Stealing Time by KJ Waters is the type of book that really does have something for everyone. I can count KJ as one of my earliest Twitter friends and also know I can rely on her infectious enthusiasm and alluring beach-themed social media pics to brighten my day. To date, her novel is the longest one I’ve copy edited. Mathias, one of the main characters, speaks with a German accent. Luckily, my background in linguistics and German made for a perfect fit. Part of my editing process involved devising a key to standardize the accent in the current book and others that will follow.
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
Stealing Time is a time travel thriller set during Hurricane Charlie hitting Florida in 2004. Ronnie Andrews seeks safety from the storm in her boyfriend’s weather lab. During the peak of the hurricane, Ronnie inexplicably is sent back to 1752 London where she is faced with dangerous accusations of being a witch and a life and death struggle to return home.
Her best friend Stephanie McKay invites Nick over to her house where they are caught out in the raging hurricane and risk losing everything.
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing.
I began my writing career as a creative outlet after I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. I loved my job as the director of marketing for a national health care company, but it made more sense for me to be there for my children. I finally had time in my life to pursue my own interests. Reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series was my main inspiration for writing Stealing Time. It was such a multi-layered story full of rich details about the past, I was taken with the idea to create something with hurricanes and time travel that would encompass interesting characters and locations.
3. Writing aside, what passions drive your life?
The passions that drive my life other than writing are my kids, clear warm waters, and great friends. I love to travel and have been to about 70% of the states and done a little traveling to Europe and Bermuda and would love to do more, when time and money allow.
I used to spend my summers as a lifeguard and swim instructor and now spend time by my own pool when I’m not traveling during the summer. I’ve also spent a few years playing underwater hockey and was even voted MVP one year. Man do I miss that!
4. It’s hard to pick just one, but what do you consider your favorite novel and why?
My favorite author is Diana Gabaldon and if I had to pick my favorite of her books it would be Outlander, the first book in the series. Her stories are so full of humor, history, great character development, and drama. It is this book and her series that inspired me to write Stealing Time.
5. What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
My blog is called Blondie in the Water . I started the blog as therapy to deal with living in Dirtville, a dry and dusty place, after growing up on the East Coast where I was always near a decent body of water.
In the blog I have relived my fondest water memories and added a few from my various vacations from Bermuda, Yellowstone, Maine, to Discovery Cove in Orlando and many more. This January I started an author spotlight segment, Blondie’s Books From Friends (BFF) with my author friends, and I occasionally add info on my books and other projects.
6. What does your drafting and/or editing process entail?
My first draft is getting the storyline and pacing down. Then I rewrite several times to add layers of personality, subplots, and make sure the background elements are in there, like the cat in the room consistently, or whatever. When that step is completed I reread and make notes to make sure all continuity is solid, keeping small details the same throughout and fix typos and what not.
Then I send it to my beta readers to see how it all fits together. At this stage of Stealing Time I had a lot of changes to make in the story, more details in the 18th century England that were not correct. When I have everything the way I want it I send it along to my editor, who happens to be Jeri, who did a fantastic job.
I try to write a little every day and on Thursday mornings I spend several hours working on the draft. I haven’t participated in a critique group, mainly because I feel I’m more productive alone, and have been happy with the end result.
7. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
I am self-published. I paid for an editor for the English historical bits and also for a professional edit of the draft. The formatting, book covers, and promotion I’ve done all myself, with a bit of help on a few advertising sites, but on the whole it has been all my efforts. I run a custom book cover service, so I’m lucky there that I only have to spend time on it (Blondiebooks.com).
I chose self-publishing because I’ve heard of a lot of authors who have gone with smaller publishers were very dissatisfied with their lack of marketing and distribution help. I would be glad to work with a bigger publisher if they would get my book in more markets and help promotions, until then I don’t see a reason to give publishers money for what I can do myself, such as the layout, covers, and social media buzz.
8. Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
My best marketing advice for author and book marketing is to engage readers, don’t just push your product out there. You are selling your personality, charm, and wit. If you just post your book links you will be ignored. You need to build a reader base and connect with them on a personal level.
I am doing a Facebook party (May 29) and a Rafflecopter contest that ends May 30. I’ll let you know the results. The most helpful things I’ve found are to do interviews like this, and to also do local book signings with a buildup of radio, TV, and print interviews.
Most of my marketing and promotions are on Facebook (KJ Waters) and twitter (@kamajowa). They are very different outlets where I get more engagement on Facebook, and more sales on Twitter.
9. What future projects can we look forward to?
My second book is in process, Stolen Time, and is the next book in the Stealing Time trilogy. I hope to have it out spring 2016. Book three will follow after that.
In June, I’m also starting a podcast for indie authors, called Blondie and the Brit with Suzanne Kelman, another indie author. We will talk about social media and book marketing tips and strategies, conduct author interviews, and discuss what we’ve found helpful and not so helpful in the indie market.
10. Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know?
My novel, Stealing Time, parallels my life in an interesting way in that I moved to Florida and three days later Hurricane Charley hit central Florida, the first storm in 60 years to be hurricane strength while crossing Florida. This is the setting for Stealing Time.
You can connect with KJ Waters and her social media sites via her blog.
Is there anything else you would like to know about KJ?
Permission must be granted by KJ Waters to use the images in this post.