria Carlton to get me on the way to completing my first draft. Without that help, I’d probably still be thinking about it now.
I read somewhere recently that to be a successful author, you need to write more books. I totally believe this, and realise now that publishing my first book doesn’t mean ‘I’ve now made it’ as an author!
I couldn’t agree more with you Karen. This writing gig is definitely a journey and not a destination. I loved what you said about having a copy editor being paramount to the success and completion of your book. I think sometimes copy editors and proof readers are sometimes the unsung heroes who can make all the difference to a novel. You can enter to win a copy of Fraud and Fabrication on GoodReads. If you can’t wait, feel free to grab a copy on Amazon. Remember to leave a comment below and share this interview using the Social buttons.