I’ve always been interested in the work processes of other authors, so it is a joy to be able to host an interview with fellow-writer and blogger Sylvia Ney.
I hope you’ll enjoy the chat with her as much as I did, and feel as inspired by her personal writing journey!
What genres do you like to write in? Which books in your favorite genres do you really like?
I enjoy writing in a variety of genres. Some of my favorite authors are Nora Roberts, Edgar Alan Poe, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Dr. Seuss, J.K. Rowling and Lewis Carroll. One of my favorite books is To Kill A Mockingbird.
Tell us about your personal writing journey, and your work process. This is very interesting both to readers and other writers!
I began writing when I was about ten. My cousin and I were playing school and she gave me a writing assignment. I’ve enjoyed writing ever since. I joined the school Newspaper in high school and college; working my way up to editor of both. I graduated with a degree in Mass Communications and began teaching journalism, Newspaper, Yearbook, Photography, broadcasting and Screenwriting. I spent seven years teaching others the craft I loved, but the only writing I published during that time was for educational purposes… lesson plans, curriculum, grant writing etc.
After the birth of my first daughter four years ago, I quit to become a stay-at-home mom. I began writing again, but lost everything in a hurricane induced flood in October 2008. I was pregnant with my second daughter at the time and writing became my refuge.
Homeless, with a soon to be two-year-old and another on the way, writing kept me sane. I would love to say life has calmed down and I have a writing schedule, but with two kids under the age of five, that doesn’t happen. I don’t have a schedule or ONE specific process. I write when I have time or am inspired by things around me. It would be nice for writing to become my full time career when the kids are in school. I have drawers full of my writing and I’ll get around to editing and publishing them when I have a chance. However, my girls are my priority and I love spending time with them. If it happens great, but life is good how it is.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing? How does it compare with traditional publishing?
Aren’t most of us self-published since we keep a blog? Seriously though, self-publication is very enticing. You’re not facing the rejection of an agent or editor; you have more control over your finished product, you choose the price and have an extremely shorter wait period to publication. However, I still prefer “Traditional” publishing for a number of reasons. I want someone else to feel it’s good enough to publish, I want someone else to help edit it (I don’t think many of us are capable of effectively editing ourselves, no matter how good we are at editing others) and I don’t want to have to worry about the hassle of the printing.Either way, authors should be prepared to do their own marketing.
Are there any tips you would like to share with new writers?
Read and write every day. Read your favorite genres, read books on the craft, read blogs of other authors. There is a multitude of information and contradictory advice out there. Weed through and find what works for you. Our minds don’t work the same and we all have different interests and strengths. Be willing to learn and find your own process for success.
What is your goal as a writer? How close are you to achieving it?
I’ve published articles, educational material, poetry, short stories and now keep a regular blog. I’d like to try to publish a book. I’ve written several, but am not yet confident enough to send them off. My main goal is to keep learning and trying new things. To me, that is success.
What is your latest work? What would compel a reader to pick it up? Where is it available?
My two most recent published pieces are: “Feeding the Soul” in Chicken Soup Just for Preteens which released July 26, 2011 and “Broken Angel” a short western published last month on Rope and Wire.
“Feeding the Soul” is a recollection of a time I spent feeding the homeless when I was about twelve. Like most of the stories in this collection, it is a personal experience shared to help preteens understand some of the common struggles and views we all experience.“Broken Angel” was my first attempt at writing a western. I’ve only recently read a few westerns and loved the genre. Readers seemed to enjoy my tale and thanks to some great feedback from them, I plan rework it and possibly expand on the story.
Sylvia Ney resides in southeast Texas with her husband, two daughters and miniature dachshund.She is a published author who sometimes ghostwrites for others. She has published poetry, short stories, essays, newspaper articles and photography.
To learn more about her or her publications, you can find her blog: Writing in Wonderland
She can also be found on Twitter: @SylviaNey and Facebook - Sylvia Ney