K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the award-winning and internationally-published author of Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. She writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in western Nebraska and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.
Tell us about yourself and a typical day for you.
Most of my days look something like this: breakfast, workout, shower, writing (outdoors, whenever possible), emails and social media, lunch, more emails and social media, small odds and ends, more social media, marketing/editing/big odds and ends, supper, even more emails and social media, movie-watching, reading, sleeping.
Why did you start your blog, Helping Writers Become Authors?
It was all an accident, believe me! I stumbled into blogging about writing because, hey, every writer needs a blog, right? And you’re supposed to blog about what you’re interested in, and that would be writing. Then one day I woke up, and the blog had just sort of taken off!
I’ve been writing fiction since I was twelve, so I was an author long before I was a teacher of writing. I’d published one book and was close to publishing another before I started the blog. Really, I think the site has been as much of a blessing to me as it has been to anyone. Other than the marvellous writer folk I’ve gotten to meet, I’ve also learned so much by writing about writing.
You engage with your audience by blogging, podcasting, and vlogging. What advice would you give to self-published authors who wish to create such content?
Something I’ve always tried to focus on in inviting others to learn from me is putting my service to them at the forefront. I try very hard never to take people for granted. When they visit my site or buy my books, they’re doing me as much of a kindness as I am them, and I try to always keep that front and centre. I’m only able to do what I do because of the kind and generous writers who I’m blessed to interact with every day.
That said, the busier I get, the more I’ve had to adjust how I interact with people. I used to respond to every single tweet and every single Facebook response, but I just can’t do that anymore (even though it drives my OCD side wild). I still interact as much as I can, but I have to set limits for myself. I have a policy of answering every single writing question anyone wants to email me, but I’ve now instituted a new rule of only answering one question a day. That alone has provided me a huge amount of breathing space and really taken the pressure off my daily workload.
I think it’s important to take a few steps back every now and then, since that allows the quality of my interactions to remain higher than it might be if I tried to respond with the same frequency and intensity I did when I first started blogging.
You’re working on two books right now – what can you tell us about Wayfarer and Dreambreaker?
I’m just starting final edits on Wayfarer, which is scheduled for release this fall. It’s a “superhero historical,” set in 1820 London, about a blacksmith’s apprentice who discovers his sudden abilities to run faster and jump higher than anyone else are the heart of a deeper plot against England.
Dreambreaker is the sequel to my portal fantasy Dreamlander. I’m currently about halfway through its first draft; it follows up on the adventures of a man who learns he can visit the parallel world of dreams, where he now must struggle back to his lost love – the fierce and conflicted Queen Allara – and help her overcome dangerous international intrigue. They discover the impossible truth about their intertwined destinies before a mysterious heretic can commit the ultimate abomination of permanently fusing the worlds.
What’s next on your ‘to-read’ list?
The titles currently on top of the pile are Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed and The Crusades by Zoe Oldenbourg.