Interview with Kelly Meister-Yetter

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I'm going to be embarrassingly honest here and admit that I don't read ebooks. That's not because I don't want to, necessarily, but because modern technology and I aren't really on very good terms! Heck, I still have the old-style flip phone! Once I'm dragged, kicking and screaming, into the new millennium, though, I will hit up Smashwords for my ebook needs.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was a scary story told in the first person ("I" this and "I" that) about a wealthy man who lives alone and is afraid of the dark. His servants have all been instructed to leave every light in the house on all night. One snowy evening, though, the guy discovers that the lights are going out one by one. When he looks into the matter, he finds that whoever is turning the lights off is also taking the light bulbs. The story ends with the man being killed, the last line being, "I was dead." My creative writing teacher had a fit about it, but everyone else that I showed the story to thought it was hilarious!
What is your writing process?
I let a story idea simmer on the back burner of my brain for a while - could be a few weeks, could be a few months - until it starts to take on some life. Then I procrastinate before I sit down at the computer and start writing. It's not the most productive process, but it works for me, and I find that it's not good to push myself before I'm actually ready.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't actually remember the first story I ever read, mainly because, according to my mother, I taught myself to read at a very early age, and now I'm a lot older. So remembering back that far is virtually impossible! I can say that I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books and read them over and over through the years before graduating to Stephen King and John Saul novels. And Mary Higgins Clark. In my old age, however, I gravitate much more toward non-fiction. Favorite authors include Bob Tarte and Bill Bryson.
How do you approach cover design?
Since the books are about myself and various species of animals, I prefer covers that feature pictures of me and the animals. I use Amazon Createspace to self-publish, and they offer you the choice of designing the whole cover yourself, or using their templates. They have a good selection of templates that I add all the text to, and all the photos that I want to use on it. Their process makes it very easy for me to make a cover that I'm happy with.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Five faves in no particular order:

Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson

Notes From A Small Island also by Bill Bryson

Enslaved By Ducks by Bob Tarte

Fowl Weather by Bob Tarte

Carrie/Salem's Lot/The Shining by Stephen King
What do you read for pleasure?
I like to read biographies about people who interest me. I also like animal books, although not the how-to's but rather the first person stories like Marley and Me.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don't have one because I'm a dinosaur who hasn't set foot in the new millennium yet. I can tell you that my husband reads library book on his tablet.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Locally, I like doing book signings at independently-owned book stores and author events. Libraries are good for holding author events. And the editor at my local newspaper is very animal-friendly and will always put in a story when I have a new book out.

Out in the world, I rely on Facebook. I don't just post on my page, though. I'm friends with several authors who will let me post info about my books on their pages, and I do the same for them. Networking is always a good idea!

Obviously, authors who are more technologically savvy have more marketing techniques at their disposal, and one day, I might learn some of them!
Describe your desk
Right now, in addition to the usual mess of photos, sheets of notebook paper with various things hastily scribbled on them, the dictionary (OED) and thesaurus, the small horse-shaped bookend that's holding up a great quote by Rudyard Kipling, the piece of pottery that contains all my pens, the calculator for dealing with my checkbook, and several other oddments, I'm also battling for space with an overweight cat! That could change at any minute from overweight cat to emotionally needy cat who wants to walk back and forth in front of my monitor, or possibly the three-legged cat who drools all over the keyboard if I make the mistake of petting her instead of relocating her. Such is life when you're a Critter Lady who writes!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Northwest Ohio. I can't say that it influenced my writing at all. The writing classes I took in high school really liked to straight jacket you into writing in a formulaic style that I didn't particularly like. Meanwhile, my writing teachers didn't particularly like the style of writing that I preferred! So it took me some years after I got out of school to find my own voice and get comfortable using it. Always believe in yourself! Never compromise to fit into someone else's idea of what you should do or be!
When did you first start writing?
I remember writing stories about morbid subjects back in grade school. I'd write about the electric chair, or the Portuguese Man-of-War - strange things that normal children wouldn't be interested in! In high school, I'm happy to report, my subject matter got a whole lot less weird! LOL
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Sorry Honey But The Critters Come First, is a continuation of the animal-themed memoirs I started with Crazy Critter Lady and No Better Medicine. Each book talks about the interesting animals I've known and loved and cared for over the years, from cats, ducks and mice, to dogs, donkeys and and some strange people I've known as well. My poor husband thought up the title for Sorry Honey, and you can probably guess why!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Writing has always been a passion for me, and I knew from childhood on that that was what I wanted to do with my life. I became an indie author after the stack of rejection letters from agents and publishers became bigger than my phone book. Without wanting to sound full of myself, I knew that I had a certain amount of talent, and some good subject matter, and ultimately, I refused to take "no" for an answer. So I looked into indie publishing and decided to give it a go. I haven't regretted that decision.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords gave me the opportunity to make my books available for electronic devices. Since so many people are eschewing actual books in favor of Kindles and Tablets, it's good to have my books accessible for every possible venue.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I don't think I could narrow it down to just one thing. I like being in the Zone while I'm doing the actual writing - it's a calm and pleasant place where time flies by while I'm singularly focused on getting my thoughts into the computer. I like when a story comes together. I like the satisfaction of putting a bunch of stories together into an actual book. And, from an egotistical standpoint, I really like when people I haven't seen in a while ask, "So what have you been up to?" and I can answer with a casual shrug, "I wrote another book." LOL
What do your fans mean to you?
The fans are everything! Without them, I don't know how inspired I would be to keep going. l love hearing from them, and when they tell me they can't wait for the next book to come out, that's just priceless! It makes all those hours spent in front of the computer worthwhile.
What are you working on next?
I've already started Book 4, which picks up where Sorry Honey left off. When you're dealing with animals, and their shorter life spans, you tend to have a lot of stories about beginnings, middles, and endings.
Who are your favorite authors?
Favorite authors include Bill Bryson - I love his humor; Bob Tarte, who is a fellow critter writer; and Stephen King, whose imagination apparently knows no bounds.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The fact that the cats need their bowls of kibble topped off, and the ducks are clamoring to be let out of their pen.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a number of critter responsibilities on my plate each day: the dog needs a good long walk, the cats need some face time with me, and the duck chores - in which I hose down the many poops that accumulate during the day, change their water, refresh their feed, and top off their pond - require my attention as well. And I haven't even mentioned my horse, yet!
Published 2017-02-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

No Better Medicine (How Caring for Critters Helped Heal the Wounds of the Past)
Price: $1.25 USD. Words: 68,820. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Critter Lady Kelly Meister-Yetter returns with a fun new batch of animal care and rescue stories that are guaranteed to warm your heart. Juggling her many critter responsibilities while dealing with a husband who's at the bottom of the pecking order, No Better Medicine will make you laugh, cry, and wish that you were having this much fun!