Why I Write

A question was posed to me not too long ago and this is what I came up with:

I remember being in a college poetry writing class and the teacher, who was a poet himself, tried to interpret one of my poems. I used a roller coaster as a metaphor in it, but that roller coaster did not under any circumstances symbolize sex (something I guess it usually means).

To me, it symbolized the ups and downs of one’s life in middle school, high school, and college with friends. Now maybe I was “wrong” and maybe the teacher was “right”, but sometimes these symbols just happen by chance.

I never think about symbolism when I write poetry. I just allow the poem to flow. I don’t spend a lot of time on a poem– maybe 3 hours– tops. And these poems are genuinely good enough for publication consideration at that level. So if I can gander any thought into 3 hours of work, I can tell you that I’m not contemplating symbolism. I’m just channeling something from deep within. A thought, a feeling, an experience I’ve learned from.

And no teacher on earth can tell me that they know me just by word alone. You have to taste, touch, and feel every thought I’ve encountered to know why I chose each and every word for that poem. Some of them took a lifetime of learning to experience the writing, while others were purely exploratory, and only I know the difference.

Changing Times in Social Networking

Many sites have done it in the past, and it now seems that Facebook is following suit. Status updates have become a commodity in the cyber world. Many average people don’t seem to be bothered by it. They are usually only posting pictures of cats and kids to a small number of close-knit friends, but others are starting to get hopping mad because they may now have to fork over some cash to get their fan followers to see their updates.

This seems to be greatly effecting the writing community, and I believe that to be attributed to the fact the mostly writers are on Facebook. Many musicians seem to be using the vamped up version of Myspace and many artists are using other social networking venues. Many of the authors you see on Facebook were pioneers, having been on Facebook since before it became cool. They started out with personal pages and used those as their fan page WAY before Facebook came up with business pages to like.

And now it seems that a status update, meant for hundreds of your friends and fans, will only be seen by a small few. At least, that’s according to the buzz that I’ve seen in several heated status updates as of late. Some writers have become so frustrated with their dwindling fan interaction that they have started to shell out some cold, hard cash to up their networking ante.

I personally have not spent any money, and I don’t think I see myself doing so anytime in the near future. It’s not because I don’t see the value in it, I’m sure there is plenty, or Facebook would not be proposing it. BUT I do view what is going on a little differently through my own observations.

First, on my own personal page, I have noticed that anyone who interacts with me on a regular basis is on my newsfeed, and I am on theirs, as well. If I have added someone to my newsfeed by clicking on the notifications tab underneath the friend button on their profile, they will also show up on my newsfeed, but that does not mean that I will show up on their feed. I’ll only show up there if they start interacting with me on my page, and not just their own.

Another way for people to show up on your feed is if you have corresponded through the private messenger. Again, both parties are engaging in a conversation, so it would seem logical for the people you talk to to show up in your feed.

Other factors may include your internet influence. In other words, if you engage with a lot of people, a lot of the time, you have some clout, or as another site likes to spell it, Klout. This site can gauge your presence on the internet and will let you know how influential you really are throughout all the social sites, not just Facebook.

These factors are very important to consider when interacting with fans, not just your friends. But how do you know when too much is too much? Fans aren’t always people you have known from high school, work, or even socially face-to-face. Some of them contact you to say hello and thank you for writing books X,Y, and Z for them because it shaped them into the people they are today. Some of them stay connected to you for years on end because your words and kindness mean that much. And it’s at that point that this particular writer considers those fans, friends. But not every fan feels that way. Some are never that close. Some just stick around for a week, or just until another book from another author strikes their fancy. So how can you find a balance as an author without sounding, dare I say, too sales pushy?

I honestly think it’s a fine line. Many of my interactions with fans have nothing to do with my books. Most of the time I spend with them is liking a status they made, or leaving them a comment to one of their cat pictures they have posted, or I’ll wish them a happy birthday if Facebook let’s me know it’s their day. I do this NOT to be sales pushy. I do this because I am genuinely grateful for their time and admiration. It doesn’t go unnoticed with me and I try to make that known to them as best as I can personally, and not just in a blog post or newsletter.

