A warm hello today to Florence Witkop. Tell us about yourself, Florence.
Wife, mother, grandmother, writer, slow workaholic (can’t sit still but I’m never in a hurry), reader, political junkie.
I’ll have to remember that one-slow workaholic. Have you had other careers before becoming a writer? I’ve been a teacher, census taker, fishing resort owner, information technology person.
How did you get started writing? I live in the north woods and had to drive many miles over roads that weren’t the best to a teaching job. One day I decided I’d rather work right in my own home as a writer. And I’ve been doing it ever since.
Sounds good! What genre do you write in?
Romance because I want there to be a romance in everything I read and I write what I like to read. I live in the wilderness and that seems to creep into my works until my stories have been described as eco-fiction, a genre I didn’t even know existed until it was used in conjunction with my books. And I love supernatural elements so, even though I write small town, rural and/or wilderness romances, they often have a supernatural theme or element. I don’t do erotic romance because I can’t write and laugh at the same time and that’s what happens every time I try to write one of those really steamy scenes. I do have sex in my books if it’s appropriate, just not the steamy kind.
I can empathize! How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite? I’ve written short fiction for over thirty years. I just started writing novels and now have three done and am working on a fourth. I’ve discovered that writing novels isn’t just writing longer short stories. Instead, it’s a whole different way of telling a story.
The ‘Legend’ series is about legends that turn out to be true. The first, Spirit Legend, is about a legend of a spirit living in a remote, wilderness lake that will die if the lake it lives in is allowed to drain dry. The second, Wolf Legend, that I’m almost done with, is about a legend of huge, dire wolves that people insist have been sighted on a remote island, one of which shares thoughts with the heroine. The third book of the Legend series, which isn’t on paper yet but is pretty well worked out in my mind, will be about the legend of Ceres, the goddess of the harvest, and one of her descendants who stows away on a space ship carrying people planning to colonize a far distant planet. She knows their crops will fail if she isn’t there to oversee things. I can’t promise that there will be more Legend books but there will be if my subconscious is working normally.
What inspired your latest book? I live in an area where wolves are found so there’s a lot of talk in my neighborhood about wolves, both favorable and unfavorable. My characters know both sides. I personally love some things about wolves (their family life is admirable and they are beautiful animals) but I do not romanticize them and I do respect the fact that God or nature has decreed that they be intelligent predators.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories? Everywhere.
Do you have a blog? I have a blog. http://FlorenceWitkop.com I try to post at least one a week and most of my posts are tips for writers in which I pass on things I’ve learned over the years, mostly from other writers, about the craft of writing fiction.
What is your favorite part of writing? Rewriting. Definitely. Because I can take something and make it better, smoother, easier to read and understand.
What is your least favorite part of writing? The first draft. Hate it.
What is your typical day like? All over the place. I try to find enough time to actually write but sometimes that’s hard.
How does your family feel about your writing career? They are okay with it. Great conversational gambit.
How has your experience with self-publishing been? It’s a whole new world, one that’s both fascinating and daunting.
What was the deciding factor in self-publishing? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both? I’d been writing short fiction for magazines (confession) for years. The publishers worried about marketing, not me. But print publications are going out of business daily so I decided to become my own publisher. What a shock! It’s a whole different thing!
What did you do to promote your work? At first, nothing because I didn’t know what to do. I’m learning and I think Goodreads is the most wonderful online site there is because it caters to both readers and writers and brings them together.
How long have your books been out? I dipped my toe in the waters of self-publishing less than a year ago with one short story. I then went on to novellas and then to novels. Each publication has been an interesting journey and I look forward to more such journeys as I continue to write and to learn the process of self-publishing.
What advice can you offer readers of self-pubbed books in making a decision on what to read? Go with your gut. You can’t judge how good a book is by price, cover, or blurb. Just by gut.
How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book? It happens occasionally. My family likes the fact that I’m a writer but they don’t like appearing in my stories, which they sometimes do.
What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why? I’m the peacemaker of the family so intentionally creating conflict is almost impossible. I can only do conflict well if it’s in the situation, not between the characters because I think any characters who can’t settle their own conflicts aren’t worth writing about.
The Eye of the Universe:
When Dreams Come True: