When I am with P. L. and Sally, I know I’m in for a great time. Not only are they fun, P.L. is a prolific author, and her diverse genres offer something for everyone. Welcome, P.L. Please tell us a little about yourself
I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, retired banker, freelance artist, community volunteer, photographer, and a life-long story teller. Most authors will tell you that last part, but I have proof. My writing partner, Sally (who prepares and formats my handwritten manuscripts for publication) and I have been friends since 5th grade and she’ll tell you I’ve been telling her tales all along. Finally, in 2010 she told me to write one of my stories down and we’d see if we could get it published. So, I started writing, and since then, I’ve written 23 manuscripts (7 published) and I’m working on #24.
I’m so impressed that you handwrite your manuscripts. How do you describe your writing process? Do you outline? Let the muse lead you? Or something else
Each story comes to me differently. Most often it’s a song title or lyric, or a phrase from a quote. I can’t explain why it sticks in my head and then I start playing “What if.” One book was based on a Hello, My Name Is… name sticker at a gala dinner. A man behind me said he’d need the sticker to remind him who he was at the end of the evening… And I started to think about what it would be like if the only thing you had to prove who you were was a name tag.
Usually stories begin with ‘What ifs’ like that. Then I need to get to know my characters…listen to their voices and get to know them. Often, I draw maps and floor plans to envision where they live so I can describe this in the story. I also create company logos or draw items that are key to the story. This could be a piece of jewelry or in one case, a letter opener, in another it was a globe shaped puzzle box. Once I’m familiar enough with the characters and their surroundings, the stories come quickly.
You really use due diligence in knowing, not just your characters, but also your setting. How do your characters influence your writing? Do you have disagreements with them?
Characters revel themselves through their stories, so they usually get free reign with me. The times when I’ve tried to exert my influence, I’ve wound up changing things. For example, in my recent trilogy, I thought it was a single book, but I was informed by my characters that the story wasn’t over. This resulted in a change to the end of book #1. Things went well through book #2, but at the end of #3, I left it open for a possible #4, and then went on to write other manuscripts. When I came back to these stories to prepare them for publication, I felt my hero was telling me that he’d completed the story and was ready for his happy ending. So I needed to re-write the end of book #3. Now I realize, it’s best to let the characters have their own way…it saves on re-writing.
Oh, I must agree with you there! My characters always let me know what will and will not be in their story. What kind of response do you get when you tell people you are an author?
Typically, people are surprised and say, “You don’t look like an author” …whatever that means. I once took a train trip and the night before our tour group was supposed to get on the train in Chicago, there was a dinner at our hotel where we were asked to give our names and tell something about ourselves. When I said, I was an author, someone asked if I was a ‘writer’ or an ‘author.’ Apparently, to them you are a ‘writer’ until you are published, and thereafter, you’re an author. Someone else stated they hoped they weren’t getting on The Orient Express where one of us might be murdered. I assured them that wasn’t my intent, but I couldn’t guarantee that some of them might not turn up in one of my future books.
On that same trip, one of the travelers was reading one of my books and didn’t even realize it. This is a coincidence too complicated to explain here, but I was as surprised as she was.
Do you work with a conference partner, writer’s group or other organization? Where do you get support?
My best support comes from Sally, whom I’ve mentioned before. She doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘quit.’ Everyone thinks she’s sweet and nice, but she really knows how to crack the whip…and sometimes she’s bossy, but you’ll never find a truer friend or a more inspiring person. We also belong to the Grand Rapids Regional Writers Group (GRRWG) and are former members of MMRWA. Our super beta readers are also a valuable resource.
I still think Sally is sweet and nice LOL. What are you currently working on?
Sally is working on edits for a Murder Mystery titled The Secrets of Dragonback Ridge, while our beta readers are working on a Sci Fi mystery called The Vitruvian Deceptions, which we hope to have released later this summer. I’m plugging away at manuscript #24 titled Sky Hawk Destiny, a futuristic Sci Fi adventure about a dying scientific space station, rogue androids and a mysterious planet named Prumidia.
Wow! You have so many irons in the fire! I wish you great success with all of them. Thanks for visiting with me today.
P.L.’s Book Titles Available on Amazon
Then Home I’ll Be
Juneberry And The Tall Dark Stranger
The Boy Who Danced With Monkeys
Voices In The Mirror
The Shadow Trilogy: In The Shadow Of The Mind’s Eye
Living In The Shadows
Rising From The Shadows
Links for P. L. Klein, Author
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