The Journey of an Author - Katrina Byrd

We have a wonderful treat today... Katrina Byrd (The Boa Flouncer) author of  Byrds of a Feather has stopped by!

Tell me, were you a reader before you were a writer? What do you enjoy reading?
I love to read!!  Some of my favorite authors are Barbara Kingsolver, Stephen King John Floyd, Dean Koontz, Ann Patchett and the list goes on.  I like to read a variety of genres.  I really love a great story. 
I developed a love for wonderful storytelling in the first grade.  It was a special treat for me to curl up with a good book and get lost in the action of the characters.  As a child I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Her stories inspired me to tell my own stories.  I started journaling at seven.  I wrote my first story when I was nine.

Is Byrds of a Feather the first book you’ve written?
No.  I have two other books as well.  One HOT Minute is a collection of flash fiction short stories all dealing with something hot.  Justice is Blind is a collection of two short stories and a monologue. 

Where their some particular inspirations for the character’s development or character traits for Byrds of a Feather?
Byrds of a Feather is a humorous motivational book about celebrating life and being you.  Byrds of a Feather was inspired by funny and inspirational quotes I make on facebook.  People always tell me how they love my facebook posts so I decided to make a book in that same format. 
Byrds of a Feather’s title is a play on my last name (Byrd) and the fact that I like to wear feather boas.

There are many roads that lead to becoming a published author, each one littered with its own potholes. What was the most challenging aspect of writing (latest release)? (dialogue, character development, creating names, etc)
With Byrds of a Feather the biggest challenges was making the humor resonate from the page.  There are things that are hilarious when you say them but when you writ it on paper it loses the humor.  So I had to spend a lot of time making the humor sound good on paper.  I also wanted to get messages across without sounding like I was preaching to the reader. 

How did you tackle this challenge?
I tackled this challenge by writing and rewriting.  One of the main things I did was to try to write the humorous anecdotes like I talk. So instead of saying, “I am strutting towards my dreams” I would write “I’m struttin’ toward my dreams.”   At first this felt weird but the more I wrote it the better. 

Being an author is so much more than just writing a good story. Besides the “pen and ink,” what is one of the most difficult things you’ve encountered on your journey as a published author? What helped you get a handle on it?
I think my biggest challenge was marketing my book.  It felt so awkward to me to talk about myself and my writing but it was much easier to do this with social media.  I started an author page on facebook and I became affiliated with writing groups like the Indie Exchange and Book Junkies.  I also put my books on Kindle.  I have learned that marketing is a continuous process.  There’s always wonderful articles about marketing and I’ve connected with other authors and discussed marketing tips.

It sounds like you've come quite a distance. Thank you, (Katrina Byrd), for coming today and sharing a little of your experience with us, for helping us avoid a few potholes on the journey to becoming a published author.

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