I’m very excited to introduce to all of you one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. P.S. Winn is an inspiring (seemingly non-stop) author and enthusiastic reader. She has been gracious enough to read and review each one of my books, all while writing more than three dozen of her own. Enough of the fluff, let’s get to the meat of this BACKSTAGE chat and hear from P.S. Winn, herself.
BC: So, at this point you’ve written how many books in what period of time?
PSW: I just finished book 41, although I hadn’t planned on writing it. I began 4 years ago. This current book is a collection of poetry that scans through the ages of my life, too many to admit to.
BC: You just can’t stop writing, can you? 😉
PSW: Actually, I have asked myself that very question more than once. It does seem once I began putting the words on paper I couldn’t stop. I write long hand and it seems as soon as that pen touches paper (no pencils for me) the words just flow and thank goodness for that.
BC: Having them flow like that is certainly better than the alternative. Tell us about the style and genre of your books.
PSW: OMG, you are asking a lot here. I write preschool, young adult and so many novels of different genres. I tend to lean toward the supernatural with a link to the spiritual. I have one non-fiction I had to write because I met an inventor who had a patented invention that could burn garbage without pollution and was also creating energy. Of course, the man and the invention were suppressed, hence the name, “Suppression.”
BC: So would you say writing energizes or exhausts you?
PSW: Definitely energizes me. I am so passionate about books, both reading and writing. I am a top reader and reviewer on Goodreads and on Amazon – I have done thousands of reviews.
BC: It’s amazing that you are also able to find the time to read as much as you do. Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
PSW: I would have to say hurt. You can’t have a big ego, especially if you get a bad review. As a writer you have to be able to take criticism in the same manner you do praise – not an easy task.
BC: What is the first book that made you cry? (not written by you.)
PSW: I would have to say it was “Where the Red Fern Grows.” Either that or “Old Yeller.” I also loved both of the movies made from those books. I am not much of a crier, but I am touched by any story where the underdog comes out on top.
BC: Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
PSW: They could, but not a good writer. I know when I am writing, the story goes through my mind as I put the words to paper and sometimes, especially during a horrific or emotional scene, I have to step away and catch my breath.
BC: What is your writing Kryptonite?
PSW: I think it is too many words when a few would suffice. I am not only avid about writing, but I love to talk and getting too carried away can be a problem.
BC: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
PSW: Start earlier. I didn’t begin writing until I was 51. If I wrote 41 books in those few years, just think how many I could have done now. Or maybe I would have burnt out. I have never had a writing block yet, but have heard several people say they have and I hear it is not something that I would care to endure.
BC: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
PSW: The biggest change was once I actually wrote one and got good feedback, all I wanted to do was write more.
BC: I hear you. It’s addicting. Kind of like tattoos and binge-watching Netflix TV shows. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
PSW: Good question. I have put some money into promotion companies and it didn’t really help my sales. The best money I spend is on paper and pens.
BC: My hand hurts just thinking about writing that way. Kudos to you for doing what works for you. What’s the best way to market your books?
PSW: This relates to the last question. For me the best marketing is when I place my books on Twitter and Facebook in the groups and do my own promotion, especially when I am having a sale.
BC: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
PSW: I think so. For me, writing is a great a way to release tension. I think everyone should have a journal where they can let their emotions out on paper. Even if you write something and then throw it away, anxiety and anger can be unleashed. I find that even when I write cards and letters to friends and family I express myself better in words on a page.
BC: What I like best about writing my feelings is that people can’t interrupt me or my train of thought. Subject change: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
PSW: I don’t have much of a problem with that, maybe because I was raised with 5 brothers and then had 5 sons.
BC: Lots of testosterone! How many hours a day do you write?
PSW: I have no idea. I don’t have time set aside or keep track. I do a lot of writing in my notebooks while I am waiting in places like doctors offices. I have the patience of a gnat and having the notepad and pen with me makes the time go smoother. I always have my own notebooks and also a book by other author’s sitting in my car.
BC: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
PSW: I love the good reviews of course, but I read every review and try to use them to help improve my writing. I have to say sometimes you get a review that is so totally off course you have to wonder about the writer. I have noticed most of those are anonymous and I have heard feedback from other authors who have said there are people out there who right derogatory reviews on purpose. That is so sad and wrong. I have had many author friends who have almost stopped writing because of vicious words said. I suppose this a part of everyone’s life, not just writers…and it is sad. When I write reviews, I will not give under a 3 star or I won’t write one. I think a lot of what a reader gets from a book comes from their own imagination. No two people read a book and finish that last page with the same story in their minds. A good reader only makes a book better.
BC: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
PSW: I feel I have already given up some things, like family time. I am so lucky that my family knows me and also know to stay away when I am engrossed in a book, both writing and reading.
BC: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
PSW: That depends. I know once when I had the flu I wrote a book in a week. I’d say on average it takes me just over a month. Even the book “Tunnels” that’s over 600 pages didn’t take much longer than that. I am a slow typist and also have some health issues that will be making me even slower, but where there’s a will there is a way. Besides, if I didn’t put the words to paper and out of this crazy mind of mine, I wouldn’t get any sleep. I have been known to write a novel on my way into dream land and then continuing through it.
BC: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
PSW: It would have to be a teddy bear. My maiden name is bear and I love big hugs.
BC: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. You’ve always been a huge supporter of mine. It’s an honor to have someone with your passion, knowledge, and energy in my court.
PSW: I want to thank you for asking me to give you feedback on this crazy world of writing. I am no expert, but I think my passion comes across in my books and I hope the readers feel that. I hope they will look for the books. They can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I would love you to check out the books and grab a few! Thanks again for letting me put in my two cents worth for this interview – so good of you.
If you’re familiar with an author you’d like to see featured on BACKSTAGE or if you are an author who’s interested in participating, shoot me a line: brad @ bradcarl.com