K.M. Weiland is an international bestselling author who writes speculative fiction from the confines of her Nebraska home. She’s my favorite author, not only because of her books, but also for giving back to the writing community tenfold. A kind, generous spirit, endlessly fascinating person and Jedi Master.
So I’ve taken it upon myself to present to you, the AWESOME award. Let it be known to all; that on this blessed day October 4, 2017, I bestow upon you the seal of awesomeness. May it be inscribed therein, and may you bear its signature all the days of your life in peace.
1. Name up to three things in homeschooling that helped shape you as a writer.
1. The extra time and flexibility to pursue extra-curricular activities—in my case, writing and producing a newsletter called Horse Tails, which gave me the opportunity to write hundreds of stories and articles and the discipline to create a consistent writing schedule from a young age.
2. Love of reading and learning. I worked well on my own, which made me very well-suited to homeschooling. It let me pursue my interests—particularly, history—at my own pace and, to some extent, tailor my education to my life goals.
3. Family support. My parents and siblings have been there for me every step of my writing journey, starting in my school years. They were always supportive and did everything they could to encourage and help me.
2. Describe your experience that lead up to writing a newsletter.
I’ve always made up stories, but I didn’t start writing them down until my siblings and I decided to form a family newspaper. They lost interest pretty quickly, but I was hooked! Eventually, I moved on to edit and publish Horse Tails, a small newsletter for youth, which I continued throughout high school.
3. What did writing mean to you at this point in your life?
On through high school, I viewed it merely as a hobby—a way to write down the stories I imagined, simply so I wouldn’t forget them. Up until graduation, I seriously thought I would be pursuing a career with horses. But then I began realizing I enjoyed staying inside to write more than I did going outside to ride.
4. What kind of feedback did you receive from family and friends?
Positive and constructive. I’ve been blessed to have few naysayers in my life. The people who are closest to me have always been my biggest fans and have encouraged me to explore my talents and interests.
5. Who were your role models? (Real or fictional)
It’s clichéd, but: Jo March and Anne Shirley. I read Little Women and Anne of Green Gables over and over as a child, and I have always resonated with the awe and wonder of these heroines’ imaginative coming-of- age stories.
~Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.~
6. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice what would you say?
Probably the biggest bit of advice I would offer would be to seriously consider where your writing will be in five years if it succeeds. By that point, for me, many of the decisions I made in the beginning were too difficult to change. I wish I’d spent more time considering my blog title, url, publishing platform (Blogger, WordPress, etc.), subscription options, all that stuff. You don’t want to have to make major changes down the road that might undo some of your hard work in building a following.
Connect with K.M. Weiland
Write character arcs? Don’t miss out on this! Creating Character Arcs Workbook: The Writer’s Reference to Exceptional Character Development and Creative Writing. Just released Aug. 5th 2017.