Today I am with fellow writer, Kim Curley. She is one of the talented authors of the new apocalyptic anthology, titled, Earth’s End. The cover is awesome dont you think? Be sure to check it out.
Instead of doing your standard author interview I decided to give Kim the reins and have her write a letter to her favorite author. I hope you all enjoy her words as much as I did.
Dear Mr. King:
Hello-my name is Kim Curley. I appreciate you taking the time to read my letter. I am an aspiring author who wanted to take the opportunity to say, ‘Thank you!’ for all your hard work, and for sharing all your stories with the world.
I realize most of your fans would be writing to you about their favorite book that you’ve written. Or, they might critique one of your books transformed for the big screen or television. This fan would like to commend you about a book you wrote called, “On Writing.”
As a new writer, I found your book to be both educational and entertaining. You are honest with the reader up front when you announce that this book is not an autobiography, but the story of how one writer (you) was formed. As you stated in your second forward, the book is small to cut out the BS. I appreciate your honesty and for putting so much information into what might be considered by your fans to be a “short” book.
“On Writing” encourages people to do what they already know how to do naturally: tell stories. We’re all storytellers in our own way. After all, isn’t this how we as humans first learned to communicate with one another (after we quit hurling rocks and beating each other with clubs, that is)? Going from one tribe to another, sharing our stories of where we came from, teaching one another skills? Legends, myths, and folklore came from storytelling. And, most of us have one of “those” relatives who are especially gifted at regaling us with their tales of days gone by.
What endears the reader to “On Writing” is that you don’t sugar-coat anything (there’s that no BS application again!). Thank you for being honest about your upbringing and your struggles as a son, husband, and father. Although you worked long, hard hours to pay the bills and keep your family afloat, you still managed to pursue your writing ambition.
Early in the book, around page 50, you speak of an incident that occurred when you were a young boy. You were affronted by a teacher who had taken a copy of your plagiaristic V.I.B-Very Important Book-and waved it in your face and asked why you wasted your abilities on such a piece of junk. You said it wasn’t until you were older that you realized that no matter what your talents are, someone will be out there trying to make you feel ashamed of what you are doing. Although there are many aspects of your book that I admire, this statement spoke loud and clear to me.
I am grateful to your acknowledgments of those who nurtured your writing career. You point out the importance of editors and having fresh eyes peruse your written work. Editors can be viewed as evil incarnate, or writers who couldn’t get their careers off the ground so they’re taking out their frustrations on the rest of us. We know that these are the people who will tell us what does and doesn’t work. If we can’t take their criticism at face value, then we’re in the wrong business.
At the end of your book, you show an excerpt from your story, “1408.” The reader is given the opportunity to peruse the unedited version before going on to the revised portion. Writers are very fond of their words. We stare at blank pages or screens, forming words out of letters, breathing life into each sentence and paragraph. The most difficult obstacle I feel writers face is cutting words or sections out. We ignore our inner editors’ pleas to take away words or phrases, fearing if we do, we kill our story. However, I can say from experience that throwing out sections that don’t work is exhilarating! A recent published story I wrote was my eye-opener. When I reread the story after my first draft, I sat back and asked myself: would I want to read a story like this off a store shelf? I shook my head no. After I asked a writer colleague for input on the story, I was told that the story actually began several paragraphs down (almost an entire page!). I went back and read the story beyond the beginning: light bulb moment. No matter how attached I had been to those words, I threw out a huge chunk and the words flowed like a creek after a good rain: strong and steady.
Mr. King, thank you again, for taking the time to share “On Writing” with those of us who are learning and struggling to put ourselves out there. You have written innumerable books and stories in your lifetime, but I feel like this book was written especially for me, or at least the writer in me. In any case, we both thank you, very much.
Kim Curley began her writing journey in 2008, taking an online course titled, ‘How to Sell Your Fiction Novel.’ With the encouragement of a friend from work, she enrolled in a correspondence course and became a 2010 graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature of West Redding, Connecticut. In 2009, she became a member of SCBWI-Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Although she enjoys writing children’s lit, her goal is to branch out and write for adults as well. She prefers writing fiction/fantasy, to provide escapism for readers everywhere. “I write what I would want to read, when I get the chance to read.” A housewife and mother, she resides in the Pacific Northwest. Her story for Wicked East Press Sci-Fi/Apocalypse Anthology, “Earth’s End,” titled, “Faith: An Apocalypse Story,” is her first published piece for a book.