Interview with Florence Witkop

Published 2013-08-30.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in the city but we moved to the country after my mother's heart attack. She was expected to die and wanted to do so in peaceful surroundings. She didn't die ... she's 103 years old now and doing just fine ... but those years of quiet and solitude in the country while she recovered and we didn't bother her shaped my imagination. Sitting in a tree watching clouds. Walking with my dog all over the countryside. Reading from my parents' extensive library. When I'd devoured the kids' books, I transitioned to Shakespeare and still love him. As she recovered and began to once again play the piano, music became a background to my life and my writing is still evocative of the measured rhythm of Bach and Beethoven.
When did you first start writing?
I always wrote, figuring that one day I'd become a writer but it didn't actually happen until I was living in the wilderness and driving sixty miles round trip to my job teaching first graders. As I wondered if I'd get through the snowdrifts or would end up in one myself I decided there must be a better way to make a living. Something I could do from the comfort of my home while bread baked and dinner simmered on the stove. There was a way. Writing! So I quit my job with the blessing of my husband who said he'd work extra to fill in the gap in our income. And I've never looked back.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Earth Legend is the third and final 'Legends' trilogy. I like stories about people thrown into situations that force them to grow and fight in order to win the day. So Earth Legend is about a modern day Ceres, goddess of the harvest and fertility, who stows away on a colonizing space ship in order to keep the plants alive that keep the colonists alive, knowing that without her abilities they will most likely die. When she's discovered and thrown in jail where she can't do anything, the story gets interesting.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've written and sold short stories for years and expected to do so indefinitely. But magazines are going bankrupt daily, including the ones I sold to regularly. So I had to come up with a new model. Indie publishing was a natural fit and I love the freedom of being able to write the stories I want to write instead of the ones the magazines prefer and I love that word count is irrelevant. I no longer have to add a few thousand words or subtract them according to the magazine guidelines!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to do something I love in my own home on my own schedule. I don't have a regular schedule and don't need one because if I don't write for a while, an itch begins somewhere in me and it propels me towards the computer.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! When I wrote for magazines, the circulation numbers told me that people read what I wrote. Now the fans tell me and that's so very important.
What are you working on next?
I'm going to take a one hundred eighty degree turn and go away from legends, fantasy and everything magical and write a clean, small town romance set in a town in northern Minnesota that I created for Spirit Legend. Ducks will feature strongly but the romance will be between human beings.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I browse. Browsing is wonderful and I'm so glad Smashwords and other ebook distributors have made it possible. I also go by author names but mostly I just find the book section I like, then check out the covers and, if one looks interesting, I read the blurb.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was pretty bad, about a girl who moved to Alaska and made a living by shooting wolves for their fur.
What is your writing process?
I sit at the table and write. When I first started, my husband traveled for a living so I only wrote when he was gone. Then he retired and I couldn't write. Literally. Couldn't do it with someone around. But I plunked the seat of my pants to the seat of a chair at the kitchen table with him right there in the room and started writing. It took a long time but the effort was worth it because now I can write in just about any situation. Just about...
How do you approach cover design?
I like to do it myself but I know that professionally designed covers are best. So I do both, depending on the story.
What do you do when you're not writing?
I sell fudge at outdoor markets. Really! When my daughter and grandson started their own business as a response to the effect of the recession on their incomes, my husband and I agreed to be the back-up people. So we sell fudge when they can't or when there are more venues than they can cover by themselves. It's fun and everyone loves fudge. \
Hint: the name of their business is Northwoods Food Factory and they have a website. It's great fudge, it's what our family gave for Christmas for generations that everyone said should be sold commercially.
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Books by This Author

The Tree Thing
Price: Free! Words: 1,980. Language: English. Published: April 21, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
(3.50 from 2 reviews)
A descendant of Ceres, goddess of the harvest, was dumped a year ago by her fiance. Bad idea, be careful around a goddess! Now he wants to reconcile but nothing is simple where goddesses are concerned. Or is it?
Write Fiction Like A Pro
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 20,650. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Education & Study Guides » Reference
Fifty plus tips and tricks of writing fiction that were learned over the years through trial and error and from other writers, workshops, books and classes. This book allows you to skip the years it normally takes to learn this yourself. Then put it on your closest shelf because you will refer to it time and time again.
The River Boy
Price: Free! Words: 3,080. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(4.00 from 1 review)
Short YA fantasy romance about a girl who falls in love with the prince of a river.
The Goldfish Pond
Price: Free! Words: 2,300. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.00 from 1 review)
Short fantasy story about a boy who disappears while sailing across a goldfish pond on an old barn door.
Down From the Mountain
Price: Free! Words: 2,630. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
(3.50 from 2 reviews)
Free short sci-fi dystopian story first published in The Talking Stick about a group of people about to executed because, though they've done nothing wrong, they are carriers of a fatal flu.
Why Birds Fly
Price: Free! Words: 720. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
One page Creation-type short story telling how birds learned to fly that's written in a style similar to Native American storytelling.
Wanted: Sharpshooter
Price: Free! Words: 31,800. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Gothic
A rogue puma threatens a high-end wilderness horse training facility and the only person capable of ending the threat is the new hire, a former Army Ranger sharpshooter. And the only way he can save both horses and people is by putting the entire place in lockdown. If you like eco-fiction with a strong sense of place and a lot of realistic action, this is the book for you.
When Dreams Do Come True
Price: Free! Words: 14,570. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
What if you had a dream so real you couldn't ignore it? A dream of a lost child you alone could save? And what if everyone around you would laugh if you acknowledged your dream? What would you do? What should you do? This novelette by veteran romance writer Florence Witkop tells what happens when one woman has that dream and makes a choice that changes her entire life.
The Eye of The Universe
Price: Free! Words: 6,600. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Gothic, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(4.00 from 1 review)
The world will end unless two lovers agree to be separated for eternity. This quick read of a little less than 7,000 words by veteran romance writer Florence Witkop deals with what happens when one of those lovers learns the terms... and refuses to abide by them.