Welcome, L.G. Tell us about yourself.
I am a mother of two boys, and I have another child on the way. Life with my kids and my husband can be crazy, but I manage to somehow get some writing done with everything else going on around me. I’m also an avid science fiction fan and consider the word “geek” to be a flattering description.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was six years old when I first started to write. I was fascinated with books and the fact that someone created them. To my mind, that was an astonishing power, and I wanted to be able to do this amazing thing. My stories were awful at first, but I never gave up, and my writing improved over time.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I’m always open to ideas when they come. I almost always have a notebook or notebook paper with me, because inspiration can come from anywhere. For example, the Self-Help 101 series was born after I was online looking through books and began to wonder if there was a self-help book out there for everything. Later that day, I was listening to the Pinky & the Brain theme song, and the two ideas merged. Within days, I was writing Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family. I made it into a Christmas novella because I knew I could have it done in time for a Christmas release. The idea for the rest of the series and pairing each one up with a different holiday followed naturally from there.
What does your family think of your writing?
Many of them are supportive. My dad has always been interested on what I’m working on. My husband seems to think of my writing as some kind of superpower. Then again, I see people who can paint or draw a beautiful picture in the same way, so maybe it’s not such a strange reaction. My kids seem to think it’s cool that mommy “makes books.” Others don’t seem to take my writing dreams as seriously, thinking that it probably won’t get anywhere. I understand why they might think that since it isn’t easy to get established, but I try not to let those doubts get to me.
What do you think makes a good story?
A writer who is passionate about the story they’re writing is essential. If a writer isn’t invested in the story and characters, it shows. I also think good character interaction can make a story much more enjoyable. You can have the best plot in the world (which means a lot, don’t get me wrong), but if your characters aren’t dynamic and don’t interact with each other in an interesting and believable way, you’ll lose a lot of readers.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Writing gives me the chance to take a break and be someone else for a little while. I love being able to live through someone else’s experiences. Sure, my characters are fictional, but they have the ability to go anywhere and do anything. I can travel to strange worlds. I can be a teenager and experience that exhilaration of finding your first love all over again. Being a writer is an amazing thing.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Be patient. It can take a long time and a lot of hard work before you get anything published. That’s okay. Take the time to learn the craft the best you can, and practice, practice, practice. If you keep working at it, you can make it. Most of all, keep writing because you love it.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
It depends on the story. I write some stories in the hope that they might inspire someone to think about a topic in a new way. Even when I have that as a goal, though, I know that will never happen unless readers find the story enjoyable to read. If a story is well-written and entertaining, a reader will be more likely to remember your story months or years after reading it.
Overall, though, I’m not writing in the hope that I’ll change someone’s life forever with my words. While it would be great to do that, it’s a lofty and difficult goal to reach. Instead, I hope people enjoy the stories I tell.
Share with us your latest book.
Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury
Author: L.G. Keltner
Length: 25,000 words
Cover Art: L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Book 2 in the Self-Help 101 series
Dani Finklemeier has self-published her guide to taking over the world, but she still isn’t rich. Now she’s eighteen, still babysitting for money, and looking forward to starting college in the fall.
Of course, she has to survive a 4th of July outing with her family first. That’s a challenging prospect considering she has to be in close proximity with a group of cousins known as The Fallible Four. As if that weren’t enough, she also has to deal with the fallout of her parents learning more about her relationship with her boyfriend Seth than she ever wanted them to know.
The good news is that, if she survives this holiday, she’ll have plenty of material for another self-help book.
If I’d been paying proper attention, I would have seen the airborne French fry, and I would have observed that its trajectory was about to bring it into direct contact with my eye. Which means I should have seen it coming, right? That’s what happens when your mind has been numbed by three consecutive hours of children screaming.
If you want to learn to survive a bombardment with minimal injury, you should start by studying the basics of ballistics. Any object can pose a threat, especially around children.
My name is Dani, and if you’re one of a handful of people who read my first book Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family, then you’ll know from the opening paragraph that I didn’t achieve my goal. I still babysit for money. Perhaps I overestimated my ability to make tons of money by unleashing my words upon the world. Apparently self-publishing as an unknown writer makes sales difficult. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up, but I’m sure you guessed that. After all, you’re reading my second book, aren’t you?
As a side note, Richard “Moneymaker” Johnson’s book Self-Help 101: How to Write a Self-Help Book Regardless of Your Level of Expertise hit the bestseller’s lists soon after I purchased my copy. I’m not bitter about that, though. I swear I’m not.
Also, if you haven’t yet read the first installment in the series, Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family, you can download the ebook for free from the following places:
You can also get it in print here:
One last question, L.G. Where can readers find you?