Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Behind the Book with Karen Vance Hammond #WW

  Karen Vance Hammond


When did you first decide you wanted to be an author?

The very first time I realized I wanted to be an author is when I started writing Shoe Marks a paranormal inspired by true events that took place in Texas. When I sat down to write the incredibly true story that is when I knew that writing and creating novels is my calling.

Tell us about your life when you're not writing?

 My life is not any different from any other mother. I play taxi driver, cook, boo-boo kisser, dry tears and of course try to be the best wife that I can be to my husband. The only difference is my work is writing just like your work maybe a teacher or a doctor.

What's the one thing people don't know about you?

I guess the one thing that people don't know about me is that I used to be a runway model as well as compete in beauty contests. In fact, I was a contestant in the Miss Arkansas pageant.

If you weren't an author, what would your other career choice be?

I would want to be a special education teacher. Many people know I suffer from dyslexia as well as a reading/learning disability. Placed in special education classes all of my scholastic career, including college, I would want to give back to those that helped me. After all, if it wasn't for them, I would not be an author today.

Was there any one person that helped you decide to pursue this path?  If so who?

That's a really tough question. There's not just one particular person that helped me decide to pursue writing.

I think it was a collection of people who encouraged me. After I wrote the first draft of Shoe Marks, I sent it to several friends for their opinion. Every one of them told me that Shoe Marks was incredible and that I had the gift of storytelling.

How do you come up with the stories you write?  

I come up with the stories I write through people that I meet, or dreams that I have. In fact, the fifth novel I am writing, a high school teen gave me the idea, and I went with it. I have also been contacted another family who would like me to write their paranormal true story. This novel will be entitled The Stone.

What's the most frustrating part of being an author in your opinion?

Oh, that's an easy one! Being dyslexic is probably one of the most frustrating things I have to endure when writing. Going back and correcting can get very frustrating. However, last year I gave myself the best birthday present, which was the Dragon speech to text software.

What's the most positive part of being an author in your opinion?

The most positive part about being an author is the feedback that I receive. When I hear that a reader enjoys what I write, it pleases me. It makes me happy and I am encouraged to continue this path.
What category do your books fall under?

The well-known Kimberly Huddle Brouilette and my self have teamed up in completing ‘Secrets in the Shallows’ from The Monastery Murders series, part 1 which is now on the market and my first novel, Shoe Marks falls under the genre of Paranormal, Suspense and thriller.


Have you ever considered writing outside that category?  If so which one and why?

Yes, I have. In fact, I will be writing my autobiography entitled Karen's story: How a young woman with dyslexia combined with a learning disability becomes an award-winning, best-selling author. Readers are intrigued by my life story. I hope it helps people and encouraged them to do what they love and to strive for success.


What advice have you followed that has made a significant change in your perspective? 

When I was struggling through high school and in college barely making it because of my dyslexia and disability, the number one thing that was drilled into my head is this: Never, ever give up for if you have a dream and a desire to do something; otherwise the answer is always going to be a 'no'.

If a new author came to you and asked for advice, what advice would you give?

Never edit your own work. The reason; Writers are too close to their manuscripts. Just like a mother is too close to their baby. They can't see the mistakes. It is always best to have a fresh pair of eyes, especially from an editor.

Would you rather be a self-published author or signed to a major publishing company? 

When I first started the writing process, I knew that I did not want to be self-published. Therefore, I chose to go the traditional route and find a publishing company who believed in me. Anyone can self publish. Unfortunately, many self-publishing companies will give the good writers a bad rap. There are several self-publishing companies who just want your money and they don't care about the quality of the work.

What's the difference between your online personality and your personal life? 

I have to honestly say that my personality does not change. Not even when I'm doing a television/radio interview. What you see with me, is what you get.

When you think about writing, do you consider this more of a professional career or a hobby? 

Well, it's a hobby and a career combined. When I sit down to write, I lose myself in the characters of the manuscript. It is something I relish and enjoy!


What was the first story you wrote?  Did you publish it?

The first story I ever wrote was Shoe Marks, a paranormal inspired by true events that took place in Texas. Synergebooks, a traditional digital and paperback publishing company believed in my work and me and wanted to publish it. It was a hard road but I got there.



How have you changed as an author since your book was published?

The only thing that has changed in me about being an author is the confidence that I have. When I sit down to write or create, I'm not afraid anymore. I don't question myself, "Can I do this?" which is exactly what I did when I sat down to write Shoe Marks. Once I knew that i had it in me the creative juices flowed and hasn't stopped.

Do you consider yourself a sociable person in real life or more private?  

I am a social butterfly! Lol.. my family tells me I can make friends with the brick wall. I enjoy being social and being around people.

What was your favorite vacation, and why?

That is such a hard question because I have wonderful memories about every vacation that I have taken. I guess the one vacation that really stands out is when I went to Mexico on a mission trip. That vacation/mission trip changed me and how I view things.

If you could have your book read by any celebrity, who would it be and why?

I'm gonna have to say I would want my book read by two celebrities. Temple Grandin; I can identify with her on so many levels. See, I couldn’t read a simple book when I was eleven years old. Nor could I speak correctly. The next person would be John Irving, because he has dyslexia.

Are there any social causes that you support?  If so what are they and why?

Yes, I do. I support American Disabilities and St. Jude.


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