Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Feature: MK Schiller on Experience


I'm welcoming back fellow TB author, MK Schiller! She's blogging about her writing journey!  Check it out!

Must have experience or need not apply

Thank you, C.A. Szarek for hosting me. I wanted to talk to you about my writing journey today. I’ve always loved romances. Possibly, this has to do with being a child of the 80’s.  Almost every movie produced in that era had auto angst, a great soundtrack, fallible heros, strong heroines, and of course the required grand gesture. Between purchasing jelly shoes, hoop earrings, and legwarmers, I was busy watching the great dramatic offerings of my generation. 
My first foray into romance happened in high school. I wrote a short story…really it was just a few paragraphs with no beginning or end. The scene was that pivotal black moment, although at the time, I wasn’t familiar with the lingo of the industry, and in truth, I had no idea this is what I was writing. But I can tell you this…I loved writing it!

The hero tells the heroine good-bye, caressing her cheek. He divulges that he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to stop loving her or love her forever. He channels all his sorrow and frustration into a heartfelt speech, trying desperately to change her mind. She’s stoic and calm, but her insides are a quivering mass of emotions. He storms out, leaving her alone in the chaos of her thoughts. She sits and stares at the ceiling, clenching her hands, welcoming the physical pain to distract her from her emotional turmoil. If she allows her caged grief any freedom, it will destroy her. She waits in silence, trying to block out his words, because she knows she’ll go after him otherwise. 

So, she closes her eyes, and takes deep breaths until the distance between them is too far for her legs to carry. Then in that moment, when she’s sure the time has passed, she breaks down, allowing her anguished screams and tears full occupation of her facilities until she reaches the point of exhaustion. 
I showed it to a friend of mine. Her reaction was that I shouldn’t write about experiences I didn’t have. I have to admit, the critique (the first of many) hurt. I wondered if every writer must have experience or need not apply? The feedback didn’t stop me from writing, but life sure as heck did. Enter, college, a real job (as my parent’s like to say), marriage, kids etc. Then one day, I happened upon a very popular book written by a new author. Well, it definitely hijacked my mind for many hours. A good book gives us freedom.  After all, it’s the only form of stationary travel, and the only socially acceptable means of voyeurism.
When I wrote A Girl By Any Other Name, I had to draw on these traits to create honest, relatable characters and the extraordinary situation I placed them in. This is a story about secrets, childhood love, and a traumatic separation. As a child of the 80’s, I added a few grand gestures, a rocking soundtrack, and a healthy heaping of angst. I’d love to hear about traits you think a successful writer should have. 

Everyone tells him he needs to move on, but how can a man function without his heart?

Ten-year-old Caleb Tanner wants nothing to do with Sylvie Cranston, the annoying weird girl who moves next door to him and gets him in trouble for swearing. But at twelve, they become friends when he teaches her how to hook a fishing line and she shows him the value of a selfless act. At fourteen, he falls in love with her.

At sixteen, she dies.

Or so he’s told. But Cal never believes it. Sylvie has become part of his soul. He knows her like the steady beating of his own heart. He’d know if she was dead. Cal looks for her, prays for her and finally he just waits for her.

Nine years later, she walks into the community college English class Cal is teaching. Only this girl claims her name is Sophie Becker and she doesn’t know him. Cal knows better. He’s determined to get the girl he loves back—and protect her from the danger that took her away all those years ago.



More MK

MK Schiller is a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. Writing is her passion, but with a full time life and two busy teenagers, it proves difficult. But in the quiet dark of night, she sits by the warm glow of a computer monitor, and attempt to conjure up passionate heartwarming stories with plenty of humor.
She started imagining stories in her head at a very young age. In fact, friends started making requests for stories where they were featured as the heroine and the object of their affection was the hero. You've heard of fan fiction... this was friend fiction.
Even with that, it took many years to realize her dream. She hopes you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.

Author’s Website

Amazon Author page
Publisher’s site girl by any other name
Goodreads page


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