Welcome back, TLN'ers!! Hope your weekend was nothing short of FABULOUS!!
I've got just the thing to kick your Moanday off with a boom-boom-pow! How about another segment of A Novice To Watch! But wait, there's more!! Today's Novice Writer is also a GOLDEN HEART FINALIST!!
Please make welcome KELI GWYN!!
If you've been needing a little push to get your game plan going again, sit back, relax, and get ready be inspired!!
1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?
Recent Empty Nester Keli Gwyn is following her longtime dream of writing romance. Each morning, she settles into her cozy but cluttered home office, sets iTunes to serenade her with classical music, and is transported to the second half of the 1800s where she enjoys reliving the early days of California with her characters.
When Keli returns to the present, she ignores the killer dust bunnies breeding in every corner, Mount McLaundry, and anything remotely associated with cooking. Instead, she heads to Taco Bell to fuel her creativity and satisfy her addiction to seven-layer burritos. At the end of the day, after meeting her writing goals, she lets Calgon take her away and enjoys several chapters of a historical romance. Life is good!
2) Using three words, describe your voice.
Heartwarming. Satisfying. Inspiring.
3) When you do get published, where on a bookstore shelf would a Keli Gwyn fan look?
On the long-awaited day when my first book is on the shelf, it would be found in the inspirational fiction section. Most stores shelve the contemporary and historical novels together. If that were the case, my titles would be in great company. To the left one would find books by Robin Jones Gunn. To the right, readers would see those by Cathy Marie Hake. How do I know for sure? Because I’ve stood in the store and imagined my book sandwiched between theirs. Someday . . .
4) Tell us a little bit about your WIP(s)? What kind of word count do you aim for?
I’ve completed five historicals. Four are awaiting much-needed revisions. The other story, with the working title Violets & Violins, is the one my Dream Agent, Rachelle Gardner, read when she served as a final round judge in the Launching a Star contest last fall. She requested the full and made me an offer of representation on the eve of Christmas Eve. Talk about the best Christmas present ever!
I’m revising V&V under Rachelle’s guidance. The story is set in 1870 in the small California Gold Rush town of El Dorado, near where I live in the Sierra Foothills. A determined widow heads west to accept a partnership in a mercantile, but when the handsome owner learns that she’s a woman, he rescinds his offer. Unable to return home, she opens a shop across the street from his. The two fight for the town’s business—and against their growing attraction.
My goal is to write 1,000 words a day, six days a week. Some days, my fingers fly over the keyboard, and I exceed my goal. Other days, I struggle and come up short. If I end up with 5,000 words a week, I’m satisfied.
5) Which MS did you final in the Golden Heart with? Take us back to the day you learned the good news. What was your reaction? How did you celebrate?
I finaled the first time in 2008 with two of my inspirational historicals. I was such a newbie that I didn’t dream of finaling, so I didn’t even know what day the calls were going out. The phone rang, and I thought at first a chapter level contest coordinator was calling. When I heard the words Golden Heart, I was stunned. I grabbed paper and a pen because I was in such a state of shock that I knew I’d never remember what the RWA board member said. I got off the phone and wandered around in a daze for days.
My call this year came at 8 a.m. on the dot. I didn’t have time to get anxious. I’d been up since 6 a.m. hopping between blogs and the RWA website. I was more interested in seeing if some of my writer friends’ names were showing up than I was in looking for my own. I’d already enjoyed the thrill of being a finalist and had my agent, so I was ready to cheer for those who got the GH call.
It’s exciting to be a finalist again. RWA treats us like royalty. I’m part of another great group of finalists, with whom I hang out on our Yahoo! loop, and I get to go to Nationals and spend time with my awesome critique partner, two-time GH finalist Anne Barton, whom I haven’t seen since Nationals two years ago. It will be fun to wear the special ribbon on my nametag, but seeing my writer friends is what I’m most looking forward to.
6) Any advice for those aspiring to enter the Golden Heart this fall? (lol like me!)
Write. Study craft. Rewrite. Edit. Polish. Solicit feedback. Repeat as needed. Submit. Keep writing. Keep studying. Keep hoping. Don’t give up!
7) Where do you go from here? Any future aspirations you'd like to share?
Right now, my goal is to complete the rewrite of my manuscript, send it out for critique, clean it up, and submit it to Rachelle. I’d love for her to tell me it’s ready, but I’m fully prepared to go through more rounds of revisions if need be. We both want the story in the best shape possible before she begins submitting it.
Thanks so much for inviting me to be your guest, Sarah. I’m honored. Your questions were great. Those first two really made me think.
No problem, Keli!! I'm the one honored to have you! I'm so excited for you! I think your accomplishments are stunning. You'll have to give Anne a hug from me, too! You gals sure know how to aim for the stars! I know it won't be long before I'm having you both back as Debut Authors!
If you'd like learn more about Keli Gwyn, stop by her blog, http://keligwyn.blogspot.com/. Here's wishing you all the best, Keli!!
THANK YOU, TLN'ers!! I hope you've gotten a healthy dose of inspiration!! I know I sure did. I think a little LEANN WOMACK and I HOPE YOU DANCE is the perfect song to get you feeling ready to take on the world. Don't be afraid to reach for your dreams! Just keep moving forward and we'll get there together! See you Wednesday!
6 years ago