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Tuesday, December 19, 2017


If you love horses, you'll love getting to know the books written by Carly Kade. Last week, I posted Part One of Carly's interview. Today, Carly talks more about her inspiration and writing life. If you're an aspiring author, you'll love the insights Carly provides in this second part of her interview.
Read on!
When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
I don’t always know where my characters are going to take me. I let them lead and write their journey down as it comes. I don’t force a twist or a turn. My character development just comes naturally when I tap into that special zone and let my heart (and the characters) guide the writing. 
In the Reins began with the poem about McKennon Kelly, then I wrote the ending of the book first, and from there I wrote chapter by chapter in order. Writing Cowboy Away was SO different. I let the book lead me, and it had me jumping all over the place! One day I would be working on page 14 and then the next I’d be on page 101. The book came to me in pieces because every member of the Green Briar bunch had a story to share.
Out of the protagonists you’ve written about so far, which one do you feel you relate to the most?
I think one similarity between the leading lady of In The Reins and me is our unabashed love for horses. There’s no place I’d rather be than spending time with my horse. Just like Devon, I’m happiest when I am in the saddle.

As I wrote Devon’s story, a big difference between us unfolded as her character became far more risky in the saddle (and in love) than I think myself to be. Like it says in Devon’s intro video from my “Meet the Characters” series, she is a little bit of a train wreck. Devon talks to herself in her mind a
lot. I try to go about my day as clear-minded and present as possible. It isn’t always easy, but thanks to meditation I definitely have a quieter mind than Devon does!  

I can relate to all the things that make up Devon Brooke (the good and the bad) because those things are inherently female. Devon Brooke represents all the mixed emotions that make up a woman; strength, independence, uncertainty, desire to find love, and that little bit of neurosis I think a woman can harbor when her fantasies don’t exactly match up with reality. Devon’s judgment certainly becomes impaired over a cute guy in cowboy boots!  

Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.
I have designed a plan for my writing life. I get up every morning at 5:30 am and start my day by writing before I go to my corporate job. At the end of the week, my husband reads back to me the chapters I’ve written. The routine works. I finished two books this way, and I’m already writing the third.

It is always a challenge balancing a corporate life with a creative one, but I found writing Cowboy Away a little easier because I had already written a book. I think getting the first book written is always the toughest because your mind can play tricks on you.
The secret was sticking to the morning writing routine that I established while writing In the Reins. Having scheduled time for my creativity really helped move the sequel forward. I am not a morning person, but the commitment to my morning routine keeps my creativity alive. 
Also, I made the rule to “touch” my story every day.  As long as I stay engaged with what I’m writing, the world I’m creating is never far from reach. It’s when I’ve been away from my words for extended periods of time that I find it hardest to get back to writing it so I try not to let that happen.
Reflecting on the process today, it feels as if In the Reins and Cowboy Away just flowed out of me and was something I had to do. That’s the way, I feel about having a horse in my life, too. It’s just something I have to do. Writing novels about horses and riding them are both good for my creative soul. 

Where is your favorite place to write?
In my home office and often after I ride. I usually have to scurry to capture the words on the only thing I can find when inspiration suddenly hits me ... torn out insides of my horse's feedbags! I scribble down my thoughts while perched on hay bales listening to the sounds of the horses rustling in their stalls.
How did you break into publishing?
In recent years, the self-publishing industry has exploded and new tools for self-publishing have removed barriers for authors who prefer to go it alone — I am one of them. Equestrian fiction authors are often told that their books (with an equine twist) are too niched. I don't agree. 

My goal was to write a story with an honest depiction of the human-horse bond while at the same time giving readers the experience of falling in love with the characters of my book. After some extensive research, I decided to self-publish my first novel and skip the conversation about my book being too specialized to market. 

As a self-published author, I get a say ... I hire the editors and proofreaders who work on my novels. I work with the designers of my book covers. I conduct my own video shoots. I arrange events. I handle my own marketing via various author pages, my website and my social media channels.  I determine the price and positioning of my books. I appreciate that self-publishing allows me freedom with my creativity ... I especially like that can write at my own pace. 

What marketing strategies do you find most helpful? Any resources you would recommend to other authors or aspiring authors?
I released In The Reins in December of 2015. My background in marketing, events, social media, brand and public relations gave me a foundation for doing the launch of the book myself. 

I had so much fun promoting it. I used a lot of video. First, I released a short video teaser to indicate the book was coming soon. Then, I made a series of “Meet the Character” video shorts to introduce each one to future readers and then I released the full-length book trailer just before the book was released. I had a lot of fun making a holiday themed book trailer since I released the book just before the holidays.


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