Now, before I start hearing a choir of pounding hearts and get drenched from the sweat of the palms of nervous newbie writers wondering how to carve out networking time, let me explain how long saying hello takes me. It takes about 5-10 hours a week. I only spend five hours during my busy weeks and ten when I have more time. There are weeks when I may not get to it, but I try to be as consistent as possible. Do I get to everyone? Probably not. I’m sure there are a few people that I’ve managed to miss due to an extensively growing friends list, but the point is I try, and I think that counts more than the dollars you spend.

Building Character

There’s a few tips and tricks that writers have when they want to complete a book in a month. One of them is sticking to just the main plot and worry about the subplot(s) during revision, but I did something by accident that could be considered a quick tip too.

Naming characters has always been hard for me. It’s a lot like naming your child. You want it memorable and respected, not made fun of. I’d spend hours researching for the perfect name that had a perfect meaning for the story. It was torture because by the time I finished researching, I had forgotten what the plot was about! But my most recent work was a little different. I spent time thinking more about what the characters looked like and less time on their names. In other words, I spent time building character.

I think in all the years I’ve spent writing, I spent the least amount of time on names with Forever Friends. The time was so minimal that I actually didn’t think about giving any of them last names until the second revision! And some of them had about 2-3 name changes before the first revision. During research for a vampire character, I had found that the name of a “famous” vampire hunter happened to be the name I chose for an actual vampire. Ouch! That really wasn’t what I had in mind. So I went back to the drawing board and came up with name fit for a king. And it was a good thing too because many vampires respect my Alec and consider him a king of his clan.

I can’t tell you how liberating it was to wait to name a character. I really felt I got to know all of them first. I didn’t feel speed- dating- rushed, and that made our first encounter more memorable. The worst feeling in the world is to rush your feelings of your romantic hero (or heroine for that matter). I honestly feel cheap and used when I do that and then lose interest in the story all together.

Amanda

About Me

All About the Author, Blogger, Poet, Publisher, and Writer Kimberley Linstruth-Beckom and Amanda Kimberley

I have two alter egos.  One is Kimberley Linstruth-Beckom, the no nonsense non-fiction writer and the other is Amanda Kimberley, the fiction author.  I’ll write more about my fiction side in a bit, but for now here’s the facts…

 

I’ve resided in New England all of my life, living in MA for a very short time and CT for the better portion of my childhood and adulthood.  My best friends in life consist of my husband, Scott,

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two daughters, Brittanny and Olivia, who I do not publicly post pictures of, my dog Sport, IMG_0445 my cat Onyx,Onyx3 my fish Goldie and Pinkie, and hamsters Pumpkin and Peanut.

I’ve been writing for three quarters of my life which spans 3 decades.  I write in various genres and have become a nationally recognized blogger (Health.com) for my Fibro and Fabulous blog, as well as, an award winning poet.  My favorite fiction genre is novel writing on the paranormal.

In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, yoga, cooking, hiking, gaming, reading romance novels, and crocheting.

Amanda Kimberley, the alter ego of non-fiction author Kimberley Linstruth-Beckom, has also been writing various genres for over 30 years.  Amanda prefers to keep her feet slightly off the ground while writing.  The effect helps to keep her head in the clouds while creating fantasy worlds.

Amanda has recently finished an anthology compiled of poetry and shorts entitled The Fast Still Life which is available through Lulu.com and other retailers.  Her current works in paranormal romance have the working titles, Forever Friends, Forever Bound, and Manifestations.  She is also currently working on a contemporary romance called Down by the Willow Tree.

Join Amanda Kimberley here as she discusses her adventures with characters, plots, and scenes.  She may also discuss other matters pertaining to writing for all the authors out there as well.  There also are other times where she may go completely off topic if she is either highly caffeinated or sleep deprived.  You have been warned LOL!

Gotta Love All the New Technology Out There!

I love technology.  I’m really a big fan.  I love all the new bells and whistles that come with the latest and the greatest, but I have a confession to make… I get lazy when it comes to updating my author website!  Yup guilty as charged!  I have such an old site that I was 2 updates behind for my data base!

If I was up-to-date I would have already had my blog and website linked where you could read all of my posts right on one website without having to click all over internet creation.  My website looks a little too much like those 80′s hair bands at the moment.  A lot of pretty looking things, but oh so dated LOL!  Jeeshish!

Well, hopefully I can redeem myself now and get a little more into this decade of design while combining all my writings, both fiction and non-fiction into this new site.  I hope you have as much fun perusing as I will creating!