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Member Spotlight: Karen A. Wyle

Author Karen A. Wyle and an image of her book Far from Mortal Realms

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Since childhood, writing has felt like my innate, inborn purpose. I stopped trying to write fiction for many years, and despite goals achieved or exceeded during those years, I feel closer to whole since I finally became an author. (I’m self-published, I add to dispel any inference that “being” published was key). As for why the world needs written fiction (as opposed to the basic ability to pass information by writing): humanity is desperately in need of empathy, and reading fiction is one of the best ways to develop and nurture that capacity.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I haven’t had much trouble with it up until now. This may be because I’ve written my novels during National Novel Writing Month, which requires a headlong race to write a very rough draft. My sticking points come later, during the revision process. This year, however, I’m trying to plot a novel before writing it, and I don’t know whether I’ll encounter writer’s block at the actual drafting stage. Wish me luck!

What is your favorite time to write? I prefer to write in variable chunks of time, from 5-10 minutes up to 45-60, all through the day and evening. I’ve been self-employed for many years and am now quasi-retired, so that’s been feasible.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Paradoxically, it’d be “don’t take anyone’s advice as gospel”! Find what process works for you, no matter what some “authority” preaches as the One and Only Way. An important corollary I’m only now appreciating: don’t be afraid to change your process if the previous process is no longer working for you.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? It’s fantastic to be able to control your own career — pacing, content, volume, packaging — without relying on a gatekeeper, and for readers to be able to get hold of your book for (if you so determine) a relatively modest sum. (Also, compared to the technology available in my first twenty-plus years, I greatly appreciate computers, word processors, and writing software.)

Karen A. Wyle’s Far from Mortal Realms is out now with Oblique Angles Press.