Interview with Kathleen Buckley

What's the story behind your latest book?
Everything I write grows out of a collision of facts, memories and observations. Something I’ve read in a newspaper, a friend’s anecdote, and something I’ve seen may come together to form the basis for a story. In GETTING BY, the seed began with a news article about a young child being sent to the grocery late at night, a letter in the Ann Landers column that haunted me for years and a story about hungry children. What I can't tell you is how those three things combined to form the story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I finished GETTING BY several years ago and set out to find an agent. The first two took six months each to get around to telling me they weren't interested; one of them I had to query because she'd forgotten she had it. After that, I figured out that multiple simultaneous submissions were necessary. The next couple of dozen were also not interested. Apparently, if it's not by a known author, or is not about zombies, teenage vampires or vast international conspiracies, it's too risky to take on. After letting it sit for another year or eighteen months, a friend mentioned that his instructor published on Smashwords™. It took me a few more months to overcome my reluctance to try it. I finally decided that I had nothing to lose. I've come to feel that it's better that a book should have the chance to fail because readers don't like it, rather than never get a chance because agents or publishers think it's not commercial enough to bother with.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love watching the characters and action develop over the course of the book or story. Some writers plan out their books in such detail that they know everything that's going to happen from the first line to the last line. It's not like that for me, because I don't usually know how the character will react in a given situation until I'm writing it. A major element I'd planned for GETTING BY, which would have made it a much darker tale, never materialized because . . . well, because the characters took over and took it in a different direction.
What are you working on next?
For many years I've been a big admirer of the late Georgette Heyer's historical romances. I'm working on something in that style.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many! Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels, Andrew Vachss, Jane Austen, Robert B. Parker, J.A. Jance, John Dickson Carr, Georgette Heyer, Tony Hillerman, Jim Butcher, Naomi Novik, George R.R. Martin . . . the list goes on and on, and I'm sure I'm forgetting someone. Some of the listed authors are now dead, but their books are still worth re-reading.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
It's not inspiration. It's sunlight and hungry cats.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I read. Sometimes I research and make medieval or Renaissance garb, or visit local historical sites (New Mexico is full of them), cook, play with the cats, and visit flea markets. .
What is your writing process?
An idea nibbles at my mind until I sit down and start writing. When it's flowing well, I can write for five or six hours a day. If I hit a wall and can't seem to move forward, it's almost always because I'm trying to make one of the characters do something out of character for him or her. Then I give up my idea and go with what the character feels comfortable doing. As I write, when I come to something I need to check, (for instance, when did pre-cooked bacon go on the market?) I stop and research the point. I never did find out when pre-cooked bacon was available, so I didn't use it in GETTING BY, and John had to make do with a peanut butter and jelly waffle sandwich.
Published 2013-09-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Minor Miracles
Price: Free! Words: 5,090. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
If you’re a financially successful single mother but don’t know the name of your daughter’s teacher or that you have a cat; if you’re 40 and own a pith helmet and an Indiana Jones hat instead of stocks and bonds; if you can build a dollhouse but have trouble reading a bus schedule; if you talk to statues . . . maybe you need a minor miracle.
Getting By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 110,640. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age
John, dumpster-diving adolescent loner—and proud of it!—, is appalled when his mother comes home with a baby girl but no formula or diapers. With the help of the only two adults he trusts, John raises his sister, defies his ruthless grandfather, conceals his own inner wolf, goes to school, makes money, inherits money, and fears change. Will he try to embrace it?—and Alexandra, his only friend?