So you all have to know I’m a big FAN of anything to do with creativity, so I’m VERY excited to share an interview with Kinda Wilson today because her new book is all about finding your own creative self and bringing it to the world. You’ll want to read this one.
1.Tell us about your book.
The idea for The Echo Factor came to me when I wasn’t looking for it, as I think most of my good ideas do. I was reading an article talking about echoes in the brain, and the entire concept fascinated me. Oddly enough, everywhere I turned that week I heard about echoes, and the idea picked up from there. I ended up with this book, which covers the topics of finding your voice, overcoming your fears, leaving the past behind, and having an influence. All of the topics tie together and tie in the concept of echoes. It was a fun project for me to write, because I love taking disparate ideas or concepts and linking them together. The Echo Factor is made to resemble a research journal and has loose-leaf inserts related to the research throughout the pages. I want The Echo Factor to feel like you’ve stumbled upon an adventure when you open the book.
2. What stories, themes, motivations do you find yourself drawn to in your work and in the works you read?
In nonfiction books, I love reading books that give me insight or help me look at life in a way that I haven’t before. The books that give me that “Aha!” moment when reading them. I also like books with a creative or artistic twist. When I was creating The Echo Factor, I kept thinking, Is this a book I would buy? I want to create something that I would be fascinated by, and if I do that, other people will be intrigued by it as well.
3. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I like traveling and working with start-up companies. Those two interests combined recently, and I teamed up with my friend to launch a travel website to help girls travel cheaply and safely in Europe. We backpack overseas when we can, or I hit the road for more local road trips. I’m also a fan of coffee shops, so I’m always trying the local places when I travel.
4. Describe the first 2-3 steps of your process in writing your book.
I think my writing process might be a bit different. After I get an idea for a book, I start researching anything and everything related to it. I go down plenty of research rabbit trails to find information. And then I get stacks and stacks of sticky notes and put ideas everywhere and fill up white boards. I don’t write in a linear fashion; it’s more like I’m writing all parts of the book at once, which can get a little overwhelming. From there, I start editing the pieces down and working on the overall flow of the book.
5. How do you balance what will sell with what you want to say?
This is a process my book team and I debate about. I know some things aren’t marketable, and I let them go if they’re not important to me. On the other hand, some things I just want in the book because it’s my labor of love and I think I should get to throw a thing or two in just because I want to! What it came down to with The Echo Factor was if several people on my team or my beta readers said something was confusing, unappealing, or irrelevant, it ended up being changed. And I kept things that I loved about the book if there was some disagreement about its usefulness among the team. I hope I found the balance in that issue because I’d like for the book to sell, but I’d also like to write something that is authentic to me.
6. Which is more difficult – drafting or revising? Why?
With this book, the drafting was more difficult. There were so many pieces to the book that I almost didn’t know where to start. It’s like I had forty or fifty puzzle pieces and no clear idea of what the end picture was supposed to look like. After I got further into the process, it was easier to tighten up the outline and flow.
7. What is your favorite part about being a writer?
I like the creative element of making an artistic work. And also of hearing from readers who gained insight in what I created. It feels good to be able to be able to give those elements to people.
8. What is your least favorite part about being a writer?
That you can’t really leave the work at work somewhere else. The work is always right there with you on your laptop and in your mind (which is good for getting creative ideas but bad for taking a vacation).
9. When you write, who do you imagine as your reader?
For this latest book, I imagined the reader as someone who would have similar tastes as me: someone who appreciated artistic elements in books, liked learning new and different things, and would be drawn to something that was different.
10. How did you learn to write?
I grew up reading stacks of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, and Three Investigators books. I’m sure I learned the elements of writing in school, but it was those hours of reading growing up that helped me know when something was “off” when reading through a rough draft. It helped get me an early start on the flow of a good story as well.
11. What are some things that get in the way of your writing? How do you move them out of the way?
If I’m not on a deadline or feeling motivated, it’s hard to churn out hours of writing and research. This is where my coffee shops come in. All of the people coming and going in the coffee shop keeps my mind entertained, and the little table helps me not to wander off and get distracted!