Leading up to Read Local, which will be held at Central Library on Saturday, November 4th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, I will be spotlighting different authors who will be attending the event. The first is my good friend and fellow Chesapeake Romance Writers’ Member, Laura Kitchell. Take a peek at my question and answer session with Laura…

1) Do you write your first draft by hand or type? I handwrite my first draft.

2) Pantser or Plotter? I’m a plotser. I plot the main points of conflict my character will need to overcome and the story’s ending. Each scene, however, is driven by character and can surprise and delight me as much as the reader.

3) Research- before or during? For my historical romance, I spend nearly a full year in research before beginning the writing, and I will research aspects of lifestyle and/or placement of key historical figures during the writing. For my contemporary romance, research takes place during the writing.

4) Favorite genre to write? My first love in genre is historical. I also adore fantasy but haven’t done more than dabble. I have a major fantasy project planned, though I may not be able to write it until 2019 as I face a year of research before I can put pen to paper.

5) What inspired you to write? I have been writing since high school. I wrote my first novel in 1993 but didn’t begin earnest effort and growth toward publishing until 2004.

6) Is there a genre that you haven’t written in yet, but is something that interests you? I enjoy sci-fi. I haven’t written in this genre, but it interests me.

7) Who is the author who has influence you the most? I don’t know that I necessarily have an author I’ve read who has influenced me in my writing, but I’ve had a mentor in Judi McCoy (may she rest in peace). Judi taught me about the business of writing and dealing with industry professionals in a way that’s both effective and respectful.

8) Best piece of advice someone has given you? The best advice I have received is to view my books as products. As authors, we pour a piece of ourselves into our work, which makes our books personal to us. Many of us view our work as our children. From a professional standpoint, this can be detrimental. We’re more open to suggested improvements from editors and critique partners if we consider our writing a product that’s intended to be marketed and sold.

9) Who is your favorite author? I have a number of authors I enjoy reading. Cheryl Brooks, Madeline Hunter, and Olivia Cunning are only a few.

10) What is your favorite book on writing/reference source? Although many authors find them useful, books that offer tips on writing aren’t part of my library. I do, however, use a number of reference sources. I have a growing library of historical books and books on mythology/legend. My most used sources, though, are Roget’s Thesaurus and Merriam Webster’s Dictionary.

Thank you, Laura!


When she is not at work, Ann can be found with her nose in a book or looking for her glasses.

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